I could not look. I was walking back, when those boys started to call at me, shouting, ‘Reveren sistaa, Reveren sistaa’. I recognized one of the voices; I turned to look at him. He used to come to my house at night sometimes, but his thing never stands!
I looked at the woman again, now sitting and singing a song.
I continued to walk back to where I sit every morning to watch what happens on the road. I was still in shock.
Some called me, I refused to look back or answer. The person was now shouting ‘Aunty Bose, Aunty Bose! ’… it knew who it was. He used to live with us until uncle died. He was now walking towards me, where I was sitting. He was saying something and pointing to the already turning mad woman who had taken everything off except the black tights she was wearing under her inner skirt.
I looked at where the woman was. Her goods stood there by the side of the road covered with her wrapper.
I got up. Somehow Rashid had not stopped calling me Aunty Bose, considering that everybody now called me mad woman and the only link between us had left long time ago.
He crossed over to my side, staring at me as he said ‘e karo’. We walked towards the road, he looked at me, seeing as I was staring at the food someone was eating, he put his hand in his pocket, brought out some rumpled notes, and squeezed the already squeezed N500 note in my hand.
We stood. Now closer to the woman, I avoided to look at her. I could not bear to watch another woman without cloths. He dragged my hand, so I turned, and looked at her. This woman, black and shine, with tribal marks; three short ones on each side of the face was uncle’s long gone wife.
And her madness was a normal thing. While some people fell down, and they would be shaking, like a chicken hit by a vehicle, she just went mad for a few hours and went back again. She had been like that since.
I looked at him, understanding what was running through his mind, I turned back walked away.