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Life Lesson

Inner Conversation



The long break was usually noisy with pupils running up and down. Some teachers went home during the short break, while others stayed in the staff room and some went to an off license or canteen. Like most pupils, Lum, Camerika, Mangiento, Anjikwa and Manka ran to the food shed. The food shed was quite crowded. The fresh smell of Accra beans, Accra Banana, Kru kru, moi moi and other snacks could be got all over the area. The pupils fought their way to the sellers, each wanting to be served first. Lum, and her friends brought out the ten francs coins they had each saved for break time. Manka opted to do the buying. They all settled for Accra banana. This as a snack made from frying a mixture of banana and cassava flour.
“Remember to ask for pepper,” Mangiento shouted after Manka.
After about ten minutes, Manka emerged victorious with a trophy of Ten Accra bananas wrapped in a plantain leave. The girls all hurried to the play ground. The sat under the shade of a tree and ate the Accra banana. Camerika then pulled out some garri and Sugar from her bag.  The tap was far off and they needed someone to fetch water with which they were to eat the garri.
Tumbu tumbu burst calabash seeker belle burst. Abelle belle kai kai tumbu don burst. Burst burst burst burst burst. The first shall be the last and the last shall be the first.” Lum sang pointing from person to person as she sung. The last word landed on Anjikwa, so she had to go fetch the water. Mumbling, Anjikwa ran off and fetched the water. The water was put into the nylon paper containing the garri and sugar, and then the paper was shook a little and left for a while. Camerika the burst a hole at the bottom of the paper through which she sipped then passed it around like a last supper. Once the girls were through with their meal, the headed to join their mates playing dodging. Dodging was a game where one person stood at the center aligned by two persons on extreme opposite ends. The persons at the ends then threw a sock ball and the person at the center dodged it. Each dodge counted as a point. Once the ball touched the person at the center, they were out and someone else got in. the person who reached a chosen number of dodges won. In order to play with ease, the girls usually took off their shoes, pullovers and rolled their gowns into their pants.
Lum watched the others play steadily. She impatiently awaited her turn. She hoped to play before the break was over. Finally, her turn had come. Lum took off the new pullover Mama bought a week ago, her shoes and also her school bag. She asked Camerika to keep her eye on them. She rolled up her gown into her pants and jumped in energetically. She successfully dodged up to fifty. As she dodged, all the other girls including Camerika had their eyes glued on her. They all hoped the ball would hit her so she can come out, that way they can each take another turn. Once Lum was out she walked towards Camerika. Just then they heard the bell. Break was over. Lum hurriedly went to get her shoes, bag and pull over, but they were gone.
Tears slowly ran down her eyes. Mama was sure going to kill her today. She could already hear Mama’s voice, “Oh My! What am I going to do with this child?”

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