“He’s doing it again”
“I will wake him up”
I felt someone touch my shoulders.
“You were doing that thing again when you close your eyes and start humming” says Baraka
“Are you sure you are not a witch?” asked Rafiki
I glared at him.
“If I was, let’s say that you will be the first one to know”
“Well Rafiki here has been itching to pull one of his pranks on you and you have to thank for being still in one piece” says Baraka.
Rafiki smiled mischievously. Ah my brother.
During our whole conversation Ngalula kept drumming oblivious to his surroundings, the soft heartbeat echoing throughout the neighborhood, holding the attention of dogs, cats and other nocturnal beings while his eyes remained closed. There was tenderness in the way he held the drum between his legs. I’m sure he was escaping too just like the rest of us. We came to this hut to still the outside and regain some ground.
We knew the odd corners of each others’ lives and all the kinked up threads that have been garnering over the years.
Despite the fact we called Baraka Little Mouse, he was the most ferocious, daredevil, defender of the weak, little mouse we have ever seen. Maybe his father turning into the devil whenever he got drunk had something to do with that. Maybe being bullied at school and at home turned the hum of his heart into a roar.
All I know is that you were not careful, you would see Little Mouse’s shadow turn into a dragon dancing on the walls of the hut during these cold nights we sat around the fire. It was a beautiful and terrifying sight even more so because he never noticed it.
We also knew that he would laugh at us if we told him what we saw by telling us to stop watching so much Disney movies, but come to think of it that sounds like what my father would say. Baraka is the type to shrug his shoulders with indifference. So we sat silently watching the dragon appear and disappear, dance and pose while the blue light of the fire revealed glimpses of our souls.