Girl becoming rebellious tries to find herself
|The next morning as I struggled with the oversized bag on my shoulders and the load of oatmeal in my stomach, I encountered someone who gave me the will power to continue my torture. I felt the drop of rain on my head; the sky didn't even warn me. She called to me from underneath the bar. The bar was a place, not even a rebel like me thought of going, but she just stood there contentedly sipping soda (at this hour of the morning my mother would say). Her eyes so dreamy, they seemed almost shut and she slumped like a drunken old man. We wore the same uniform, but I had never seen her before. Her hair was untidy, unlike my childish ribbons. She beckoned to me as the drops fell harder and faster. I hesitated and looked towards the school gate, which I could catch before the rain, but the prospect of a better year was under a tumble down bar.
We stood and watched the rain come down with speed and force, that everything became hazy and cold. We stood in silence until she handed me a soda.
“Not thirsty” I said. She hissed and I suddenly I felt like a foolish little girl. She shoved it towards me again and I took it, cautiously studied the bottle and gulped it down in one drink. I belched loudly and we laughed, if only my mother could see me now.
“Nora” she said, holding out a hand filled with veins that it looked like a puzzle. I shook her hand nervously and introduced myself
She snorted and covered her mouth to prevent the soda from spilling from her lips. I flushed with embarrassment and uncertainty.
“Who give you that name?”
“My mother” I hotly relied, wanting to hit her, but felt so afraid.
She rolled her eyes “little girl, Georgia is a place, your mother a fool”
I was so astonished at her presumptuousness that I couldn't backfire, nobody in the same uniform had ever spoken to me like that, but she seemed so grown up and serious that I could only stare at her, during my observation my eye caught a scar on her arm.
“Who gave you that?”
“What” she lazily said, even though her eyes had followed my gaze
“On your arm” I shakily said, as though she was going to strike me for asking
“Cousin stabbed me, stabbed him back” she non-nonchalantly said
I could only look
It was eight o’ clock when the rain finally stopped, I had never been late before and I was sure we would get a flogging, further more my mother went to great pains to make sure we were never absent or late, so she could joyously and raucously clap when I went up for best attendance.
I picked up my bag hurriedly and started to exit the shelter when she pulled me back. She held my hand and my feet obediently followed her in the other direction, no wonder I have never seen her at school and maybe I wasn’t as bad I thought.
We walked in the cool after rain through the bushes, following a trail until we came upon a river; she threw her almost empty bag in the wet grass, while I carefully found a dry spot for my own over-packed one. She drew a cigarette and lighter from her pocket, leaned back, and placed the cigarette between her lips. She breathed in with a meditated expression and blew the almost translucent smoke from her lips. I watched in amazement for I have never seen a child smoke before.
“So what would you be doing now good girl” I blushed deeply and toyed with the childish ribbons, thinking of a way to remove them without her seeing.
I relayed the story of the terror I cause every day with much pride, but felt like it was a mistake when she let out a loud cackle, like an injured dog.
“With those ribbons in your head” I felt so angry that I flicked the cigarette from her fingers. She glared at me and hit me in the face. The pain stung and made me angrier, and I vowed to show her why I dominated the school. I shoved her tiny body in the grass and kicked her in the stomach; she let out a squeal and pranced on me pounding her fists in my stomach and legs. I grabbed her hair and pulled back her head until her lips separated and exposed dark gums. She grabbed my face blindly and I felt her fingernails dig into my skin; I felt a wound form and tasted blood. I flung her in the grass and grabbed my bag, and then I heard her laugh
She got up, rumpled and sweaty, her hair was loose of the plaits and her shirt was torn. She laughed and slapped her knee. I caught her contagious sound and soon we were laughing at an unknown joke for I was throbbing all over and bleeding. My ribbons were scattered all over and I too received a torn shirt, my mother was going to kill me, but right now I felt like a real terrorist
When we calmed she pulled another cigarette from her pocket and handed it to me. I held it between my fingers the way she did and placed it between my lips, feeling like a fool. She lit it and I drew in the smoke like she did. I could barely exhale before I went into a coughing fit and my chest felt tight. I swore death faced me that moment. I spat and coughed and she ran to the river and threw the cool water down my throat, it was a minute before I fully recovered. I was so terrified and embarrassed that I thought of leaving, but my watch only said 10:15, and if I was seen, I would surely be reported to my mother.
