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Midday Sun (standard:mystery, 580 words)
Author: DAVID TUMUSIIMEAdded: Feb 02 2003Views/Reads: 2154/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
story is about a hungry student trying to distract himself from his physical hunger.
 



MIDDAY SUN 

The hand-held bell tolls. Thomas Maszima knows he is not to make it but
he tries. He is almost out the door when the daily dreaded question is 
flung to him. 

“Tommy, are you not coming for lunch with us?” 

Thomas Maszima turns round to face his questioner. But he is not only
facing his questioner. He is also facing his seventy-four classmates 
who wait with barely born grins and laughter. He obliges. 

“No. Not today.” 

To the joyful shouts of “Have a wonderful lunch by yourself!” and “Don't
finish the oxygen, we also need it,” he stumbles out of the classroom 
smiling. 

Thomas Maszima's classroom is near the stairs on the second floor of a
three-storey building. He can hear the scraping feet of eager students 
above his head starting to come out of their classrooms also on the 
third floor. He wants to beat the hustle on the stairs. At the other 
end of his own floor, more students are also coming out of their 
classrooms. 

He walks quickly to the stairs and bounds down them two at a time: six
bounds. On the first floor there are also still few students in the 
corridor. These few are stepping out into the searingly bright midday 
sun and going round to the back of the single school building. 

He does not have to go there to know what they are going to do. The
lingering aroma of freshly boiled yellow matooke, the curling sweet 
smell of oiled groundnut paste soup, the sharp fast disappearing 
fragrance of steamed fish, meat reaches even here. 

The rusted rickety grey iron school gate is wide open. The elderly white
haired watchman in his wooden cubicle by the gate bent over his full 
plate is absorbed in tearing with his teeth a piece of gray fat from a 
chunk of bone and meat. How much is he paid, Thomas Maszima wondered. 
Can't be much. Being a watchman is one of the most despised 
professions. His own father is in business. So is his mother. Some kind 
of business! 

Thomas Maszima's school is on Sir Apollo Kagwa road in Old Kampala.
Lunching is given a full hour. He has plenty of time. The road is a 
wonderful stretch of well-laid tarmac. The previous day he had walked 
it until almost Makerere Hill road but he had not finished it. He did 
not feel like completing it. He would do that another day. Today he 
wanted to explore it in the opposite direction. 

Most roads at midday in the city are jammed with vehicle traffic. Though
Sir Apollo Kagwa road leads to the center of the city and Old Kampala 
is part of the city, the road is not congested. Only occasionally are 
fourteen-seat taxis and private small vehicles zooming past. 

He walks by the side of this road trying to have as little dust as
possible coating his ragged four year-old black Bata shoes. He walks 
looking leisurely and carefully around him. He tries not to notice too 
much the verandas of the shops by the side of the road filled with 
munching luncheoners. He walks with his hands in his pockets and his 
shirt unbuttoned at the collar. He walks absorbing the hot flaying of 
the scorching midday sun less painful than the regular tightening and 
relaxing in his empty stomach. He walks. The lunch hour is almost over, 
he thinks. It's almost over. It's almost time. It's almost time. 

THE END 


   


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