For Part 1, click here ... /dec00/bole_turns.shtml
For Part 2, click here ... /jan01/bole_turns.shtml
"Then ... tolo blesh nei. And bring with you her life
insurance policy I gave you to keep in a safe place. Tolo bei!"
The phone went dead. Zewditu sat in stunned silence for a few minutes before
gathering her stuff and murmuring, "I have to go," before hailing
a cab and disappearing into the jungles of DC
It was nowhere near rush hour but Zewditu had a hard time getting a cab. Finally,
one screeched by her and she ambled into it muttering her destination absentmindedly.
She was lost in tumultuous thought waves
her long-lost evil twin sister
the life insurance papers tucked away in a Tumi garment bag
she realized she still loved
Haile Selassie Mintesinot who she understood
will always love
and Alemneh , who she could easily love depending on
whether he would renounce biochemistry and accompany her to the adar Tselot
at Pastor Anagachew's house.
She snapped back to reality when noticed just how slowly the cab was moving.
Lenegeru, she had stopped taking cabs since she realized she
could expense car services. The Lying Lizard Limo Company always had a black
sedan, and Jose, her favorite Puerto Rican driver, at her disposal. It's been
a while since she actually had to go through the indignity of flagging a cab
herself. She found it slightly humiliating, and wondered how people did it.
"Ende, yemanew Qerfafa kebt, benatachihu?" she thought,
before quickly realizing what an unChristian sentiment that was. She frowned
trying to remember an appropriate T'Qss from the Good Book to
keep her calm. None came to her. What was it that Pastor
was saying last Sunday
"Drive, damn it, drive!" she cried out finally at the teQonaT'To
yeteQemeTe shufEr. She was sure that Geta Yesus would
allow her to utilize a couple of curse words during trying moments such as this.
He better, she thought. Hell, ten percent of her monthly income should be able
to buy her at least several verbal indiscretions.
She was priming herself to let loose some of the more colorful language she
had picked up from her days working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,
when she noticed the green-gold-red tassel hanging from the cab's rear view
mirror. "Oh, great! A DV cabbie. I'll get to Hong Kong faster," she
said to herself in resignation. Why they let these people in the country she
will never know. She rested her head back and closed her eyes in exasperation
trying franticly to remember any MeS'haff Qidus TQss.
She opened her eyes to notice the cab driver staring at her intensely from
behind a pair of non descript dollar store sunglasses that looked like they
had escaped from the stronghold of Gloria Gaynor's closet a couple of decades
ago. Zewditu fidgeted
restless. How does one address a hager bEt
cab driver these days? "Ante
"Ato GashE?" "Hey, buster!"?
"Zewditu, right?" the cab driver murmured almost inaudibly. Zewditu
literally jumped in panic. Her Wharton-educated mind quickly told her to look
for the cab driver's certification. Nope, nothing was within sight. Gawsh. Having
to take a street cab because one has to rush to the aid of one's secret lover
who also just happened to be the lover of one's comatose evil twin sister was
one thing. But when a cab driver knows you by name
that was the very definition
She didn't know if she should answer the man and find out what this curious
coincidence might lead to. Maybe he's a seyTan yeyazew savage
who butchers his customers into little bits and mails out the kitfo yemiasnQ
QirTifTafi siga to the victim's friends and family.
"Be yesus sm!" she said in a firm tone just like she
had learnt in bible class two Sundays ago. "Ante kifu menfess
wuTa!" she ended up screaming both from hysteria and terror. Instinctively,
she reached into her Kate Akaffa baggette and fished for her can
of pepper spray. Screw it, she thought. If anything happens she will spray this
SOB down and ask for forgiveness later.
The cabbie, seemingly oblivious to the nalawan inde'inzirt yazorew
tumult he had engendered his passinjer with, casually reached
over to the stereo and turned up the volume on the funky beats of Fela Kuti.
He raised his head and looked back through the rearview mirror again, this time
making it obvious he was looking at her.
"Ayzosh yene emebet. I'm not going to hurt you. I just wanted
to say hi," he said not taking his eyes away from her. This man had no
trace of an accent in his English. Besides, no Ethiopian she knows listened
to Fela Kuti! Except for one
and the last thing he'd be doing was driving
cabs in metropolitan DC.
A pale and paranoid Zewditu cringed further back into her seat, her grip on
the pepper spray getting tighter. The cabbie scratched his goferE tsim
again and turned the volume down just as "Black Man's Cry" came on.
