It was still a slow day in “The Hive” as it is called. Customers strolled in; in ones and twos, some lingered and some did not. She walked in pushing a baby in a stroller. Her dressing was quite interesting. She wore a pair of bright yellow gold and brown studded boots, soft flannel blue loose pants, a brown woolly top coat which hung around her midriff and a belt in the same color as her boots around her waist. The rest of her white flabby tummy was exposed. Her hair was an interesting mix of brown and orange strands.
The square aquamarine glasses which were perched on her nose were all spangled up with sparkle dusts of different shades. Her ear-rings, shoulder drop length of twisted metals with little round festive looking balls at the ends, swung and tinkled as she walked by.
Her wrists were encircled in individual bands of various designs and multicolor, each side had at least five bands with a big pink cocktail ring on her middle finger. She was a burst of colorful sight for sore eyes. She was a stamp of eccentric individuality.
The baby looked very healthy and cherubic, her short sparse brown hair capping her round plump face and ruddy cheeks.
The little one was dressed up in a short baby top and pink sweater with her little rotund stomach sticking out. Her baby bottoms were adorned with a white and purple animal print diapers and her tiny feet had nothing on them. They simply kicked the air without restraints.
Baby was just gorgeous with her folds of plump pink flesh and her dribbling mouth which had a thumb stuck in it all the while.
Ms. Bright Colors (lets call her that), took a position in The Hive and surreptitiously did a quick scan of the occupants. There were two young black men- a dread-locked chap and a nondescript one; they both had big headphones over their heads and covering their ears, with faint vibrations of the music they listened to seeping through the muzzled earpiece; their heads were bent over their laptops. A middle aged white lady sat in the corner, she was working on her needlework craft of lovely handmade and embroidered cover cloth, and a young Caucasian lady who seemed to be deeply engrossed in the book she was reading.
She gathered a couple of publications and flipped through them absentmindedly. She observed how intense the attention of the two black men and the young lady were. She observed that the handicraft lady went for bathroom call ever so often. She observed that nobody paid much mind to the scanty people seated in that corner, then she waited.
Now and again, her babbling baby fretted a little bit and she fed her from an uncapped bottle labeled cupcake. It cast the impression of a homely, caring mama, all at the same time.
Once again, the need for the lavatory arose and Mrs Handicraft shuffled off. As soon as she left, Ms. Bright Colors calmly gathered her things and efficiently swooped on the Mrs. Handicrafts bags and belongings; her precision like that of a hawk that was marking its prey. With her stolen booty nicely ensconced in the stroller beside the baby, she strolled out unnoticed, back into the San Antonio high street, into the crowd of hurrying shapes.
Mrs Handicraft came back to her seat and was aghast to find her belongings gone. She looked under the table, on the counter top by the corner and in every possible nook and cranny, her face taking different shades and splotches of pinkish red color as each second ticked past, her pursed lips muttering angry unintelligible swear words.
Raising a hew and cry, she roused the attention of other occupiers and the accusations started to fly. Her knobby fingers assuredly pointed at the two black men in accusation. The men got upset and a big row ensued. The officers were called, arrests were made, and they were shuffled off to the county jail, no questions asked. Their protests fell on deaf ears, their color was enough judgement.
Assumptions were made; a missing white woman’s bag and craft basket, two black men = two thieves. What would these men do with a craft basket? No one cared to ask. Maybe they stole it to sell her yarn and needles, and who knows, possibly for the credit card and change in her wallet?
The old lonely observer who saw it all through the designed vitrine of The Hive, tried to offer his espionage services to the officers, but no one was interested in the ramblings of a homeless, drunken black man, who seemed to be in dire need of a good bath.
Mumbling as he shuffled along, he was glad that he was not arrested along with the others.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha