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Truphena’s birthmark on her left thigh resembled the crescent moon similar to her late great great grandfather’s. He was said to have had an all-seeing eye that saw into the future and people consulted him. People thought that he’d been reborn in Truphena, but the girl did not seem to have that gift. She was disinterested in life, hateful even. They tried to put ideas into her head to draw her back to her path in vain. How does the moon make you feel? they asked her and she scoffed and shook her head, as if they were a bunch of lunatics. What was it supposed to make me feel? she asked. Don’t you hear it calling your name? Doesn’t its glow excite you? they pressed. She wondered where this was headed and walked away. To her, the moon was just another celestial body.
But Truphena was dew:
She was beautiful with a spectrum of colours in the morning that attracted people. She had soothing words that she released in doses to whoever she thought was worthy. She was that child that let things lie, unlike all her friends. But even with holding back her words, she killed her wrong-doers in her mind. Within her clique of friends, she talked the least, but thought the most and let things go to her heart.
Though she made others be drawn to her, this was short-lived and once things got hot, she evaporated out of your life with the speed of dew when the sun woke up fully. She was not loyal to anyone. She thought Timina was too childish, Wekesa too greedy, Lumbasi too stupid, Majimbo too violent, Sifuna too ugly and Niki deserved to die because of pride. She did not feel appreciated enough, loved enough, needed enough. And because she was good with doses, she often did not lash out quickly. She was a rat that bit, then blew, bit, blew so that by morning, you would find your toes eaten and you wonder if it was a ghost.
Have you ever dressed up for an important ceremony and wore rubber shoes and passed through grass with dew and felt it sip in? That was Truphena’s nature. She was a vile child, imposing and had biting remarks that even frightened her parents and siblings sometimes. One evening when they refused to give her the drumstick, she said, some of you have three years to live and I cannot wait for your funerals to eat all the drumsticks.
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