“Waryaa are you completely out of your mind?” Abdalla stared at Madka-Kher. Madka- Kher noticing the silence looked up at his friend. “Man, what are you staring at?” Madka said looking behind him. They sat in the resting hut of Madka-Kheir’s family. Madka took a handful of rice and meat and continued eating. Abdalla stretched his arms up then waited. As soon as Madka-Kher had swallowed the food, Abdalla smacked him in the head with his hand. “Wewe, what is wrong with you?”
“What is wrong with me?” Abdalla said furiously, “no, what is wrong with you?” He asked reaching out to slap Madka in the head again. But Madka saw it coming and slapped his hand away. “Sometimes I wonder how it is possible for someone with such a big head to have so little brain” Abdalla was famous for speaking unfiltered, his way of showing love is by dissing those close to him. Madka was aware of that. “Man I was hoping that getting married would calm you, why are you still angry and loud?” Madka-Kher said smiling. His attempt to cool his friend down failed. “You are living proof that marriage doesn’t change men,” said Abdalla shaking his head in disappointment.
“Acudubilah, brother rebuke the satan away from you and let’s calm down let us finish our lunch then talk,” Madka-Kher said putting the tin plate back down.
They ate in silence which was quite unusual for both of them.
Madka-Kher spent the rest of the day laying in the hut. “Try and remember the girl you brought home to your folks and compare her to the mother of your children. Kimina is not herself I should not have to that to you out of all people” Abdalla had said to him. He turned around and said something that stang Madka’s soul like a bee. “She is your responsibility, on judgment day you will have to answer for that.” Abdalla went out.
I invited you to tell me what is wrong with my wife for being a complete stranger lately Madka thought to himself. I didn’t ask to be scolded. laying on his back he stared up at a camel chain. He remembered a simpler time when he was a camel herder. He used to take the camels up hills in search of bushes and water wells to feed and water them. His family was nomads with no specific land or property to their name. They moved along with and towards where ever they knew it had rained.
After many years of drought, his family had lost many camels and could no longer live as nomads.
Madka laid back and reminisced of simpler times.
He and Kimina alongside volunteer workers were going from one remote village to another. Treating people while informing them about traditions that were harmful to their health, such as female genital mutilation.
On one of those trips, they had to take a flat wooden boat, in order to cross a river. They were newlywed and his family was not pleased with them. Madka- Kher mentioned his concern to the Anna Maria, the Italian nurse who took a vaw to spend the rest of her life serving her God and his people. “ eh hakuna shida Bring Kimina with she will be an asset” said Anne Marie the Italian nurse.
Madka-Kher chuckled, tears run down his cheeks as he laid in the resting hut. He wiped his cheeks while biting his under lip in regret. What happened to us? He closed his eyes haaah he sighed. He allowed his mind to roam freely in memory lane.
Kimina was very excited to join Madka for the first time on a field trip. She was delighted kissing and hugging him when no one was looking. All that stopped when they reached the lake. There was a little flat wooden boat. Kimina’s already big eyes looked like they were escaping her face. “Hapana” not going to happen I am not getting on that thing. Kimina said again and again.
“Macanow, my love the thing you are asking me to step on is made of wood and it is flat!” Kimina said pointing at the flat-boat with wide eyes. It looked as if her eyes were taking up all the space of her face. “Madka, Macaan Madka this is not a boat, there is no place to sit and nothing to hold” While Madka was trying to explain to her how there was no other way to reach the remote villages. He knew that crossing the river was the easiest part of this field trip. But he decided to keep that information to himself seeing how frightened Kimina already was.
Kimina kept yelling “taxes, a crocodile I think I see a crocodile. The guide man who was taking them over the lake calmly said: “keep screaming and surely every crocodile will follow us and eat you first because you are the one calling for them.”
Kimina sat on the flatboat with her kneels up covering her eye and mouth. They crossed without her screaming except for the little whiny sounds. The boat could only take two passengers and the guide who is also the one steering the boat. Madka was used to traveling this way and wished that his wife would open her eyes and admire the beauty surrounding them. The water was clear blue mixed with green. They could see tall trees and the forest they would have to cross in order to reach the villages on the other side. Re
“You sounded like a cat being choked” Madka made fun of her to which she replied by walking fast past him. This was the time before she was slowed down by childbearing and giving birth to three beautiful children. Madka felt an ache in his heart. He opened his eyes and turned to the side. Usually, it was always cool and refreshing to lay in the Resting Hut, but all he felt agony. He closed his eyes to reminisce about simpler times. A time Kimina’s love for him burned like the sun and bright like a sky full of stars at night.
