Saving Mr. Ugwu

In: English and Literature

Submitted By superkodk
Words 2145
Pages 9
Lin Anderson

Saving Mr Ugwu

Mr Ugwu crosses to the window, thinking he hears a drop of rain against the louvred glass[1]. For the past three weeks Mr Ugwu has been waiting for rain. He waits for rain as you or I wait for a knock at the door; for the telephone to ring; listening. But unlike these things, the rain is definitely coming. Mr Ugwu knows it is merely a question of time. But this morning, when he scans the horizon, the blue sky looks emptily back at him, although, he thinks, sniffing the air, surely there is a smell of moisture? Round the single-storey mud bungalow, his wife’s garden has been plucked, fighting and kicking, from the African bush. Plants and shrubs, forced into blood-red soil and given their twice-daily watering, have responded in a riot of colour against the thorny grey backdrop ... a veritable oasis in the wilderness. Through the window, Mr Ugwu sees Isa their gardener has arrived and is already padding barefoot round each scored-out waterhole that circles his wife’s plants, dragging the hose behind him. It is this, he realises with disappointment, that has brought the longed-for scent of moisture to his nostrils. Mr Ugwu sighs a little as he leaves the window and crosses to the wardrobe, the garden having reminded him again of what he has done to his wife. Mrs Ugwu did not want her husband to take this job. It was in the middle of nowhere, she said. You are not a bushman, she said. Mrs Ugwu had wielded that particular word like a machete so that her husband had momentarily imagined that it had pierced his chest, slicing through the crisp white European cotton shirt, spouting blood. He had even stepped back a little and examined himself. “Tch!” his wife had said and rolled her eyes. Then there was the matter of his standing in the community. You are a well-qualified accountant, she reminded him. Our home is in Lagos.…...

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