He looks around the room he was laid in, it was a complete mess. Never had he seen a room so messy before. His mother always kept their apartment nice and tidy, sometimes he would even join her in doing the cleaning of the house or washing of the dishes . He would stand on a stool just so his hands could reach the sink.
He got up from the bed and was heading for the door when a familiar smell hit him, that was when he realized that although he thought his mothers voice woke him up it was actually this smell., it was the smell of FRIED CHICKEN.
He turned the door knob open slowly, sticking his nose out first, then his forehead, soon his head and neck were out the door, while his body remained in the room.
Tilting his head sideways, his nose trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. His eyes looking out for the Old man. After a while of staring and sniffing out the door, his belly stretched out next, followed by his left leg, the the right leg, and in a while all his body was out the door.
Still looking around trying to figure out where the aroma was coming from, he took wary steps forward, and his eyes widens as he saw it on a table, in the middle of what looked like the sitting room. A victorious smile crawls up his little red lips, as if he had just found a hidden treasure.
”so all I had to do to get you out of that room was get some fried chicken? ”
Apparently, even though Zairo had been in pain after the loss of everyone he knew, amidst crying for his mother in his sleep, he had also been mumbling the words fried chicken.
Like both words went hand-in-hand, along with wailing like this. ”Mom.. Fried chicken *waaa*wooo*.. Mom.. Fried.. *waaa* Mom.. Chicken.. *wooo* Mom.. Fried chicken ” that was how he mumbled and cried the words in his sleep.
So the man who did not have any money to get fried chicken, and needed a way to make the child come out of that room and eat something had stolen the hen of one of his neighbors and used it to prepare the fried chicken that had woken Zairo up.
”Are you just going to stand there, or will you sit down and eat?.. getting that chicken was not very easy just so you know ” he grumbles pointing to the chicken.
”my mom told me not to collect things from strangers ” his lips were saying this, but his eyes and belly were saying something different.
”well I don think you have a choice now, do you?.. the man blurts out, taking a sip of his gin.
Zairo seems to ponder on what the old man said and ends up nodding to himself that he is actually right. He did not have a choice. Not having any more reasons to hold back, and listening to the song that his stomach was starting to sing, he scurries over to the table and picks up a drumstick. The best part of the chicken.
His entire system lights up as the savory goodness of the chicken blends with his needing mouth, chewing and munching on it with utmost desire and passion. It wasn as good as his mothers, but if he was to rate it, itll get a 9/10. 10/10 spot will always be reserved for his mother.
As he ate the chicken, hands and mouth oily, he scanned the old man from head to toe, he wasn actually too old he was about forty or perhaps forty five he just looked homeless and unkept which made him seem old.
He had brown eyes, his hair was a confused shade of brown and dull red, it was like brownish red. At least thats how the child could explain it.
In a second he had eaten almost every piece of chicken in the bowl. ”thank you old man ” he says as he had eaten enough.
”hey boy stop calling me old man am just 35 years old not 60 ” the old man growls. ”so what should I call you instead ” he asks politely. ”my name is Sam., so call me sam ” the old man pronounced.
”Alright old man sam ” zairo replied, making the mans almost yank out his own hair in frustration. He clearly could not reason with this kid. ”so what is your name? ”
”Zairo. My name is Zairo ” he replies with his finger going into his mouth, trying to pull out the meat that was stuck in his teeth.
”So Zairo are you going to tell me what happened or not? he suddenly asks.
For a split second, Zairo had forgotten about his problems but as the man called Sam asked the question tears came pouring down his cheek uncontrollably.
He then explains to the man every single detail he could remember on how he and his mother had gone to visit her friend and how he met his own chicken partner and then how they were all killed by Arguse. He remembered the name of the man clearly.
After narrating the whole incident to the old man, he was still crying. It was clear that the poor thing was all alone now in the world, he personally knew a thing about losing a loved one. He felt pity for the boy.
” if you like you can stay with me , I don have much to give to you but we will figure it out somehow ”. he proposes with a shrug of his shoulders. Zairo even though he was still a little boy knew how to be grateful. He really had no were to go, his one and only family that he knew of had left him.
He stood up from where he sat in front of the chicken table, and hugged the man ”thank you old man.. ” The man still wanted to protest and say he was not an old man, and was merely 35, but hen he decided on not ruining the moment.
”thank you so much. I promise you will not regret this , I will be very good , I will clean the house and do whatever you want me to ” he declares, making Sam laugh, as he wondered what the little hands that hugged him could do.
Now living with his old man, like he promised he was a good boy, he said he would clean the house but instead he managed to make old man do ninety nine percent of the cleaning while he just stayed there as the supervisor.
The whole place was neat and tidy, just the way his mother had taught him. They were getting along very well also, they would wake up in the morning and go out to pick recyclables that they would sell together. This was their means of affording food to eat.
And since they could not be stealing chicken from their neighbors all the time, and could not afford chicken everyday, they picked a special day in the week to have chicken, they named it CHICKEN SATURDAY.
Not a day passed by that Zairo did not think about his mother and every other person that had died that day. He mostly dreamt of his mother, and he thought of her the most.
Sometimes when he would do the dishes, or when he would tie his shoelace or even on chicken Saturdays, he would remember how his mom would tell him he could not live on only chicken and she was right. Not because he could not actually eat chicken forever, but because they could not afford every day chicken.
He sometimes also reflects on the short time he and Zaya had spent together, her mesmerizing eyes that was as if he was staring at a deep dark green forest where the sunlight passed through the narrow spaces in between the trees.
Or how they devoured the fried chicken together that day. How she had agreed to make him her disciple. Everything was perfectly fine in his life before Arguse showed up and destroyed every goodness in his life. He was not going to forgive the man that took everything away from him. Never.
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