Kelone sat on the stoop wiping her tears her stepmother came from the house angry. She grabbed her long hair and dragged Kelone to the house and started beating her…Kelone looked at her with reddish eyes and then picked the crying baby and feed her milk.
Stepmother: Don’t ever leave this baby alone when she cries you attend to her are you hearing me?
Kelone:(crying) Why do I have to take care of her while she has a mother her mother is well and alive…(tearful) I should be at school studying like other kids but you made me drop out of school so I could take care your daughter’s baby and all she does is go out and party. Am really tired of living this way.
Stepmother: Your mother is dead whom are you going to cry to? You can call the police but you have to know very well that if you call the police on me then you will be homeless and no one is going to feed you again.
Stepmother: Your Job here is to clean cook sweep the yard and look after the baby if I hear that baby crying again am going to beat you and leave you half dead.
Kelone:(looked at her) At least give me something to eat I cant keep living this way. Or release me I will find a shelter on my own…I can do that.
Stepmother: You are not going anyway Jane is looking for a job out there so look after her baby. Am done talking to you…
She then walked out of the room and slammed the door kelone wiped her tears and then removed the bottle of milk from the baby’s mouth before putting her to sleep. She then stood up and removed her small mobile phone under the bed and dialed a number on the screen. Jane picked up…
Kelone:(low voice) when are you coming home? Am tired of looking after your baby.
Jane: Am busy mma wee!
Kelone: busy with what? you left since morning your baby cant stop crying…and your mother keeps on beating me I cant take it anymore Jane. Please come back home and nurse your crying babe I should be at school now
but you and your mother made me your slave.
Jane: Ungrateful girl you wouldn’t be alive if my mother didn’t adopt you…you want to die the same way your mother died?
Kelone had enough she hung up and broke into tears…she sat on the bed and cried herself to death a couple of minutes later she heard her stepmother talking to someone in the sitting room the voice was very familiar…it was her class teacher from school.
She went to the door and listened attentively …
In the sitting room..
Teacher: But Kelone is a very brilliant student you are telling me that she refuses to come to school because other kids are bullying her.
Stepmother: that’s what she said she just told me that she doesn’t want to go to school anymore.
Teacher: Where is she? I want to talk to her.
Stepmother: She is at the cattle post with her uncle I don’t think she will ever want to go back to school. Maybe you should just leave her alone.
Teacher: I cant do that that girl has a bright future ahead. She is supposed to be at school I have my car we can go to the cattle post where she is I want to talk to her.
Stepmother: (Paused) I have lot of work now I don’t have time for Kelone…(stood up) you will come back the other time I will tell her that you were here when she comes back from the cattlepost.
Stepmother: Lets go I will walk you out.
The teacher walked out and she went to her car she opened her car and took a bag with clothes from the backseats and handed them to Kelone’s stepmother.
Teacher: This are used clothes they are still new and my daughter who is the same age as kelone asked me to give her these clothes…(opened her wallet) i know Kelone’s situation that’s why am here she will manage this 600 pula.
She handed her the money and got into the car.
Teacher: Bye please tell Kelone that I was here when she comes back from the cattle post..
Stepmother:(smiled) I will.
Kelone’s class teacher drove away her stepmother went back to the house and went to Kelone’s room.
Kelone:(worriedly) she left?
Stepmother: Of course she did.
Kelone: I saw her giving you money and clothes I once told her that I don’t have clothes…so I guess she brought them.
Stepmother: Its not for you.
She then walked out of the house and closed the door…