She fell asleep for the first time in five days, and the universe conspired to make sure she was well rested by filling her sleep with nice dreams, alienating her from her tragedy. The next morning she woke up to loud murmurs from somewhere in the house, now a normal occurrence. In her village, when death visited your compound, with it came distant relatives, neighbours and strangers who talked like they were in a talking competition, only stopping to look at you with pity and mumble ‘sorry for your loss’ when they saw you. She glanced at the window and the morning sunlight shimmered from behind the bright coloured curtain, begging to be let in. She closed her eyes again, filtered out the murmurs and reminisced about her father, now lying dead in a morgue. How could he die just like that? And why did it have to be on the same day she had hoped to make peace with him? She found it difficult to believe that her mighty father, who walked with a walking stick because his ego was too heavy for him to carry alone, could simply fall in the bathroom, hit his head on the floor and die.
She knew she was being unreasonable but she had not expected that her father’s exit from this world would happen so unceremoniously. She had refused to accept that her father would go out like that until she saw him at the morgue. They had gone there the same evening and though the attendants and security guards turned them away, asking them to come the following day, they stood their ground and Maasai finally managed to persuade one of the attendants, a thin guy with yellow teeth, to let them view the body. The attendant had looked at his two other colleagues with asking eyes and they had shrugged before letting them in. But once inside, Amara refused to open her eyes. Once she saw that it was truly her father lying there, there was no going back. Her belief that this was a mistake would be wiped out. She covered her eyes with her hands till Masai placed his hand over her shoulder and said, “If you are not ready, we can always come back tomorrow.”