You still think of the house in the village as a haven in vibrant pink color.
You were too young then, but understand this now, 1996 was a dream that you cannot relive.
Forget the orange trees where you sat under and sneezed, peeling green, but ripe oranges.
The bicycle you rode up and down red dusted roads is now rusted.
Your father’s relatives are still dangerous and the food they serve poisonous.
2016 is reality and you will not go to that village as long as I live.
When my brother brought a woman from that village, we sighed.
You see, we had heard stories.
Stories about how people are eaten in the village. Strangers especially.
One of a woman who brought her husband-to-be into her family home.
The woman’s father and some other men lured the young man into a deep hole, camouflaged with banana leaves.
Once trapped in the hole, the man was killed, cooked, and eaten.
Yes, you fantasize about returning to the pink house in the village.
You anticipate the moment when home, language, and family will become whole again.
You will be eaten alive and I, your aunt will not cry.
Your father, my brother said “Ask the woman selling drinks at the Junction to call a motorcyclist to bring you to my home.”
As the bus neared the Junction, anxiety and fear jostled at the thought of confronting her.
Your mother dug her nails into my skin when I spoke about my suspicions.
Swollen tears and dripping blood mixed with the rain that misted my face as Okwy, the trusted driver maneuvered his motorcycle at my instructions to take me far away from the crazy pink house and its occupants.
The gathered wind and red dust pleaded with me not to go back.
Now, you sit on my kitchen stool and watch me slice these okra by myself.
And all you can say is, “Aunt, will you accompany me to the pink house in the village?”
Go there alone and see for yourself the peeling pink paint and molded spots, which remain from your parents’ marriage.
Pass me the pumpkin leaves, so we can eat some food this night.