A Granny and a Kid
She raised her left hand in the air like she was waving at someone. Her right hand was holding onto the strap that supported a kiondo across her forehead settling on her back. The same left hand had just been holding unto a smaller hand; the hand of the kid. They stood by the road side; the granny almost walking on fours; perhaps because of the weight of the luggage on her back or the weight of the years behind her and probably both. She flagged down the bus and the driver came to a stop. I had been watching them from the distance as we approached closer. I was seated on the front seat neighboring the driver on the left. They boarded. The kid, then the granny followed by the kiondo glued behind her back.
I wanted to keep looking at that pair but they sat at a position that was behind me towards the right of the aisle. I avoided the temptation of looking back to stare at them the way some people do on the road. Have you been in that scenario, when someone hurries past you to the opposite direction and you are tempted to turn back and look at them for some reason only to find them doing just that; looking back at you. Awkward! Right? Perhaps you liked their hair and them may be they love your shoes or something in alternation. There is this expansive center mirror that gives the driver the rear view from within the bus. I looked right through. I could see the granny, the kid and the kiondoo. The granny was seated. Relief showed on her face. It appeared like she loved that seat. The kid stood in between her laps. He stared endlessly through the side window. The Kiondoo rested on the bus floor within the aisle adjacent to where they sat. The three of them appeared like they are used to each other’s company.
Then my mind shifted to why the kid and the granny ended up together. It reminded me of the forgotten heirs of the villages deep inside. Women of her age and above; old, lonely but hopeful. Those who live by virtue of prayer. When you greet them they will answer “Am great my son, God is been faithful to me” And you will be tempted to say “Amen” even though Sunday School was never your cup of tea despite the fact that the entire extended family was stout Pentecost. Most probably, going by the age gap evident between the granny and the kid, he was not a son of hers. Only a grandson or may be a great grandson. Who knows? These days the millennials bring home kids way before their adult birthday. Haven’t you come across grandmothers as young as thirty?
The first possible scenario would the most obvious that the kid is the granny’s grandson and the kid just loves tagging along. Who wouldn’t like those granny stories delving deep into forgotten history told in the first voice? They will perhaps part way as the kid joins some nuclear family where he belongs.
Another scenario could be that the granny plays Guardian to that kid. To the kid, the granny might be the only parent he knows. He might be a destitute kid with a biological parent who is unknown to him only a granny to call mum then dad then uncle then aunty. The kid’s life revolves around the granny. The granny has created a world around that kid. It’s why the two live under a bond.
Just what could bring us such a scenario? This narrows further to countless reasons. The kid could be well, adopted. He will grow up to start those movie-like journeys of retracing his roots. He might or might not be successful. The granny might seat him down and talk to him in a motherly voice “Look son, all along I have never told you about your parentage. You were so young for this kind of talk.” The kid now a man of about eighteen with a waiting card in tow will listen; his emotions a mixture of disbelief and surprise.
The kid might be an inherent of domestic violence families. At one point probably he lived in a close knit nuclear family of him, dad, mum a sister sibling and a brother sibling. Then domestic violence got persistent. So persistent that things went south. A separation and or a divorce followed. Things went hey way. The family blew with the winds. Everybody took their different paths. The kid ended up with the granny too young to comprehend that things were not as usual. They bonded hence forth.
Could it be that the kids mum is a single mother out in the city to make ends meet? The father is either known or unknown. By living with the granny, the single mother affords to hustle wide and most probably support both the kid and the granny. Then there is the other side to this. The single mother might be out on a run. The granny might be the only bread winner. The sole head of the family playing mum and dad at one go for an incomplete family. Then hers is a sad story; the one that is told in a full to capacity hall and everyone buries their head in hands and sobs.
We might not want to imagine so, but the kid might be an orphan. A total orphan to boot. The granny might be the only surviving adult of that lineage. Then the kid the youngest and only heir of the lineage after the granny. It will be a lineage faced with extinction to battle. The kid might have lost all relatives to natural death, to death that is not fathomable, to post election violence, to disease, to a reckless driver and all the bad things that might happen in this journey called life. Then he will be a hero and the granny a heroine. The only remnants of disaster.
Winston_Tony Eboyi is a Project Manager who runs programs on Personal Development and matters Business Branding. www.twicgroup.com