Boarding or Day
Excerpts from Lake Of My Heart
by Temba Magorimbo
Thomas had been debating on putting his eldest child to boarding school. He had talked about the issue with Naomi.
“What type of school?” she had asked. They sat so close he could feel the heat of her body. At times like these, they were better than kissing cousins. “There is church, government and private boarding?”
“Church or government.”
“Some government school boarding facilities need to be overhauled. They have been there since we were born.”
“Church then. Some of these churches are worse than beer gardens we drink in when it comes to maintaining their facilities and giving the children a culture.”
“Parents are supposed to be church wise taking their children to church from where they learn a lot not waiting for the children who are Roman Catholic to go to as Seventh Day Adventist Church school,” Naomi pointed out to him. “Which church do you belong to?”
“The last time I checked my church, the government was taxing it’s liquid products.”
“Let’s consult first, the elders have more experience and wisdom that us”, he had replied. Naomi had taken it to Glen Norah for consultation.
“My father said NO,” Naomi had said sheepishly. “I thought he would like the idea of the brain box being interned at boarding school. He said the child will be a polarised adult we have to wait until she is twelve and going for form 1. He suggested for the sake of our daughter, boarding should start when she enters the first form.”
“Just like that?” he asked.
“Didn’t you say I should ask for advice?” she asked. “He said what was on his mind and what is on yours?”
“I did say you should ask. Was I drunk?”
“Mother said boarding is all right provided it is weekly boarding. Out on Sunday evening and back home on Friday night”, she looked at him. “There are some surrounding schools that offer that.”
“I will check with the head of the school the children are attending to see if they offer weekly boarding facilities. I will ask my parents for their view in Bindura,” he remembered. When he had returned, he did not say anything. She broached the subject a week or two later.
“Last time we went to Bindura, you did talk about boarding didn’t you?” she asked.
“No it was your prerogative to ask your parents for their advice, I had asked mine and they gave theirs,” she folded her hands looking at him.
He had intended passing through the kitchen. He had mown the lawn for the better part of the afternoon. With less than thirty minutes worth of work, tired as he was looking for a breather too, the power utility had chosen then to load shed them. The lawnmower was a 2500-watt electric machine which seized the moment power was cut winding down it’s blade.
“Dad was drunk, he didn’t say anything,” he had replied. “He had red rimmed eyes looking at me as if he didn’t know who I was.”
“Thomas, my father in law never gets that drunk neither do you. Come”, she said.
“I want to run a shower, I am smelling of lawn and grass,” he thought by the time he had changed, she would have forgotten. She called him out the moment he had showered and changed.
“The question on boarding persists,” she replied.
“I honestly forgot to ask,” he replied. She held out a mug of steaming coffee for herself and for him, his favourite, black tea and lemon slices. He took his tea, added sugar while she watched which meant he had to put in four standard spoons before adding lemon. He stirred the tea. There were scones and ginger biscuits. He chose scones. She rose leaving her mug, he added two teaspoons and stirred. Naomi came back with their Code Division Multiple Access telephone set that could be carried anywhere with Harare. All it required was a socket for charging it’s battery and a place to put its antenna. She looked at him.
“The CDMA is working fine?” he asked taking his tea.
“I am calling grandfather in Bindura typo find out his mind,” she replied. “Intelligent as he is even if he was drunk he remembers a conversation.”
“He will think I am a liar.”
She started dialling.
“I think they communicated over that game,” he replied. “He said the same, NO except it is all right for weekly boarding.”
“Oh,” Naomi said. “I forgot to recharge the CDMA battery, it is flat and the line is not working anyway.”