He was ginger-haired, Scottish, born in Glasgow, raised in Jos, son of tin miners-cum-missionaries, tall and loud, freckled, fat. Appearing at the door. You noticed this now, peering into your own teacup with worry. You detached the fitted sheet from the narrow twin bed and carried it, embarrassed, to the washroom. A bit like a wound beneath her nose. End of Sad Story. Uncle merely laughed, ignoring Auntie, speaking louder.
You took your plate to the sink, turned on the water to rinse it. His parents are Ewe, his mother from Togo, his English much weaker than his French, even now. They were consumed with their preparations, all of the houseboys and caterers, Comfort sunning in her bikini, Iago working by the pool. She has the same dramatic features as her daughter and brother, her skin a dark bronze from the decades in Ghana. They are villagers, cruel like your grandmother. Whites in the window of the washer, sheets and shirts. Mariam went to the kitchen and put a kettle on the stove. Blood on your shoulder. She was starting to go in when she saw Comfort by the pool. It is the same thing you saw for that moment this morning, the sun slanting in thick and golden as oil. Silent, he placed you at the small wooden table and returned to his work pounding yam. Uncle and a woman, a fair-skinned Nigerian, the photographer, drove you to the airport. Two carpenters installing the dance floor, banging nails: You stood, glancing at Auntie. But the set of her mouth, the slight downturn of the lips, the proud upturn of the chin betray her paternity. The sound — sloshing cloth, buckets of soap — in your ears. You started to speak. But your grandmother, believer in boys-only education and a product of the same, withdrew her daughter from school. Her eyes met yours suddenly. The woman smoked cigarettes. You considered it, suddenly hopeful, not one hundred yards away. This may have been his surname; you were never really sure. You opened your eyes quickly but the image remained. Still now there is something about those nights that you miss; maybe the promise of your mother in the morning? After Uncle tried unsuccessfully to sell you on an omelette Francis intervened, uncharacteristically.
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