Who are you, Joanna?


Very short story, part I.

Joanna is a complex woman. She has a kaleidoscope personality.

Her skin though, is as smooth as avocado and is made supple by twenty-five years of soft water, shea butter and Jamaican sun. She came to the UK in search of prosperity. One box, three dresses and a pair of brown leather gloves.

“Ye kyan go dere in di kole widout fi bi prepeare” Her grandma said.

At sixty-three, she doesn’t look a day over fifty, apart from perhaps, a few steep smile lines and a faint tiara of gray. She has graced with age. And raised three sons on her own, two of whom at least aren’t complete failures. She sits in the padded armchair with her head back and allows quick hands to fire away.

“Not too tight please, madame! I know you young girls like it tight, but my scalp can’t take it.”

She takes a moment to rest while the hairdresser prepares another piece to cornrow and catches her reflection in the mirror. She feels foolish sitting there, wasting all that time and effort and wonders if she should just cut all of it off and leave it texturised. She remembers the first time she examined her face properly. She was seven years old and her grandma had given her a small pocket-sized mirror. The frame was made of pewter and it had a simple floral detail. She stared and stared for days. Gazing into her nostrils and counting her eyelashes. Her grandma would say she’s beautiful, then gently rebuke her for her vanity. Fifty-six years later, she still has that same curious spirit about her face, and wonders how her eyebrows became so sparse.

Leeza AwojobiComment