We sat in silence after my attack, it was the first time I saw her as a child, and I enjoyed and coughed once more to make her feel worse.
“You have to do it every day to get it” she meekly said
“No thanks” I sophisticatedly said, enjoying the dominance
We sat on the grass and listened to the gentle rushing of the river. She blew the smoke in the air and sighed after exhalation. I studied her from the corner of my eye; she looked so grown and knowledgeable that I felt so small and inexperienced. She pursed her lips and stared at the river, with an unusual sadness in her eyes, that made me wonder about her.
“How old are you?” I asked after the long silence, my lips felt dry and crisp, I felt unusually thirsty.
“15” she said and flicked the cigarette towards the water, and then she slumped and closed her eyes.
“Me too” I excitedly said, as I thought she would be older, with her smart talk and cigarette. She laughed and inhaled sharply then she took my hand. She held my hand tightly and suddenly I felt a sharp connection, a feeling of love and care. I felt my eyes fill with water that would expose my vulnerability and weakness. I quickly wiped my eyes and turned my head towards the direction of the mountains. I felt true sadness.
I felt so close to her that I wanted to tell her everything, but I was still sceptical about her, for I didn't really know her, probably it was the need to explode and let everything out, to just throw my head backwards and scream to the sky, to reach to the sky and dig through the blue covering separating us from God. I wanted to really know that there was someone there to console me, but God don’t like ugly, that’s what I've been told.
She slowly let go of my hand and pulled her socks from her feet, they were small like a baby’s and when she wiggled her toes it made me giggle, for the visualization became so vivid. She stretched out her hand and beckoned me to follow suit. We walked to the river bank and dipped our toes into the cool, clear water, then she unbuttoned her skirt and let it fall to her ankles, she wore no bloomers, and not the type of cotton underwear I wore, hers had lace trimming and looked like silk. She removed her top, she wore a brassiere in the small material as her panties, and I began to wonder if she was rich, because not even my wealthy mother, with an inheritance wore underwear like those.
She shamelessly threw the clothes to the side and stepped into the river. she walked until the water reached her waist and then she let herself down. She stayed under for a few seconds then she came up, waving and inviting me in. I removed my clothes quickly when she went under again. My hands subconsciously covered my chest for I wore no brassiere; my mother said I wasn't ready.
We spun and frolicked in the cold water; she splashed my face and ducked me under. Afterwards, we sat in the cold trembling, but it didn't really matter because I was happy to be somewhere I could be myself.
I could hear the voices of school children while we sat on the grass. We were trembling and laughing at how ridiculous we looked. We silently put our clothes on and walked hand in hand to the main road, the bar was full of drunk, boisterous men. She boldly pushed to the counter and came back with two orange sodas, we drank it thirstily and belched simultaneously, laughing up a fit. My hair was uncombed and my uniform full of mud and the left sleeve torn.My socks soaked at the bottom of my bag and my shoes in hand. We jauntily walked barefooted on the cool asphalt, I didn't even feel guilty about skipping school, nor did I care about the girls I would have tortured. We separated, she turned towards the mansion on the left, I to the right. My judgement was correct, she was rich. She walked to the front steps of the house and let herself in, her father must be the business man who travelled by air plane on business, but when she stepped to the door, her shoulders slumped and she let the bag fall to the ground. She held down her head before she opened the door, and didn't seem so bold or knowledgeable any more. I had secretly wished that she would have been poor and lived on the other side in the small board homes, so I could go to a place out of the ordinary and discover a new life.