#Article (Archive)


Oct 7, 2010, 2:31 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

Worries weren't enough for Saffie, and she knew it. The days of her doom were near and she dreaded each passing second and the dates on the calendar were being crossed off faster and faster as her fears grew.

It was early June and it was raining lightly as Saffie stood at the balcony upstairs staring into space. She has missed two of her monthlies and the tell-tale signs of her enlarged breasts confirmed her fears. Her hands formed into fists as her nails bit into her skin and drew blood, red, scarlet blood that would have sent chills down her spine on other days, but not today when she had a lot on her mind.

The songs of the nightingale, the croaks of the frogs and the chirp sounds of the crickets she so loved to listen to seemed to mock her. But she had no choice, the family was inside entertaining guests from faraway cities she did not want to know, and she feigned a headache and was excused.

Saffie was not always thrilled with the parties her parents' kept throwing all the time. She hated her parents' lavished parties with high-life music, servants waiting to serve, guests with expensive embroidered dresses,  the clinking of wine glasses, drunk guests every now and then, gossip of the month her mother and her friends so much entertained and most importantly, her room she has to share with a guest who seemed to have nothing better to do than to ask Saffie questions about her family as if she was doing some underground work for the CIA and kept adoring Saffie's youthfulness, long hair and kept trying her make-ups, lip sticks and asking if she could give her some to take home. All she would do was roll her eyes and say yes to her requests just to have her get off her back. Sometimes she would feign sleep and snore out loud even though she didn't snore. "This guest is a complete bore," she would say to herself. What she didn't know was that the guest was more aware of her plight than anyone did.

The guest who would rap on and on would stop the moment Saffie sleeps, and say, "Poor child, she sleeps so easily."

She would bring the blanket around Saffie and place the pillow under her head. For a second she was tempted to sing her a lullaby for she looked like an angel in her sleep; and when she noticed what she wanted to do she laughed it off and prepared her own bed to sleep in. She brought the blanket around her, propped the pillow and hugged it instead of placing it under her head and switched off the lights.

Saffie would then open and eye and see the guest sleeping. A sly grin would form around her heart-shaped mouth for what she had done.

But today, not a single grin was formed on her lips nor was she proud of what had happened to her. She had this feeling that her father would be glad to take a gun against her when he learns about this.

No she wasn't going to tell anybody, no, not a single soul.

Suddenly it dawned on her that the guest who liked asking questions about her was sympathetic towards her. Her curiosity was nothing but sheer sympathy. Maybe she would be and could be of help to her, she told herself.

She went into the house with renewed hope and a glowing angelic face that kept turning heads wherever she went to as she desperately searched for the woman in the crowded room.