Something like this happened somewhere I'm sure
I was jolted out of my reverie by the bus going over a hump. That Old Geyser never bothered to show down. Instead, he seemed to increase his speed every time we approached a speed hump. This made the seniors sitting in the back seat shriek in delight. Lucky them, it made my hand jerk so hard I was convinced that one of these days it would pop out if its socket. This seemed to be a family thing. Yemu’s shoulder had dislocated one time as she had been scrubbing the walls.
She had wailed like a banshee and I had been so convinced that she was about to die.
Mama, had come running from outside, feet covered in mud for she had been in the garden and her waist wrap almost down to her feet.
She had looked so panicked that anyone looking at the two of them would have wondered who was hurting.
“What, what is it?”
“Mama, my, my...mama It hurts, it’s broken” Yemu had cried clutching her arm, trying I suppose to pop it back in.
“Her arm, her arm is out,” our lodger had chimed in from beside my mum.
A little crowd had gathered, even the woman from next door was standing behind my mother in that little corridor. That woman from next door.
“Yemu, tell me what is wrong with you, what is wrong with your arm?”
“Please, its out,” snort and tears had gathered around her eyes, and her eyes as round as saucers as she had looked up at mama imploring.
She said other things, but I could not make out a word of what I is she was trying to say. Mama did though, and before I could blink twice or say “Mwari wangu,” she had seized Yemu’s arm by the elbow and with seemingly no effort had popped it back in place.
‘There, now go and wash your face,” Yemu had walked away meekly crying softly and hand clutching that dislocated shoulder.
“Shupi,” she said, turning to look at me, “get a cloth and wipe this mud off the floor.”
That woman, my neighbour Mai Chipo turned to my aunt, who had also come,
“I came running thinking she was dying”
“You came because you thought we were killing her.”
“no, you never know with these kids and their games,’
“hoh? so you had come to save her?’
“Ah, let me go back home Mai Danny, I left my baby sleeping on the sofa”
“Yes go, before she starts wailing and making noise for us your next door neighbours,”
Giggling, she had waved and let herself out. I did not get why she did not see that my aunt did not like her. Nobody really liked her. She was always asking for things, at all hours of the day. Nobody would be surprised if ever we found her at our doorstep at midnight, with her baby strapped to her back and a bowl of sugar in her hands.
She would, I mused ask for sugar, a loaf of bread, tea and margarine to go on her bread. Sometimes I wondered why mama smiled at her; I suppose she felt sorry for her because of her husband. I had overheard mama and my aunt Mai Danny discussing him the other day.
“She called him on his cell phone and he answered panting and wheezing,” mama had whispered.
“Then he hung up after he heard it was her,”
“For shame, that poor woman,”
“He called her back thirty minutes later and told her that he had been running to the bank because it was almost closing time,”
“Ah, ah, ah, what?” Mai Danny had stood with her arms akimbo, shock etched on her face, “I am sure she shouted at him.”
“ah, Mai Danny don’t pretend like you don’t know these men, what could she possibly do? It’s not like she actually saw them.”
“Mmmmm but Mai Shupi, it’s not right. It’s not right at all.”
I had crept away quietly, adults were so strange. What was wrong with running to the bank and why did that warrant any pity for that woman.