What They Don’t Know 1

What They Don’t Know 1

Evenings were always windy & cold around this time
of the year. There were always the ever present
chirping from the evening birds who would sing
same songs across notes. The trees would be dragged in varying directions of the wind making
‘clapping’ sounds like they acknowledged the songs
of the birds. There the men would sit under the huge
mahogany soaking their tongues with gins of all
kinds which evoked sensible noises at times & more
often resulted in shallow statements lacking sense of
any kind.
I would sit with grandma somewhere at a distance
from the cheers & grins of the ‘men’. Ma Ateni would
weave my hair at times & would share her thoughts
with me on so many things. Our uncaring
politicians, the ever-under-construction bridge that
was supposed to link the neighbouring village with
ours, about the kidnappers who’d already began to
gain grounds in our village at the time, about the bush babies with their scary screams or cries as it may seem at nights. She would recount tales about the civil war, how broken its aftermath left the entire village.
“War is never it & people never get healed from the
scars of war. Maybe the physical healed, but it is
always more psychological than physical” she would
say.
I grew up having her the closest person I could call a
brother, sister, mother or father. In fact she was my only relative, my world. A week ago I remembered
how she shivered under the scorching sun, how hard
she fought for breath & how her eyes refused to open the next morning.
I quite remember grandma watch me sing her lullabies, yes supposed for babies! I’d learnt them
many from the numerous ones she’d sang me during
my forming years.
“You always loved them songs & so I knew you’d sing
someday” she would say each time I evoked therapy with my voice in song. She would tell me how my voice could heal a nation. I felt she was too kind with words most times & would just smile at her kindness. I would sing, she would stare, smile & close her eyes slowly until she was drowned in the
tranquility of torpidity. She would snore quietly, then
loudly and would stop at times & most often than
not, the snores would grow even louder and I’ll stop
singing and look up admiringly at the U-shaped moon or the stars.
As I watch the men dig up 6 fts. into the soil, I feel
my heart thudder in ectopics. I feel a strong loneliness
and a draw of uncertainties grip me. The 2 women who sat beside me with tear faces saying words I tried hard not to think were supposed consolatory.
“Mama was always strong, she fought was still ready
to fight” I must have heard one of them say.
“Mama is a better place, stay strong for her. Its all
you can do at this time.”
I hated those words these ugly women spat at me.
Each of their words brought nauseous feeling even
down my marrows! These two were supposed to be
grandma’s best friends. But they’d fled like the rest
during the weeks mama suffered in our poor hut and eventually died from not the sickness, but from
hunger! I hate people playing theatrics like they had
an audience whom they’d charged a fortune and
were hell bent on pleasing….



One thought on “What They Don’t Know 1” by KENwryTs (@KenchukzY)

  1. C est la vie,nice write up

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