The Rain Goddess
The Rain Goddess
A Short Story
By: Shantina L. Henderson
I would like to thank god for this work of fiction.
The Rain Goddess a South African myth.
This title just came from the top of my head because it is a catchy title to me.
I was born on the fourth of July, my grandmother’s birthday. My grandmother was dead by the time my mother gave birth to me. My grandmother was dead by the time my mother gave birth to me. Growing up my mother would tell me that I was my grandmother reincarnated. I never believed that though. I thought “me reincarnated are you serious?” I enough trouble going through life without wondering whether or not it may be my second one. In grade school I had so many insecurities and the students made it even worse. I can remember one student in particular she made my life a living hell. Her name was Ardisha Clay she made fun of my name which was Kizzy Mohamed. She would hang out with other girls who were so important just like her. Unlike me the nerdy girl and outcast among everyone. They called me African booty scratcher, after I told them that my mother Manyara and Abdul were African immigrants. I was always being teased after that in middle school or junior high I didn’t have many friends in fact there was only one girl. Her name was Jade White, and she was my best friend we were tight as ever. When we got to the ninth grade she moved away to Utah. I was stuck growing up in the projects in Orlando, Florida. There was a boy I liked his name was Cory McNeil I had been crushing on him for four years. When I saw him at graduation he smiled at me and that simply made my day. When I went away to college I called home every day eager to hear my mother’s voice. In her thick African accent she would say “why don’t you just come home because it’s like you still live here when you call every day”. This always made me laugh and finally I started calling less, and then I met Eric Vila he was an Italian professor of mine. He taught Italian and fine arts as courses and I was absolutely infatuated with him like all the other women I had classes with. At graduation I met someone who would change my life. Guy Hilliard was tall dark and handsome and he had long dreadlocks and large lips as smooth and brown as his skin. “M!
y name i
s Kizzy Mohamed” I said. He introduced himself and I was overjoyed to meet him I had heard that he was absolutely brilliant and a gentleman from everyone on campus. “I was going to the coffee shop would you like to join me?” he asked. I nodded, while in the diner we chatted and drank coffee and ate apple pie. “So how do you like Boston?” “Oh I love it, it is different from Orlando, but it is very fun here and I don’t know if I want to go home yet”. That was the last thing we discussed, and then he asked “would you like to go out with me?” “Sure I would”. He leaned in then for a kiss, at first I hesitated then I leaned forward and I was engulfed in the most amazing kiss I had ever experienced. That did it; Guy and I were seeing more and more of each other after that moment. Seven years past and he finally asked me to marry him and I accepted him. We had traditional African wedding in which we jumped the broom and African food was served. We had been married for ten years and everything seemed perfect and then I discovered he was becoming more and more distant. I hired a private investigator to follow him and I found out that he was having an affair with his secretary a young woman of twenty her name was Heather Kelpie. I could not believe that I had been so stupid and so I left him in Boston and I took my daughter Makeda with me. Going back to Orlando I went to live with my parents and I stayed with them for a year until I got my own home. I would tell my mother about the things that Guy and I did together and tears would roll down my face. I still missed him and I didn’t know whether or not I would ever be able to get over him. By the time I heard from Guy I was pregnant with my second child and I didn’t want him to know so I filed for a divorce. He wanted to salvage our marriage or so he said and I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I felt that I was making the right decision I was also engaged to a man named Ray Toller. He was tall and of a red hue like myself and he treated me so well and marri!
ed me an
d bought me a house he also treated my daughter like she was his own. My son’s name was Rafiki. As my children were growing up I saw a lot of myself in them especially Makeda and I would take her over to my mother’s house when she was small. We would cook African food and tell stories and I raised both my children this way. This is the same way that my mother raised me and everything was wonderful. When my daughter went away to college she did not call home at all she came back on Christmas break and she brought her boyfriend a short tall man with pale skin and crystal clear blue eyes. I always cooked African food and in our culture we remove our shoes before entering the home for a meal, and keep our hands clean, we only eat with our right hand and it is custom to bring a gift to the meal as well. I hoped that this young man had African dinner etiquette. My daughter had beautiful dreadlocks and she had a unique and fresh sense of style, Afrocentric is the best way to describe it. I invited everyone into dinner, I had prepared rice balls, peanut soup, fufu, and African chicken stew, and okra stew, and fried plantains. Everyone was astounded by the food that I cooked and as we sat down to eat we washed our hands at the table. “I hope that Mark remembers everything that I told him about dinner and our customs” Makeda thought. Late as usual was my son Rafiki and he walked in and bowed and expressed his apologies and dinner began. It was supposed to begin with my husband because he was the eldest, however I guess my daughter’s boyfriend was very hungry because after prayer he began to eat. My daughter scoffed loudly and motioned for him to stop eating, and he did, eventually and my husband began to eat. The next mistake I noticed him make was he used his left hand and picked up the rice ball and dipped it in the sauce. Apparently I was not the only one who noticed Abdul and Rafiki looked mortified. Dinner dreaded on until I decided that I would tell a story to break the silence. Afterwards, Makeda and I were!
