Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ntemba looked down at his bare feet, not knowing how to answer the question just posed to him: “Where did you get those sunglasses?”  It was one of the those questions the mine owner liked to ask not because he wanted to know the answer, but because he already knew the answer.  Ntemba had found them on the ground two days ago, and decided to try them on.  The feel of the glasses, and the look of himself in the window glass made him feel amazing.  So amazing he couldn’t give them up.  He knew he should have, but he couldn’t give away that feeling of well-being, confidence, and yes, even style.  They were sleek and curvy black Oakleys with polarized lenses, and the white oblong “O” on the temples.  “I found them in the dirt outside the mine,” Ntemba finally managed to mutter.  “I meant to give them back but...but...I liked them so I tried them on.”  The shouting that followed from the pale-skinned man in the pinstriped suit stuck with Ntemba for many years afterward.  All his inspiration and high hopes of ever seeing a different life drained away as the verbal berating washed over him, in awful, dreadful waves.

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