I can hear the truck roaring down the gravel road where this man who wears a three-piece suit and no shoes lay this morning. There is a lot I don’t get about this man. His outfit is too much yet too little. They call him Ndii. I mean who goes around carrying such a name? His name means a mortar. Me, if I were him I wouldn’t be found lying by the roadside with a name like that. It makes him really sound like a piece of heavy wood. Just that name alone. The sound of it. Imagine this name even has double i’s. And the eyes even wear those small hats that un-English them. So now I am thinking if the eyes in this man’s name take off their hats his name will mean strings or threads. So, me I am happy that I don’t have a father. Imagine this is someone’s father. So drunk and passed out by the road with that name.
The truck gets louder as it passes Granny’s house. I really don’t know why I still can’t say ‘our home’. Everyone at school says ‘our home’. Or even our house. I still say Granny’s house although there are many houses next to the one I call Granny’s. The thing is, this is not the roaring of just another truck. Me and my cousins know the sound of every vehicle on the road before we even see it. More like my cousins tell me. I know but I won’t tell them. They don’t think that I ever know anything. Not even my own name. My know-it-all cousin, Kay always answers when people ask me. I have never understood how these middle-aged men and women that I have known since I knew them still keep asking us for our names, anyway. All the time. But us, we are children but we know many things. We know the sound of the bread truck. We know the sound of Linnah, the 5 am bus Granny takes to Nairobi. I mean, we even know the sound of Mak’s car. I have heard people say that Mak lives somewhere in Somalia. I don’t even know where that is. I think it’s like from here to Nairobi. But I know people say very bad things about people who live there. They say that those people fight all the time. So, I just wonder whether people can fight all the time. Like you mean to tell me they don’t eat or even find time to play “Mama and Dad” like us? Anyway, every once in a while Mak comes driving this car that looks like a tortoise past Granny’s house. I really don’t know Mak. I have never seen him. But I know his car. More like the sound of his car. And I also know that people like gossiping about him a lot. Especially the women Granny goes to church with. They say Mak never carries anyone in his car because he doesn’t want to finish the car’s fat. Me, I think this is stupid and the women are just jealous. I can tell by the fold of their lips when they say this. I know these things but I still wont tell my cousins. But I also know that if I tell them they will say that I want Mak to be my father. They like this topic too much these ones.
I know I will be home alone with Kay at night today because of this truck. I wish I could go to see Rambo with my boy cousins too. This truck makes me hate being a girl. Every Thursday, I hate being a girl. Every week. My cousins say it is the cinema truck and girls shouldn’t go near it. They tell us that after cinema boys hit each other with rotten eggs and have sex with girls they don’t know.I am scared. I want Granny to come home. Now.