g the kitchen and she asked me “Mama what do you think of Mark?” I smiled and pretended not to hear her, but I said “I really like him but please tell him more about our customs so that he can avoid embarrassment”. Apparently this pleased her and she finished helping me and told me all about her school in New York. Before I went to bed that night I saw her and Mark kissing and talking and I remembered how it was to be young and in love. Ten years past and both of my children got married my son Rafiki married a girl named Bahati Abler and my daughter Makeda married Mark Graham the young man she brought home. It has been five years and my daughter seemed to be a shadow of who she once was. Bright and sunny and then all of a sudden sad and dreary. I was worried about her, so one day I called her to come over to my home in Winter Haven and talk to me. “ What is wrong with you, this is not how you are as a person what has Mark done to you is he still with the law firm what is going on tell me?” My daughter burst into tears and between sniffles she told me; “Mama I don’t know what I’m gone do he doesn’t even come home anymore and he is having an affair with a woman her works with and I can’t leave him because I signed a preen-up when before we got married and I’m pregnant”. I shook my head and I called a woman I went to church with Sister Reathell Churchill an older woman who prayed with me and my daughter and gave her confidence to leave Mark. The day after she left he came looking for her and she talked to him and agreed to go back with him, but I called her inside the house and told her no when she asked why I said; “Because he does not know what you are worth, but you have to show him”. My daughter did not understand it then, but she did not leave with Mark and told him that she was not going to be with him anymore until he gave her respect. Mark came every day to see my daughter and took her to the hospital when she had her baby. She named her daughter Kizzy after me, and now five years later I have saw m!
er’s marriage blossom into something beautiful. She and Mark got back together and they raised my granddaughter well. My mother and I still talk about the old days about when I listened to biggie smalls on my boom box and the crazy clothes I wore and I find myself having the same conversations with my daughter. The last time that I spoke with my mother was when she was in the hospital for a heart attack. “Baby you know I have to die, I can’t live forever on this earth Allah wants me to come home so I must go when he calls me and I must be a faithful servant”. “Oh, mama don’t talk like that please I don’t want you to go” I said. I squeezed her hand so hard it made my hand hurt and big sloppy tears drained from my eyes. When she closed her eyes her breath slowly seeped from her body and I saw that she was smiling slightly. I cried and yelled and I could not control any part of myself and I was not aware of the things that were happening around me, and I believe for a brief moment I lost my mind. My Children live in Orlando with their families and they come to visit me and I am grateful. I had a wonderful relationship with my mother and I passed that love on to my daughter and my son. I never forgot my mother’s story of the rain goddess a myth from South Africa she would say; “So there she was the goddess of rain living in heaven and was she happy? Oh no not happy why you ask? Well she wanted a husband so she tried to find one in heaven, but nobody would do so she said “Hmm, I think I will go down upon the earth and find a husband there”. “Oh she found one alright and he looked so good and strong and she said “Well, well I was looking for a husband all the men in my village are dead but you oh you will do”. So she tried to trick the young man and he knew the whole time but he married her anyway. On their wedding night he said by mistake “Make love to me my beautiful rain goddess”. “She yelled and stomped and shouted she was so furious”. “He knew the whole time who she was and saw past all her games and tric!
ks and n
ow he was an immortal like her”. I would always clap my hands and giggle at the end of the story, and now I tell my grandbaby the same tale as my mother told me. My daughter keeps our traditions alive as well and I am glad I raised her right. I will never forget my mother or the things she did and said for me.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Shantina Henderson.
Published on e-Stories.org on 09/19/2012.