Shift

I tried to control my emotions as she, with nimble fingers poured tea into our cups and served our toast. My solicitude over her grew as I couldn’t digest all I had just seen minutes ago.


Two hours ago, I had seen my mother dressed to leave the house and it was surprising because I and my siblings never get to know she left the house because she never told us whenever she wanted to go out even if it was to get something for the house and for that reason we never knew when she left the house. Ever since our father transited to the other side, we became a dysfunctional family.


Today I woke up early and was just in time to see her serve breakfast and leave almost immediately dressed for work and that surprised me. I could swear my mother rarely went out talk more of working and that always made me wonder how she had enough money to take care of us or go out to buy stuffs if at all she had the money.


“Maybe she wanted to do some shopping,” I said to myself and then I saw our cat run from the other side of the dining table to the kitchen. In a bid to play with it, I followed it to the kitchen and I was paralyzed by what I beheld.


It slowly transformed to my mother, pulled her hair back and tied it. She turned around to see if anyone was looking, and when she was convinced no one was looking, she smiled satisfyingly. As she walked toward the kitchen door, I found the bodily capacity to flee and hide under the dining table. She walked to my elder sister’s room to wake her up and immediately I ran upstairs to pretend I was still sleeping. After some minutes she came to me and my brother’s room and as usual she woke us up sweetly like we were always woken up in the mornings. Now I understood why mum was sweet in the mornings and harsh in the evenings; even if we didn’t talk much, she tried to make us feel good in the morning. I pretended to sluggishly wake up.


“It’s time for breakfast sweeties. Wash your mouth and come down to have your breakfast,” she said smiling.


“Okay mum,” my younger brother said as he hurried to the bathroom to wash his mouth.


I didn’t get down from the bed and I could feel her stares piercing into my body so I looked at her.


“What are you waiting for, young man?” she asked me with a stern look.


I grudgingly got down from the bed and walked to the bathroom. I opened the door to peep as she left the room.


“Clement, aren’t you going to eat your breakfast?” She or should I say Cat mum asked me.


“I will,” I said forcing a smile.

With my shaky hands and a mind cognizant of what was happening, I picked the cup and brought it to my lips but I couldn’t drink out of it.


I looked up from the cup to look at my bother and sister’s face, oblivious of what was happening, they cheerfully ate their breakfast. I was torn between telling them what I had seen and keeping quiet because I deemed our cat was a sweeter mum.

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