I got a cone filled with ice cream. It tasted so sweet it quenched the pangs on my ‘milk teeth’. In my head I was dancing because I knew this was the last time I would ever get such Ice and Cream put together. The little money we had, was spent on jamb forms. We fed from hand to mouth, ate with the neighbours or managed the crumbs falling from the proverbial table. Poverty became christened. We walked on the streets In borrowed bags and heartbroken shoes, just to live for the next day.
We started having disturbing issues since Ada carried an unwanted issue. But these days, everyone is proud of being a single mom. “Baby mama” as they call it, fancied Ada and she gave in slowly to the plantain boy.
We were expecting a turn around in form of a miracle, but we knew our stench could drive potential helpers away since we couldn’t afford a bar soap. And we prayed for the rain so we could have water to wash away the filth. But mother saw differently. She saw the stars in our dirt. She called us diamonds even when we could not reflect. We didn’t want to hear the name. But we smiled and silently wished it to the “rich and famous kids”.
Then one day, amidst the happy sad moments, Ada couldn’t hold it anymore. Her water broke. We didn’t know how to react to this.But immediately tears ran down our cheeks to solidify the pain. We screamed help. Mama tried to perform the midwife’s duties but it became a nightmare when the stillbirth took Ada’s life.
The journey became one of solitude, it was a silent treatment and we wished our breathing stopped. We didn’t dream. We just had hope that someday,one day, it will be better.
On that very day we saw the Millennium Park again.We saw the children scooping their ice creams with so much joy and I stood there and laughed out happy tears. “I was once here,” i said to myself. I was that kid whose ice cream tasted so sweet it quenched the pangs on her ‘milk teeth’.