Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Shebeh page 2


< go to page 1

She walked slowly into the water. It was cool but not cold. She closed her eyes, and she could feel her breathing become slower and deeper and her body relaxing. She rested her head back in the water, and then opened her eyes, and all she could see where the shades of green from the leaves of the kapok trees, and fireflies fluttering around them.

She didn't know how much time had passed when Konu spoke.

‘Here, you can use this to scrub clean. Give me your clothes, I will wash them while you do it. We must hurry back.’ he gave her a lye soap. Kima took off her clothes and handed them to the boy, who took them without hesitation.

‘Why are you alone?’ he asked, while he washed her dress against a rock in the riverbank. ‘Did your mother also die on the ship? Orphans don't survive long here. You really need a mother to take care of you.’

Kima didn't reply. She used the soft soap to wash all the dirt from her skin. Once Konu was done with the dress, he asked her to hurry. Kima reluctantly came out of the water, and she put the wet clothes back on, and although the night was not very cold, she was shivering by the time they got back to the senzala.

‘It's very late, you took too long.’ Shebeh told them, and she didn't look happy. ‘Here, get out of that dress and wrap yourself in this.’ She gave Kima a brown rough spun blanket to wrap in and took the dress to dry next to the fire. Then she handed them both a bowl with rice, and they ate it with wooden paddles for spoons.

‘Tonight you can sleep in this blanket, by the fire. But from tomorrow, you will sleep on the corner by the door, and you will have to help with the cooking. Now go to sleep. We must be dressed and ready to leave tomorrow, straight after the bell rings.’


No comments: