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‘When Love Blossom’

“After the tattoo, they had shared their first kiss by the mall entrance,  she could never shake off how shy she’d been after that”

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Students gambolled about the schoolyard like bees chasing and spreading pollen in the heart of the dry season, a season hotter and dustier up north than most parts of Cameroon. The earth parched and cracked like it hadn’t seen water for decades. The plants were almost non-existent and water from open taps ran so hot they needed to be collected and cooled under shades or Calabashes. A cool day seemed like a shockwave had hit the ripple of the sun’s continuum throwing the heat delicately out of pattern and in that slight space in the sun’s continuum, cold air brushed over the town like a kiss from the wind, which only happened once in a month throughout the dry season.

Maimuna knew better not to dirty her uniforms or become too sweaty, from a tender age, looking a hot dusty mess had always been a rebuffing trigger from her mum who did the laundry, as Maimuna grew older she became conscious of what the hot weather meant for her teenage looks. She sometimes remembered her mum’s voice echoing her disapproval of her dirty dusty feet and sweaty gown armpits referring to her as ‘Mrs ganakoh’ a title for the wives of cattle nomads. These days the most her mum did was look at her, sigh with disapproval on anything remotely close to dusty shoes and sweaty armpits. Her mum still managed to behave like she did the laundry when at the age of fifteen the maids did most of her washing except for her undergarments.

May’s dad was a top ranking military general who had worked in many parts of the country, but loved the North the most, he never took up the Muslim religion but enjoyed the organised ways in which the men, women and children religiously prayed, he always remarked that crimes were a lot less in this part of the country than anywhere else because the repercussions were religiously linked and dire. Being the only English general in town he could speak some of the Fulani tongues plus French, this was a respectful added bonus which worked in his favour politically and social stature wise, the lifestyle and culture up north had a complimenting ego massaging effect on him you could tell from the almost always satisfactory grin he wore with a tinge of arrogance.

 

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