Village Girl Reminiscing

It has been a long time since I was in Mama's kitchen where smoke billowed and firewood crackled. I still recall the frequent tears and coughing spells from inhaling the soot. I wonder if my lungs have any scars to show. It has been a long time since I cooked ugali on her earthen stove, a stove she had so much pride in. I do not recall the last time the smoke-stained brick that held the cooking pot in place kissed my left knee.... Instinctively, I touch my knee to find that the callous is gone. I sigh. It has been a long time.

It has been a while since I saw the jacaranda-lined driveway that leads to my father's house. My senses have almost forgotten the scents of the lilac flowers that glorified my way home. I wonder if the giant trees that shaded the driveway amidst the jacaranda trees still stand robust as they did then. Many a stolen kiss still abide behind those huge trunks, secret meets and awkward hugs too. It has been a long time. 

It has been a long time since I saw a TV screen shrink to a tiny square announcing the death of a battery poorly charged by the solar panels that sit on the red corrugated roof. Sometimes it was due to the cloudy day that blocked the sun's rays, but often-times it was our mischievous ways of sneaking in to the house at daytime to watch cartoons before papa came home. It's been a long time since I drank water from a well, drew from the same too. Simple pleasures that seem so distant, yet so alive in my heart. 

I forget my Kencell number, but I could never forget my Sagem phone. Suddenly the world was in my hands; suddenly papa was afraid. Too much communication he said. He suspected the worst each day. If only he knew his virgin daughter knew better than to jeopardize the future he envisioned for her! It has been a long time since a boy whistled at me along the road, longer yet since a fellow rang the bell of his bicycle as he passed me by. But I had eyes for one boy only - everyone else could very well save their breath!

It has been a long time since I watched the sun set from the cattle's water tank. It's at this tank that my childhood girlfriends caught some beetles and put them on their nipples - to make the breasts grow, they said. I was not that brave, so my breasts are the same size they were in high school while theirs, well, they are well-endowed. Childhood foolishness. Childhood discoveries. A long time ago it seems, yet so fresh and poignant in my mind.

It has been a long time since that first kiss, that first love letter. It seems like a lifetime and a day since that first time, the day when my innocence bloomed to womanhood and I knew the realm of pleasure that only a lover could provide. It's been a long time and yet it feels like it was just yesterday.

It has been a long time.


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