Tears of Immense Longing
By Kenechukwu Obi (Nigeria)
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TEARS OF IMMENSE LONGING
Andrew, the Zimbabwean writer, stood at the balcony of his house, and threw glances, which fell on four children playing outside. They were children of his fellow Zimbabwean writer, who lived next door. Joy came to him as he watched the children run about, toddle, scream and call on their Daddy and Mummy. This made Andrew wish he could hasten the duration of his wife’s first pregnancy to have a child he would call his own.
Rose, Andrew’s wife, soon joined him at the balcony. And Andrew placed his hands on her tummy and began to feel it, as his face broke into smiles.
“Stop it! Stop acting like a child.” Rose demanded. Andrew continued.
“I can’t just wait to behold my child’s entry into this world,” he said.
“Stop it!” Rose almost screamed, as she tried to stop Andrew who had now held her tummy quite firm.
“Please do not attempt to stop me, Rose, for you have no complete understanding of what I feel,” Andrew pleaded in a tone so full of tender emotions that got Rose to relax. And he began to speak. “I speak to you my child, I will continue to watch your Mother’s belly closely. No movement you will make inside her will go unnoticed, no matter how slight it is. I have already started counting the days and months in anticipation of your arrival. The more you make Mummy’s tummy extend, the more I will be of use to her. She must not be hurt in anyway. You make me bend while going on errands right now. I now do all the cooking, washing and shopping. Let me assure you that I will never be weary. Who cares if you are a boy or girl? Pick the sex you wish, all I want is you. My care for you will continue when you arrive, after relieving your Mother and I of all worries associated with labor. My face will then brighten with a smile and widen in thunderous laughter. I am responsible for you. Daddy will keep carrying you in his arms and sing you to sleep when you cry. We shall play together like friends when you become a toddler. That is when I will begin to teach you that life is not a bed of roses. Hard work is a must if you are to be successful in life. This will entail believing in yourself and God. You will need prayers as there is a limit to what human ability and endowments can accomplish alone. Expect to win all the time, but also note that failures are roadmaps to successes. There is nothing so good as love and peace. Treat your fellow humans well. Appreciate your environment, as you will always derive from it. If you pollute it; you chart the course for your gradual extinction. You are nobody without human rights that will come with you from birth. Observe and preserve them. Desist from smoking at all, and avoid excessive drinking, as you will need all the good health you can get, good health being great wealth. It is my deepest desire to see you arrive alive, hale and hearty. If I die before your birth, well, I believe I have spoken enough to guide you. And then your Mummy will teach you more. I love you most dearly.”
Andrew looked around again by the time he stopped speaking, and discovered the children were gone from the spot he saw them play. Tears gathered in his eyes.
Tears of immense longing.