Negussay. Negussay and Zewditu had had a brief affair while she was in graduate
school and he was finishing up a Ph.D. in art history at U of Penn. He was from
one of those really, really annoying aristocratic Ethiopian families which identified
their friends and family in terms of "ke so-and-so gnd
new" and "aTintu ke iNa zend new". Negussay
made no attempts to hide his pedigree, and if it weren't for temptations of
the flesh, he would never have gone out with a commoner like Zewditu. Zewditu
was oblivious to all this class struggle until she met Negussay's mother, Weizero
Weizero Sebebyelesh was the well-preserved matriarch of Negussay's family.
She went to finishing school in London, and could trace her generation well
into the 14th Century. By all accounts the woman was still stunningly beautiful:
school-girl figure, qei dama, eyes so big you think they would
pop out of their sockets and medbolbol down her chiseled cheekbones.
Her eyebrows were arched so deeply and so perfectly that unless you knew her
well, you would think she was in a perpetual state of surprise. Weizero Sebebyelesh
had thin, severe lips which had not cracked a smile since the mid sixties. She
would lash out insults and orders like a seasoned authoritarian, and it took
very little to raise her ire. Once, she banished her third cousin from the family's
Maryland compound (the villa Wzo. Sebebyelesh was exiled to after the revolution)
for intimating that the jet-black color of her zimam hair came
from a bottle. It took the intervention of several Qess', countless
dej meTnats and a yigbaN from the Patriarch himself
for the cousin to be allowed back into the good graces of Weizero Sebebyelesh.
Negussay was her first born. When she had him she wanted the government to have
his birthday declared a national holiday, and never forgave the Emperor for
denying her request. Negussay was raised by five nannies, including one whose
sole purpose it was to monitor his breathing at night. (She had to log in how
many times he turned and the rate of his pulse on the hour every hour.)
When she found out that he was dating someone called Zewditu, Weizero Sebebyelesh
was ecstatic. That was, until she had Z-sha's family "yet
gind nachew"-ed and all hell broke loose. She was hospitalized
for two weeks after developing a slight heart murmur, but checked herself out
after realizing that the test tube containing her blood sample was placed next
to a no-name ferenj with a prostate problem.
Weizero Sebebyelesh made her consternation known that someone birthed into
such a lower-lower middle class family (Zewditu's father was a famous Darmar
CHama bEt salesman), could a) dare be named after her favorite queen,
and b) have the temerity to have designs on her eldest son!
Negussay, on the other hand, having gone through intensive therapy sessions,
both new age and conventional, was able to overlook Zewditu's background. He
liked the fact that she had gone to all the right schools
School, Barnard, then Wharton. He was pretty sure that despite her not-so-dehna-beteseb
handicap, Z-sha could make a halfway decent wife
if she learnt how to curtsey and T'iT meftel. His mother, however,
was another story. When Negussay grumpily admitted that he really liked Zewditu,
Weizero Sebebyelesh pitched a tent outside the Maryland compound, had an alQash
imported from Menz, and sat leQso for a son who had "be Qumu yemote".
Totally unaware of the calamity, Zewditu, upon hearing incomplete werE
of a death in her boyfriend's family, had driven to the leqso bEt,
and dutifully feasted on the T'rE siga and aliCHa fitfit
buffet after performing the perfunctory "M'Ts
dehna sew eko
neberu" ritual, much to the horror of Weizero Sebebyelesh and Co.
Zewditu thought she sensed animosity, but chalked it up to bereavement and continued
to chat up a storm with stunned family members, even occasionally burying her
head in her borrowed neTela and sobbing to the cries of the alQash.
mn honew motoo?" Zewditu thought to
ask of the mysterious and mysteriously departed, but never managed to pin anyone
with an answer.
Before she left the leqso, Zewditu marched to where Negussay's
mother was sitting, defiantly parting her way through layers of hierarchy of
Weizero Sebebyelesh's inner-inner circle. She shoved herself in front of the
elderly woman and cried, "Emama
iniQ arga hugging the dainty Weizero Sebebyelesh, who had not
had any person within such close proximity since the early seventies. Weizero
Sebebyelesh stiffened in repulsion, which prompted Zewditu to hug her even tighter.
