The afternnon came lazily as silence hung in the air, sticky as the sweat on our skin. The only sound was the hum of the standing fan that brought relief to whoever it turned to.

I started to count the seconds '1...2...3...breeze....1...2....3...breeze...'
My skin itched for the cool air when the fan turned away, basking in it fully when it blew my way.

"He said he doesn't know o" Aunty Nonye's voice cut through my reverie and I listened as she sighed deeply with her mouth, curving her lips to look like millepedes. I giggled.

"That's what they always say, meanwhile when they go we'll be the ones to suffer" My mother shook her head.

They fell into another silence that allowed me to go back to my fan loving. I sat back against the wall and closed my eyes when the breeze blew my way, letting out a soft sigh.

My mother murmured something in Igbo and they both laughed and shook their heads. I started watching my mother's hands move in aunty Nonye's hair. The wooden toothed comb she used to part the hair had what looked like a monkey with three eyes carved at the handle so I stayed far away from it. Adaku at school told me that they used to put juju in people's combs so that when they comb their hair juju would enter inside their head. I was afraid that juju was entering inside aunty Nonye's head as my mother parted the hair and combed the part she wanted to braid. Her hands were fast, and her wrists moved side by side as she formed the thick black braid that stuck to aunty Nonye's head like a leech. I giggled again.

"what is this one laughing about now eh?" Aunty Nonye looked at me and smiled "abi is the heat getting into your head?" she teased me. I grimaced, imagining what was entering into her head.

"Don't mind this one o! always dreaming" My mother said "dreamy dreamy" she looked at me and laughed.
I couldn't respond because at that moment the fan blew my way and I had to sigh. All of a sudden it went off and it was like a finger clicked and I was pulled back into the reality of the dead afternoon.

"oooo-oh. This people sef, dem sabi take light!" My mother got off her chair and swung her legs over aunty Nonye's head to go and switch off the fan and other appliances. Aunty Nonye bent forward now, her back rest which were my mother's legs were gone so she sat with her back curved downwards.

I watched her. She looked up at me impatiently "oya now, go and help your mummy"
So I got up from my spot on the wall to go and find my mother.

Picture: Divine Order by Leroy Campbell.


  1. You write pretty well...thanks for stopping by at my spot.

  2. Thank you! You're an amazing writer!


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