The day looked promising as day break had approached its peak so early. I had finished my morning chores at home and was in rush to tidy this other task before time would catch up with me. I needed to sneak to Ngozi’s house by one O’clock to take the ration of her lunch she would be saving for me. I could still feel the Taste of the mouth-watering fufu and okra soup I had taken the day before as it was far better than any I had ever tasted.
“Dirty Girl, see your dress, see your face, see your leg, dirty girl” the girl chanted as she followed me down the lane of the street I had just cut into. She had actually jerked me back to reality that I was running short of time. I was unperturbed by the chants as this was not the first time I was hearing those chants on this lane. I had always wondered who had that mysterious voice.
I turned to see the owner of the voice. I noticed the lane was lonely with just a young girl about my age, strutting behind me. She was clad in denim jean trousers with a white polo. She had her hair packed in a bun. She was indeed fair and beautiful only that she was wearing the smile of a devil. I think she lives some blocks away from the huge refuse dump I usually headed to everyday.
Now don’t look at me that way, I am not a weirdo and neither am I insane. I am just a less privileged young lad, whom life had chosen to scorn at and make miserable. I am Chibunna and I am ten years old. Last year, I had moved away from the village to stay with Aunty Vero. She was one of my mum’s relation. She had come to mum, promising to give me a better life than I had being used to. She had also promised to put me in one of the best schools in her area, saying that mum was part of the influence that made her to seek greener pastures in the city.
Mum had consented after much persuasion from Aunty Vero, after all Dad was late and was a big deal to fend for ourselves. I had been excited about my trip to the city. I had packed what I could call my best wears and had quickly joined Aunty Vero to travel to the city.
It was until I got to the city that Aunty Vero hit me with reality. She had told me that my survival in her home depended on how hard I worked each minute and the more productive I was, the more ration of food I would have. I guess now you understand why I have to stop at Ngozi’s house. Each day, I had to help Madam Vero with all her business as well as attend to house chores alone, while her son went to the big primary school in the city. Amongst all the business was her drink making business, which involved making zobo drinks, fruit juice, gingernut drinks etc. This drink making business warranted that empty plastic bottles were scavenged for and carefully disinfected for reuse. That’s why I heading to the refuse dump to get some bottles for Madam Vero, before she cuts off my head. Last time when I had not gotten enough cans as she had requested for, she had flogged me mercilessly and starved me for two days while I continued the chores. I was not going to fall into that trap again today, I thought as I raced quickly towards the dump site.
Soon I was six paces away from the dump. I sailed heartily at seeing enough bottles today at the site as I knew I would not be searching another dump today. The ones I was seeing now would be enough to fill my sac. I grabbed my bag and went in search of the ones underneath the tilt. I dug into the dirt, brought out the disposed bottles and threw them into my sac.
The little madam behind me chanted on the more and even danced on. “What’s wrong with this one”, I muttered while filling my sac. I noticed she stopped at intervals whenever I turned to check if she was really okay, and each time I turned, she would laugh with wicked glee in her eyes.
After a while, I ceased to hear her shrill voice behind my back and I was grateful to have my peace after al, as I dug on for more bottles.
For fifteen minutes, it was peaceful while I worked. I remembered how life had been in the village and smiled. I really missed mama, but what could I do? I longed for a better future while rummaging the trash.
Suddenly, I was covered with a liquid, of which I could not describe where it came from. I could swear I stenches like I was an Olympic swimmer for a sewage pit swim race. I rose from my poise to see the mad young girl, giggling wickedly while holding a big plastic bucket.
I was drenched from head to toe, and I could see black water dripping unto my sac. ” You’re troublesome, but I’m not in your mood today, stay out of my way”, I shouted as warned her, “you really don’t want to be messing around with me”.
” Hey Pig! You can’t do a thing”, she retorted. She put her justify hand into her pocket, bringing out a huge phone, just like the one Aunt Vero’s used. “Do your worse, animal because I’ll be making you a popular pig today with this video I’m making. Fool, so you have the guts to threaten me?” She shouted on.
I could feel liquid flowing from my eyes to mingle with the stench fluid the wicked girl had poured on me. I was pained and embittered. This taunt was getting out of hands. And like a possessed demon, suddenly released from abyss, I dived towards her. I snatched her phone and smashed it to the ground. Pulling her hair, I dragged her towards the refuse dump. “You’ll see the pig you’re looking for today”, I shouted as I forced her to lie down on the puddle she had formed when she poured me the unknown liquid. ” I, Buna will show you how to respect yourself today since its obvious you lack home training “, I said as I sat on her pounding out the stars and moons of the galaxies out of her. I grabbed enough filth from the dump to fed her the crap she was made of. While I did all this she tried to resist the attack, but I was way stronger than her.
I hit on, using up all the energy adrenaline had bestowed me. I made sure I had piled. Enough trash on her, into her mouth and around her. When I was sure I had gotten my vengeance for the day, I stood up from the filthy form lying still and breathing so fast. I would have sworn she had just rounded up the last lap of a Marathon race by the way she was breathing if I had not being the one to put her there, where she belonged.
” At least she’s alive”, I thought. On hearing the sound of an approaching vehicle, I grabbed my sac and resolving never to stop by this dump site ever again, I pulled of my slippers and flung them into the sack and then I fled.