“Mummy…” Shirley’s voice was distinct and clear.
I spun round, expecting to see my daughter smiling up at me. I saw nothing. There was no one in the house but me.
Was I hallucinating? I turned my attention back to the attractive knife. What exactly did I intend to do? I asked myself.
Tentatively, I picked up the knife
and examined it; strangely enough I enjoyed its feel on my skin.
“Mummy. I love you.” A sing-song voice.
I dropped the knife without thinking and it clattered to the tiled floor.
This time I was sure of what I heard. It was Shirley’s voice- my baby’s voice.
“Shirley.” I called out. “Are you there?”
I was alone.
“Don’t do this to me, please.” I pleaded with the empty house.
It was then I realised I was shaking. My feet could hold me no longer and I crumpled to the floor.
“Why baby, why?” I sobbed uncontrollably. “Why did you have to take her, God?”
A vision of my seven year old daughter flashed before my eyes…
Only recently had she celebrated her seventh birthday…she’d wanted a party but Mo and I had promised her one for her next birthday.
“Not this time, sweetie.” I told her.
“Aww…” Her face took on this puppy-look she used whenever she wanted to get something from either of us. “Pretty pretty please, Mummy.”
God! She was so adorable. I was almost tempted to give in to her.
“How about we ask your daddy what he has planned for your birthday when he gets back from work today?” I said instead, pulling her close to me.
Her face lit up with a smile. “Can I go to the carnival…at least?”
I remember thinking…how did I give birth to such a smart little girl?
I tweaked her nose. “You drive a hard bargain, young lady.”
“That’s why you love me, Mummy.” She had replied.
And indeed did I love her. So much.
She didn’t get the birthday party but Mo and I spent the day with her; we went sight-seeing, we got her gifts and hid it in different parts of the house for her to find.
As these images flashed through my mind, the tears came in torrents. Was she really gone? Was my pretty little angel, my pride and joy never going to kiss my cheeks again and tell me she loves me?
“Just a few more years with her, Lord. That’s all I wanted.” I said through my tears. “Why take her away from me now?”
A hit-and-run. They’d said.
The driver was never found. The cops’ attempt and finding the car had proved abortive. The car had been found abandoned in the park two weeks later. No traces or clues left.
An accident? Inconclusive. The police had said.
Why wouldn’t it be an accident? I often asked myself. Who would want to kill my daughter? Who would be that cruel?
The answers didn’t come.
The worst part of it all was that I had no one to blame. I had no one to be angry at. It wasn’t Mo’s fault or the doctors who couldn’t save her.
There was only one person I could question; one person who’d had ultimate control over her life; one person I’d thought I had a fairly good relationship with; one person whom I now distrusted the most. God.
Why had He allowed it happen?
Over the years, I had been a fairly good Christian; at least better than some people I knew. I couldn’t boast that my Christian life was the best…but it wasn’t that bad.
I was known in church and I tried to do the right thing always. So what had gone wrong?
Still no answers.
“I had fun at school today, Mummy. Daddy bought me ice-cream when he came to pick me up.” It was Shirley again.
As much as I was grateful to hear her voice, it was tormenting me.
“Stop it, please.” I cried. I lay on the floor shaking, the knife only a few metres away from me.
Suddenly my vision began to blur. I felt like I was drowning. There was water everywhere. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. I let the water take me.
The last thing I heard before I passed out was the phone ringing.