On the Heels of the Hill

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Chapter 19: Magnetic pulls

Back at Buzina primary school, Peter had not picked a single nsenene, but he by far had the most nsenene amongst his friends and colleagues. Everyone had given him some nsenene. Too proud to hold or keep his nsenene, Peter entrusted the job to his slave friend from lower primary. His slave friend had been there close to his master and a number of other friends. While talking about this and that loudly, some girls in the room playing as they threw balls made out of weaving threads, others running here and there, the students had too much life going on. Some of them had already dirtened their uniforms and some had already changed into non-uniform clothes, and Peter was one of them. Wind came in so hard and blew rain drops onto the king and his subjects and a slave in the window, forcing them to get off the unframed windows. Peter walked around the classroom whistling some tune as he danced to it, with his hands in the pockets of his kaki uniform shorts. His slave followed him around with his big sack of nsenene on his back. Peter wanted to make a French leave because otherwise everyone would follow him around. He decided to make himself a diversion by starting up a dance.

“Let’s choose the best dancer, and I will give him or her half of my nsenene.” Peter said loudly as he tried to compete with the heavy raindrops that poured on the roof. He got to the floor and danced to no music at all, showed all his best moves and then asked competitors to get onto the stage. His audience had formed a circle and the stage was right in the middle of the circle. Peter joined the small crowd of the audience and within no time, he had disappeared from the room. No one saw him because they were all lost in the break dance that was right on the turned dance floor.

Meanwhile in the banana plantations all around the village, some people, yes knew it was raining heavily, but to them the most important thing was to catch the flying nsenene in that bad weather. The nsenene wouldn’t be able to fly long and the chasers would not get tired running after them. They kept shaking every banana tree until all the nsnenene in the leaves flew down to the ground and they would just catch them. Others were plucking off the fibres off the banana trees to get those nsnenene that hid in the rolled, slightly open and soft fibres. For Bya Yesu, he knew very well where most nsenene hid in bad weather, under the mulches. Bya Yesu and his friends turned all mulches upside down. All the plantations around Buzina hill, be it banana, cassava, millet, etc were turned upside down. Many cassava and banana trees were broken. As the rain increased almost all the time, everybody plucked off some fresh and un-torn banana leaves to use like umbrellas to shelter themselves from the rains. The perfect time when garden owners were not watching was the time when it rained and mostly young boys and girls made full use of it.

Peter had jumped through the back window of the classroom, tiptoed past all the classrooms amidst heavy showers until he reached the window of the last classroom on the block where he found Tinfayo seated on a rock in the pile of sand knitting. Peter climbed the window and entered the room landing his big, heavy bare feet in the sand on the floor.

Tinfayo had never had any friends at school, was always knitting with her two pieces of wood, very well trimmed. She had been a big girl from lower primary and was branded Smelly Big Tinfa by her classmates in lower primary which she had carried up to Primary seven.
“Tinfayo, you should make me a hat” said Peter with a very sinister smile

“Really, I know you don’t mean it.” Tinfa said with a shy smile. She had never been alone with the school celebrity, the catch every other girl dreamed of. She continued knitting. Peter started pacing to and fro in front of Tinfa as he closed in the gap between him and Tinfa as he teased her, until he finally hopped onto a rock and sat next to Tinfa. He had just done again, his spider trap that he had used on so many young women. The two continued talking as they smiled at each other and laughed. It was a party of two in a room filled with heaps of sand and stones and timber, it served as the construction store and no one would interfere with their happiness.

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