"Ayzosh, EmamiyE," Zewditu wailed, senselessly mezerTeT-ing
her with "anchita" and further scandalizing the woman.
The tent got deafeningly silent. The only other sound audible above the sniffles
of Zewditu were the gentle and periodical thumps of elegant ladies fainting
on the Persian rug. Her familiar gidEta fulfilled, Zewditu gave
Weizero Sebebyelesh a hearty "thumbs up" and exited rather dramatically.
Right as her foot set out of the tent, Zewditu heard an explosion of wailing,
accompanied by deret dileQa so loud it thundered above high octave
"I-yay-yay"s. Ahhhh. They are "healing through
crying", she thought, proud she had initiated such catharsis.
Once outside, she noticed a disheveled-looking Negussay rushing towards her.
Zewditu opened her arms, intending to take her lover to her bosom and offer
him sweet words of comfort. "It's OK
Let is all go, baby," she
Instead of walking into her welcoming arms, however, Negussay stormed past
her, belowing out, "Ere yetabash!" before running into
the tent, falling on his mother's feet begging for forgiveness.
"Alrighty, then" Zewditu said confoundedly and headed back to Philadelphia
to wait for Negussay to call and explain. Days passed. Weeks passed. And then
months. No word from Negussay. Zewditu felt her heart breaking. She tried calling
him at home, but his number was disconnected. She tried calling his family's
home but someone kept hanging up the phone on her. She finally wrote him a letter,
but it came back to her unopened with a big red X on the front and "Dirashishin
yaTfaw Gebriel" written in big, clear letters by her name.
"Whatever," Zewditu finally said and began to nurse her broken heart.
Soon she met and fell in love with Bezabih, a devout Ethiopian Orthodox software
engineer. She was happily content with him, an unassuming man from a solidly
middle class family, until, much to her chagrin, she discovered that he harbored
a secret yet severe foot fetish. She caught him on more than one occasion peering
intently at all the women parishioner's feet during the "Egzio Mah'hirene
Kristos" incantation at the Medhanialem BetE Kristian
where he was a diaQon-in-training and member of the Board. She
dumped him on ye ametu Medhanialem.
Zewditu snapped back to the reality at hand. How did preppy, Williams and Mary,
University of Pennsylvania, Art History major Negussay with whom she had briefly
meQolalefed, turn up in DC, driving a cab?? Was this the same
Negussay who had titillated her intellect with 19th Century French Art and dared
to push her to feed her ambition in tej meTal-ing?
"Pull over," she instructed him curtly. Without a word, Negussay
pulled over and stopped the cab. Still groggy from shock, Zewditu got herself
out of the backseat and closed the door. She stood outside taking in the fresh
air for a couple of seconds before she hurled herself into the front seat, right
next to the bearded Negussay.
"Ye geta fiqad bihon new," she breathed hotly against
his lips. She turned and looked at his face
the unkempt beard
the suspicious glasses
the mangled clothes. She wanted to ask so many
questions, but it a tennis ball sized lump was trapped in her throat.
"Huh? Mn alsh?" Negussay asked, squinting his eyes.
Her lips quivering, she slowly reached out and took off his glasses from his
face. Her hands shook. He sat still, looking at her. She instantly fell into
the same pair of eyes she once couldn't get out of. It was him alright. Reason
was begging for explanations: why the devil was he looking like he's had a yetegosaQole
But still no words. Not from either of them.
"I have always loved you," Zewditu finally whispered into his ear.
'Eh, Zewdi, the other ear," Negussay muttered inarticulately. "I
have ear infection in that one."
Indeed he had. But not in the least fazed by the wet, oily cotton stuffed in
his left ear, Zewditu turned to his right ear. "I have always loved you,"
she whispered again. Her fingers rustled through his beard, while she mustered
up the same disarming smile that he had once fallen for.
The speakers still resonated softly with the afro rhythms of Fela Kuti. Percussion
and wind instruments matched heartbeats and short breaths. The entire purpose
behind her leaving the café totally skipped Zewditu's mind which was
now doing somersaults, while her heart was pirouetting.
In an inexplicable surge of passion, Zewditu lunged forward into Negussay's
arms, her lips meeting his. The only thing that mattered was this rekindled
flame that the interiors of the yellow cab could not to contain.
Double-parked, the car rocked with the rhythms of its two occupants, as they
flailed about in an intense, crazed fit of lust and passion.
