Chai with Naku

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Sweetpotatos and good chai, twegame wali for two big girls cannot be seen giggling. Naku is getting married tomorrow, I am the maid of honor, and I’ll be an important lady tomorrow. I look back at her brown innocent face as she puts her buttocks on the banana leaf that she has just cut, I squash the nsanafu before I put down my lessu. We giggle at the spilled tea. I know she is excited. Of course, who wouldn’t be excited? We had come back to the village for the kukyala, the salon lady will be here any minute from now.

A group of boys from the well walk past us. After all, we had decided to sit in their path. I like their bare backs and the way they form an arch when they carry massive weight. Naku laughs because she knows my ‘type’. ‘The young type’.

Naku; ahh Mirembe, again with your habits. Can’t you let the little boys be?

Mirembe; oh please, those are still little men. 19 year olds are still called little men.

Naku; teweyisa nga atasooma. Btw Gerald will be here any minute with Kateego.

Mirembe (looks down at her tea); and why is that.

Naku; remember his home is just a few minutes away. He needs to prepare too you know. (She laughs)

Mirembe clutches the handle of her cup. She wouldn’t want Naku to see her hand shake. She remembers the time when she and Gerald were talking about their own wedding. A futuristic wedding they’d say. She remembers the color of her uniform back then, with her biswahili intact. Naku is a city girl, she doesn’t know anything about this treacherous past nor of their sex in her bed 2 weeks ago when she was in Malaysia buying her wedding items. Good times, a smile formed on her lips, she turned back to look at Naku. Yes, she was still going on and on about the hectic ssenga antics.

She wanted to be here for Naku but she was mainly here because of Gerald. He had asked her to say yes to Naku’s offer of being a maid of honor.

'Naku doesn't have a lot of people that she knows but you and she seem close,'

As far as Mirembe remembered she and Naku only skipped rope during the holidays.Not much talk between the two. Not even about school. All she knew was that Naku was the bold girl who went after Kasibante, the boy from some kibanda. She claimed to have loved him, it’s rumored that she gave in to him. How do siblings live like this though? Without a clue of what is going on with each other?

And we all know Kateego is only here to support Naku. Naku had asked him to be Gerald’s best man since he didn’t know a lot of people.But I know for a fact that Kateego has slept and is still sleeping with Naku. She’s so afraid to admit it because Kateego is 19 and she is 23. But she will tease me about the little boys from the well, the little boys who are 19, the little boys who are friends with Kateego, the little boys who straddled her breast yesterday night at the well ‘My type’ she says but ‘it’s her type.’


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