© Tisa Phiri
Months passed and the girls got close together. They did almost everything together, sharing and buying food to feed themselves from the different works they managed to get from the market and streets.
With days passing and a lot of activities happening around them, the girls were slowly forgetting what happened at the market with the boys. They simply avoided the subject of Sali’ s powers especially when one day Thandi and Mattie discussed the issue and Sali caught them talking.
” what will happen if one day she gets mad and says something to hurt any of us?” Mattie asked Thandi as they sat outside their house Thandi washing some clothes in a dish.
” I don’t know. I was so scared seeing those boys squirm last time. I have never seen anything like that Thandi. Am honestly freaked out” she said holding her hands around her.
” I don’t know too Mattie but one thing is for sure, Sali is not a bad person. We have stayed with her and we both know how good she is. She’s jovial and smiles a lot. Seeing her will make you think she cannot hurt a fly” she sighed as she bend down to rinse the clothes.
” well we know she can hurt someone though, and pretty badly for that matter. I don’t even want to think of what will happen if she ever got mad at any of us and something bad happened” Mattie went on.
” don’t worry it will never get to that. Besides what can we do? Chase her?, no way Mattie. You are the one who always push us together and say we need to stick together. No one is leaving here. Whatever we have to face we face it together, remember? ” she smiled looking at Mattie as she reminded her of her own words.
” I know, I didn’t say we chase her. Am just concerned” she scoffed.
Sali shed tears as the two talked. They didn’t see her stand behind the door listening on them. She shook her heard realising what her presence meant. She had come to love her friends and never wished to hurt them. She wished she never inherited her mother’s power.
The fear of living her mother’s life gripping her and making her cry the more. She wanted to belong but she felt she was different and wasn’t going to fit in.
Thandi and Mattie looked strong and courageous just what she needed to survive but she felt weak. Even when her friends would say she was the strongest of all, she knew she couldn’t match the courage and optimism of Mattie and the reasoning and sensitivity of Thandi.
She could see how they all worked out things together with them saying she had the most brilliant mind and strength too.
Thandi would always say she bound them together. Even when they had differences, Sali was to bridge the gap between the girls.
That afternoon she tried to escape to avoid harming her friends even though she knew she wouldn’t do it deliberately.
She had packed her small bag and left when the others where taking a bath. Heading out to no where in particular. She spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and that night she wanted to spend it on the corner of the street Mattie met her earlier.
” what the hell do you think you are doing?” Mattie yelled at her when the girls got to where she was.
” Sali, you made us look for you the whole afternoon. How could you just leave like That? You scared us” Thandi spoke too as the girls stood high on her.
Sali cried looking at the worried faces of the two.
” am sorry, its just that i dont want to hurt you guys. I don’t know what this is in me and I can not forgive myself if anything happened to you two. I love you, you were my family ”
” we still are family Sali” Thandi interrupted.
” you are not a monster dear. Please let’s go back home. We both know you cannot hurt us, well at least not deliberate but you leaving is not a solution. Come on let’s get back home” the girls held Sali up with Thandi grabbing her bag.
” we love you and we were sick worried something happened to you” Mattie spoke as they held Sali each one each hand as they slowly walked back.
” I have an idea! ” exclaimed Sali as they passed the streets light crossing over to the other side.
” what is That?” Thandi asked looking back at Sali who was now a step back.
” Well, we have to find something to do. We are not going to live our lives like this girls working for small moneys which doesn’t even satisfy out hunger. ” she stopped as they got on the other side of the road the light from above the street light shining in her round face and showing off her orange dress and now so dust feet in slippers.
Thandi and Mattie looked at her attentively knowing she was now coming up with her ideas.
” lets go back to school and then we will start our own businesses. Make a lot of money and buy lots of nice food” she smiled looking at her friends.
” oh Sali, we have talked about this before, where do we get the money to go to school.? We are barely managing with the little we work for everyday.” Thandi shrugged.
” that’s were am coming, Thandi. We have to find an orphanage to sponsor us. The other day I over heard a woman say she saw some people from some organisations talking to street kids. She said they wanted to help them out so we should find them to ask them to help us” Sali expalined now walking along. Stepping on the side of the road as a car drive by.
” that’s a good idea Sali, we should do that.” Mattie shouted out trotting ahead and walking her front on her friends as she walked backwards.