Fela still played on the stereo, the resonating beat of the drums, the howls
of trumpets, the clashes of cymbals, and the striking vocals all crescendoing
to an unbelievable din of harmony
Meanwhile back at the café, Alemneh and Haile Selassie Mintesinot were
taken aback by Zewditu's sudden and unexplained departure.
"Ahunim wefefE nat?" Alemneh asked his cousin.
"I suppose so," Haile Selassie Mintesinot shrugged as he figured
out how to steer Alemneh back to the conversation they had started about the
super secret CD ROM project.
Just as he was about to order Alemeneh another triple shot latte, Haile Selassie
Mintesinot noticed his cousin's shoulders straighten up and his eyes narrow.
He followed his cousin's eyes, which were throwing imaginary darts in the direction
of the door. Haile Selassie Mintesinot focused on a middle-aged Ethiopian man
who had just entered the café. Trouble. That was Dr. Raselas, Alemneh's
and half the DC Ethiopian population's archenemy.
Dr. Raselas is the holder of several Ph.D.s in disciplines ranging from African
Politics to Zoology, from educational Institutions such as the University of
Lesotho, the Serbian College of Social Sciences, Idaho College, Marietta Tech
and University of India at New Delhi. He is a stout man, rase-bera,
wore thick glasses and either knows everyone or knows everyone who knows anything
about anyone and everything. He was notorious for high jacking conversations,
and making sure he is the center of attention.
Dr. Raselas had no time for people who did not have Ph.D.s. To him, non-Ph.D.s
were the scourge of society, lazy criminals taking up space in his universe.
He chronicles his life through his Ph.D.s
there was his Statistics Ph.D.
his Music of the Masai Ph.D Era
his Extinct Languages Ph.D.
etc. If he runs across a friend he has not seen in a while, Dr. Raselas
is the kind who would not shy away from saying something like "Ante
Sociology of Pygmies P.h.D-En kageNew huwala tegenaNtenal?"
Dr. Raselas was notorious for referring to himself as "Doctor" in
every and all situations. He signs his credit card receipts "Dr.";
when he makes impromptu speeches at church he opens with a firm "Awon
Dr. Raselas neN.."; when he makes appointments at Fifi's
Hair Salon he wants to be signed up as "Dr. Raselas.. 2:00 p.m
Tsegur mestekakel yimeTalu".
His best friends were Dr. Dagnaw and Dr. Temesgen, whose credentials were a
little vague, some would say dicey, but "ye Ph.D. tiliQ
tinnish yeleum" as Dr. Raselas likes to say. The three meet at
the café every afternoon and nurse a cup of coffee and pontificate on
how to get airtime on the local public radio for a variety show they had in
mind, "Ine Doctor Mn Alu
Dr. Raselas has served on the Board of Directors of all the metropolitan DC
area Ethiopian churches. He was finally forced out of the last church when he
interrupted the QidaasE one Sunday to announce "Awon
Dr. Raselas neN
yihE bEt yimoQal. Esti eTan'un Q'nesssss
Good riddance, he thought. His talents were wasted there anyway.
Nobody knew much about Dr. Raselas' past, or even if he had immediate family.
He was seen on a couple of occasions dining on gored-gored with
the kind of women who used festals as handbags. He would never
introduce these women to anyone, although he was heard once by an Addis Abeba
Restaurant waitress saying, "Ph.D mn indehon tawQialesh?"
to one such dinner companion.
That day at the café, Dr. Raselas was unaware of Alemneh's presence.
The two had crossed paths and verbal swords a couple of times. There are many
things you can joke about around Alemneh, but you mess with "Purine Nucleoside
Phosphorylase", and you are enemy numero uno. The animus between
the two started one day at the café when Alemneh overheard Dr. Raselas
wax poetic about the structure of PNP's and realized that the man was a complete
fraud. But no one dared challenge Dr. Raselas even as he was calling Alemneh's
beloved PNPs "indew zm b'lew negeroch nachew". It was
too much for Alemneh to take. He turned to Dr. Raselas and let him have it.
He called him "QlEtam" for marakess-ing
the good name of Biochemistry, and called his bluff to go head-to-head on the
structure of PNPs.
