Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MARCH 1997

March 1997
It was getting to that time of the year when the molten red earth from the previous season turned into a murky muddy mess as the parched earth greedily drank the rain water that the heavens generously provided.

The play ground was flooded, and from her seat by the window, Nhyira couldn't see a single dry blade of grass on the football field where she and her class mates had been messing around in barely an hour ago.

In the back ground Mr. Antwi the mathematics teacher droned on and on about the Pi theorem, but Nhyira continued to stare out of the window, as if mesmerized by each sheet of rain which hit the ground. She prayed there would be a rainbow after the rain. A rainbow like the one painted in the picture book version of the good news bible she had had as a child....all those colours, a sign of God's promise never to destroy the earth again with a flood.

She was so engrossed in her day dream about her rainbow after the rain that she didn't hear the teacher until he rapped his cane swiftly and purposefully over her text book. Startled she jumped, but kept her head bowed waiting for the swift crack of his knuckles on her head. He had never knocked her before because she had never given him the need to, because she only spoke in class during a lesson when asked a question.

“Nhyira” he said quietly, displeasure calmly masked “Go to the board work out the answer”
She raised her head slowly, looked at the question chalked on the blackboard and swallowed hard. She had absolutely no idea how to solve the problem, mathematics was her cross to bear in school; her heart always beat uncontrollably at the end of the term when the report cards were handed out. It was always below average and below average was not good at all.

“Nhyira!” Mr. Antwi called out again, swiftly rapping his cane against her text book once again to catch her attention and motioning her forward with the tip of the cane.

As if propelled by some invisible hands she made her way slowly to the board, delaying as much time as possible so she could have another look at the question and attempt to make sense of it before she reached the board. She heard the sniggers before she made it to the board and she ground her teeth together in order not to spit out an insult. Just then, the teacher stammered
“It’s OK Nhyira, never mind, come back”
Nhyira swung around confused and started to speak, it was then that she noticed the embarrassment on the teachers face, that it was only the boys who were laughing, and the girls were all quiet; either biting their lips or whispering  to each other whilst looking at her furtively.

Mr. Antwi motioned to the girl’s class prefect and stammered quickly
“Take her to the...”
 He trailed off, but the girl’s class prefect quickly jumped to her feet, rushed the confused girl out of the class room.
“Ah Olivia...”
 Nhyira began to protest as she was bundled onto the veranda but the stronger girl simply nudged her forward away from the classroom door and its curious onlookers, and proceeded to bunch the skirt of Nhyira’s uniform into a loose knot, forcing the skirt to ride above her knees
“There's blood on your dress”
Olivia whispered, glancing around to make sure no one on the veranda heard her

 Nhyira swung around trying to see, snatched the fabric out of Olivia’s hands, unraveled the knot and saw. Her heart sank, and her hands began to tremble. She suddenly wanted to scream. Olivia grabbed the uniform again and tied the knot again. She nudged Nhyira forward until she started walking again and said quietly
“I’m taking you to the toilet, try n wash your dress there whilst u wait for me to get a sanitary towel from one of the vocational skills teacher.”

Nhyira didn't hear her this time around, she was staring towards the play ground again, the rain was letting up and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. There was a bright halo around the sun, it was her rainbow, but for some there were no pretty colours, just different shades of blinding bright red.

WOMANHOOD......no warning

1 comment:

  1. life is full of surprises, huh? i wonder how it'd be if it happened to a boy