Our ceiling is so white and so close. If I stretch my arm hard enough, I feel like I can touch it. It reminds of a smooth vanilla ice cream they sell next door. Papa saved up for it for such a long time and finally he got bra-Peter to put it in. I hope it doesn’t cave in or something because on the day that he (bra-Peter) worked on our new ceiling, he was so drunk and he continued to drink until he said it was done. I don’t know why papa likes to get unqualified people to work on our house, it’s really annoying because usually he has to get someone else to come and fix their mess.
I’m coming mama …
Our house is not very big so I can here mama calling from her bedroom. The cast of Beverly Hills 90210 fall down with a thud and nearly wake my sister who is sleeping on the other twin bed.
I really need to do something about my posters.
I try to slip out of the room as quietly as I can manage but our old door creaks and my sister stirs a little but remains sleeping.
Saturday mornings are really hectic in the township. Mama has been out all night peeling vegetables at a funeral while other people attend the night vigil two streets from our house. I know she’s exhausted but look at her, it’s not even 7 o’clock but she has already bathed and changed into her funeral clothes.
“Isn’t your dress too nice for the funeral?”
I ask her as I rub sleep from my eyes. But she’s minding her business so much so that she doesn’t even hear me.
“Mama can I use your Foschini account?”
“What for Ntombi? You have enough clothes”
She turns around so I can do her zipper up.
“I saw a top on their catalogue and it was on sale”
“Have you been opening my letters Ntombi?”
“No mama, just the catalogue”
She picks up a galvanized bathtub and heads outside to tip it out.
Our house is very cozy. I know its not that big but I think it’s okay.
Mama loves nice things so among other things she bought new curtains two weeks ago. Like papa she’s been saving for them for a while. They are made from voile fabric – she says if curtains are not of voile material, you might as well cover the windows with newspaper. They start all the way from the ceiling and touch the white ceramic tiled floor ever so slightly.
Mama returns from outside and rummages through her bag to get some coin pieces for bread.
I pull a chair towards the window, climb and start unhooking the curtains.
Please be careful with my voile and be sure to clean the windows too.
Our windows are clean but I know it’s just here nerves talking because tomorrow she has her stokvel ladies coming to our house and if there was anytime that I’ve ever seen mama go out of her way to impress it’s definitely on the day theses women come to our house.