The people surrounding Dr. Raselas were stunned. No one had ever dared talk
to Dr. Raselas that way! Even when he was trying to push a new political movement
that stood for the creation of a new province in Ethiopia that had the right
to secede called "Doctoriyosh" (loosely based on the
"benevolent dictatorship" of Ferdinand Marcos), people just nodded
and "grum new"-ed him. Even when he destroyed social
and civic Ethiopian organizations because he deemed them run by illiterate doma-ras',
people agreed with him in public, and went underground to whisper about his
So, when Alemneh was publicly flogging the good doctor, some were looking horrified
while secretly relishing the moment. But Dr. Raselas was not going to take this
discomfiture lightly. He stood up abruptly, pointed his finger at Alemneh, and
declared him "The wana Telat of innat Ityoppia."
He swore that he had seen Alemneh coming out from a famous DC restaurant that
used to be an Ethiopian Restaurant, and that Biochemistry was a cover for Alemneh's
ultimate plan of selling part of Ethiopia to Swedish nuns.
Well, that was all that the crowd needed to hear. They just knew that Biochemistry
was a thin veneer for a more sinister plan with those megaNa Swedinoch.
Alemneh was ostracized from the community. The final blow came when he saw Dr.
Raselas in Fifi's Salon having what hair he had left being mekerkem-ed
by Fifi's own wily fingers. Dr. Raselas was clearly flirting with Fifi, and
it was too much for Alemneh to bear.
Back in the café, Dr. Raselas, sensing that someone was vibing him,
turned around and crashed gin'bar-to-gin'bar with
Alemneh's clenched jaws. He was taken aback. He didn't expect to run into his
enemy without Dr. Dagnaw and Dr. Temesgen flanking his side. He nervously looked
Haile Selassie Mintesinot put two and two together. So that was the "lib
kawya" of a fake doctor who was making his cousin's life miserable!
The protective side of Haile Selassie Mintesinot took over logic as he strode
to Dr. Raselas' seat holding a piping hot mug of over-priced coffee.
Haile Selassie Mintesinot's tall ye goremsa stature towered over
Dr. Raelas' kosasa figurine. He shifted nervously in his chair
pretending not to see Haile Selassie Mintesinot. But Haile Selassie Mintesinot
kept inching towards the man until Dr. Raselas had to turn his head and cough
uncomfortably at being so close to the young man's belly button. Finally, Dr.
Raselas looked up and attempted a weak smile. "Tena-YstiliN,"
he said politely in a voice that was clearly shaking. "Po-po-po-po tiliQ
sew honk aydel indE?" Dr. Raselas continued, trying his hand at
idle conversation in a very sing-songy kind of manner.
Haile Selassie Mintesinot would not budge. He continued to look down at the
bald spot on Dr. Raselas' head. Dr. Raselas locked his fingers together, unlocked
them, locked them again, unlocked them again and started fiddling with the packet
of Equal in front of him. He looked up to Haile Selassie Mintesinot and asked
"Sikuwar ligabzih?" but quickly looked away, unable
to meet his tormentor's gaze.
Dr. Raselas looked nervously out the window. Where were his friends? "ACH!
D'rom inesun b'lo Dokteroch!" he muttered to himself. He turned
around, hoping to see Haile Selassie Mintesinot gone. No such luck. He bumped
his head right against a Lion of Judah belt buckle. Slowly, Dr. Raselas' eyes
traveled up Haile Selassie Mintesinot's long torso, up his slender neck and
then they locked eyes. Again, Dr. Raselas smiled nervously. A snort involuntarily
escaped his nostrils. "Tadiyaaaaaaa
he invited the young man, craning his neck around Haile Selassie Mintesinot's
body to nod at the chair beside him.
Just then, Dr. Raselas noticed his two friends stroll across the street heading
towards the café. He felt a surge of energy electrify his body. "Yet
abatu yihE majiratam," he said as he placed his hands firmly on
the arms of his wooden chair, getting ready to leap onto his feet. He looked
up at Haile Selassie Mintesinot and crinkled his nose. "Ante gandiya!
He never finished his sentence. Haile Selassie Mintesinot, in a careful manQorQoring
style, started to pour his hot coffee on Dr. Raselas' lap. The hot liquid singed
into the Doctor's skin, past his polyester trousers. The pain was so excruciating
that Dr. Raselas thought he would faint. As reality set in though, he let out
a howl that froze the café inertia. "U! U! U!"
shrieked Dr. Raselas in a high pitch note that could have been mistaken for
a discontented set weizero. "U! U! U!"
