Archive for the ‘Short stories’ Category

Traffic lights

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Short stories

“Will someone please just buy all these oranges so I can go home?”, She thought to herself for the umpteenth time. Sun shining, cars glistening, while the hot tar scorched the soles of her feet through the holes in her slippers, big enough to actually stick her fist through.
The light had just turned red and she knew she had time, and as she walked down the aisle of both sleek and battered cars, she clenched her teeth, straightened her shoulders, and tightened her grip on the tray of ripe, peeled oranges.
The shiny cars caught her fancy, but she knew better than to touch the gleaming beasts, but most times, she succumbed to her lust, and touched their rear when she thought it would go unnoticed.
“See these fine, fine children”, she thought to herself, as her heart skipped a bit, and she averted her eyes, but she had a good memory of the beautiful clothes, and the pretty hair baubles that she saw through the window, and without thinking, her skinny, dirty fingers reached underneath the rag that balanced the tray on her head, and as she rubbed her brown, uneven locks of hair, she wished they were long, soft and black.
“How much are your oranges?”, and quickly she awoke from her trance like state and headed in direction of the gruff voice.
“Its fifty Naira sir”, she replied, and as she walked away, money in hand, and peace at heart, she swore she would never marry a man like that, for his eyes were red, and his teeth tobacco stained and she hated the smell from his banged up taxi.
“See this beautiful woman”, She thought and she stared, as she willed the lady to look at her back, and whisk her away in her shiny black car, to a world of laughter and pretty clothes, of food and toys, and shiny shoes too.
“Get off the road you silly child!!!”, as the shrill voice startles her back to earth, she sees the lights have turned to yellow. And as she makes her way out of the maze of cars and the blaring of horns, her heart beats faster and her breath, shallow.
As she sits on the curb, tray of oranges on her skinny laps, the frenzy of the traffic amazes her, but deep down she knows how poor she is, and as her ten year old mind thinks of all the good she would do if she had all the money in the world, she shuts her eyes and falls asleep