It was a warm afternoon and Bella was seated under the vast mango tree with her daughter. Her daughter wasn’t a spring chicken she was more like the experienced hen the neighbourhood cockerels observed her from afar. She had never been married, no children and wasn’t quite married to her career, she just occupied her loneliness with it. Bella had hoped Aluoch would have borne her children, like her other 4 children. But Bella knew better than to exert pressure on her daughter. Life was different, expectations had changed and what her daughter needed now was someone to care and love her.
Aluoch had been working for the past 25 years at a successful business, but had reached a threshold and was seeking to do something new. What? She did not know, she considered going back to school for a second doctoral degree. But it was an unprocessed idea. Aluoch’s head rested on Bella’s lap facing the rich green canopy above her. Bella would occasionally stretch down to the oteo to grab a piece of the jackfruit and pluck out its rich yellow sweetness. Aluoch loved Apenes it melted in her mouth.
There really is nothing like Mama’s unconditional love, no judgment just sit and exist. Aluoch had missed Mama’s stories and asked for one. Bella laughed, her body began to shake and steadily infected Aluoch who burst out laughing as well almost rolling off the bench on to the ground. They had no idea what was so funny but it just felt great and cleansing to release in laughter.
The mango tree canopy above them began to whistle and whisper above them and carried their laughter through the air. A nearby neighbor was off to the river to fetch water and opted to pop in to join in the fun. Nyaboro walked in and found the two women laughing so hard they were tearing and began laughing herself.
“What is so funny, why don’t you share? So I can laugh as hard as the both of you!”
“Nyaboro there is nothing to share, life is just funny.” Bella said amidst laughter.
Now people began to peer in through the fence to find out was going on, now three women were laughing hysterically. Those whose curiosity killed them, walked in through the gate just as Nyaboro only to join in the laughter without explanation. It made no sense.
Eventually out of pain and the increased need to urinate people began to disperse cradling their bellies with one hand and wiping tears from their eyes with the other hand. Finally Bella and Aluoch were alone again under their cool mango tree and fell into a deep slumber.