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The Kitchen Didn’t Have a Wall

May 9, 2012
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Momma never knew.

She never knew that inside the pantry, next to the kitchen, Mariam pushed her against the wall and slipped her tongue — like a snake — into her lips, teasing them apart.

Momma called out for the flour and Ceydon rushed out, hands shaking and handed over the bag of Golden Temple atta. “Why are you sweating so much? Go wash your face.” She did, she ran.

Momma never knew that Mariam came to their house everyday after school a full hour before she did, and waited for Ceydon at the gate. They came in together, hands locked, and ate pakoras with tamarind or drank coconut milk with almond cookies. Momma never knew that Mariam would press her fingers inside her skirt under the dinner table when she nodded her head at Momma.

Yes, Aunty” — “No, Aunty” — “We are gonna go up and study in Ceydon’s room until dinner, Aunty.

Momma never knew.

Years later, Ceydon owned a place with one vast room and a kitchen crouched in the corner like a thief. The kitchen didn’t have a wall.

It had a curtain. Thick, blue jute that separated the hall from the gas stove. It caught on fire once and Ceydon banged it out with a dishtowel. Ever since there has been a black singe curl ugly-ing up the edges.

The curtain had to be pulled back every time Ceydon cooked in order to avoid burning down the apartment.

No one knows why she put up a wall in the first place.

More Love, Please

[Image via Push The Movement]

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