Epiphanie Mukasano

The end of a bad day

At last the bell rang, much to my relief. It was the end of a day, and more importantly, the end of a school week. Gleefully, I closed my book. I had not finished my drawing, but I was not worried. I hated Drawing with all my heart. I was no good at it. Those like me who could not finish had to complete the task at home. So I could take my time.

Outside, it was drizzling. Luckily, school was not far from home, only ten minutes walk. I did not wait for my friend Francine to join me – she was my usual companion on my way after school. I ran home. I was dying to play with my little sister Tina. With her, I hoped to forget the boredom of school.

Tina and I were four years apart. She had not started school and she used to stay with granny when my mum was working. That Friday, my mum had not gone to work. She said she was not feeling well.

When I got home, I said a quick “Hello” to mum who was busy in the kitchen and headed to my room. What a sight! It was a real pigsty. Tina was sitting on the floor, colouring a picture. My blanket and sheets were hanging, their edges sweeping the floor, my bed was littered with  toys and dolls. Here and there, puddles of paint pooled on the cemented floor.

Infuriated, I hit my sister. She cried, and my mum came running.

“What’s going on here?” she asked. I was about to explain but was refused the chance. Tina pointed her finger at me, and my mum slapped me twice on my right cheek. How it burned! I started crying.

“Keep quiet or I’ll break your neck” she shouted. “You’re the older sister, fix this mess,” she went on.

I could hardly contain my anger. I could not figure out how I had become the scapegoat. I ran outside and sat in the rain, hoping that my mum would be moved and recognise that she had been wrong. Nothing of the kind happened.

After half an hour or so, I heard my dad’s car hooting. After parking the car, he came to me and looked surprised to find me crying like that, all alone.

He hugged me, carried me in his strong arms and took me to the lounge. He asked me to sit and explain to him what had happened. At first, my words would not come out.

Tina   arrived and started  accusing me, “You hit me on the head, twisted my arm and kicked my leg.”

I explained to dad how I tried to complain to mum who, instead of listening to me, slapped me in my face. Then I shouted at Tina:  “You made me angry. You messed my room. Come, dad. See for yourself.”  I pulled him by the hand and led him to the room. Tina followed us, a few steps behind.

“Tina, how could you do something like this?” my dad stormed, “Fix this mess quickly. You won’t have your supper before I see this place is spotlessly clean.”

Then dad hugged me one more time and said, “I think you’ve been treated very unfairly. I will only ask you to be kind to your little sister and help her clean up. When this job is done, I’ve got a special treat for each one of you. As for mum, I’ll ask her to apologise.”

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