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I’ve turned another year in my life.
Hell! This life seems to have stretched a century to be exact!

On the day of my birthday,I have woken up at 5.am. I’ve got a kilometre of fast jogging to do.

I don’t celebrate my birthdays with anyone. Most people don’t even know my birth date.
I lost my mum on the same day that I was born-at child birth-a very personal thing that can’t be shared with any one.
My birthday also marks my mum’s death anniversary every year of my life.

Anyway,this birthday is special to me,if anything,to celebrate my long life so far.

As I jog along my favourite path,a surreal flash back of the struggles,failures and sweet victories ran through my mind like a silent movie.

Some memories evoke a panting smile on my face,some threaten to moisten my eyes,some draw out the serious man in me to my wet face.

It has started to drizzle.
I can’t go back to the house.
I have to finish this lap!

I’ve got something crazy planned for later today. A very personal thing.

Very recently,I have unearthed a photo of my mum when she was an eighteen year old!

I want her face done on a tattoo in my left side of chest.

Imagine me at prime of my life doing a tattoo! Very boyish,I should say.

But I never had the chance to be my mum’s naughty boy,so here I go!

Abudulaziz Cosmetics and Beauty Therapy Joint-that’s where I’m having my tattoo done.

I join the queue.

No fuss. The tattoo is done in an hour.

My mum now rests in my heart,or rather,close to my heart.

The ordeal is over. What remains is to explain and justify it to my soul mate. She will think I’ve gone bananas!

And I didn’t know either that it was going to hurt,placing my handset on the left beast pocket that is….ouch!

And driving too! I can’t bear the tickling pain as the shirt creases over the tattoo when steering the car!

I’m home before my soul mate.
A cotton t-shirt to hide my folly-to her this is folly!

She enters the door.

Now,the thing with women when you have done something disagreeable is to ambush them before they gather their wits.
Before they find their bearing.
Before they settle down.
Before they shower.
Before they take the trash bin out.
These are their most vulnerable moments!
The more dramatic the ambush,the better

So I rush to hug her,knowing very well that this effort will win my sympathy.

She is bewildered. I’m not a physically expressive person at most times.

She falters…I ran to her.

Then I scream!

She drops her handbag in the confusion.

I hold the left side of my chest in true agony.

She thinks I’m having a heart attack.

I limp to the sofa. She shrills-whats wrong with you?

Tattoo! I scream back.

Where is it?

Here! I point.

She caringly divests me of the t-shirt.
She sort of peeps into the swollen mess,but makes out a face of a girl in the tattoo.

You had to do it…who is she?

My mum. I whisper.

Then I hand her over the photo of my mum at eighteen.

She is beautiful.

She looks very set for a long life.

You can tell it from the way she holds her chin up….clear intent on her youthful eyes.

At twenty,before my first birthday,she was dead at labour,never to know me.

Or for me to know her.

The tattoo is still hurting.

My soul mate is crying burying her head to my chest again.

I burst out laughing.

She is confused.

I let her in to my small game.

She stops crying like a light switch,suddenly.

She rummages her handbag and draws out a mega ice cream tub.

For your birthday,she says.

But don’t scoop on it yet,use it to cool the tattoo.

And why were you crying,I ask?

Coz your mum was pretty,and now,she will always fight me before I make my way to your heart,she says.

Women! I will never understand them!