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samedi, 09 juillet 2005

Purple Hibiscus, pp. 257-8

Everything came tumbling down after Palm Sunday. Howling winds came with an angry rain, uprooting frangipani trees in the front yard. They lay on the lawn, their pink and white flowers grazing the grass, their roots waving lumpy soil in the air. The satellite dish on top of the garage came crashing down and lounged on the driveway like a visiting alien spaceship. The door of my wardrobe dislodged completely. Sisi broke a full set of Mama’s china.

Even the silence that descended on the house was sudden, as though the old silence had broken and left us with the sharp pieces. When Mama asked Sisi to wipe the floor of the living room, to make sure no dangerous pieces of figurines were left lying somewhere, she did not lower her voice to a whisper. She did not hide the tiny smile that drew lines at the edge of her mouth. She did not sneak Jaja’s food to his room, wrapped in cloth so it would appear that she had simply brought his laundry in. She took him his food on a white tray, with a matching plate.

There was something hanging over all of us. Sometimes I wanted it all to be a dream – the missal flung at the étagère, the shattered figurines, the brittle air. It was too new, too foreign, and I did not know what to be or how to be. I walked to the bathroom and kitchen and dining room on tiptoe.

(C.N. Adichie. Purple Hibiscus (2004). Harper Perennial: 2005, pp. 257-8)

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