Here is the second story from the Mahube submissions on the theme of "water". This is from our WABO member, Wada Goitsemang.
A Torrential Storm
I look out the window, it’s raining. It has been raining for three days now. They have grown tired of the falling rain and so have I. They murmur with sad toned voices, ''It’s bad, it’s bad.''
When I was a child, I loved the rain. It settled the dust, each falling drop brought down dust in one heavy pounce. I remember running into the rain and spreading my arms out with a freedom only childhood innocence and imagination could allow. I remember wondering where rain came from, and if the earth could ever be soaked up with rain the way a sponge gets soaked sometimes. I brushed the thought away the moment I saw rain butterflies. I would run after them and sing,''Rain rain, butterfly.'' I loved the freedom they seemed to possess.
That was then. My joy has been washed down by the rain. I am no longer who I used to be. We sit opposite each other. A foreboding silence killing every attempt to spark conversation. Our last 'discussion' was about rain. Whose god had allowed the rain to fall? My people had been in church petitioning, fasting, praying for the rain. His people had gone to the mountains, they had danced to the god of water. Who had more power?
Our son, lying in bed, sick with a high fever was dying. The new doctor, whom they said knew everything, said nothing could be done. They said that when he said so it was best to prepare for the funeral. I told them, God was smarter than him, he would not allow my son to die, he could not.
The basin of water that was prayed for by the priest would heal my son. It had to. The bottle of anointed water had to. My husband said, his father's gods were angry. We had to perform the ritual of cleansing. Our son should be taken by the riverside at night to be cleansed in the waters. I could not say a word to him, did he want to kill our son?
I could not understand how in the world we got here. Once, two years ago, water had united us. He had washed my hands and I, his; a symbol of how we would always take care of each other. We had been blessed with a son. Now it seemed I was washing my own hands, him his. He had fathered a son. I had mothered a son. Rain had poured to bless the union, rain now poured to mock it. Was this torrential storm ever going to have a rainbow at the end? We needed to be saved from the flood.
Bio: Wada Goitsemang is a 24 year female currently pursuing a science based medical course but whose first love is the arts. She writes poetry and short stories in her spare time. Her work has a tinge of rural Botswana since she was raised in a rural place and later moved to the city in pursuit of her degree. Her background enables her to bring a rich cultural background to her work which allows her to relate to Batswana in both rural and urban places. Her work also reflects the religious influences that have impacted on her. She was originally raised in an African traditional religious family, to seeing her family embrace Christianity and having schooled in a Catholic school at the prime of her youth led to the consolidation of her moral and religious values.
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