Saturday, 7 September 2013

The innocent intruder

With the kitchen tap hissing again and my hands dusted with flour and powdered sugar, I had no way of finding out who it is that sneaked behind my windows. The madeleines would have to wait. I had more urgent matters to tackle. I craned my neck to peep out and in doing so, I lifted my right hand onto the counter and my fingers unintentionally touched the glass bowl, tipping its contents into the kitchen countertop. So, there. I stood staring at the mess with unfulfilled curiosity occupying one half of the mind and the immediate nature of the problem at hand tugging at the other. When I finally managed to gather back most of the melted butter onto the bowl, I felt relieved. Not because I had taken care of the matter, but because I would now be free to stalk the stalker.

I wiped my hands in the acrylic painted apron and with renewed curiosity turned the knob of the door and pulled it open. Tiptoeing my way while staying close to the wall and with my back onto it, I made for the intruder fully intent on capturing him today. While I was still a few feet away, my eyes caught hold of a grey covered child’s butt bending over something, as if to pick it up. I quickly grabbed the tiny intruder by the waist and jerked it upwards, to straighten him. Taken by surprise, he looked at me his mouth ajar.

“So huh! It’s you who’s been making rounds of my garden and plucking off the yet to bloom calendulas!! Wait till I meet your ma.”

But hey. I stop. The child began to cry, its tears dropping one at a time onto the front of his short and wetting it in circular patterns.

I soften a little and ask, “what is it? Ok, I won’t tell your ma. Fine?”

But he continued to sob softly. I bend over and ask, “Now what?”

He looked up a little and lifted his little fingers towards the sky. I straightened myself and looked in the direction he pointed.

“What about the sky?”

The child now mumbles, “She lives up there, granny says. Will you tell her that I miss her, when you meet ma?"

I stepped back a little, as if taken aback by the innocence in his words. In response, I only manage to just nod my head and take him inside. While the madeleines were still in the oven, we shared a half glass of lemonade.


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