Have you ever received a text message that throws your world into chaos? A text message that comes with a promise of nothing but heartbreak and consequences. Remember when you first started dating and out of the blue your significant other sends you the 'we need to talk' message? They say there is always light at the end of a tunnel but we both know there is none at the end of a we need to talk tunnel and so when my dearest mother (God bless her) sent me this text message at 6am after a long shift at work, all my body alarms went off.
My life literally flashed before my eyes and I tried as fast as I could to decipher which one of the many fuckups had she found out about and even constructed an explanation for all of them of course followed by excuses and a flurry of sorries as well as promises to never ever repeat the same mistake. After composing myself, for once grateful that my mother and I are continents apart, I rang her but was sent to voicemail and this made me even more worried. You haven't seen crazy until you witness an angry African parent and this thought nudged me to call everyone and anyone who could have seen her on that day so I could assess how irritable she was.
When I finally got through to her I started with so many pleasantries it actually felt like an awkward first date conversation. My heart beat so fast I could hear it as if it was struggling to shoot out of me. Everything in me was telling me to confess, she always liked honesty and I thought maybe, just maybe if I spilled my guts then she will find a way to forgive me, eventually. But what would I confess about? The fact that I broke most of her china and blamed it on the house helps? The fact that I helped one of my cousins sneak alcohol into her house when we were kids or that I snuck out to go to parties at night? Or that one of her friends had touched me inappropriately but I was so afraid and scared I never told her? While I was trying to form the words she finally says she only wanted to hear my voice because she had missed me and at that point, I saw the light.
She wasn’t mad nor did she have any plans to break my heart, she just didn’t understand the weight those few words held. I told her how worried she had made me and we laughed about it but not before the pain of remembering my last ‘we need to talk’ conversation washed over me. He was handsome and I had sacrificed everything for him; he was never truly there and never appreciated me but I made excuses for him and held onto a relationship that was crippling me with every passing second. The fear of being alone blocked my judgement and so when he gave me the ‘it is not you, it’s me’ cliché my world crumbled and I guess my mum's text message just dug out those fears.
Published by Brenda Bogonko