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Short Fiction: Are You Not a Girl?

Photo Credit: Victoria Rogotneva



Saturday mornings are for cleaning the house-everyone knows. But I found my sister Yemi at the backyard, reclining on Dad's old chair and reading a small book. The cover read, "We should All be Feminists".
"Whats your business? I'll clean later", she said. I shrugged and continued my homework- I came out  because of the cool morning breeze. It wasn't even 10 am yet, but the sun was already showing enough potential to be scorching later in the day. I sat in the shade of the big almond tree, solving mathematical problems. In little time, I was done. I looked up to find my sister still reading, her face scrunched up in concentration, her back turned to the house. I picked up my books.
"What are you reading about?"
"Feminism"
"Whats that?"
"Google", she curtly replied.
Puzzled, I went inside to drop my books. Then I went to Dad in the sitting room.
"Dad, can I borrow your phone?"
"What in the world for?"
"I want to check something online"
"Is there no computer in your room?"
"Er...." Last week I'd spilled coke on the CPU, and the computer had stopped booting. My siblings knew but none of us were willing to tell Dad, because we knew what that spelled for us. ".....okay sir", I completed.
I went back to my room, wondering where the big Dictionary was. Suddenly, there was a loud crash from the backyard. I rushed towards the sound, almost colliding with Dad in the passage. I stumbled after him into the sun and onto the concrete, to find Mum and Yemi tugging a stick between them. The big flowerpot containing only sand had toppled over and broken into pieces.
"I wil show you today that I am your mother", Mum kept saying,bending the stick this way and that, trying to pry it from Yemi's tight grasp.
"Yemi! will you stop that right now", Dad shouted, as he went to grab the stick from both parties. Bruno dashed into the yard, barking incessantly, our elder brother, Yinka holding on to his leash.
"Yomi, kilosele?", he asked
"Your sister did not want to clean the kitchen!" Mum quipped. "Imagine! Is this how she will be behaving in her husbands house? No matter how much book a woman knows, she will always be a woman and must learn how to work in the kitchen". By now, the neighbours were already peeping, curious.
"Yemi, is that true?", Yinka asked
"Why do I always have to be the one to clean the kitchen? Me, me all the time!" Yemi's eyes glittered with tears of frustration. "Why cant Yomi clean it?"
"Me?!", I was taken aback.
"Are you not a girl?", said Mum and Dad, simultaenously. Yemi looked at them with incredulity
"So?"
"I'm closing my eyes now", Dad said. "Before I open it, I don't want to see you still standing there o!".
Yemi, shoulders slumped, picked up her book and went into the kitchen. Mum dropped her stick.







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Seun Ajijala

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