I have been working as a freelance writer for the past 2 years or so
Mrs. Robinson, who had up to this point been doing the dishes, storms out of the kitchen and charges after her husband as he makes his way to the bedroom - The boy and his Grandmother remain seated; seemingly disgusted by what has become of him.
Catching up to him, Mrs. Robinson violently yanks the back of his fancy jacket - momentarily throwing him off balance. You bring this shit to my house!? Michael!? She wails – contempt and anger in her voice
Unable to endure the brewing chaos, the boy bolts to the door, past the two goons, and onto the front lawn.
Robbie!? The grandmother calls out - Trying to run after the boy, but failing in her efforts
Surrounded by nothing but the darkness of night, which instantly frightens him, the boy splints back to the house, and straight to his room past his grandmother's welcoming hands.
Wiping his brow with the back of his right hand, the boy pushes against the door with his left hand and jumps to bed; making his way to the furthest end from the door in a futile attempt to insulate his ears from the chaos emanating from his parents' bedroom
He tries to cover his ears but to no avail- He can virtually hear everything: His mother, at the top of her lungs, berating her husband, a barrage of curse words, repeated pounding, and threats of physical violence- All while the Grandmother tries her best to calm the situation.
Tears run down the boy's cheeks as the conflict escalates - venue of the quarrels switching to and from the living room
No! He howls as he stands tall on his bed - Trying to keep his balance in the process
You stop crying! He continues his soliloquy as he wipes away tears from his eyes and cheeks. You never cried, did you, Ray!?
I'm just like Ray... Just like Ray… He mumbles as he sinks back down into his bed - His eyes, red and puffy
The uproar gradually winds down as faint sounds from the television permeate the rooms once again- Sounds that not only save the house from deafening silence but, eventually, also put the boy to sleep.
Eight (8) or so hours later…
Rob wakes up to indistinct somber music playing in the living room -his mother and grandmother having their small talks in between. Promptly, he springs from bed, out of his room, and straight towards the front door
Well, finally! Grandmother declares as he enters her field of view
Morning, Grandma!? He replies but immediately runs out the front door and onto the porch hoping to catch a gentle breeze: The type typically associated with gentle rains - This has become a habit on his part
Rob! Mrs. Robinson calls the boy from the living room
He hops back into the house and, as usual, seats himself next to his grandmother - Like a chick under its mother's protective wings
So, what are you going to learn today? Asks the grandmother as she sinks back into the couch - her left hand reaching to gently poke the boy's nose
His cheerful countenance almost glowing with excitement- The chords, he replies. She said she'll teach me the different types of Chords today - He continues as he makes himself more comfortable; then momentarily gets lost in his own thoughts
Do you know what those are, Granma? He asks, his eyes locked to his hers with a hint of hubris in his tone
Oh! She responds, amused but equally impressed by the energy and passion he exudes
Her eyes wander about, pretending to think about it. Is it those white and black keys? She asks as she leans forward, fishing for an answer from the now animated young man
Nah ah! He replies; A chord is a combination of three or more notes, He explains, fairly impressed with his answer
Sure it's not those little keys?
All smiles, No! Not the keys
Mrs. Robinson, who always seems to be preoccupied with some kind of activity, be it in the kitchen or living room, leaving for work, or attempting to make minor home repairs of sorts, serves breakfast - eggs, pancakes, bananas, milk, and juice – all to everyone's delight.
Well, how come you never teach me any of these? She complains as she pours herself a glass of orange juice after serving the two
I do, the boy replies, his eyes reporting astonishment from the accusation, every day
Grandmother laughs to herself
Acting surprised. Not like you're teaching Granma. You never teach me the cool stuff
These exchanges gradually dwindle as the three sink their teeth into the eggs and pancakes - Virtually cleaning plates
Rob, soon as everyone is done, starts stacking the dishes - taking a few at a time to the kitchen
Easy now! Mrs. Robinson reminds him, knowing how excited he becomes before his piano lessons
I still think you should go back to work. No need to... Grandmother suggests before being cut off
Ma! Mrs. Robinson cuts in. We've talked about this. As soon as you regain your strength... besides, I still have another week. She concludes as she carries the few remaining dishes to the kitchen
Get Granny’s pills. She instructs the boy as he emerges from the kitchen
No, they're here - She pulls them from her end of the couch - Just get me a glass of water, dear
The boy hastily does as instructed - He is always at his best behavior before his lessons
The next hour or two are characterized by several key events that have become a routine since Rob first watched the music Icon play the piano on TV - He cleans up and puts on clean clothes before repeatedly traversing between the porch and the living room. Mrs. Robinson does the dishes and tidies up the living room (while repeatedly demanding patience on the part of the boy) while Grandmother watches TV (taking a short nap in between)
Alright! Declares Mrs. Robinson (after briefly chatting with her mother); get your bag - Words that couldn't have reached the young man's ears any sooner; like a hungry puppy waiting for his portion
Later, Granma, The boy says his goodbyes before jolting out the front door
The grandmother, barely having any time to reply merely smiles and murmurs something
© 2021 Kimani Maruge