02 AMINI: Sunday…

Hues of purple red and bright yellows colour my eyes as I grudgingly reach out for the alarm. Tomorrow has come but too soon. I should really stick to Fridays as movie night. These films are seriously sabotaging my rest. I opt to linger a little longer but soon the children are all over the place. Not mine, the neighbours. Each has at least one and they are all trying to get in a game before Sunday begins. They noisely ran up the stairs and across the parking with Rusty, the newest member in the gang, barking with equal excitement. I hold on to my duvet, I need just one more minute. Two hours later, a text message bleep alarms me from my slow-wave.

“Hey! I’m leaving for Geneva tonight. Please come for the cheque. I’ll be at Rubicon at noon. We could do lunch…”

“I’ll pass by for the cheque at 2pm.” I respond

“Lunch???” The mobile subscriber pleads like he has for the past few weeks.

“COMPANY POLICY” I stress. “Company policy!!!”

“Life is short. Break the rules…”

He ends his messaging with some hearty emoticons that momentarily tempt me to call Zawadi and cancel our celebration. I know she would not mind a tag along proposal either but we have planned out party too long to further delay it. And the truth is the company prefers those at leader levels to have lunch with clients; it is better for business. I choose to obey this rule over the disarming client. I pick out a prettier dress, however. This cheque collection will be special.

I meet Kayamba at the parking area. He is holding onto Rusty. The kids have begged him to man the puppy as he is interfering with their play. Like his name, Kayamba orchestrates a lot of things in Amini Phase IV. Settling in new residents, resolving disputes, initiating development projects; he has helped the community a great deal. For a few minutes we exchange pleasantries as Rusty jumps up and down by our sides in a bid to reach his owner’s playful hand.

Suddenly Jeremiah thrusts Neema off his bike. She falls face down hitting her mouth on the curb and grazing her knee on the cabro. She wails hysterically. Kayamba let’s go of the the Alsatian’s leash, removes his red Bata slipper and gives the boy’s 7 year old behind a through whacking. “Tell her you’re sorry!” He demands and three times he repeats himself until his daughter gets a decent apology. He examines the bleeding, it is not too serious, but carries her off for some first aid.

As I drive off for the noon service, Jeremiah is still holding onto his brand new BMX. He seems to be waiting for the pain to dissipate. He does not flinch. He is too embarrassed to admit his butt hurts. If only his mum could see how bad the Amini Primary School head teacher is, she would stop bringing him the numerous government calendars every December. He wishes his once-in-a-month visiting dad was present to give Kayamba a really good punch.2

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