Bowed Together

Anyone viewing Maria Sakyi from afar that day would have wondered at what she was doing. Her legs were bunched up, close to her chest and her arms were wrapped around them but her head was bowed. She was on Asabea’s bed, rocking back and forth and moaning ever so lightly. If one did not know Maria well, one could have assumed she was praying. Maria was not given to such spiritual ventures however, so it was obvious that something was terribly wrong with her.

“Are you crying?” Asabea asked her, glancing at her friend and then turning her attention back to her school work from her desk where she sat. Maria and her were home alone since they had just arrived from class and her parents had not yet returned from their work.

“No,” Maria’s answer was curt. She kept rocking back and forth for a few more minutes before she stopped and rolled over on the bed. “I hate this.”

“Hate what?” Asabea shot back, surprised that her friend was talking a bit more. Maria’s response to her initial question had made her feel as though she wanted to be left alone.

“Things I hate? Well there’s quite a number of them. My life, my appearance, my existence, my aunt, her husband. Need I go on?” Sarcasm rolled out of her lips with ease these days.

“What were you referring to right now?” Asabea sighed. Her melodramatic friend was on a roll once again.

“The pain. My cramps, they started today.” Maria sat up as she spoke. “Could I have a bottle filled with hot water please?”

Asabea stood up from her seat. There was not much space in the small room which Asabea called her own but there was a bed, a desk and a small chair. In Maria’s eyes, this was luxury. Asabea was her parents’ only child and though they were far from affluent, they did whatever they could to make their daughter feel comfortable and help her work hard at school. There was barely a foot between the desk and the bed; so Asabea was immediately facing Maria when she stood up. Looking squarely into her best friend’s eyes, she said, “I’m going to get you this bottle. And after I do, no more complaining. Is that clear? I have so much work to get done before we head out tonight.”

“Ah I don’t even wanna go out tonight Asabs. I’m tired.” Maria looked like she wanted to say more. Asabea did not give her the chance. She walked out of the room in search of something to put her friend out of the misery Mother Nature had inflicted. Maria lay back on the small bed and looked up at the white ceiling. There was so much she wanted to tell Asabea or anyone who would listen for that matter. Asabea was her closest friend by default. They were the two smartest girls in their class and had practically grown up together. They did not resemble each other in appearance but everyone told them they acted like sisters. Asabea was slightly taller than Maria and in some sense prettier. Her wide smile lit up a small face, with perfectly aligned teeth. She wore her hair in braids usually and they hung down to her waist. Long eyelashes framed big eyes and the whites contrasted beautifully with her coffee-colored skin. Maria and Asabea shared much in common- the way they laughed, the words they used and even the music they liked. But when it came down to it, Maria could be extremely introverted and was very careful about what she said. There was no doubt that she was incredibly talented but she did not throw out her pearls to swine. No one would see the best of Maria till she deemed them worthy. Today in particular, she needed to speak to Asabea about what had been raging in her mind over the past few days. Her mind had been terribly stormy but there were no safe grounds where she could pour out her rain. She looked around for a piece of paper and began to jot down a nearly poetic release.

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