Fiction, poetry, writing
A Love Story
Yetunde was a mountain girl. She knew this even though she had never been to the mountains. She knew this because in her magazine there was a picture of lush green mountains that stretched up from a river that ran white and frothy, and met a sky that was as sharp blue as her mama’s favourite wrapper. And in the slanting square pieces of land clouds with legs and faces sat in the grass.
‘Yetunde, where are you now?’
Pushing her precious magazine into the folds of her clothes that were neatly stacked on the chair she hurried outside. Grandmother was sat on her stool under the mango tree, legs splayed wide and her wrapper bunched in between them. She was fanning herself with an old plastic fan that had parts missing so that as it wafted it in front of her face, Yetunde saw her in slices.
‘Go to the river child, the men are returning. Take this few kobble and see what you can find.’
Yetunde’s heart jumped around in her chest like a cricket in the long grass. Running through the compound gates she stopped behind the high walls and smoothed down her crumpled skirt and blouse. Feeling around her head she made sure all her plaits were neat and tucked under the hair behind her left ear that she always twisted out of place. Loosening her skirt, she tightened it around her small waist and made sure it hugged her frame, pulling her shirt tight across her chest she tucked it in and thought about opening a button but decided against it.
The sun had not yet started its quick descent as she neared the river and slowed to a casual pace. She scanned the bank that was dotted with boats and women and children shouting and chattering. Bending down she wiped the red dust from between her toes and ran her hands down her body once more before sashaying towards a small boat that was apart from the others.
Beyond, the river was so wide it looked like an ocean and Yetunde thought about the large cruise ships, for people who didn’t do cruises, that she had seen in her magazine. She imagined that there was one just off shore with lights blazing and music blaring and passengers dancing the night away.
‘Ah, little sister, is it you?’
Steven stood beside his boat with his hands on his hips, his body bare except for the raggedy trousers held up by a piece of rope. Yetunde became suddenly shy and forgot to do her best pose, the model one with high heels and a low cut top.
‘Did the lizard take your tongue-o?’
Flicking up her head Yetunde gave him her best camera smile before sticking her tongue out and giggling. This Steven!
‘Grandmother sent me to see if you have anything.’
‘For big mother I always have something. See this cloth, it is very fine. Made for weddings.’
Stepping closer Yetunde touched the gold lace. The sun was bouncing off the material and reflecting its pattern onto Steven’s bare chest. As he pushed it into her arms he took hold of her fingers and looked into her face. Yetunde stood still and could hardly breathe.
‘So are you ready to marry me yet?’
Yetunde threw her head back and laughed. ‘ But Steven, how can that be so. Don’t you know I am a mountain girl and you are a river boy.’
Turning she flung her hips from side to side as she walked away. Holding the material close she was wrapped in it and her high-heeled shoes tapped out a rhythm as she walked into the high ceilinged ballroom in her country manor. The man waiting for her was tall and handsome and wearing a tuxedo. He looked just like Steven.