Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)
TITLE: Knowing how
By remi oyeyemi
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All in all they fared better than most kids in the neighbourhood.
They went to school, had a few new clothes every month, ate good food thanks to her mothers little garden. Life wasn’t the best for them but it wasn’t that bad either, they had basic stuff and each other.
What Tishai never prepared for however was the day she would reach for the bucket in the bathroom and there will be no hot water for her morning bath before school.
Her daily routine was pretty much the same. Up at 6 am, prayers till 6:15am, into the bath and out by 6:25am, dress up and tidy her room till 6:45am take breakfast and enjoy a little time with her mum and brother till 7am. Out to the bus station and off to school. The routine had become comfortable enough and she never complained of getting out of bed too early, the best part of that was reaching into the bath bucket and feeling the water warm her skin.
She had gotten so used to this that she never checked to see if the bucket was full of hot water, just the way she loved it, she just had the faith her mother would do the needful. She never considered what it took her mother every morning to get up early before the crack of dawn to haul the water from the nearby well, heat it up on the kerosene stove and get it ready for her children.
One rainy Thursday morning changed all that. She stepped into the bath and got ready but the bucket was empty. She straightened and listened into the morning. Nothing. No sound of her mother clanging pots in the kitchen or walking around in her room. She exited the tiny bathroom and entered her room quietly. Her mother lay there breathing heavily, eye lids fluttering.
Doctors said she had a mild stroke, high blood pressure due to much work and little rest.
Now she appreciates every bit of activity. She wants to know how the chicken was prepared, how much it cost, how the class was swept clean and who did it, where the juice and biscuits served the children during Sunday school come from, and every other thing. Her mother laughs every time she asks a question but silly or not she answers every one of them. After all she’s never taken her children’s education for granted.
And Tishai did learn to say a genuine thank you.
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