Storymoja

Celebrating East African Writing!

Three signs by Christine Bukania

At sunrise on Thursday morning, Felly was in the kitchen, going through her usual morning routine of preparing “African tea.” She threw all ingredients in a pan and let the mixture boil until it was a delicious brown, while at the same time she did her five minute stretch to get rid of all the kinks accumulated over night from her joints.

Hearing a crash in her living room, she was unmoved, thinking it was the darned stray cat come in through the open window again. So it was with a sinking heart that Felly discovered the remnants of her prized sculpture, smashed beyond recognition.

Just a week ago, her colleague had asked her, “When will that cursed woman finally give

birth? She’s been pregnant for close to a year now.” The black shiny sculpture was one foot high. It was made of soap stone, and depicted a heavily pregnant woman, on her knees, one hand supporting her back while the other was placed on her forehead, as if in silent lamentation, perhaps of the oncoming labour, or of the mere fact that she had to bear the burden of womanhood.

This was just another event in the spate of unfortunate incidences that had plagued Felly over the last one week. It had all began on Sunday, when she’d happily declared her love to a boyfriend everyone thought was a catch, to which he’d sheepishly replied “thanks, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.”

It is understandable that Felly almost had a fit; this was not an appropriate response from someone she had mentally placed within the wider scheme of things, and who should have been in total harmony with her. The next few days saw anger; mortification and sheer hurt rapidly replace the love in her heart.

As if the unfortunate loss of a man was not enough cause for nail-biting, head-scratching, teeth-gnashing worry, Felly had to undergo yet another bashing just two days later. A routine check up at her GP’s was meant to clear her for a medical insurance package. Instead, it revealed that she had some scarring that could possibly have blocked her tubes. Verdict: High chances of never having a child…at least not a biological one. No duplication of genes. This too shall pass; she’d just wait and let time weave its magic.

So, this third assault on her life was like the final nail in the coffin. Felly suddenly saw an invisible hand behind the machinations. Her eyes smarted, her heart pounded. Her hands shook uncontrollably. She sat down and stared into space.

“What does it all mean?” she asked herself. Someone else would probably have swept away the shards of stone and come up with a plan to replace the broken piece with a better one. Not our Felly. No. For her everything was connected, linked by some mysterious force, which in this case was showing her something. She’d just have to find out what.

Obviously, Felly was late getting to work. She was quiet, visibly upset, and deep in thought. Finally at midday, the message that fate had been sending her all week crystallized. She made a quick phone call, picked up her handbag, jumped into her tiny sports car and went into town. By the end of the day, she was on the way to becoming the proud owner of a two bedroom flat – mortgaged of course – in one of the glitzy suburbs.

She had signed up to volunteer at Hope Children’s Home on Fridays. As the sun set over the scyscrapers of Nairobi, the dream future of handsome and coveted well-to-do male companion, biological child, house with garden and pool was already buried deep in the grave of the past. Felly was certain that tomorrow would bring other dreams. Sooner or later, other signs would be revealed to her.

She’d just have to wait and see.

© Christine Bukania 2009

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Tuesday 28th July and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.

2 comments on “Three signs by Christine Bukania

  1. deniskabi
    July 27, 2009

    Interesting story. It has a witty plot – the three signs.

    It’s almost as if the author is allowing us into the mind of the main character, Felly.

    A British writer, I can’t remember which one, called this type of writing ‘psychological realism’ – an author’s ability to explore the aspirations, fears, hopes etc of the characters in a fictional story.

    Keep writing, Christine, remembering that the more you write, the more refined and complex and styled your stories get.

    I vote 8

  2. lissing
    October 5, 2009

    wow… nice. Depressingly realistic, no getting away…We would never really know this of anyone; brilliant insight

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