The day started with so much promise. My niece who had been staying with us for the holiday had for the first time woken up early and even managed to eat the veggies in her breakfast sandwich. Maybe she was trying to be in her best behaviour seeing that I had promised to take her along with me to town.
I was running a few errands in town, among them picking up a delivery. When we got to the lift, we stepped in and squeezed ourselves into position as the lift in that building is tiny, not to mention sluggish.
Once we were packed, which happened very fast, we were well on our way up. Just as the doors were shutting, I heard the ding sound which indicated that someone didn’t want to wait for the lift to take another 10 years coming down.
When the doors opened, we squeezed to accommodate the lady who stepped in, chewing on the last bits of what was her sausage. Then the door refused to shut and started making a disgruntled noise. We all stared at her, wondering who’d be first to tell her.
Then my niece asked, “Auntie, si the fat girl is making the lift not go?” Blood rushed to my face, and I could feel the other people feel sorry for me.
I tried laughing it off, which I would have succeeded at had she not added, “anakula sana. Si tell her to takes the stairs, afanye exercise?”
At that point, the lady stepped off the lift. As it closed she said to no one in particular, “Ata sijanona hivyo,” failing miserably to choke down tears.
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Now I had to deal with my niece’s lack of empathy. And what's with her using ‘si’ that sounds so disrespectful?