Dunia couldn’t find one under the skirt that fit. Gorgoradihi Kuli wey weyn yihiin. “I can’t find one that fits,” Dunia said looking at Riyaq hopelessly. Riyaq promised to fix the problem and bent down to collect all the underskirts Dunia threw on the floor. “I will take it to a tailor he will make them smaller so they will fit you.” She said picking up the underskirts. “No no, there is no time” Dunia said and stormed out of her bedroom. She called for him. ” Ali, ya Ali” she went to the kitchen, the maid was preparing lunch. “Salam miss do you need something?” Dunia rushed out of the kitchen when she didn’t find him there. “Ali where are you?” She looked around the house. It was small much smaller than she was used to. It had two rooms. One was the bedroom the other the living room. The kitchen was a separate singular room outside. Dunia heard water splashes coming from the toilet and shower room. She walks towards it and stood by the door. “Ali is that you in there?” No answer. She heard more water splashes. “Aliiiiii is that you?” She heard someone clearing their throat. She smiled and leaned her back on the door. She exhaled. Life made no sense to her but she was fine with it now. The sky had clouds and there was a cold breeze. Dunia wore a dress without her underskirt. She touched her head. Her hair was growing back.
But Dunia was in her right mind when she walked out of her now-deceased father’s villa. Bold headed with nothing on but a black underskirt. She remembers clearly how the people who came to mourn her father’s death, yelled at her all as one. “Shame shame, she is naked someone cover her” yelled someone. Ala ala wey ku dhufatay “She has lost it completely” yelled somebody. Dunia kept on walking and walked out of the house. Until Riyaq took off her hijab to cover Dunia.
Dunia couldn’t remember how or when she found the razor but she made sure to cut all her hair off. People had said that she had gone mad. And she did indeed go mad, but Dunia found out that the line between sanity and insanity was pretty thin. It was so thin that she could easily have one foot on each side while she stood up straight.
She could start laughing out of the blue uncontrollably or she could start crying and breaking things furiously.
Someone opened the door fast and before Dunia could stand up she fell backward. As expected he was ready to catch her. “I am always going to catch you Hayati my life,” Ali said smiling widely. Dunia hugged and held on to him. “My love, are you alright?” Ali asked hugging her tighter. He never thought that his prayers would be answered in his lifetime. But here he was the luckiest most blessed man to walk on earth. Dunia was his. His wife.
“Alhamdulillah thanks to Allah, but we must go see them and I have nothing to wear,” Dunia said wiping her face. His bare chest was still wet from the shower.
Ali took her hands in his hands and kissed them. “I think you will find something in your closet if you look,” he said smiling walking back with her. Hand in hand. Ali knew that Dunia hadn’t seen the bag of a new green set of clothes he bought for her for this day.
Dunia walked with her love by her side. This guy must have eyes that none has. How can still find me admirable? Dunia wondered. Ali smiled as if he could read her mind. “Sida laba walal ah the inseparable bond” he sang to her the way he used to sing fo her in their teens. Dunia giggled “you still sound like a horse” she said singing along with him. “Sida Layla iyo Qeys like Romeo and Juliet” she sang the lyrics to their song. The inseparable bond.
She had her man by her side, and soon she was going to see her daughters. After many rejections to visit them at the boarding school she was finally allowed a visitation hour. And Dunia had planned for months. She knew how she was going to break her daughters out and take them home with her. She rested her head on Ali’s shoulder.
“Do you promise to love my baby brother as you love yours?” Kimina asked Madka-Kher. He couldn’t believe how insisting she was about him saying; I promise. Madka answered by saying: I will. That was the wrong answer. Kimina pushed him away. “You my dear better find some other girl because I am not the one for you,” she said walking away. Madka runs after her and fell go his knees. He hugged her stomach and held her. “Nakupenda sana Kimina I really love you and want to make you my wife please don’t say that.” Kimina untied his arm around her waist. “I have to hear you say it Madka-Kher, say that you promise to love my brother as if he was your own.” Madka stood up and said; I promise.
Madka-Kher had opened his eyes. He was still in the resting hut. Kimina was standing over him. She looked tired. Madka wanted to say something but just looked at her. He wanted to apologize for breaking his promise. But he was going to make up for her. “Can you please go and fetch your son? He is still out playing with the stupid marble rocks.” Kimina said taking a pause to catch her breath. “And get tell your daughter to srop stealing mango from the neighbors they were furious today.” Madka smiled “which daughter?” He asked but he knew it was Fatima his second born. A chubby cheerful little girl who was a handful. His third child had still to show her personality. Maryan. Little Maryan liked to be around the animals cuddling the cat and chasing the hen.
“Does Maryaney look like she can climb over to the neighbors and take fruits from the garden?” Kimina said with one hand on her hip. Madka stood up just to fall to his knees and held Kimina’s waist tight. “Forgive me, my love, I have failed you again,” he said burying his head. “Please forgive me and don’t give up on our love I want my Kimjna back not just the mother of my children.”
Kimina touched his head. “I am tired please go fetch your son.” She said and sat down. “I am not feeling well i will lay down a bit” she said and laid down turning her back to him.
Madka bent over and kissed her forehead. He was going to get her back no matter what.