A shy morning light, the stirrings of her tummy, and the heaviness in her bladder drag her from a deep dreamless sleep. The late February sun is high and her bedroom is hot. She sits up slowly, feeling like there are cobwebs on her face are not falling fast enough.
She pats her stomach and curses herself for having eaten too much the previous night. Supper at her mother’s house is a bad idea. She has never been able to stop herself from having second and third helpings. If she is not cooking she will eat. Well, if she is cooking, she will also eat.
She promises herself she will be more disciplined next time. Lead me not into temptation although I already know the way there. The air in her room is noxious from her generous farts. Unconsciously accustomed to the smell, she steps out of bed, gingerly placing her feet on the cold floor. Relishing the sensation, she sits for a while savouring the coolness, wishing she could embrace the floor and cool her naked bosom.
Her heaving and fecund body lends her spaces the flavour of a warm pulsing living mass. Everything she touches comes alive and bright. She rises slowly and walks to the toilet, taking small wincing steps, scared she will explode if she rushes and bumps into one of the bare walls. She leaves the door open. She curses herself as she sits down to pee, curses her body for torturing her.
As she empties herself, she picks up the book on the cistern. Ghana Must Go. How apt. She smiles to herself at her lazy joke. She has been struggling to read it and in the silence of the morning the words swim before her eyes. Her thoughts drift again, in and out of a half-dream, a half-wakefulness.
A short noisy violence follows and relief floods over and through her. She can make out onions and pepper in the smell of her shit. She reiterates her promise to herself. Even as she says this, she cannot help but be aware her curves have become more accentuated.
She thinks of food. She thinks of food often and it worries her. Were he in her mind, her father would laugh at her and say a woman should think about womanly things, like God and children. She remembers the nights she used to starve herself. She thinks of sex a lot too, remembering how she tried to read the Bible to placate the pulsing in her young loins.
Her arse is cold. She has been in her mind for too long. It is time to get out of it and get off the toilet. She stands up a bit shakily after wiping herself absent-mindedly with a hurriedly plucked length of tissue, and flushes hard twice. She sprays two quick bursts of strawberry air freshener into the air above the cistern. The book, abandoned, lies on the floor at the base of the toilet. She cannot recall dropping it.
She steps out and turns towards her sink, seeing in the mirror how big her breasts have grown. She turns on the tap and lathers the green antiseptic soap fast, washes her hands fast, rinses her hands fast, all the while focused on the blur of fingers and fingers. She looks at herself again. Her braids need to be renewed. She can do this as she swings by the place she gets samosas from, the one near the hair salon she goes to.