14 of 21
We are standing by the roadside counting motorbikes and cars, decreeing that they were ours: the boxers, the Toyotas, the Mahindras. We shout, mine! Mine! Mine!
Just two years and we will be real men, Majimbo brags.
This Sifuna will scream, I know it, Timina says and Sifuna raises his hand but drops it again.
Coward. He stinks and cannot even smack someone who disrespects him. All talk and threats but zero action. He bores me to death. He should put Timina in her place.
Once I become a real man, I will not be hesitating to chop that long mouth, Sifuna says through gritted teeth.
Beat me now you see how I will dismantle your things and there will be nothing to circumcise, Timina roars and Sifuna backs off.
Two years and we will not be playing stupid girls’ games and listening to stupid things, Majimbo says, his hand on Sifuna’s shoulder as if he is an important guest of honour.
To think that we have been rehearsing dance moves for the circumcision festival since December and now the rumour creeping around has it that corona will stretch into July. We are shaken. This corona business might be serious talk after all. But a flu? It is better if it was serious like a victim bursts up or goes mad or turns green. But a flu disrupting what our forefathers designed is too belittling. And what is more annoying is how everyone is scared of getting it, yet they have survived serious things like snake bites, fish bone chocking, leprosy and others even healed from madness. And a small child like corona was making them cower.
They have said this year people will have to go to hospital and not engage in the dances, Wekesa says sadly, his voice cracks.
But how does dancing and singing spread a disease? says Timina.
That is what my grandfather said, Wekesa says with a sigh.
Now what will people do come August? What happens to food and calves and goats? Majimbo asks.
Those people will wait for the next season, I say to deliver them with their entourages.
They will be too old for circumcision. Someone like Denis said after he heals, he is marrying Janeti, Majimbo says.
But isn’t your brother still in class seven?
That is what he said. He is a big boy. He has a beard already and he said if you have it and you are circumcised, you become someone’s husband.
I can never be your wife in real life, Timina tells Majimbo, who gets angry, like he was planning to marry her after two years.
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