Two weeks later, Jeff stopped to pick David from school. He jumped in and asked immediately, “How is mum?”

She had been admitted into a hospital since Wednesday the week before.

“Mum? Hmmm…”

“Has she gone? You can tell me. Don’t be scared to say it; ‘cause I’m not scared again.”

Gone where? How could she have told the little boy she was dying and never bothered alerting him, her husband? But, what could she have told him to make him not to be crying at her absence?

Jeff was confused. The David he knew would not want anyone else to pick him up from school except his mum. He never wants her away from him. But, there he was, very calm and cheerful, even knowing she was gone. Gone where? How much did he know already?

He turned to look at his son sitting quietly and smiling at himself, not bothered about anything. He knew it. He knew that woman was evil. She was good at manipulating people to her side, and she had succeeded in doing that to their son. How could she have done it?

But, maybe; maybe if he had been a little more caring; maybe if he had been a little more observant, he would have noticed she was dying. What kind of a husband has he been? How did he not notice she had been losing weight over the past three months, or more? Now she is gone and the child knows it. Gone where? How much does he know?

Several thoughts kept pouring in, and he drove slowly. He turned again to look at his son, and their eyes met. David saw the worried look on his face.

“Dad, what is it?”

“Hmmm… I’m taking you to Grandma’s. You’ll be there with her for a while.”

“What about school tomorrow?” He asked, indifferent.

“She’ll take you to school and bring you back.”

“Ok.” He looked away to the window.

He was so calm, it disturbed Jeff the more. They drove silently for the rest of the way to his mother’s house.

The funeral took place on Saturday, at their home. The two families had agreed there was no need delaying it, and it should be just a small gathering for family members and a few friends. A quiet and simple funeral it was.

The pastor came around to pray for the family and gave them some words of consolation for their loss. Everyone was deeply moved by his words. They were all sad, except for one person. Even Jeff was torn apart. He has been so since Thursday morning, when he was told she had been rushed to the hospital just after dropping David at school. But, maybe his was more of guilt.

Everyone seemed to be crying, except for one person. What bewildered Jeff the most was the calm countenance his son had been putting on since that fateful Thursday afternoon. Even while with his grandmother, he had not asked about his mum again, neither had he been heard crying because of her absence. What did she do to the little boy?

Later that evening, David walked up to him and asked again, “She has gone, hasn’t she?”

“Yes, she has gone.” He replied, sorrowfully, trying to put up with the constant feeling of intimidation he got from his son’s disposition which he knew nothing about.

“Where is she now?”

“Heaven. She has gone to heaven.”

His eyes glistened as he heard the word heaven. He beamed a smile and turned to walk away.

That was weird. Was he in his right senses? Maybe he should take him to see a psychiatrist. Or a psychologist. What child would not cry at the death of his mother? Surely, not one who had all his life been desperate for her presence, never wanting her to be away at all. Something was surely wrong somewhere.

(To be continued)

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