The Forgotten


In this week’s writing challenge, mine your memory and write a memoir.
Fototjie (23)                                                               me mum and dad

I was a small boy, and we have just relocated to a Big City called Bloemfontein. We moved into this enormous house with a rather small swimming pool enclosed by the walls of the house itself and the wall that separated our property from the neighbour’s. It had a gleaming kitchen (I know there were many sparkling lights), a sunken lounge with built-in sofas all around. It had this amazingly long hallway in which my aunt once showed me her dentures, which naturally had me screaming like a small lunatic, running from it as fast as I could with no end to the hallway in sight.

There was the second storey room in which my mum stashed all her stuff, and I mean stuff like linen, winter clothing, a tall cupboard filled with medicine and bandages and all things medical, and of course our toys.

Everything was new to us. New City, new schools, new friends, new church.

Now, at this particular church, my mum left us to attend our first Sunday School class. Of us three siblings, I was left alone to my age group, since my sisters were older than me and had to attend their own. All went well until class ended, and I had to make my way to the parking area, ALONE. The rest of the children disappeared in an instant. I suppose I had already been a dreamer way back then, because I haven’t noticed that I was all alone until I started to walk into various obstacles.

First, there was an enclosed parking area, supposedly reserved for church officials, that got me nowhere. I remember long hallways which led me to an open storage area where a small white trailer (Venter) stood, left in front of a gate that did not seem the kind to open to little boys who just realized tears were but a part of panic and acute rage. I tried to see if I could spot my mum somewhere behind it, but I think I only saw trees and shrubbery. Blinded by tears, whether it be fear or anger, I cannot recall, I ended up at another gate, locked with a padlock, yet I still did not see my mum anywhere. It was her job to come an collect me, her job to unlock the gate and pick me up and carry me to the car. I reached the enclosed parking space yet again, and seemed to have been walking in circles.

By this time, fraught with tears of pure sadness, having thought my mother abandoned me, I finally found an exit, to which I found my mother and two sisters lazily awaiting my arrival inside a strange car (a white Citi Golf). I remember rushing towards it, climbing into the back seat, and started hammering my fists on the headrest, really pounding my hurt into the coarse material. I screamed at my mother for leaving me all alone, sad that she did not love me enough to come and help me. Of course, she apologized profusely, but I refused to talk to her any longer.

Although the curiosity of whose car we were driving had me in an inner battle, I suppose my anger towards my mother won. I don’t think I stayed angry very long, though. Yet, it stays a bitter sweet memory . . .