By Amie Sillah
At the House Party
The trio came and displayed themselves each bragging about their successes. Mama Ndungu is displeased and disgusted with them.
Neneh proved to be the best hostess as she made sure every guest received the utmost attention. Food and drink were bountiful and everyone ate to his/her fill.
The trio were the last to leave, they talked the loudest as they stole the show from the celebrants. When they decided to leave they went to greet Mama but she gave them a cold shoulder as they shrugged their shoulders and left.
She is very angry with her daughter as she called her aside.
“My daughter come and sit by my side. What an elder sees sitting down a child sees not climbing the tallest mountain. You are my only surviving daughter after I buried four children, two boys and two girls only you. Your brother Buraima survived the harsh conditions of life I am a ‘yaradal’ ( a woman who loses her children especially at infancy).
Your father’s family especially his sisters described me with all sorts of names, they wanted him to marry a second wife but to no avail which added to my isolation, dejection, discrimination and marginalization within their midst. I became a taboo and a curse according to them. Before he died they got him to marry a widow of one of his first cousins on the paternal side, but he refused her ‘aiye’ (turn to be with the husband). He described her as the family wife which infuriated them all the more and my further castigation; shortly afterwards he became sick and everybody left him with me. “She is his everything, let him be her patient as well.”
I am an orphan raised up by a maternal aunt who raised me as a ‘Cinderella’ and her daughter a Princess; I do all the household chores which affected my education while her daughter attended school, but as Allah prevails her child suffered teenage pregnancy and died in childbirth; she showed me hell and said I was responsible for my cousin’s death due to my bad luck in killing my parents in a dastardly motor accident.
Your father showed up a junior civil servant and married me off; he did not have money to spend lavishly on me but he shared whatever he had and respected me, but again his family would not let me be as my aunt poisoned their minds against me as she described me as ‘aigaaf’ (bad luck.) After your father’s demise the family wanted to dupe me but a good friend and neighbour helped me fight them to secure my children’s inheritance through the court. Dr. Jones supported my family and arranged scholarship for you up to High School. He is an international civil servant working for the U.N, his adopted son Kenbugul showed up and asked for your hand in marriage; since them he became my adopted son as well, he refurbished your dad’s house and transformed it into a duplet with all the facilities to the envy of villagers languishing in poverty, deprivation, misery and hardship. We have to be very careful, we should not display what Allah has endowed us with so as not to invite the wrath of neighbours or people in general. You are very open to my liking and your these so-called friends are serpents in lamb’s clothing, they envy you and when the opportunity arises they will strike with venom to ensure you would not survive. I don’t like them; they are unreal and my daughter you are a lamb befriending wolves. See how they were acting and misbehaving as if they were the only guests.
Beware! A word of caution is enough for the wise.”
She belittled Mama’s worries.
“Mom that was a long history; you are wrong in misjudging my friends they are not what you think, they mean well but all the same I have taken note of your concern I‘ll be careful.”
“The long sermon was meant to show you where we came from, I suffered poverty and deprivation before the advent of my son. Hold what Allah gave us through Ken dearly, let your frivolity not deprive us of our inheritance is my advice, don’t say I did not warn you!”
She called Hassen ‘her husband’
“I am very busy having an important meeting, do you hear me?” He nodded his head.
“Take this money and buy your needs, no cooking today my sister has gone to the village. When I need you I’ll call you.”
He thanked her and left, she transformed her husband into an errand boy robbed of any human worth or dignity.
They dissected the party.
“See delicious types of food, assorted meat of all kinds, the home made juices, drinks as well as cans for choice; the couple has spent nothing less than 500,000 K; see how Neneh was dressed and decked with precious stones like a princess, her shoes, and designer bag and accessories! I envy her Oh!” Mam posited as the others concurred.
“We have to do something as this silly girl is mocking at us,” Posited Mengeh who whispered something into the ears of the duo.
They thought hard and gave shriek laughter.
“You are a genius but will it work?” The duo asked.
“Trust me now! Am I not the one who suggested it? I’ll work it out and inform you the soonest if not this silly girl’s taunts will drive us crazy,” Mengeh posted.
“Our husbands are only good in providing us camouflage and nothing else but we cannot have it all, after all we have our ‘brown chocolate’ aside.” The trio concurred.
“But I believe Neneh has charmed Ken, such a ‘love’ is unnatural.” The duo posited but Dor disagreed.
“Neneh does not do charm she is a devout Muslim, Ken is exceptional while Neneh is naïve and ‘innocent’. There is no charm I can vouch for that.”
But the duo still persisted.
“She might be secretive you know, just get close to her and find out her secret.”
To be Cont.