Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Author:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780007383696
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Papa-Nnukwu had woken up before everyone else. He wanted to have breakfast sitting on the verandah, to watch the morning sun. And so Aunty Ifeoma asked Obiora to spread a mat on the verandah, and we all sat and had breakfast with Papa-Nnukwu, listening to him talk about the men who tapped palm wine in the village, how they left at dawn to climb up the palm trees because the trees gave sour wine after the sun rose. I could tell that he missed the village, that he missed seeing those palm trees the men climbed, with a raffia belt encircling them and the tree trunk.

Although we had bread and okpa and Bournvita for breakfast, Aunty Ifeoma made a little fufu to bury Papa-Nnukwu’s tablets in, soft spherical coffins that she carefully watched Papa-Nnukwu swallow. The cloud had lifted from her face.

“He will be fine,” she said, in English. “Soon he will start nagging about wanting to go back to the village.”

“He must stay for a while,” Amaka said. “Maybe he should live here, Mom. I don’t think that girl Chinyelu takes proper care of him.”

“Igasikwa! He will never agree to live here.”

“When will you take him to do the tests?”

“Tomorrow. Doctor Nduoma said I can have two tests done instead of all four. The private labs in town always want full payment, so I will have to go to the bank first. I don’t think I will finish in time to take him today, with all those lines at the bank.”

A car drove into the compound then, and even before Amaka asked, “Is that Father Amadi?” I knew it was him. I had seen the small Toyota hatchback only twice before, but I could point it out anywhere. My hands started to shake.

“He said he would stop by and see your Papa-Nnukwu,” Aunty Ifeoma said.

Father Amadi wore his soutane, long-sleeved and loosefitting, with a loose black rope slanted around his waist. Even in the priestly garb, his loping, comfortable gait pulled my eyes and held them. I turned and dashed into the flat. I could see the front yard clearly from the window in the bedroom, which had a few louvers missing. I pressed my face close to the window, close to the small tear in the mosquito netting that Amaka blamed for letting in every moth that flapped around the light bulb at night. Father Amadi was standing by the window, close enough for me to see the way his hair lay in wavy curls on his head, like the ripples in a stream.

“His recovery has been so swift, Father, Chukwu aluka,” Aunty Ifeoma said.

“Our God is faithful, Ifeoma,” he said happily, as though Papa-Nnukwu were his own relative. Then he told her that he was on his way to Isienu, to visit a friend who had just got back from missionary work in Papua New Guinea. He turned to Jaja and Obiora and said, “I will come by this evening to pick you up. We’ll play in the stadium with some of the boys from the seminary.


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