Margaret Mumbi is the name of the strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. On my grave I’ve always dreamed my tomb would read, “Here lies Margaret Mumbi’s daughter.”
She is strong because at 5 my teacher had me deliver a note to my mother that said I had problems learning and he advised that I needed to change schools to one more suitable to my learning “disabilities”.
That was the day the dinning room turned into my fortified manor of learning with my mother as the headmistress and a tutor my mother trusted to give me the best in education.
At 5 I learned how the world works, when my mother looked at me intently, opened her massive hands and gave me a bear hug, while holding me she said, “The world is filled with ignorant, scared and small minded people.”
I tried to release from the hug so I could look at my mum and ask what she meant but she just held me ever so tightly. “I know you don’t understand, but you will understand fully one day so until then just remember you are a Queen and nothing anyone says can ever change that. They don’t have to understand you, neither should you care to be understood, you must be more concerned with being treated right for this world will try to tame you.”
From that day onwards my mother reminded me every opportunity she got, that I was a Queen. If I messed up, I had the responsibility to fix and own up to my problems. The whole first year of my new transition brought about plenty of change but the one thing I never really could believe was that I was a Queen and with no other kids my age to compare to I was left in a rather unfortunate dilemma of disbelief mixed with uncertainty of my mother’s choice.
I was on the cusp of womanhood and grew impatient of interacting with a computer all day long. I started sneaking out when I knew no one was watching me. I’d go to the parks just to watch how people interact with each other. Even standing from afar and just watching what other little kids like myself were doing was transcendental for my soul.
I’d find myself sneaking out whole afternoons at a time just to sit and watch other people live life, as friends, as lovers, as theives, as dreamers. I always loved the dreamers, they gave life meaning and hope.
I would listen to what they listened to and even better watch them as social experiments. The things people do when no one is watching. The lives that easily pass by. It was magic! My mind was switched on to a magic that no one else’s seemed to see. One day i returned a little later than is safe. So by the time I got back home, I knew I was found out as soon as I stepped in that door. In life I had learned to live life trying to avoid getting Margaret displeased. This once it would work as a tramp card and it gave me the opportunity to demand freedom.
I wanted to compete with the world as a “Queen” should. If I must live in the same world as them then I must know the world I am to live in.
That speech usually would have sent shivers down my spine, but for once I wasn’t afraid of a retort i could not counter from her. For once, I knew there was no way Margaret would win. This once, the student had bested the teacher.
My mother’s greatest fears were realised, I thrived in a world full of people half assing life. Doing the ordinary, and mandane every day of their life and not even doing it well. How could a simple math or finance best a person. How could you allow yourself to live anything but your best life?
So I took up dancing, the only skill my delightful tutor thought was not necessary. You can’t have a party without trying to tap and shake something. But people have problems right? The world just wont allow me the dance I seek to have. Never a carefree tune being played, always a battle.
Four years later, on my 16th birthday my mum had a heart attack and died. I’m almost certain she expected it and just didn’t tell me. There is no way a woman that prepared for life would have failed to see something as simple as a heart attack. But then again, she left me money, a tutor I could call family and a resolve that could not be broken.
Margaret I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I think the resolve is broken.
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