It was All for John



THE MOMENT she had sat down on the salon chair that afternoon, Janet Sawa’s emotions begun to twirl and she suddenly couldn’t relax. Something was wrong. She felt it, and it confused and agitated her.

Instead of letting it depress her she decided to be positive, let all her negative energy out and just be eased. What better place for that than at the salon?

However, it wasn’t that easy.

Anxiety persistently gripped at her heels despite the cosy atmosphere, the women’s talk, good music in the background, and the smell of familiar perfumes and chemicals analogous to the salon.

Something still troubled and discomforted her.

The air was starting to feel foul on her strong, plain face, and the terror swam into the room like a crocodile after bathing in the sun for long; soft and precise.

Also, her body perspired, her legs trembled slightly and her heart pounded fast like quick back-and-forth movements of sex and orgasms.

With how she felt, she knew something was off. So terribly off in fact, only she didn’t know what it was.

The hairdresser, Mwila, a tall, light skinned woman, asked her what was bothering her and Janet told her the truth. She didn’t know.

Then her phone rung and forced her to jerk out of her seat. Mwila was startled and leapt a bit too. Janet’s heart now beat faster; she still didn’t know what was wrong. Yet there was something amiss. Thoughts about almost everything flashed in her mind; from huge moments to small ones.

The phone was still ringing and she just watched it as it rang, again, and again.

Finally, she pushed her fingers on the tiny keypad.


‘Ma,’ her son James’ voice sounded on the other side of the line, so dry and hoarse.

There was silence.

‘James, what is it?’ she whispered into the phone and felt her heart soften.

There was another silence, this one a bit longer than the first. She strangely expected him to tell her some bad news.

“Nothing, just wanted to tell you I’m not coming home tonight, we’re travelling out again,” he said. “Tell John not to wait up for me, I’m trying his number but can’t get through.”

“Even the landline?”

“Especially the landline, his cell is going to voicemail after some rings.”

“Okay, but with you everything is fine?” she said, uncertain.

“Ya, why d’you ask?”

“Nothing,” she managed to say. “Just thinking too much I guess, don’t worry, I’ll tell him.”

“Oh okay, bye.”

He cut the line and immediately her mind rushed to her other son. Why wasn’t he picking up his brother’s call? It was so unlike John. Something was definitely wrong.

She stood up gasping, letting her apron fall to the floor. The women stared as she moved towards the door.

‘Madam, where you going?’ Mwila, asked, bewildered. She had been doing Janet’s hair for the last five years now and she had never seen her that preoccupied in all that time.

‘I’m going to see my son.’

With that, Janet walked out the salon.



One thought on “ALL FOR JOHN

  1. So dramatic, for such a quiet ‘salon’ environment. You actually managed to transfer the anxiety of the character to me, leaving me terribly anxious to know: What the hell is going on?

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