The muffed sound of the alarm clock rung incessantly under the thick pillow. A silent groan escaped her mouth. Her body was still stiff, remnants from yesterday’s hard work.
She rubbed her heavy eyes that had seen too little sleep. She swung her legs onto the floor, the cold morning blast hitting her as the blanket slipped from her body.
She lumbered into the kitchen, and opened the fridge, the orange glow within piercing through the darkness of the house. Her hands reached inside, searching for ingredients to be transformed into the family’s three meals.
For the next ninety minutes she busied in the kitchen washing, chopping, slicing, boiling and frying, while seizing every available snatches of free seconds in between to brush her teeth, change into the day’s cloths and comb her hair.
When she heard her husband’s footsteps echoing through the house, she knew it was soon time to go. She put all the newly cooked food into the cupboard before tiptoeing into the room next to hers. She gazed fondly at the sweet innocent face of her nine month old son, her fingers gently wiping away a tiny pool of saliva that had drooled down from his agape mouth.
“Lets go,” said her husband, who was leaning against the doorway studying mother and child. She cast a final lingering look at her soundly sleeping son before following her husband footsteps out of the house.
He pushed the motorcycle around 20 meters from their compound because starting the engine. She climbed on behind him, hugging him tightly. It was the only time of the day they can afford to have physically contact this close.
The first cock had only started to crow when they reached the end of the bumpy un-tarred road. She alighted and joined the short line of people standing next to a stick stuck into the muddy yellow ground. She heaved a sign of relief when around ten minutes later, a van spewing thick clouds of exhaust duly rumbled to a stop in front of them. Yesterday they had to wait for twenty minutes. They all squeezed in; men, women, young, old, fat, skinny. She closed her eyes. It will be another two hours before she reach her workplace.
While she was catching forty winks in the van, her young boss was sipping coffee and eating toast that his mother had just prepared for him. He had a piece of report in his hand which caused a frown to creep onto his face. “This Sally again!” he muttered. She had been late for the past three days and missed the last two weekends’ meeting. He had a good mind to admonish her later in the morning. Such unprofessional attitude. What a tardy and lazy good for nothing woman.
“Pa, I am ready to go!” he hollered. It was already 7.30a.m. His father started the car as he climbed in. He was driven to the office, where he promptly put both legs on the table and waited for Sally to arrive. He can never comprehend why she was always late. It only took him one hour from waking up to reaching the office. Surely she can just wake up earlier if she needed more time for make-ups!