Forgive my silence over the last few days. I was unwell for the best part of the weekend and I’m only just starting to feel human again.
Earlier in the year I took a creative writing course and the story below was one of many assignments. I’m currently in the process of developing it. I’m thinking there might be a book in there somewhere. Let’s pray the shingalinga doesn’t wear off!!!
‘Aira, go across the road and give this to Chief.’ Aira looked up at the parcel in her mother’s hand. She didn’t have a problem running errands. What she did have a problem with was Chief.
‘Mum, do I have to? Can’t Abigail do it when she gets back from the market? Even to her own ears she sounded like a brat but she didn’t care.
‘Young lady, I did not employ Abigail to run errands for you. If you don’t get up and out of this house this minute…’ She knew how far to push and could see she was two seconds away from a beating. Mumbling under her breath, she took the parcel and headed out of the door. She had barely pressed the bell when the door flung open.
‘My darling Aira, how are you? Did your mum send you over?’
‘Yes Chief, she did. She wanted me to give this to you.’
‘Ah, I see. Come in.’
‘Thank you sir but I have to go. My mum’s waiting for me.’
‘I won’t keep you; I just want to ask you a few questions about school. I’m thinking of enrolling my youngest daughter, Faith, at your school and I want your opinion. Please, come in!’ Taking a deep breath, she went in and perched on the edge of the single sofa.
‘Tell me, what’s it like being a boarder at St Thomas?’
‘It’s okay. The food is alright and so are the dorms. The juniors get bullied but it helps having senior friends to look out for you.‘
‘I hope you’ll look out for Faith if she comes to your school?’
‘Yes sir, I will.’
‘Good girl. You’re such a credit to your mother. She must be proud.’ Lifting his hand to stroke her face, he said with a glint in his eye, ‘beautiful, you’re so beautiful.’
She tried to ignore his hand as it stroked her cheek. She couldn’t.’
‘I’m sorry sir, I have to go now.’
‘Yes sir, my mother will be worried.’ Before he could object, she sprung off the sofa and ran out of the house. She could hear him laughing in the distance. ‘You will be back.’ The sound of his voice chased her as she raced across the street.
Running into the house she heard mother on the phone. ‘No problem Chief, I’ll send her back now.’
‘Aira is that you?’
‘Yes mummy it is.’
‘I forgot to give you this card for Chief.’
‘I’m not going back.’
‘You will go wherever I send you if you don’t want me to beat the devil out of you. Do you want us to starve? Take this card across the road and don’t come back till he releases you.’ Willing back the tears that threatened to escape the confines of her eyelids, she took the card and went back across the road.’
‘Ah, my darling Aira. You should know better than to run away. Come in my dear and shut the door behind you.’
Shutting the door, Aira resigned herself to what fate had in store for her.
© Waila Caan