I couldn’t stop the tear from rolling down as I watched my son clutch Timi, his bear closer to his chest as he leaned against the gate as he stared down the road. Apart from food breaks he had spent all morning and the later part of yesterday standing there willing his best friend to return. It had been only a day and half but the pain in his heart was visible for all to see. I clearly remember the crack in his voice when he asked me what her mother meant by the word “Gone” He understood “Gone” in relation to his elder brother. “Dad, where is Kwame? Kwame has gone to school, he will be back in the afternoon” There was always the assurance that there was a return, a date expected for the person to return. He knew something was different when she told him her daughter had gone to Poland to live with her aunt, he knew there was a difference when she gave him the parcel. He knew there was a difference because he could see her in the back of the car, we all could see the tears in her eyes.
They didn’t share any final words, the day before yesterday was like any other for two young kids. Running around the compound, climbing of trees, playing house with their various toys, sharing a pizza and some chocolates before nightfall. It’s funny how they bonded so quickly when their initial encounter was a disaster. She had just moved into the neighbourhood and had had her bicycle stolen, unfortunately I had also just bought the same bicycle for my son but of a different colour. She came over crying with her mother behind her calling my son a thief, he was also crying and none of us the adults could be heard over their accusations and petty jibes. Their next encounter was at an ice cream and pizza shop…..