Remenising Another Mans land.

ifechukwu Anunobi Written by Anunobi ifechukwu · 2 min read >

The morning dew of February hung thick in the air.
The regimented tramp of a platoon of British Lancers could be heard through the single-pane window, moist though it was. The sound of their heavy boots on the ground complemented the melodious jingle they made. They went by unnoticed in the haze.
Both of us paid little attention as the familiar sound of sirens boomed down the street as they had done since early in the morning. Nothing special for a morning in Belfast.
Ma placed the cornflakes into the bowl in front of me as I sat rigidly at the table, uncomfortably wearing the starched school shirt that was too small but “would take me through to the end of the year.” They tinkled cheerfully against each other ominous outer chorus.
As she filled the bowl, some milk leaked out and began to trickle down the table’s grains before a cloth could be used to wipe it up.
Ma told me to get ready quickly because I would be late before pulling the hairbrush through my unkempt mane. She didn’t seem to mind that it was pointless, but she was clearly annoyed when I undid all of her hard work by running my fingers through it.
My mother hummed to herself as she flitted from mother-job to mother-job washing and wiping, hanging the damp clothes, and folding the dry while the small radio spat and crackled forth a song she liked from the counter.
I forced a mouthful in. The crunch makes everything around me disappear.
I asked, “Ma, sugar please.”

While my mouth was still full, I spoke, bursting a cornflake into the air.
She handed me the sugar while humming the song’s final chords. She then cleaned the table once again.
Ma and I didn’t even notice Da’s absence. Mornings were the only times he was absent.
He was the milkman, driving through the neighborhood in his van before the cocks could clear their throats and exchanging empty bottles for full ones, frequently with nothing but the rising sun to company him.
As he trudged by Belfast’s bombed-out clubs and burning automobiles, he would tut and moan. Few others were out on the streets that early, so he would nod to both soldiers and gunmen as he went about his rounds.
He was like that—friendly, approachable, and calm.
“Everyone is born” “We all live the same, we all die the same, and we’re all the same in between,” he would add.
He brought me up without prejudice or division.
I took another bite, finding it much more enjoyable this time and the flakes not being as resistant.

Will you fix your tie? It’s inappropriate for you to be leaving for school when you appear to have grown up in a field.
the customary reprimand from Mom before class.
Eight bells were rung by the radio as the song came to a finish. A recognizable voice welcomed us.
“Hello, headlines. Good morning.”
Me munching and Ma cleaning, we carried on as usual.
Fold, crunch, and wipe.
There has been another shooting death in Belfast, according to the radio. According to early reports, he passed away holding a gun.
Fold, crunch, and wipe.
The reporter babbled on about various disturbances, the mundane behavior of politicians, and the increase in fuel prices. The identical routine may be found in Belfast every morning.
Fold, crunch, and wipe.
The three strong knocks on the door.

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