” well were do we find them?” Thandi who was smiling too asked.
” I don’t know but tommorow we can go round and try look for where those people are” Sali responded calmly.
” see, we couldn’t have thought of that if not for our brilliant Sali ” exclaimed Mattie turning to walk in a normal way.
The following morning the girls went round in search of some organisation to help them.
They came to a wide gate somewhere in the township they were directed to by the people they asked.
” so what can I do for you girls?” A tall and dark lady asked them as they were led inside by the man who opened then gate for them.
The entrance had a poster written ” welcome to Charity Orphanage”
” we are, we are asking …” Sali stammered not knowing how to begin.
” we are here to” Thandi and Mattie spoke at the same time, making the lady look at them confused
” go on tell her” Thandi told Mattie nodding her head slowly.
” we want help. We have no parents. We stay together the three of us and live from the little money we make from the streets. Our parents are all dead” she said sadly looking at Thandi and Sali making sure they both agreed on the sorry. She couldn’t say her mother was alive so she had to make sure the others agreed to her story.
Sali and Thandi nodded assuring their friend to go on.
” so what can we do for you girls?” The lady asked them after they finished telling their story.
” we want to go back to school” Thandi spoke this time.
” we were looking for any organisation that can help us go back to shool” Sali added.
” Well, you guys have a very sad story and am so touched. But unfortunately this Ophanage isn’t for Children of your age. We only accommodate those below the age of 14. Unfortunately we don’t have enough to support beyond that. Even these we help here are to be adopted somehow to easy our burdens.” The lady spoke calmly to the girls files as they listened their hope gone.
” am sorry we can’t help You” the lady added and the girls thanked her and stood to leave.
” wait!” The woman called them just as they were about to walk out the black gate. The girls tuned back to look at her in unison surprised she was walking fast towards them.
” maybe I can help you girls. Listen, some people come here to check on the kids and donate some things. I will try talk to them as they will be a gathering tomorrow. Let me see if I can get some of them to help you girls” she smiled at them.
” you will do that!” Exclaimed the girls sighing and smiling at their newly found hope.
” well I will try. Come back tomorrow afternoon we will see what comes out of this” the lady smiled at them.
” thank you mam” they smiled at her and walked out with happy faces.
” there’s hope girls ” Mattie told them as they walked to the bus station.
” yeah I think I like that woman, she seems to be a good person” Thandi answered.
“I hope tommorow will be a good day for us. ” Sali sighed.
” it will be”Mattie smiled assuredly.
The following morning they spend time cleaning themselves. ” we have to look clean for those people to see we are good girls and can do things right.” Mattie suggested.
She sat down as Thandi braided her hair.
” your turn Sali” Thandi pulled Sali to sit after she was done with Mattie who kept checking her braids made from the old wigs in a small mirrow.
Thandi did her own hair too and by the time it was mid day they were ready to go back to the orphanage.
” come here girls!” The lady from The other day called them late in the afternoon after what seemed like a party for the kids ended.
” I managed to talk to some people. The good news is that i manged to find some people willing to help you girls” she smiled at them.
” and?” Sali who seemed to notice there was more to the good news asked.
” oh girls am sorry but you will have to be separated. You won’t be helped by one person there are three families to help you out and you all have to go your separate ways” the lady went on taking her eyes from each one of them , one by one.
” what?” Thandi asked her eyes wide open.
” but we have lived together for over a year now, we don’t want to live separately. Let them help us as we continue living together at our home” she cried tears forming in her eyes at the thought of living without her friends.
” yes aunty, let them help us but we stay together ” Mattie agreed
” am sorry, if these people help you, you will all be required to do some sort of work for their families. Given you all grown up, they will help you by giving you some job at their homes and in turn pay you so that you can go to school. That was the agreement any way, so what do you girls say?”she asked them.
The girls were quiet for a while. They knew they needed that help but the fear of living without being close to each other was evident on their faces.
” you will be fine girls. Am sure once in a while you will be seeing each other. The families all live here in Lusaka” she assured them.
After a long discussion the girls had reluctantly agreed to the offer. They were told some arrangements were to be made for them to attend classes at the same time work as domestic workers at the respective families.
They however asked for a day for them to prepare and say bye to each other promising to get back to the orphanage to be picked by their newly found bosses and well wishers.
To be continued