#Article (Archive)

At Loose Ends

Jun 4, 2009, 7:37 AM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

Hi readers! Bien venue to another exciting edition of 'Bring it on!' This week I have decided to bring to you a young girl full of dreams like any other normal girl. A girl full of life, one who has her fears, her joys and happiest moments. You might be surprised that she maybe you, the next girl, a girl you have met in a bus, car, in the market or in a concert. She maybe a girl you have been friends with for a long time or even a girl you don't even like. Don't worry if you have never met her, you may even be lucky to run into her and come to know her better. I am saying this because she is the everyday girl you see. Like I said before, 'Bring it on!' is all about youths and their dynamisms.

Read on and know what she is all about.

Zeinab swore under her breath when a vehicle went through mud and nearly splashed her dress with some of it. One could not live a decent life anymore, no, not around these parts anymore, she told herself. She nearly tripped on her way from the market the other day on these slippery parts and now the driver of that God-forsaken vehicle was ready to soak her in this dirty mud. Dressed in a Chinese silk garment with a v-shape neckline and matching trousers, a Gucci shade, a pink turban and handbag, she ended the dressing with her high-heeled wedges. She chose to wear them on that very occasion because they were easy to walk with, the weather was beautiful and most importantly because she had nowhere to go to! Funny though, but that is just Zeinab. So stylist, so girlish, so dreamy and so ambitious. She loved dressing up, because when she did people admire her and she just loved it. She would dress up and walk around town, head held high like she was the daughter of the richest man in the Gambia. She was a tall girl with beautiful long legs admired by most. Her legs were so long that she wished they weren't when she knocked Mrs. Hannah's table. That happened when she entered her office and sat down to collect her WASSCE results. She was so ashamed that she apologized to her. Mrs. Hannah who was the Principal and always ruled the school with an iron hand said nothing. Maybe she was in no mood for idle banter, she thought. Zeinab always dreaded to enter that office, because all what that woman knew how to do was to size you up even if she had better things to do. Zeinab had small and slanted eyes, which made people think that she was a descendant of a Chinese, a heart-shaped mouth and a nose just like a white man's. A nose her mother said she inherited from her maternal Fula grandmother.

'You can be mistaken for a mannequin, you know?' Ya Njoba once told her. She didn't want to be a Mannequin. What was wrong with most people? Whenever you look good they think that you are showing off and when you don't wear something that catches their eye; they would begin to look down on you with scorn, she thought. Zeinab was a girl who liked dressing up and when I say dressing up, I mean expensive things. She saw no point in wearing cheap clothes, shoes and jewelry, not even when she goes to the market to shop. She would go to the point of cutting on her allowances to buy expensive outfits. She was not merciful where shopping was concerned. Her motto was "Wear it expensive or wear nothing at all."  This particular day she was walking to only God knew where. Maybe to attract more admirers, because that was one thing she knew how to do best.  In the wink of an eye, she saw a boy of about three playing in a puddle of dirty water and she ordered him to stop. The boy who had discovered how much fun it was to play in the dirty mud was reluctant to heed her. With little effort at dissuading the boy, she moved on so as to avoid her dress from being ruined. The little boy with yellowing hair only grinned at her and revealed missing baby teeth as he continued playing. Zeinab was only too sure that the mother of the child would not be happy when she sees her child playing in such muddy water. The little naughty boy reminded her of when she was a little girl. Only about four, she lost one of her pair of slippers in so much sand that when the time she went home without it, her mother had to give her some spanking so as not to repeat the act.

Determined not to mar her day at such a sight, she hastened her steps as she thought of a wonderful and bright future ahead of her. The mere sight of things like that always got her disturbed. The other day when she was in a bus ride going home to serekunda from Banjul, sitting next to her was a gentleman who was dressed in a blue chemise, long black trousers and a yellow and blue striped tie. With him was his dark leather suitcase. The impression he gave was that he was off to work or to attend to some other important business.  His business-like manner ascertained that. That was until he stuck his left index finger in his nose and removed a large lump of dirt and stuck it under his part of the seat. She was so shocked by such ungentlemanly behavior that she wished that she sat somewhere else; but since the bus was full with people, she had no other choice, but to stay right there. Don't get her wrong, not that she doesn't pick her nose, she does and it had been an irritating habit ever since, but she couldn't stop it. Her habit was so worse that, even when she was in the middle of an important event, in a meeting or in the office of an important person, she would pick her nose. At the thought of a possible bright future ahead of her, she was reminded of her present state, she had been at loose ends for two weeks now since she received her WASSCE results with eight credits. The problem was, she never knew what to study after high school. She had slept over it, but she never reached any conclusion. But one thing she knew for sure, she wasn't going to be a mannequin. She knew that she had more brains than that and she was going to make her parents and herself proud, because she was going to land herself with a well paid job after studying, she promised herself. The sun was setting, and soon her mother would be getting worried. She dodged a puddle of water on the streets as she took a bend to go back home.