After scouring our lanky legs in the dirt-filled pot holes of our stadium-street, we find a topic to debate, not because we are tired, but because Mai-Kosai has seized the ball after it strayed to her backyard, jumped into her bean-cake firewood pot and splashed hot oil which avoided burning her saggy skin. The usual rant was pouring today, but there was no threat of cutting our ball which spared me those ‘you-must-pay-back-our-ball’ looks. I swerved the ball over the goal-post: the wall of her house. During such half-time periods we let the rising dust rest, and the street free of car-honking and curses of motorcyclists avoiding our errant dribbles while we settle by the gutter behind the mosque.
Tsoho always fetches the topic for discussion. They have a satellite dish in their house. I usually follow him to have a snoop into their TV. It has been days since he killed America, but Osama’s face is still on the TV, I wonder if they will ever catch him. Dikko that smokes wiwi says they won’t catch him because jihad is good. He writes OSAMA on every wall.
We argued on who had the best clothes last Sallah, and now who had the best father; I don’t like talking about fathers, memories of the midnight fire will re-surface. Ladan was opening the mosque, so I left the gutter to help fill kettles before Maghrib.
“Why did they burn father and mother in our house?” I asked brusquely.
“Did they refuse to work for Osama?”
He didn’t answer. He looked at me deeply, shook his head and walked away. I wonder why he looked sad; maybe he wasn’t happy the ‘American Osama’ always took the glory.