Tag Archive | Stories Out of Africa

Tomorrow…

Image result for image of african woman carrying basket

Mama counted the coins carefully and tied them in the old handkerchief which she always tucked into her thick cotton half-slip hidden under several layers of wrapper to keep them safe.

I sprinkled water on the freshly harvested pepper and pumpkin leaves, arranging them in the basket; their luscious healthy colour would attract the eyes of good buyers.

With ease, mama balanced the basket on her head, her headscarf formed a cradle and she set off to Orie Ozuda; she would walk tirelessly for miles and that basket would stay put.

‘Nwamaka my daughter, I hope today’s market day will be a good one and if I sell all my goods, tomorrow I will buy you that shoe for running that you’ve been asking for.’

Thank you, mama,‘ I replied with happiness ringing in my voice. I imagined my feet encased in the white canvas and I could hear the voices of my schoolmates cheering me on as I raced to the finish line; they always say that I run like 440.

Tomorrow never came. Mama never made it back. Her crushed body was brought back to the compound with her coins still carefully tucked under her half-slip. Nwamadi’s 440 car killed mama. I never ran again.

© Jacqueline

Quick Glossary

Run like 440 – a term used to emphasize how fast she ran.

Orie Ozuda – a market day

Nwamaka – an Igbo name for a girl. It means beautiful child.

 

Advertisements