Black Sad

In her kitchenette, Jane Doe reached for the smallest pitcher of the three placed on the middle row of the 4-rows open shelving. Her face was wet with tears, her gullible-ness had taken a toll on her. Never had she envisioned herself as a victim. On opening the faucet, all she got was the sound it makes when water is lacking- good thing she stores water. Below the stainless-steel sink, she pulled up a 2-litre plastic bottle of coca cola reused to hold water. After draining it into the pitcher, she poured (into the sufuria) water just enough to fit her thermos flask.

With a single force of friction, the match head was lighted, and then one of the dyad burners. She quickly placed the sufuria on the stove and reduced the heat to medium. Opening the closed shelving serving as her pantry, next to the open ones, she was almost blinded by its emptiness: a sachet of grinded tea leaves, orange flavored, and some sugar in a receptacle was all there was. But was it really her fault? And if it was, why was it?


It is my fault! I shouldn’t have given it a second thought… I thought it was easy and brainless, till it wasn’t.


Doe picked what was left and dumped the contents into the sufuria (containing water).

I recently visited my parents who live a good five hours from where I stay. Leaving away from home is not because of any income generating activity, rather because of school; university. Plus, I enjoy the freedom of my opinions and actions not being under PG (parental guidance). I visit them often, especially during the weekends, but this last visit was more of an ordeal that cannot be let to slip. The visit itself was okay; the journey back though…

After I bade them goodbye, I headed to the bus stage in the company of my younger sister. We chatted about school, hers and mine, and why we had to go to school. We thought of dropping out to focus on other things that were less stressful, but quickly found reasons that made this a not so good idea. We recited jokes we had once heard and laughed exactly as we had when the joke was first cracked. All that had been happening at home: the secrets, stresses, struggles, and success, were told to me by her.

Though we had shortened our strides, the destination had to be reached sooner or later. At the stage, I embraced her tightly, and she to, and I boarded the highly pimped thirty-three-seater booming with secular music.

The concoction in the sufuria was now becoming tea, the colorless color was being replaced with a brownish, maybe pale goldish color. The sickly sweet-smelling aroma from her sufuria made her brain repress the details of that Day for some time, and she started dancing— “one two three, one two three, one two, one two, one two three…” She then reduced it further to low heat as the convectional currents began their action on that orange tea, that according to her, still needed a little bit more time.

Then like a flash of lightning she remembered;

After every seat was occupied, the matatu left the stage for the CBD (central business district), where I was to take another matatu to school. Watching pedestrians through the picture frame window; the tout starts collecting the bus fare, I pay my fare; some passengers alight on the way; I manage to get some minutes of sleep (although conscious of where my phone was) while stack in the traffic jam; rudely awaken by the clumsy banging of the rusty bodyworks to signal the end of the voyage.

I disembarked from the matatu and began ambulating to the next matatu stage. A few strides later, I see a crowd, a noisy one, had gathered. I would have passed it, if She hadn’t stopped me with a deal too good to be not false.

“Would you like to play a game?”

“N-O; no; maybe next time… I was already leaving when the woman swiftly followed me as she added”,

“It’s an easy game. You just have to pick a number from this chart and if you choose one of the lucky numbers, you get to win something :)”

“The chart had a bunch of numbers and some empty spots whose numbers had been taken by other participants. Thirty-three, I said”

“Are you sure?”


“Bingo, you have won yourself a smart phone and an iPad”

“Really… Jɛs!”

“She handed me the iPad and phone, each wrapped independently, and a white T-shirt. We took the-winners-only picture, and now, goodbye. After all I still needed to get to school.”

“You know, you can sell this iPad back to the company for a higher price,”

“she said conspiratorially into my ear. Sell it, why? I blurted.” “For fifty-thousand”

:-O “This was a good deal. I thought about for some time, I needed books for school; a new closet; a new apartment closer to school; endless things to do. SOLD – I said, passing her the iPad.”

“Good choice. But now you have to pay ten-thousand for Us to put You in the system for the payout. Everyone will be paid by 2:00 pm on the dot.”

“10,000 WHAT!! My parents couldn’t possibly lend me 10k- they were struggling to pay fees and rent—Rent (💡). My parents had given me 6k for rent and 1k as pocket money.”

“How much do you have right now?”

“Seven- 7k. Maybe you can add me the t-h-r-e-e, and after I receive the 50, I will refund you…?”

With one motion, she turned off the stove. After straining that orange tea, she transferred some into a cup, and the rest into her thermos flask.

“She said yes and I gave her the seven; the rest is history... Duped I was. I don’t know how to tell it my parents; they trusted me.”

Jane Doe, dressed in the white T-shirt, sat on her bed, sipping her saccharine orange tea bitterly; contemplating on what she would do.

January 13, 2022 13:13

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.