The Barrista at the café didn't waste time dialing 911. Regrettably,
someone's crotch being burnt by coffee was not deemed an "emergency emergency"
by the DC police, so they took their time dispatching an ambulance. Eventually
one did come and Dr. Raselas clamored onto the gurney, asking in passing if
either one of the EMS workers were doctors.
Finally in the emergency room, Dr. Raselas started screaming uncontrollably,
both in Amharic and English. "Ya Tooncha ras! Weine
salCHeriss!" He would periodically gulp some air and let out a
very unmanly "Awwwwwwwwch. Help me. No. No. No nurse shall touch me. Only
a doctor. No nurse. NO! NO! No nurse biyalew..." The commotion
became so conspicuous that nurses and patients in the open hall of the Emergency
Room started looking in the direction of the tiny man genuflecting on a creaking
"He's all yours," the burly EMS said pushing Dr. Raselas towards a
"What's with him?" the nurse asked, peering down at the sweaty patient
who was now whimpering in delusion.
"Don't think the boy has any balls left," the EMS worker said in
disinterest before slapping Dr. Raselas' thighs and heading out the automatic
doors to catch a smoke.
The nurse got a clipboard from her desk and clicked a pen. "OK.. sir
Can you hear me? What.. is.. your.. name
Dr. Raselas snapped back to reality. He unpursed his lips and looked up into
a set of no-nonsense eyes belonging to a woman who was on the 31st hour of her
"Are you a doctor?" he stammered out.
"Noooo. I am Head Nurse, baby. And if you don't tell me your name, sweetums,
I will let you fry. Now, what's your name, darlin'?"
"Wegijj anchi ToTa!" burst out Dr. Raselas. "I
said no nurse. Only doctor. I am a doctor, semash?" He coughed
to gain his composure and said properly, "Awon
Through the blinds of the hospital room, Davu could sense disorder in the main
hall of the Emergency Room. He looked at Shurruba Z who was now
coming around. He was considering clonking him on the head again to buy some
time while he checked out what the trimiss outside was all about.
But it was too late. Shurruba Z was getting up on his feet rubbing
his head. Davu hid the papers he was signing bequeathing Fifi to him behind
Shurubba turned towards his sister who had again slipped into
a comma. "Yo! Where the doc at?" he asked no one in particular. "Damn,
y'all, she done got knocked out again!" He looked over his shoulder at
Davu who was fidgeting nervously. Shurruba was about to walk out
the door when his cell phone rang. He made a mental note to change the ring
to a more updated rap song
maybe to "Sexy" by Xpoondiggy.
"Yo," he barked. "Yoooooo. My dawgz. Wazup, nigga! Wazup!
IndEt nachiu, indemin nachiu?" Suddenly feeling weak, he sat
down on a chair by Fifi's bed. Davu crept closer in from behind Z. He looked
for a blunt object to hammer down this shul aff and knock him
out long enough to check out what was happening out there. Davu loved werE
and gir-gir, especially when he hears Amharic being belted out.
He needed to know, and he'd be damned if this funga was going
to come in between him and the crisis brewing outside.
"Dawggggg. It's messed up, yo. For real, I ain't even playin'
at the hospital, son, no joke
Ma sister's man, yo
he rammed his
ride all up into an Impala
he crazy as
hell, bakih. He
Diffabachew found a metal tray in the corner of the room and carefully lifted
it up Shurruba Z's head. He was just about to drum his nemesis
into a second bout of unconsciousness, when they both heard someone wailing
"U! U! U! Ye Doctor yale!" The call of
being part of a fresh commotion was too strong to resist. Davu dropped the tray
and rushed outside.
"Gotta call you back, son. Some fool just bust up in here, hollerin' like
it ain't no thang," Shurruba hastily whispered into the phone
and flipped it close and followed Diffabachew.
Davu pushed people out of the way and arrived at the center of matters. He
eyed the man flipping right and left on the gurney. "Wui! Afer sihon
Dr. Raselas??" Diffabachew froze in his tracks. He looked up and saw that
scuttling in unsteadily while patting down her hair was Zewditu. "Yet
abatuwa Tefta new?" Davu swore audibly and waved to her. She hesitantly
waved back, adjusted her skirt and headed towards him. She hadn't see him in
a long time, and waw-waw-waw did he look good. She threw the mane of hair from
her face and sped up to him.
