Gone Before Easter | Dayo Ikotun

He went missing during Lent. Like invisible fingers had reached out and snatched him. One minute he was there, laughing and running around the church with his clubbed feet. The next, he was gone.

We searched everywhere. Underneath the pews. Behind the altar. The gate post’s toilet. Whether at work or at home, I would hear echoes of “momma!”, but when I turned, he wasn’t there.

Then came the consolatory visits.
“You’ll find him.”
“Be strong, nne.”
“He’ll return. Like our Lord Jesus Christ, he’ll return.”

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Ash Wednesday was supposed to be his first. I held a bundled-up cardigan to my breast, in a simulation of him. He bit me sometimes while at it, but what mother’s bosom wouldn’t ache for her child?

They said I went mad after then. I would stand at the church’s gate, waiting. I would wave and smile and ask everyone if they’ve seen a boy with clubbed feet.

“He’s only recently learned how to walk!”

On the night before Easter, his father took my hand and led me down the road.

“They found him.”

I didn’t scream when I saw the child, bloodied and covered up with old clothes. My own child. People had gathered by the roadside. It seemed like an accident, but I knew differently. I squatted by his side. Closed his eyes which were staring up at me. Bid him goodbye. It killed the pain and madness.

 

About the Writer

Dayo Ikotun is a creative writer, a scriptwriter, and a blogger. Follow his IG @theoldsage.

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