Fiction: A Girl in Black Hijab

January 4, 2018 Fiction , Literature , POETRY / FICTION

Hani Amir photo

 

By

Nixon Mateulah

 

 

 

Uncle Dee Traditional Bar & Rooms was just a mere drab square structure building, painted black and carried a sign of a man drinking from a gourd. It was situated at the foot of Zoba Hills about 25 km away from the Boma – a business hub of Sukusa town. Many people failed to understand what made people leave famous bars in town with pools, big plasma TVs and music, and flock to a dowdy Uncle Dee Bar which had no pool, TV and music system. Revellers had to bring their own sound systems or else drink beer in silence or listen to their own voices. The bar girls were not allowed in the bar but stayed in their rooms and received clients when they had produced their pay slips in which it stated whether they were in for a short time or full house treat. They were just mere ordinary village girls from the age of 15 to 25 – no excessive makeup and were dressed in traditional attire of a dress and a wrapper over it.

No patron could claim that he knew Uncle Dee by face; even people around did not know Uncle Dee. The bar was run by a querulous, buxom woman who claimed to be Mrs. Uncle Dee. Stories made the rounds that the actual Uncle Dee died ten years back and later turned into a zombie and was the barman who served the revellers at night.

 

 

Uncle Dee Bar was fully packed with patrons. Revellers flowed from inside and spilled outside in clustered summer huts around it. Its parking lot was full of an array of modern Japanese and Germany cars. Festive season was at its highest, the price of local beer doubled and none seemed to complain, as each and every table graced gourds of beer.

Eddie and James had just entered into the bar when their eyes were arrested by beautiful full length pictures of the prostitutes pasted on the walls.

 

‘This is ridiculous!’ cried Eddie.

‘What?’

‘Have you ever seen a prostitute dressed in hijab or chitenje in a bar?’

James shook his head.

‘Anything is possible these days and this is a traditional bar.’

‘How could one get turned on with a fully covered body of a prostitute, huh?’

‘And all other girls are dressed in local dresses.’

‘I must taste this girl in hijab,’ said Eddie walking over to the barman at the counter.

‘Wait Eddie, we did not come here to sleep with girls but to drink beer. Beer first then you can do whatever you want,’ said James.

‘Barman I would like that girl in black hijab, is she available?’ asked Eddie, fumbling in his jacket for his wallet.

The barman picked up his phone and dialled the number.

‘Is Malika busy with a client or not?’ said the barman into the phone.

After a while the barman put down the phone and informed Eddie that Malika was available in her room number 13.

‘You go and pay in room number 1,’ said the barman.

As if he had not slept with a woman for a long time, he raced down the corridor and knocked three thunderous knocks on room number 1 door.

‘Come in!’ boomed a voice of a woman from within.

 

Eddie pushed the door slowly, and his eyes met a buxom woman, her lips painted blood red and was sitting at a huge glass table busy on her cell phone.

 

‘Can I help you?’ boomed the woman, looking amorously at Eddie.

‘I would like to sleep with a lady in black hijab,’ fired Eddie without wasting time.

‘Ha ha ha!’ laughed the woman ogling at Eddie. She got up and walked out from her table. She started to touch him.

‘Welcome Baba.’

Eddied moved an inch away.

‘Ok you want that girl!

‘Yeah!’

 

The woman walked back to her swivel chair and dropped down on it with a weight of her buxom body, the chair groaned in protest.

 

‘Ten thousand Kwacha!’ said the woman.

‘Why so expensive?’

‘She is an expensive woman.’

‘Why?’

‘Have you ever slept with a woman in a hijab? You know what I mean,’ said the woman.

‘Ok,’ said Eddie fumbling in his pocket.

‘A full house treatment, isn’t?’ said the woman counting the crisp bank notes.

‘Yeah.’

‘It is ten thousand,’ said the woman writing out the slip.

‘Enjoy yourself,’ said the woman handing him the slip.

‘Remember, room 13!’

 

Eddie zoomed out of the room and met a queue of men waiting to go in and pay for their desired bar girls. He scowled at them, his heart dancing in his ribcage fully aware that none of the men queuing outside the office would have his girl in black hijab.

 

‘She is mine,’ he said to himself.

 

Eddie quickly spotted the room 13 which was alphabetically in line in order of the numbers. He tapped lightly on the door with his right clenched fist and waited a bit, his heart racing as his mind tried to conjure up the image he had seen in the picture in contrast with the real person about to emerge from the room. He knocked again. A minute later, the door swung open. The head of a girl in black scarf pushed a little over her forehead appeared. Eddie quickly produced the slip. The girl picked up the slip and cursorily looked at it and flung the door slowly wide.

