• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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The Final Exchange

The Final Exchange

Growing up, I used to be super scared of my mom. I know how mothers are the best intuitive philosophers, they can see and feel things that no one else can but my Mom’s was somewhat extraordinary. She could tell if someone was bad just by speaking with the person. I grew up knowing that I couldn’t be with certain people or go to certain places because it did not sit well with her spirit. I recall nights when I would stay up pondering the possibility of my mother being a witch.

If anyone disregarded her, it was my Dad. He took the things she said lightly and this led to his untimely death. If he had listened to her warnings about the type of friends he kept, he would not have been poisoned.

In my second year in school, my classmate’s (Mendy) great grandma was celebrating her 102nd birthday so some of us from school decided to travel with her for the party. I told my mom about it and she said it was fine however, I was surprised when she later called to tell me that she had a bad feeling about the trip. I was already at the event and there was no way I could travel back to school. She warned me not to eat anything at the party and I knew better than to ignore her. Because we served as ushers and we were very busy, my friends didn’t notice that I wasn’t eating or drinking anything. Thankfully, this saved me from their prying eyes and questions.

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We left for school the next day with goody bags filled with grilled meat and fizzy drinks. I didn’t want to trash mine in order not to arouse suspicion from Mendy so I left it in the refrigerator hoping to take care of it later. That’s how I completely forgot about it.

As a theatre artist, I went for rehearsals one night and when I returned to the room, I realized that I wasn’t with my key. Mendy was a very light sleeper so I expected her to wake up and open the door for me but she didn’t. I could hear her phone ringing when I called but she didn’t answer either. I kept knocking on the door until I got the attention of the porter who came with the spare key to open the door. Sprawled on the floor was the lifeless body of my roomie. I fainted.

In the days that followed, I was questioned by the school authority, the police and her family members. I told them everything I knew except that a plate containing remnants of meat was on the floor beside her corpse when she was found. I didn’t think much about this until several weeks later when I went to pack my things from the room I used to share with her.
I suddenly remembered that Mendy had given out what was left of her portion of the grilled meat, so if she had eaten some before she died, it must have been from my fridge. My mom was with me so I shared my thoughts with her. She was certain this had something to do with her premonition about that party so we scheduled a visit to Mendy’s family to get answers.

When we got there, mom didn’t mince words. She told them that Mendy died after eating the grilled meat meant for me and she wanted to know how that happened. There was some sort of confusion at first followed by heated arguments. To make matters worse, they were speaking their local dialect. We couldn’t make anything out of the chaos so we left. But it was obvious that something was not right.

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A few days later, I received an anonymous call from someone who told me that Mendy’s great grandma was responsible for what happened. It has been observed overtime that someone would die after one of her birthday parties. This is how she did her longevity exchange but unfortunately it hit a family member this time around which was against the exchange rule. As at the time of the phone call, mama was very sick and was spilling a lot of confession on her death bed.

I am grateful for my mother and I am especially thankful for her special gift. If not for her, it would have been my picture in that obituary and my body six feet under the ground. It’s so sad that my friend is gone but after what I just heard, I don’t even know how to feel anymore.