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مكتبة هشام ادم(هشام آدم)
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01-07-2007, 05:17 PM

هشام آدم
<aهشام آدم
تاريخ التسجيل: 06-11-2005
مجموع المشاركات: 12213

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تــراجـم

    ______________________

    قصص قصيرة مترجمة

    ( القصة الأولى )

    Dreams - Short Story
    by Chika Unigwe



    He has hair like the fibres of a well-eaten mango, sparse and white. His hands are like you expect: sandpaper. But as he touches, you do not flinch. Not even when he rubs the sandpaper against your bare arms. His touch reminds you of the cleanser that keeps your face spot-free. The cleanser hurts, but no beauty comes without its pains. Everybody knows that. Or ought to at least.

    When he licks your ears and makes a kissing sound (except the sound comes out sounding like a bottle-cover scratching a cement floor), you do not move away in repulsion. Instead, you smile and count your blessings. He cannot see that your smile is no more than an ochi eze—the sort of smile that hurts at the jaws, a smile that stays on the surface like skimmed milk. He sees your teeth gleaming in the light and smiles back, exposing a full set of teeth. The teeth sit awkwardly in his wrinkled mouth. They seem to be too much for that cavity, and his lips barely cover them. He reminds you of a rabbit. You wonder for a minute if the teeth are all his. You wonder if he has bought them like he buys everything else in his life. He tells you he pays a huge bride price on his wife, tells you about the three cows he slaughters for the wedding, about the sacks of rice that he has imported from Thailand especially for the ceremony, about the bales of lace from Vienna he gives his mother-in-law and the 24 karat gold chain he buys from a Jewish merchant in Antwerp for his wife. You know all about his cars (the Mercedes, the Peugeot 505, the Land Rover Jeep, and the Land Cruiser that he has just imported from Belgium). Brand new, he says. Not tokunbo, those second-hand cars that litter the streets. You know all about his houses (the ones in London and New York, the apartments in Enugu and Onitsha, and the mansion he is building in his village, which has fifteen self-contained bedrooms and a lawn tennis court).

    He thinks he makes you happy. And maybe, in a way he does. Happiness is not a quality that stays static. Its parameters change, swelling or shrinking. This is a lesson you have learned. It is one you are still learning as a matter of fact. What made you happy a few years ago is no longer there. Now, you are teaching yourself to be made happy by other things. So maybe the sand-paper hands grate your taut arms, but you are close to your goal. And that makes you happy. You give him another smile, the one that floats on the surface, not coming deep from your heart. It has been awhile since you smiled from your heart, anyway. You do not know if you are capable of doing that anymore. Besides, it is easier to smile this way, even though it hurts at the jaws. It is a smile that comes without you having to search too deep for a reason. It is instantly gratifying to the receiver.

    Obi is the first man you fall in love with. You marry him and your life is a fairy tale: a husband with a smile like a full moon. His smile lights up a room, lights up your universe. That smile steals your heart the first time he sends it to you across a crowded wedding reception. He says it is fate that brings you together when you tell him that you have stumbled into the wrong room. Your second cousin's reception is in the hall on the upper floor. Somehow, not having listened properly to your mother's hurried directions, you end up in this hall. You do not mind. You never did like your second cousin much, and you do like this man with a thin mustache above his upper lip. He has a voice that sounds like a low rumble. And when he tells you in that low rumble that fate brings you together, you fall in love with the word "fate." Fate is beautiful. It pushes you into the wrong hall to meet the man you stumble into love with. You will explain to your mother later why you do not turn up at your cousin's wedding. She will scold you and tell you off for missing it. She will warn you that everybody is going to think it is because you are jealous. After all, the cousin whose wedding you miss is three years younger than you, and you are still to get a marriage proposal. She will cry and beat her chest and ask her gods why she is burdened with a daughter like you? What did she do in her former life to earn this punishment? What is she being punished for? She will lament that you are a bad child, a disgrace, and how can you hope to find a husband if you miss weddings where so many eligible men are present? Do you not know that your cousin has at least four brothers-in-law of marriageable age? Ewo, her gods have given her the worst daughter ever. She will say and do all these things, but you will not mind. You will not care because you are confident that fate is taking care of you.

    The day you mention to your mother that there is a man interested in marrying you, she dances around your small sitting-room. She waves a handkerchief in the air and sings praises to her gods who have finally smiled on her:

    chim di mma chim di mma onye si na chim adighi mma bia fulu ife o melu m ooo chim ooo, tanku you

    She holds you close in happiness, pressing your nose against her neck (your mother is a few inches taller than you), and you fear she will suffocate you with her happiness. The happiness fills her arms with a strength that surprises you, and it is a while before you can extricate yourself from her embrace. You are embarrassed. It has been so long since she has hugged you. In fact, it has been such a long time that even though you try to remember it, you cannot.

    The day she meets Obi for the first time, she tells you he will make you very happy, that mothers know such things. She makes him yam porridge with spinach leaves, and even though he does not like yam, he eats to make your mother happy. He knows you do not reject your prospective mother-in-law's first meal! And especially not if she has killed a whole chicken for you. She hangs around while he eats, asking him questions about his family, what he does, where he lives. Obi answers between mouthfuls. It is not really your mother's place to question a prospective son-in-law, but she takes on the duty because there is no man to challenge her. Your father is dead and you have no brothers. She will tell your paternal uncles that you have a suitor, and they will ask their own questions and perform their own investigations. But that will be later.

    When he leaves, your mother tells you he does not eat like a greedy man. He does not fill his mouth with food so much so that it is impossible for him to talk. Greedy men do not make good husbands, she says, and you wonder if that is why she makes the food, to test him.

    After a meeting with your uncles, Obi pays your bride-price and takes wine to your people. You do not want a huge traditional wedding. You want to save the money for a remarkable white wedding. You want the city to talk about your wedding.

    Your wedding day is a drizzly Saturday. Your mother worriedly tells you it is bad luck to marry in the rain, but you cast her worries away with a high laugh and the back of your palm, telling her it is merely superstition. You are beyond superstition. It has no power over you. Your mother smiles, but her eyes still look worried.

    She is in a red George wrapper and a white lace blouse with sleeves that puff up to her ears. They are Obi's presents to her, her first set of new clothes in years. You love her very much, and you do not want her happiness marred by the rain. You smile at her and tell her not to worry, that nothing could possible go wrong. She places her soft palm on yours and tells you you look very beautiful, but she wishes you had chosen a white wedding dress. It is more virginal. And you are a virgin, are you not? You pretend not to hear her. You have had the colour argument before, but you are happy that she does not seem to be thinking of the rain anymore.

    (عدل بواسطة هشام آدم on 02-07-2007, 06:17 AM)

                   |Articles |News |مقالات |بيانات

العنوان الكاتب Date
تــراجـم هشام آدم01-07-07, 05:17 PM
  Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم01-07-07, 05:21 PM
    Re: تــراجـم mohmed khalail02-07-07, 05:51 AM
      Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم02-07-07, 06:35 AM
        Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم02-07-07, 01:34 PM
          Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم02-07-07, 01:36 PM
            Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم03-07-07, 02:36 PM
              Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم03-07-07, 02:37 PM
                Re: تــراجـم omer almahi03-07-07, 03:02 PM
                  Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم03-07-07, 04:55 PM
                    Re: تــراجـم هشام آدم04-07-07, 01:18 PM
                      Re: تــراجـم غادة عبدالعزيز خالد04-07-07, 01:32 PM
  Re: تــراجـم lana mahdi04-07-07, 01:51 PM
    Re: تــراجـم omer almahi14-07-07, 09:53 AM


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