Gloria Adeti


“John and Mary”… a pictorial children’s book that stressed the importance of obedience, cleanliness, punctuality and education. I always looked at the pictorials of John and Mary sleeping in white sheets, taking tea and bananas, going to schools with white uniforms and socks and writing exams… oh how I admired to be in their shoes.

This was a fantasy I had to fulfill in my own small ways thus I always insisted on taking tea and bananas (which wasn’t as delicious as I had imagined), putting on knee high white socks and dresses with a book and a pen to complete my “John and Mary” look. I embraced reading, writing and yearned for an education at a very young age, one would always bump into me sited on my dad’s chair seriously scribbling on a note pad, paper, diary, book and even a Bible! … anything that had white pages.

On my birthday, my mother prepared my favorite juice in a big bucket and covered it with a white table cloth before positioning it at the center of the room. Clad in my brad new white dress, knee high socks and white shoes, I majestically walked into the room to the admiration of all my friends. I was as proud as a peacock, savoring satisfaction from their gazed looks of admiration, jealousy and amazement… I just couldn’t wait any longer… I wanted to be the center of attraction, the dazzling snow white princess, the brightest girl in the room. It was such a satisfying feeling which was abruptly cut short when I sat on the white covered bucket thinking it was a special chair that had been reserved for me.

I sat…. within a twinkle of a second, my feet were up, my whole body immersed in the orange juice and my once white regalia now stained to the last hem. Tears filled my eyes as I struggled to get out of the bucket in the midst of loud laughter and mockery from my friends and guests, I rushed to my room and closed the door, my chest almost busting with anger, my eyes socked with tears, my heart pounding with shock and confusion … I marked the end of my love for white.