To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
It had been a productive month. Mamadou and Rose worked well together and the renovations were ahead of schedule. The new bathroom was almost ready. That day they’d been doing tiling. As usual, Mamadou had found a way to turn someone else’s rubbish into something magnificent. A couple of days before they had gone to buy tiles, but when they arrived at the shop Mamadou had insisted he first go around the back of the shop to check out the skip bin he’d noticed. Instead of buying any tiles they’d gone home and waited for night time, then gone back to the shop to take tiles out of the skip bin. Festus had felt nervous as he waited in the van while Rose and Mamadou walked back and forth from the bin to the back of the van with boxes of assorted tiles. He kept imagining that a security guard would appear and shine a torch into his eyes. But nothing like that had happened and eventually Mamadou and Rose had closed the back of the van and squeezed in next to Festus for the drive home.
When they’d gotten home, even though it was getting late, Mamadou had insisted they unpack the tiles and see how they looked together. When Festus saw that each box of tiles was different and that a lot of them were broken he felt disappointed, but then he looked at Rose and saw that she seemed delighted by the prospect of turning this pile of rubbish into something useful. When Mamadou left at midnight the dining room floor and table were covered with tiles arranged in various patterns.
In the days since then they’d been busy recreating those patterns on the walls and floor of the new bathroom, and that afternoon they’d finished.
As Mamadou and Rose tidied up the tools Festus hobbled out to the mailbox. He put his hand in and pulled out a bundle of envelopes. He was worried that one of the envelopes would contain bad news from Council. They’d been carrying on as if they had building permission and Zikpi had been filming it all but Festus knew that it could end in disaster. As Festus made his way back inside his leg started to ache.
Festus handed the mail to Rose and asked her to open it. Rose flicked through the envelopes and discarded all but one. Festus watched her open it. Rose read it quickly then started smiling.
“It’s ok!” said Rose. “We are allowed to build what we’ve already started building!”
Festus realized he’d been holding his breath and let it out in relief. He noticed that his leg had stopped hurting.
Rose realized that it was probably a good time to talk to Festus about something she’d wanted to mention for a couple of weeks.
“You know how Binta has been without a job?” Rose asked Festus.
“Yeah….” said Festus. He was always impatient to know where questions like that were going.
“Well I was thinking that I could give up my craft room for Binta” said Rose.
“What?” asked Festus. He didn’t understand how Rose giving her craft room to Binta was going to help Binta earn a living, unless she meant that Binta was going to start selling things she’d made.
“I mean, what if Binta came to live with us?” said Rose.
Festus understood this but not how it would work. Surely Rose didn’t mean just Binta, but Ousman as well, and then what about Mamadou?
Festus looked to see where Mamadou was before he started talking. When he saw that Mamadou was out in the backyard and too far away to hear he asked Rose “Where will Ousman and Mamadou go?”
“Yes, it isn’t ideal, but maybe Ousman can share with Binta, and Mamadou can live in the shed” said Rose.
Festus couldn’t help laughing and didn’t realise that he was speaking too loudly when he said “Mamadou can live in the shed? What if he wants to share with Binta?”
Rose looked worried. She realized that it was likely nobody would be happy with her plan and it made her feel sad because she’d just wanted to help.
Mamadou had heard Festus laughing and suggesting he live in the shed and so he’d come inside.
“I would like to live in the shed, actually” said Mamadou.