 

‘Come in,’ said the girl softly, almost like a whisper. Eddie could not help savour the dulcet voice of the girl. Questions immediately started to flood through his mind. Eddie walked slowly in and stood mute as he surveyed the room. It was small square room enough for a double bed and a small dressing table. The room was painted red and the beddings were red.

 

‘Sit down,’ said the girl.

 

Eddie sat down and looked at the smiling face of the girl. She looked younger and more innocent than she had appeared on the photo. She was probably 20 or 22 years of age. Eddie could not make out why such an innocent, beautiful girl depraved her life so low.

 

‘What is your name?’ asked Eddie.

‘I am Malika Bin Uthuman.’

‘Why are you doing this?’

‘What?’

‘Why are you here?’

She shook her head.

‘I am a student at St. Mother Teresa Nursing School,’ said the girl.

‘You are not.’

‘I am and am the first girl in our village to go to college, whilst many of my friends are languishing in arranged abusive marriages.’

‘Who are you parents?’

‘Bibi Bin Uthuman, my mother and Abdul Bin Uthuman.’

‘From which village?’

‘Dzana village.’

‘Where is Dzana village?’

‘If you go to the Boma, the village is just 10 km to the east.’

‘Do your parents know that you are here?’

‘Yes.’

 

Then there was a knock on the door. It was around 7pm, time for supper. A maid had brought food for Malika. She flung the door open and received the food which was in food flask containers. She put the two containers down on the pedestal.

 

‘Time to eat,’ said the girl.

‘I did not come here to eat,’ said Eddie.

‘You must eat, you won’t enjoy it on empty stomach,’ said the girl as she opened the food containers. The smell of meat balls in a gravy attacked Eddie’s nostrils. He savoured the smell but his mind now was elsewhere. He was very upset with the girl’s story so much so that he wanted to sneak out with the girl and take her home.

‘Come and eat,’ said the girl.

‘I will eat on one condition.’

‘On what condition?’

‘If you promise to go with me and see your parents.’

‘Are you mad? Madam won’t allow that. We don’t leave this place; no bar girl can leave this place.’

‘I will help you escape, my car is outside and we can leave in the dead of the night.’

‘Forget it!’ This is my home!’

‘But you say, you are a student.’

‘Yes, of course and many people in our village fondly call me Nurse.’

‘How did you come here?

‘I don’t know.’

 

The girl started eating and Eddie had no appetite for the food. He just threw himself on the bed lying on his back whilst tapping the floor with his shoes as he figured out what he would do with the girl. He loved the girl so much so that wanted her to leave the filthy place and marry her.

Immediately, after eating the food, the girl did not waste much time. She started to undress. Eddie looked away.

 

‘Why are you looking away?’

‘Don’t you like what you are about to have?’

‘I love you so much.’

‘You cannot love a prostitute.’

‘You are not a prostitute.’

‘Why you say so?’

‘Something is wrong somewhere, you are not supposed to be at this filthy place.’

‘Are we having it or not?’ said the girl as she pulled her hijab over her head. Eddie could not help himself, was tempted to look when he saw the hijab landing on the bed. He looked at the girl, her small rounded breasts stood temptingly on her young bosom. Her curvaceous hips and well chiselled legs were working magic in Eddie’s groin. He got up abruptly, he took out his jacket and placed it on the pedestal and in a fraction of a second his clothes were taken off. The girl sat down and told Eddie to help take off her red panties. Eddie writhing with unbridled lust quickly pulled down the girl’s panties.

‘I like to sit on a man.’

She got up and Eddie sat against the head board and the girl came to sit on him. Eddie bonked her with the hunger of a man who had not been with a woman for a long time.

 

 

Next morning, Eddie discovered that Malika was not on the bed. He looked around the room and discovered that his jacket was missing. He quickly got up and pushed the curtain and peeked outside, he saw a maid sweeping the yard.

 

‘Maybe she has gone to the toilet,’ mumbled Eddie to himself.

 

He sat down on the bed waiting for Malika to come in from the toilet. A few minutes passed, Malika made no appearance. Time for him to leave the place was ticking away. He looked at the wall clock, he had five minutes before the cleaner came to clean the room. Someone knocked on the door. Eddie quickly put on his clothes and opened the door.

 

‘Good morning, Sir,’ said the cleaner.

‘Good morning.’

