The Shrine

The shrine
© Folakemi Emem-Akpan

Dark and musty, the room is stacked with memories. German roaches have laid eggs on the blue blanket and there is a perpetual smell of dampness. And of split milk and unwashed clothes.
I stumble into a maze of cobwebs and flail at my face. It’s been only two years. How can a room deteriorate so much in so little a time? How can smells keep for two years? And how can I still remember that day in vivid colours, as if it were but yesterday?

Six months old and already plump beyond plumpness itself, a smile radiant like an angel’s, a rambunctious spirit that could only have been his dad’s, Brian was the kind of baby women oohed at, the kind men wanted as sons, the kind sisters wanted as brothers, and the kind baby girls hoped would one day be theirs. And he was my baby.

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