Growing up, her mother threatened her with death for mistakes so small it would take one with a cleansed soul to notice them, so it wasn’t difficult for Amara to imagine what her mother’s reaction was going to be, now that she had found her smoking like a chimney and drinking like a fish. She dropped the cigarette butt in the sink before going to open the door, all the while feigning a smile. She hugged Achika first, and if it wasn’t for the fact that her mother was standing within an earshot, she would have demanded to know how Achika could lead her mother to her house without giving her a heads-up. She then walked to her mother, hesitantly, almost as if she expected her to push her away but when she wrapped her arms around her, her mother hugged her back and a wind of relief swept across her. The hug lingered for a little longer and Amara beamed when her mother rubbed her back gently like she knew she could do with a little of comforting.
“I am so happy to see you, mum,” Amara said.
Her mother pulled away from the hug but still held her by the arms, eyes fixed on hers.
“Amara, what happened to you?”
It was a loaded question, one that turned Amara into a stammerer when she tried to answer it. Was it that her mother wanted to know what happened, or was she wondering, aloud, how her own daughter, one she had brought up to be self-respecting, would turn into drinking and smoking just because she was facing some difficulties.