© Pauline Bumbi
I cried myself to sleep that night. My heart was torn
in pieces and I questioned God several times.
The following morning I woke very early from the
knock on my door. When I opened it was one of
the maids from the mansion
“Wake up dear your aunty wants you” she said.
I quickly changed and went to the mansion. My
aunty was sitted on a sleeper couch and she asked
me to sit on the floor.
She was taking a glass of red wine and she was in
a in a pink bathrobe and pink socks.
“Are you a fool?” My aunty said.
I was looking at the beautiful pattern of the floor
when she said that and I wondered if she was
talking to me. I raised my head in surprise.
“Are you surprised? Is there another fool around!!”
I shook my head suggesting that the only fool was
“As old as you are, you can not take care of
yourself? What was the meaning ofthat
embarrassment last night? Don’t you know how to
prevent such!!!” She yelled.
My heart crushed and tears rolled down my cheeks.
“I’m sorry aunty I did not have sanitary towels.. So I
used a …”
“Oh shut up!!! Shut up now” my aunty yelled.
“Next Time do not embarrass me in front of my
guests! Useless child!!! She yelled.
I was facing down while my tears soon rolled to my
neck. Before I knew it I got a splash of wine on my
She poured a glass full of wine on me and asked
me to leave her presence.
I rushed to my room and threw myself on the
concrete floor and I cried out to God.
” Jesus!!!! Jesus!!! You said you were my friend
where are you!!! Even your book assures me that
those who trust in you shall never lack a thing.. God
why am I suffering!!!! I mourned.
I beat my hands on the dusty concrete and cried
bitterly until I couldn’t cry no more.
When I got up my dress was messed with dust and
the heavy flow of my menses penetrated again and
stained my dress.
I quickly changed my clothes and washed the dirty
things with the remaining beats of the washing
powder I got from madam Patricia.
I couldn’t hang my clotheson the same line they
used for the mansion so I would usually hang them
over the fence or on one side of the roof as it was
near, it was a poorly built chicken run so the roof
wasn’t far from reach.
During the day it was a little uncomfortable because
the garden boy would usually be around and he
would be in the chicken run often making it hard for
me to use the bathroom as it only had a curtain and
the ventilation holes from my room were big. So
who ever was in the chicken run would have a
glimpse of what would be happening in my room.
After washing I rushed to the gate to talk to the
gateman Mr ngoma.
“Sir have you seen mama Patricia of Kate? I asked.
Mr Ngoma denied seeing her and I got worried, it
was unlike her not to check up on me. I was in
desperate need of sanitary towels and she’s the
only one who could provide.
“I will make sure I call you when I see her” he said.
I went to the mansion and started my chores, the
chickens were ready for dressing so for the rest of
the day that was my duty
At least I enjoyed that part of work because the
maids and I would share the chicken intestines and
We dressed 100 chickens in the morning and
shared the intestines and livers as usual. The
maids would usually cook food from the kitchen
and we would share. I was not allowed to use the
stove to cook my own food only during lunch when
the maids and I would cook our lunch.
At night I had a brazzier which I made use of, I
would get some charcoal for the chickens as there
was usually charcoal for warming the chicken run at
That day when work was done I knocked off and
went to my room but my aunty called for me. It
was very unusual for my aunty to allow me in the
mansion at night so I wondered what this was
Aunty and uncle were chatting in the living room
when I entered.
When uncle was around I would sit on the couch
however this time I chose to sit on the floor.
“Am sure you heard that the twins are going to
America” uncle said.
I nodded my head in agreement.
“First thing tomorrow morning come and help them
pack they leave at 14hrs” my uncle said.
I looked at him with a lot of bitterness, surely my
dads own brother would do this to me? I thought.
I got up and left there sight. That night all I wanted
was to read a book so I got a funny novel that I
I laughed to myself as I read and finally fell asleep.
However I woke up angry because of the dream I
had. Why would I have such a mocking dream?
In my dream I saw myself going to America instead
of the twins and I was excited, I had been
sponsored to go and study literature.
“God why mock me in such a way” I thought to
I sat fantasising before I fell asleep again.
Because of my disturbed sleep I ended up
oversleeping and was woken up by a sudden cold
“Wake up you useless child, u don’t know why you
are still here I’ve warned your uncle to send you
back to the village but he won’t just listen!!” My
My body was dripping wet from the water my aunt
had splashed on me.
“Let me meet you here in the next minutes.. I will
kill you ! She warned before walking out.
I quickly changed and kept telling myself not to cry
although a huge lump settled on my throat.
I brushed my teeth outside quickly and u ran to the
The twins were very upset and they took turns
yelling at me and asking as to why I did not go
there on time to help them pack. It was only 6:40
according to the clock on the wall so I wondered
why they were so upset.
Seeing how much clothes they had made me
jealous but I just looked on helplessly.
They all dumped there clothes on the floor and and
I folded then neatly in their cases. As I packed their
clothes, they bragged about the United states and
how they wanted to see the statue of liberty and
everything they watched in movies.
” do you know what a statue of liberty is? Faith
“Yes I do, its a lady with a crown holding
something up on one hand” I responded without
looking at her as I sat packing.
The twins both turned and looked at me.
“How did you know that?, you’ve never been to
America” Joy asked.
“I have in my imagination and through the books
I’ve read” I responded.
The twins burst out laughing and called me a village
girl whos never been on a plane. I was offended
especially when Faith said the closest I will get to
flying is on a broom since uneducated people like
myself can only be witches.
The twins left in the afternoon and I cleared there
bedroom before I went back to my room.
I was so bitter and I cried terribly. I didn’t even feel
like eating so I slept on some raw peaches I had
plucked from the garden. They actually made my
tummy hurt but for a poor girl like myself, pain was
That night it rained heavily and I sang different
songs that I had learnt from the village as a child. I
couldn’t sleep as the steel roof made a lot of noise
and the chicken too made a terrible noise.
When all the songs were done I stared at the plunks
above that supported the roof as tears rolled down
“For how long would my life be like this? Answer
me Lord ” I said as I cried terribly.
To be continued…
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