THE PARENTS I NEVER KNEW

Ibrahim S Bangura
Posted July 11, 2020 from Sierra Leone

My uncle never told me about my mother.I was not fortunate to see her face, not in a picture or carved image ,I only heard her name in stories, sad stories about her death while giving birth.My elder sister tells me healthy stories about mother, she says, “I used to plait her long, soft hair, on her round head, algodun [downwards], sleep on her thighs, hug and kiss her forehead until she begged me to stop with a bowl of rice”

My sister also says, “mother was sweet to see like the morning hours, beautiful as love, peaceful, slow to anger and quick to smile .A woman whose eyes ran down with soft tears when her husband’s face was sad as night as she saw his neck veins tensing upright, anger growing muscles.My grandma tells me broken stories about my dad who was a proud fisherman, huge and broad as the sky’s body .A strict man who slept when the night was getting stronger ,when the moon and stars were tired of staring at people and older male birds were nodding at the doorsteps of their nests.

My grandma says dad was stubborn as a village cock.He used to tell his customers, “Even if the waves don’t want me to catch fish today, I will sleep in my boat but I must take home a few baskets of fish.Today is not a sour day, there are not many vultures in the sky”

In my village vultures in the sky is a sign of bad luck ,for fishermen, long journey travellers and warriors, sometimes it could mean war, or the exit of a clan chief’s life,.Grandma said dad didn’t listen when he was warned not to go fishing on Fridays, because this day is unfriendly. Friday was made for Muslims to praise Allah,It’s a day when wicked devils were born and every day between twelve noon and two o’clock .These devils take a stroll through the tide. Dad didn’t listen; he didn’t listen and was swallowed by the sea. His fishing net ran down with him into the belly of the water. The sea was speechless to raise the alarm so his boat saved itself instead of him, his customers’ blays were left waiting in the scorching sun and the waves never spat his bones upon the shore.I believe the heavens will help me see my parents .I will hug them until I melt down into their precious souls for, my heart has been empty as an unfurnished house.My voice has travelled miles while I have cried in search of them, they only came to visit me in dreams. I am trying to be fine with my lucky daughter who has no grandparents from my side.  

 

This story was submitted in response to Men & Boys.

Comments 9

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Chi8629
Jul 12
Jul 12

Thank you for sharing.

Ibrahim S Bangura
Jul 12
Jul 12

Thank you dear

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 12
Jul 12

Dear Ibrahim,
What a sad story, and what a beautiful photo of you and your daughter. Such tales get told of warnings of danger, passed down as cautions to try to keep people safe. What a different life you have had from others, even your sister, that you lost your mother as you were born, and your father so determined to bring home food. Through this you have emerged a gentle and loving father yourself, and a gifted writer. Your words are such poetry, and I see from your profile that you are already greatly recognized for your writing and work. I wish you all the best, and a big welcome to World Pulse.

Ibrahim S Bangura
Jul 12
Jul 12

Hello Tam, I am glad that you liked my sad story. Yeah, my daughter is my joy now, she is my mother too. Life is not just how we see it, it is a puzzel but I have managed to read it well. We all have to stay safe and think less, enjoy what is in our hands.

Hello, Ibrahim,

Wow, you're such a poetic writer. I like how you play with words to describe imageries.

You're so brave to be raising a daughter even when you didn't experience the presence of your parents. There might be a void in your heart because you long for them, but their stories will be your guide. You can learn from your mother's grace and your father's determination.

Keep writing, bro. Please tell more stories!

Ibrahim S Bangura
Jul 14
Jul 14

Karen, thank you I am glad that you liked my story. Yes my daughter is my strength and my parents are my inspiration backed up with my past sour sweet memories.

Anita Shrestha
Jul 15
Jul 15

Thank you for sharing

Ibrahim S Bangura
Jul 15
Jul 15

Thank you too for reading it.

Vanora.Lee
Jul 24
Jul 24

It's sad however you wrote your parents beautifully. Love your writing, it's touching and penetrating. Stay strong!