The knock on the door really scared my nerves out coz I was all alone in the house and wasn’t expecting anyone that moment. It was 3:30pm. I had woken up early that Sunday despite having sleeping late on Saturday night. I could not sleep anymore after 5:30 am I kept twisting and turning on the bed till I finally decided to wake up and do my laundry. Mum got ready and went away, dad took his breakfast and also went out, Sultan had not yet arrived. He left home since Saturday morning for the Kenya National Drama Festivals University category. They call him Sultan, his high school friends so I guess that’s easier to use. I knew if he came he had a whole 24hr story to tell. Everything that happened since the time I left to the moment he is home. That is our connection. He is my younger brother his name is Alwy. We are too close like that.
Washing the clothes was my way to keep myself busy, pushing time because I knew I’d fall asleep when the sun starts to shine. Probably at ten or eleven after having my breakfast, weird right? I know. Again I knew if he came, Sultan, his stories would be so interesting I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on any other thing yet I had my little sister’s school uniform to wash. So here I was, preparing everything for two moments, the moment I will fall asleep, I will be at peace that I have no pending work and the moment Sultan will come and I will have to listen to how his day was, I will have nothing to distract my attention. As usual I did the normal house clean up, washing the dishes then set to the thing I hate the most, Ouh, I forgot to tell you that laundry has been the worst nightmare of my life. I do it once a month, sometimes pay a dhobi or when I decide to, I must have recited duas equivalent to a thousand ayatul kursy or even found a miraculous inspiration.
At exactly eight thirty I was set to go on with the lifetime operation. I set my phone on the charger and had my playlist on sound cloud, unlocked the main door, (incase Sultan comes in) I wouldn’t want him come calling my phone which would distract my whole soundcloud playlist, went on with the mission. After two hours I was done with everything and now I felt like the lightest person on earth. Like I had poured all the burden off my shoulders. I took a shower, took my breakfast then sat down to watch YouTube videos so that I could sleep. No offense, ninety percent of the time I use YouTube videos as lullabies. Especially for the influencers who talk too much. I love YouTube anyway. So it’s 1pm I have left the main door unlocked.
I woke up at 3:30 pm as I heard the main door open. It is usually loud but I didn’t imagine I would hear it in between the sleep. Ouh, it’s instincts plus two hours of sleep were enough for me to become alive at that moment. I peeped through my bedroom door with a smile expecting Sultan but I just saw the twelve year old Omar with his cousin. They were passing by, came in, drank some water, went to the loo literally checking on every part of the house beginning with the kitchen then they went away. I got up to update my digital marketing work through my phone as I looked for my tea to drink. No sooner had I poured the tea than I heard the main door open again. I peeped again, saw the boy again, got a bit shocked, behind him following my perternal aunty, the first born to my father’s siblings, her right hand holding the left hand of her eight years old granddaughter and namesake and her left hand holding a piece of paper folded in rounds. She said salaams and headed directly to the kitchen. She took a plate, washed it and poured the contents from the folded paper, it was fried potatoes and bhajia. She sat down and gave her granddaughter the plate before she turned out to me again.
“How have you been? ”
“I’m fine AlhamduliLlah, how’s everything at home? ”
“we cannot complain, where are your parents? ”
“They are not in, I am usually alone on weekends during the day and most of them I spend at my maternal grandmother ”
Saying this, I was expecting her to suspect that I might leave but I saw no signs. I decided to give them drinks while thinking about my tea in the room. How it’s getting cold. I was then counting her minutes. Shock on me, she asked for a comb and hair oil, sat down properly and started undoing her granddaughter’s hair. “This now looks like a permanent stay”.
Among the things I fail at is entertaining visitors. Another knock on the door but this time it was more open. My father’s youngest brother came in, with his bicycle that he had folded a rope with a hen behind. I wondered whom he brought the hen to, whose it was and why it was coming. He opened the rope, carried the hen and went and tied then hen’s leg to a rod that held our TV Ariel. My auntie couldn’t hold it anymore and asked whose chicken that was, “it’s a gift I have been given by my grandfather “. This was a joke but it bothered me. Whatever bothered me most was my tea which had now turned to cold juice I guess. My pending work that I was completing and my kind of dressing then. I was dressed in a baati, I most of the times use it for the purpose of a pyjama especially when I’m sleeping during the day and when I heard the knocks I just wrapped a big leso around my head that covered me all the way to the waist which bothered no one but I felt like a pregnant mother. The types I don’t wear in public. Where was seated I couldn’t even stand for fear it might expose anything from my body. It was not torn but I was not properly dressed. That specific one was strictly for sleeping. While I was debating on how to get up, somehow wishing the visitors would go away in a few, the door flew open and a second uncle came in, my father’s older brother Hamad, with his wife.
WHAT IS THE OCCASION ” kept on ringing in my head like a midnight emergency call.
Asr prayers saved me from the shaggy looks, my uncles went out to the mosque so I rushed to the bathroom and showered for the third time that day, dressed up well at least I looked presentable. For a moment I thought my frustrated auntie was coming back from Tanzania and this was a surprise welcome party for her. That her siblings decided to gather at home and wait for her, or maybe they were all surprising us, because we are always the rebels. We do know what usually goes on in their lives.
While the ladies were praying my phone rang. It was mum, luckily, it was on Silent so Saida wouldn’t hear this. She never hesitates on asking whatever doesn’t concern her. Mum was just checking up me, weather I washed the clothes, ate, cooked, etc. This one now got me more shocked she has no idea there were visitors at home and that was the time I was planning to cook two cups of rice for my nuclear family’s supper. Immediately she hang up I texted her.
“Ma Saida is here, with little Saida, uncle Hamad and his wife are here and Uncle Tamimu are all gathered here. Are you coming home soon? What should I do? Should I cook? ”
“Your dad ain’t home? ”
“No, no-one is here I’m all alone and they haven’t said what they are here for” (As if people say the reason for going to their home). This was their home, guess it still is. The place where their mother died. Allahumma ‘ghfirlaha wa’rhamha wa’skunha fiyl-jannah. Ameen.
“Fine, let me call him. I’ll be coming soon anyways ”
She had not yet answered me. My heart was beating faster than before she called. While still in confusion I heard a call from the veranda “mama does your father know that we have a meeting today? ” (They all call me mama, especially since my grandmother died the word mama has permanently shifted to me). I got so shocked I jumped out of my room as if I was stealing meat from the kitchen.
“I am not sure, he didn’t tell me because he left so early in the morning I was barely awake so he just knocked my bedroom door and said bye” . I realised I stayed in for quite a long time. Long enough to have drunk my tea and have my lunch before they all finish up praying. I know I’m creepy. 😂😂. Just then when I thought the clique was complete, I had a tuktuk park outside the door. This was my other uncle, Omar’s father. As stubborn as my frustrated auntie who is in Tanzania. He owned a tuktuk. He came in and sat down. It was almost four thirty and mum hadn’t arrived yet. I then decided I should Make something for them. For their meeting. Maybe snacks.
From the loovers of the kitchen I could hear “Ameen, Ameen, Ameeen” . Opening prayers went on and the meeting started. I did not hear how it started but a statement mentioning a bide caught my attention. Followed by “how many kilos of rice do we need? The two 50kgs sacks, are they enough? – but the bride is our daughter – we need to tell her father first then”
You cannot imagine how fast my heart was running. I am the oldest granddaughter of my grandmother who is not yet married. So I am their only ‘daughter ‘ they ought to be talking about. I am the only one whose parents ain’t there. By this time I was almost fainiting I could no longer concentrate. I had been holding my phone for twenty minutes now texting my mother asking her what was going on but I could barely type a word. This whole confusion was paused by a call again from the meeting.
“Mama please come for briefi….
I broke a cup of tea. I couldn’t even wait any longer for whoever was calling to finish their statement. The sound caught everyone’s attention and made everyone rush to the kitchen. Unlike in other families where they’ll send one of them to rush and see what broke, or just scream from wherever to ask you what broke, my family is that cautious, and delicate too.
Mum came in and found me surrounded by aunties and uncles. She first thought that I had collapsed. She knows I was capable of acting up when I panic. This is where they said salaams and all went back to their initial seats. I remained there with mum, she looked restless.
“what happened? ”
I cried in a low tone. Mum got shocked for the second time and decided to sit down. It was almost six when dad came in, his siblings all applauded him then I heard again “Ouh, the bride’s father is here we can complete the meeting ” this time, I literally threw up. Coming back to the kitchen from the sinks I realised dad had come in with his cousin. The real bride’s father. All this while I had forgotten my second cousin was getting married.

This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. Muhammad Ramadhan says:

    👌👌👌 Keep up queen!

  2. Blaise says:

    A very unpredictable event.. You really had a twist that made me want to read more and more.. Big up

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