"Out of the way, heart attack in progress
" a voice behind Zewditu
hollered and she narrowly escaped being run over by another gurney. Eww
she hated emergency rooms. They are always so
and smelly and
waw. Davu. Yene Diffabachew. Zewditu absent-mindedly glanced down
at the person the people in blue were wheeling into the middle of the emergency
room. Poor guy, she thought. It must be god awful being manhandled by those
beastly looking EMS workers
She looked again at the miskeen patient. Indew
eko f'rja new. But before she could sympathize any further her jaws
dropped in shock.
She followed the gurney. A nurse headed towards them.
"What we got here?" asked the nurse. The ambulance driver rattled
off the stats on the subject. "Female, late 60's, complaining of heart
murmurs, was in a restaurant on 18th Street ordering when she fell
Zewditu, in quite a daze, looked at the patient's face and stopped mid-way.
It was Weizero Sebebyelesh, alright! Weizero Sebebyelesh looked up at Zewditu's
QuliCHliCH milu eyes. If it were not for the tube in her mouth,
she would have screamed. As it was, she clenched her beautifully manicured fingers
around the posts on her side. Zewditu could still not move and the two women
just stared at each other.
Meanwhile, the nurse in charge of Dr. Raselas had had enough of him and ordered
a nurse's assistant to "wheel in that maniac into a cubicle." He would
have to be sedated. It took two men to push Dr. Raselas onto his back and handcuff
him to the rails of the gurney. "Weine sewyew, " he
shrieked. "Inde Iyesus Kristos asrew liseQluN new
Both Zewditu and Weizero Sebebyelesh looked in the direction of the cry. "ET's!"
Zewditu thought. "They are everywhere!" Dr. Raselas was being pushed
in their direction towards a corner cubicle behind them. He was just about to
emit another series of hyperbole when he abruptly shot up halfway, immobilized.
Dr. Raselas' and Weizero Sebebyelesh were quietly staring at each other only
a few feet apart. Zewditu looked up to see Diffabachew and a
cute young boy pacing towards them with a sense of exaggerated urgency.
"Sebebu?" Dr. Raselas breathed.
"Doctor?" mumbled Weizero Sebebyelesh her eyes welling with tears.
"Sebebu" he said again, this time with a little firmness.
Diffabachew's stumbling onto the scene dissolved the Zen-like mood. "Do
you need a
turjuman? You need
translator?" Diffashet said in expressed exigency. Weizero Sebebyelesh
and Dr. Raselas did not break out of their trance.
The silence was finally broken by Shurruba Z's cell phone thumping
to that hip-hop song from yesteryear. "Yo!" he barked into it. "Bakih
let me call you back, dawg. Ze ar is hitting the fan!"
Both Weizero Sebebyelesh and Dr. Raselas turned in slow motion towards Shurruba
Z. They gasped in unison. Shurruba looked at them both
then twice. He focused in on Dr. Rasleas. It was as if he was looking in the
"LijE" Dr. Raselas finally breathed out. He looked
into Weizero Sebebyelesh's face. "Lijachin."
Zewditu shot a look at Diffabachew. What the hell was going on? Who was this
silly old man and why does he look at that kid
that cute kid with braids.
That cute kid who could just use a few lessons in
nQnQ esti!" a fragile voice from
behind everyone yelled. It was Fifi holding a gun trained at the group.
"Fifisha!" Davu yelped. He noticed that she had the stack of papers
he had finished signing in her other hand. Damn. Ya wesfatam siyawakibeN
Davu remembered he had forgotten to hand the papers back to the nurse.
Fifi stared at him. "Werada!" she spat out.
"Wiy Fifiye!" Davu groped around for the right words.
"Zm bel!" she interrupted him, her voice icy.
"Well, I guess the truth had to come out eventually," she said slowly.
"Zelalem'yenne," she said turning to Shuruuba Z
are your parents. You are the love child of Etiye Sebebu and Gashiye
Raselas. You are what they call a "ye bEt w'ld". Gashiye
Raselas blackmailed me into taking care of you."
"Ye serawit yale!" muttered Diffabachew from the background,
mulling in his mind how he could spread this piece of hot news around 18th street.
Shuruuba seemed unperturbed.
so we finally meet again," Fifi said turning her attention
to her estranged sister. Zewditu glared back at her. "Gashiye
Raselas is our real father."
Stay tuned for the conclusion of As BolE Turns.