I remember some of the days when I was a little boy. Living in a settlement somewhere.
It was me, my brother, my sister and my grandmother. There was also some of my other cousins, some whom I have forgotten, and their mothers too.
My father was not there. Well he was sometimes around, but nowhere in sight in my memories.
It was me, my brother Happiness and our sister Sadness.
I think I was my grandmother’s favourite. But I know she loved us all.
Her name was Nurture. And my mother wasn’t there neither.
We lived with my cousins Anger, Curiosity, Lady, and Temper – and also the others that I have forgotten.
I had my best friend Trouble, he lived not too far away and I did everything with him.
All of this happened so long ago I hardly remember.
It happened when I didn’t even know it was happening.
Once, in my first year of school my teacher was absent and there was nobody to take her place.
So they split our class and made us sit in on the floor in the grade two and three classes.
Eventually, those accommodating teachers had enough of us and my whole class was told that we could go home early. I think about 3 hours early.
And since we hated school, Trouble and I were at the front of the crowd as the group of first grade children made their way towards the exit gates of the school.
Then, suddenly, somebody changed their mind and we heard shouts pleading that we all turn back and return to the classrooms.
Trouble and me. We wasn’t having it.
So, we ditched. Thinking back to it now I’d like to know – if we discussed it before finding agreement, or if maybe one of us just ran and the other followed suit like the made up gangsters we thought we were.
We ran. Out of the school gates with our big ol school bags bouncing all over our backs.
Then I looked back and saw that the teachers had unleashed a fourth grader upon us.
He looked so BIG!
And he ran so fast too.
But obviously not fast enough for us. We were the fastest things in the world, we thought we were.
We ran. Out the school gates and down towards the bridge and eventually across the bridge were mamas, aunties and grannies washed their laundry in the river.
Across the bridge in a flash, and a left turn, we can see Trouble’s house from here, but behind us, we can also see that catcher still chasing.
Eventually, Trouble makes it home.
I keep going. I live just a little further up the hill. So I’ve got to keep going.
When I arrive. Granny is surprised.
I tell her what happened with the absent teacher and that we were let out early. But obviously, I mention nothing about the dude who chased me halfway home because that would raise some suspicion.
Granny was okay with it and I spent the rest of the time with her, waiting for my older cousins to get back from school too.
They eventually do. And I can now join them outside and play, play and play.
Then, at the entrance gate of our home, I see Trouble – but he’s not alone – one of my aunt works as his caregiver and she has come to tell my granny that she had to send Trouble back to school when that fourth grader came to their home and took him and left her with the full story.
Now it was granny’s turn to also hear the full story.
But remember. My aunt is Trouble’s caregiver… So she works at Trouble’s house.
But me. She’s a blood relative.
My granny is my granny.
I’m in for some real tough love.
They call me in to the house, their each weilding freshly cut sticks of mass destruction, and my back is the mass. They whack me. Destructing my back indeed.
A whooping I will never forget, even though I have forgotten everything else.
But I remember some of those days. And I am going to share some of them with you.