Please don’t tell my immediate older brother that I wrote about him.☺
My family moved to a small farm when I was 13 after our house had fallen. The bricks melted in the rain and physics (I believe it was, or was it chemistry?) took over and toppled the house. My mother’s employer then loaned us his empty farm house.
We loved that house and had a great time there. There were two rooms on each side of the house connected by a veranda.
Sleeping arrangements were such that my parents and I slept in one wing while my brother and grandfather slept on the other side. Did I mention that there was no electricity at the house? Elder Bro always came to chat in our wing every evening until late at night. I enjoyed our chats until it was time for Elder Bro to go to bed.
Elder Bro (EB): Zambian Lady! It’s time for me to go to bed.
Me: OK, I have the lit candle. Let’s go.
EB (walking behind me and holding tightly to my dress): Hurry up. It’s dark out here.
As we approached his room, EB would let go of my dress and rush inside.
Me (as I started walking back to my wing): Good night, EB. See ….
EB: Where are you going? Wait until I lock my door!
EB would only allow me to go after his door was locked and he was safe. This scenario seemed normal to me at the time. I realize now that it was not right because I was a skinny tiny girl and young while my brother was two years older, stronger and certainly in a better position to protect himself. But no! I had to be his bodyguard and ease his fear of whatever went “boom” at night between his wing and ours. The bats that flew around us did not help, either. Ah, the good old days!