‘Your time is up, Sir,’ said cleaner.

‘Do you know Malika?’

The girl shook her head.

‘You mean you don’t know Malika, the room 13 girl, huh?’

‘I just clean the rooms, I don’t know the girls’ names,’ said the cleaner as she walked in with a pail of water and a mop.

 

Eddie quickly raced to the office to inform the woman about the missing girl.

 

‘This girl has taken my jacket and my car keys are in that jacket!’

‘The girl is not missing,’ said the woman laughing.

‘Where is she then?’

‘She has gone to rest.’

‘With my jacket?’

The woman was just laughing.

‘I will get her!’ cried Eddie as he stormed out of the office.

 

 

Outside, Eddie saw his car still parked in the parking lot. He wondered how his friend, James had travelled home. He felt the doors of his car, they were locked. He kicked the left rear tyre in agitation, and started walking towards Sukusa town. In Sukusa he took a taxi and ordered the driver to take him to Dzana village. Luckily, the girl did not take his wallet from his pair of trousers.

 

‘You seem to be a stranger,’ said the driver.

‘Why you say so?’

‘You don’t look like the locals around here.’

‘You are right.’

‘Do you live at Dzana village?’

‘No, am looking for girl.’

‘A girl?’

‘Did she run away from you?’

‘It’s a long story my friend.’

 

 

After a long while, they entered Dzana village. It was around noon, the sun was high and many people were sitting under the shade of trees. They stopped at a canteen; Eddie got out and asked two men who were playing a game of bawo at the veranda of the canteen.  He took one man with him who knew the house of Malika Bin Uthuman.

 

Eddie found Malika’s parents sitting on the veranda helping themselves to a steaming hot pumpkin.

 

‘You are welcome,’ said Malika’s father.

 

Eddie walked quietly and sat on a low stool that Malika’s father had motioned him to sit.

 

‘How can we help you?’ asked Bin Uthuman.

‘Is this the house of Malika Bin Uthuman?’

 

Malika’s mother burst into deep sobs when she had heard her daughter’s name.

 

‘Is there a problem?’

‘My daughter died mysterious last month,’ said the father.

‘No!’ cried Eddie.

‘Hey, young man, my daughter passed on.’

‘Malika is not dead, she is at Uncle Dee Traditional Bar in Sukusa,’ said Eddie. Abruptly Bin Uthuman got up and hurried inside the house. His wife was still weeping. He came out blandishing a panga knife and threatened to stab Eddie.

 

‘Young man leave!’

‘She has taken my jacket,’ said Eddie as he got up.

‘Are you mad?’

 

Suddenly, Mama Bibi stopped sobbing, her husband turned to her whilst Eddie had retreated at a safe distance.

 

‘My husband, just take him to the graveyard. Show him her grave,’ said grieve-stricken Mama Bibi.

‘Follow me! We must end your madness!’

‘I am not crazy,’ mumbled Eddie as he followed Malika’s father.

 

The graveyard was not very far from Uthuman’s house. They walked in silence as Uthuman led the way cutting through the bush and stopped at the chief’s house to ask for permission to visit the graveyard. The chief ordered one of his indunas to open the gate of the graveyard for them.

 

A few minutes later they entered the graveyard. Uthuman ran to his daughter’s grave and abruptly stopped shot, something caught his attention. Eddie walked slowly to Bin Uthuman who stood by the grave which was fleshly mounded, and indeed it carried the name Malika Bin Uthuman, born on 13 February 1997, died on 13 February 2017.

 

‘That is my jacket!’ exclaimed Eddie in awe.

 

Bin Uthuman picked up the jacket and handed it to Eddie, who was trembling and shaking as though he had seen a lion and a lion had not seen him.

 

‘Is this your jacket?’

 

Eddie took the jacket and fumbled into the pockets. He found his car keys and licence. He turned around and in a swiftness of an arrow he found himself on a solitary footpath in a dense forest.

 

 

 

 

 

Nixon Mateulah

Nixon Mateulah was born in Lilongwe, Malawi. He moved to South Africa in 1996. His short stories have appeared in Storymoja, Jungle Jim Magazine and many of his poems have appeared in Munyori, Aerodrome, Kalahari Review, Stanzas Magazine under the pen name, Chichichapatile Mangochi. His debut novel, A Test of Time will be out sometime this year. His play, The Beggars Forum was longlisted for 2013 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition and is currently working on his second novel, The Death of the Sun, hopefully to be completed by end of this year.

Editor review

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply