Chile and Joe left for town , “someone has to bring food” Chile sighed standing up.
“Make yourself lunch , there is left over relish in that pot” she said, pointing at the wooden cabinet .
I remained curled in the chair for quiet some time , uncle’s voice still ringing in my head , “Don’t even think of coming back here.”
I couldn’t think of anything else to do . I knew Joe was right, I had to make them part of my life as family or else I will be doomed .
I just remembered I had some money in my bag so i pulled it and opened the zip, thankfully, the money was intact.
Realising I never counted it . l thought it was time l knew how much I took from grand ma. I prayed that God forgives me. Granny always told me never to steal. “if you are hungry or in need just ask,” she would say .
“Forgive me Amama” I whispered looking up . I counted 12 K100s and 3 K50s , that was K1 350 . I didn’t realise I carried that much , I’m sure it was the money granny was going to pay the workers . The day before she travelled to Katete she had gone to the bank and when she came back she handed the money to me to go and put in her secret bag . Only the two of us knew it existed and where it was hidden . Granny told me never to tell Uncle Jonah. For sure the money could have been disappearing if he ever found out .
So I divided the money in two halves . l put the half in a small hidden pocked in my bag and tne other half l put on the side zip . “I would help Chile and Joe buy food” , l thought to myself.
After sitting alone for some time, i felt bored. Granny had taught me to work at a tender age . There was always something to do at the farm and I enjoyed helping her with farm work so I looked around and decided to clean the house .
I started washing all the plates including the ones in the cabinet. I noticed they were dusty , after which, I thoroughly swept the room, moving Joe’s matress and nearly made it as granny taught me .
Minutes after dusting and moping the room even looked spacious . Later on I went to Chile’s room , the scent of her strong perfume made me sneeze . I remembered granny’s perfume but it was so nice and mild , sometimes when going to church she would spray some on my clothes and I loved the scent .
Seeing Chile’s room it was seriously messed up . There were a lot of clothes on the single bed . I collected them and folded them nicely before putting them on top of the washing basket . From the way the clothes were left one would tell she had difficulties choosing what to wear . After dusting the sheets, I neatly made the bed . Chile’s blanket was softer than Joes and bigger I took note of that fact.
Two hours later, I was done and sat to admire my work . The house was clean and l could even feel the fresh air entering through the small Windows which I had opened .
I sat on the step outside the door and watched the neighbour’s kids play in the sand , their mother came and greeted me
“We have a visitor ? ” She asked rhetorically
“Yeah” I smiled.
“What’s your name ?” she asked me .
“Mwazi” I responded quickly ,
“So where can l fetch water ?” I asked to change the subject. I noticed she was nosy and I was not to start answering all her questions .
“Two houses behind our flat ” she explained.
” Okay thank you ” I looked at her smiling face, going inside to get the buckets .
After taking a bath, I changed in a short checked dress and flat slippers on my feet . I didn’t bother to comb my hair. It was tied in a pony tail , thankfully it was long . Granny would always comb and braid it but if she didn’t I would go for days without touching it . If not for the fact that it was long and smooth it could have been a mess but it still looked good . Granny always said I got my long hair from mom and the curls and smoothness from dad. Definitely I had no idea what she meant cause I never knew them both.
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Later in the afternoon I made fire , I checked the pot with two pieces of chicken . There was a small pack of kapenta so I decided to fry it and cooked some vegetables too . By the time Chile and Joe came in I was cooking nshima .
“Wow ! Chile see how Mwazi has cleaned the room” Joe marvelled
“And she cooked too ”
Chile added sitting down ready to eat .
” How was business ?” I asked as I sat down next to them. Granny always taught me to greet people and inquire about their work .
“lt is good to be well mannered ” she would say. Chile and Joe looked at me and laughed .
“You aren’t a baby after all” teased Joe as we all giggled.
Later that evening, Chile called her boyfriend and told him not to come over.
“I am sleeping with the girl ” l heard her say on the Phone. I could hear the man shouting and cursing on the other end but Chile just cut the line.
“After all this cleaning you earned a space on my bed” she said patting my back .
“I will join you later” I told her and went to sit outside with Joe watching people pass and making noise chatting and laughing .
“So, how did it go ?” I asked again . “Hm, today was great” Joe bragged .
“I managed to clean three big buses and earned a K50 and other jobs I got a K30 so I earned K80 all together’ he smiled.
“That’s good” l smiled too not really knowing what to tell him.
After some time of chit chatting, Joe telling me about his work, he sighed and looked at me holding my hand in his like an elderly person.
“Sorry about your grand mother, I know how it feels to lose someone and it hurts but you are still young. When you grow up a little bit you will understand better and learn to live with it” he shrugged and looked in front of us like he had his own reflections.
“Yeah, only that my grand mother was my only parent and now I am all alone” my tears came out and I wiped them quickly.
“Come on, let’s go in, I am tired and need to rest” he stood up pulling my hand. He was being so bossy and mature but I liked him.
Later, that night in Chile’s bed , I sighed and prayed . I was glad I had somewhere to be . I thought and missed granny , somehow I didn’t accept the news of her death but if uncle Jonah had her phone it probably were true. I fell asleep and dreamt of home.
…to be continued