The girl from Njoro

The nightmare is relentless…..it haunts her even in daylight
She breaks out is a cold sweat….as she runs down the dusty path to school…..the morning chill does nothing to reduce her cold sweat
She looks down upon her brown laced school shoes…..hand me downs from last year….the laces are frayed and barely lace…..

They make a flapping sound….a bizarre rhythm……thump thump thump…..as they hit against the leather shoe….
She runs in a funny gait….the tight leather brown shoe hurts her toes……the big toe strains against the tightness of the shoe….she limps…..her gait grotesque but she knows once in school she must pretend that the shoe fits…..she smiles sadly and enjoys the limp that is a luxury she cannot afford once in school…

She visualises in her mind the nicely buckled leather shoes other children wear to school…
The shine……the bounce with which the owners walk!

Her mouth has a rubbery taste……the milky tea still clings to her teeth……she lifts a corner of her frayed school dress and rubs her teeth vigorously….
Much better…
She thinks as she passes her tongue over her teeth again…
Her mind wanders again….to imagined mornings brushing her teeth over a porcelain sink as her friends do in their palatial homes…

She hits her toe against a stone and tumbles ……grimaces as the shoe bites yet again

….the dew still clings delicately on the green foliage on the side of the path…….she imagines how it would feel to have money…..to afford black shiny buckled shoes for herself…..to bounce delicately along the path and not to limp……
Madam that will be eleven thousand; the shop attendant brings her back from her reverie. …
She grimaces and shakes her head as she pulls out her wallet and inhales the sweet smell of the crisp bank notes!!!!

She asked the shop attendant to give her the blackest and shiniest shoe in the store for her daughter ….
She smiles as she realises that she is awake
That her nightmare marathon from poverty is but a dream from her childhood in Njoro
But even the feel of the green crisp notes and the smell of new money

Not even the black shiny buckled shoes on her daughters feet is enough to end the nightmarish run from lack of money…..from the poverty in Njoro….the poverty that still clings to her mind like the milky tea in the morning in Njoro
If only she could use the corner of her designer dress to wipe away the clinging stench of poverty that even the smell of money on her fat wallet fails to mask….

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