“Daddyyyyy!!!! Good afternoon, good afternoon, good afternoon”
“Hahaaaa good afternoon princess, how’s my little angel doing today?”
“I’m okay I’m okay, this place really isn’t that bad after all Daddy, its amazing really”
“Well, I’m glad you’re doing fine there, you know how your mom and I were worried about your placement”
“It’s really okay daddy, if anything I think everybody loves me here. You should see me. Its always Teacher Matilda this, Madam Matilda tha..’’

The ball came bouncing right infront of her, 3 half naked 10 year olds running seemingly out of nowhere after it. It was by grace and grace alone that it had not hit her. She turned around and for the first time, realized where she actually was, the excitement her dads call had brought up in her finally giving way to reason.

“Hello??? Matilda???”
“Daddy, let me call you back”

The three boys stopped short, guessing from where the ball was and where Teacher Matilda was standing what had almost happened.
The tallest boy, Makafui from class 3 B, the class for below average performers stepped up, and she thought oh of course he will be the leader too..
“Sorry Madam Matilda..” The two other boys joined in with a parade of “Sorrys” and one run pass her for the ball.
“Hold it right there Andrews!”
There was a tensed silence all of a sudden, then she smiled.
“No, I am sorry, I was talking on the phone and didn’t realize I was walking so close to your park”
Andrews grabbed the ball then, “Okay, we forgive you” Then they run off together laughing, leaving a trail of red dust behind them. The village park wasn’t so much of a park as it was sand.
She took in a deep breath, the sun burning her face mildly, checked her watch, then continued on her way, making a mental note to call her father later. That boy Andrews though, so clever..soo nitty. She smiled. It really wouldn’t surprise her if that had been their first time receiving an apology from an adult, if anything, she was glad she was the first. National Service or not, she was going to be remembered.

Night sounds filled the cold harmattan air around her, an owl hooted somewhere beyond the trees..

“Madam good evening oooo”
“Evening Musah”
She waved at him as she passed by the window of class 1B, pretending not to have noticed the heavy smell of cigarette smoke in the air. That watchman was always either asleep on his mat or smoking in that classroom, his office if you ever asked him.

2 A…. 2 B…. 3 A!

She stretched for what seemed the infinite time that evening and adjusted the only source of light in the room; the battery powered lamp she had probably by some divine favor alone brought along from the city.

Past tense of is, was.
Kwame is hungry now
Kwame was hungry then

She yawned and put down the 43rd book, checking a piece of paper beside her to make sure she had indeed already written down that error for class assessment the next day.
The last exercise book had on its crumpled brown cover the name Andrews Nyamekye written in bold with a black marker. She smiled, this ought to be interesting…

9th May 1995.        That Day I Will Never Understand

My name is Andrews Nyamekye, I am 10 years old. I have had a lot of confusing day in my life, but the most confusing day in my life ocured on 3rd April 1993.
My mother and father had to take the evening bus to Konongo for a funeral in the morning so only uncle Atta and me were at home. It was bathing time and because mummy wasn’t around Uncle Atta was suposed to bath me because Maa said if I bath I don’t bath well.
Uncle Atta bathed my everywhere except my down area and he washed me. I told him he has forgoten to bath there and he asked me if I want him to bath there. I said yes and he got mad and started hitting my thing. It got hard and he kept hitting and pulling it. I started crying and he told me to shat up or he will cain me. He told me to touch his own too, when I didn’t do it he started slaping slaping my head so I held it and he started taking of his nikka…………………………………………………

Something warm fizzed around her chest and before she could rush out fast enough vomit tore out her throat and nose, leaving a trail behind her.
“Madam Matilda ! Madam Matilda”
Bent over she made out a figure running towards her… her head spun!… she fell to the ground.

He slowly maneuvered his way around the bodies sprawled out on the floor till he got to the door. This part was always the hardest.. he clenched his teeth and with eyes firmly fixed on his brothers and sisters turned the nob…there was a click.. Afua muttered something in her sleep, then all was quiet again. He stepped out leaving the door slightly open behind him for when he came back.

Atta heard the familiar knock and quickly tossed the magazine underneath his bed.
It creaked open, Andrews walked in and he got up, already feeling the strains of an erection..

“How was school today?’’
“It was not nice, Teacher Matilda didn’t come”
“Did you like it today?”
“Yes…. can I do it with Mak.. . ”
“No! I told you last week, if I find out you’ve told anybody we will stop. Do you want us to stop?”

“Be honest with your essays, don’t copy from the text books, don’t copy from your friend, tell me the truth and I will know. More marks for the truth, less marks for fiction. Is that clear?”

“…….No uncle”

2 thoughts on “Matilda

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