Not a happily-ever-after ending. Just a happy ending, one of many.
Waking up one day and realising that despite how many mistakes you have made, and in spite of how many curve balls life throws at you, you still did pretty good.
So my mum is dozing off while watching some TV show that for the life in me I cannot bring myself to watch. After nodding off a couple of time, she mumbles sleepily, “Curve balls, what are curve balls, who says curve balls?”
I try to get her to repeat the question but she gets up with a very Nigerian mschew!, and then shuffles off to bed. Yeah, curve balls. I have used the curve ball phrase in my writing, and gotten into a few arguments with mum because she does not approve of my borrowed americanisms. So perhaps that was the reason for her sleepy distress.
And what are curve balls, anyway? I know they have something to do with baseball, Babe Ruth (I have no idea, I am Kenyan!), and my favourite character in Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris, one of those not-quite-perfect stories about life, friendship and change. So I googled curve balls, and then I did a wikipedia (shamefaced shrug).
The curveball (also known as the bender, and Uncle Charlie), is a breaking pitch in baseball thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that impart down and/or sideways spin to the ball. It is therefore considered a type of breaking ball. Contrary to a fastball (which has only back spin), the curveball has a diagonal spin that creates a wake behind the ball, making the pitch drop on its way to the plate. A curveball is used to disrupt the opponent’s timing.
So I guess a curve ball is not a good thing if you are not the one throwing it, and especially if it comes from life.
It is so much easier to moan and groan at life’s little and major injustices. I have been known to do that occasionally. However, I much prefer to find the humour in the oh-so-common sorrows. Not an easy thing to do. For instance, this morning I woke up to the sounds of explosions. I saw the flash, I heard the boom, and then I felt my mum literally lift me off the bed. She was not going to wait and ind out what the hell the explosions were. She was a lot more concerned with protecting her babies.
We found out later that the explosions were from a gas storage facility that had caught fire during the night. And that is when I remembered my cats. Mum was holding four fluffy kittens, my own quite large self, and my sleepyhead brother. And then it was 6:23am, and themorning sun was beautiful.
Damn if that aint a happy ending! Yes, mother, I will drop the negative negatives, too.
So curve balls or morning sunshine, wake up and find your happy ending every day, even if it is laughter amidst tears. There is always something to be happy about. Always. Just don’t explode anything, okay?
Now, allow me to share No. 3 of Creekside Princess:
3. My Mills&Boon Hero
The first time I met him outside of work, he sent a car to pick me up and deliver me to the Bistro on Dolphin Road. It was mid-afternoon on a Sunday. I had just gotten off from work and did not have any classes. I should have hurried to the Sunday Afternoon Church service like I had promised my mother, but I got into the sleek BMW and sat on the left back seat. Dolphin Road was major upper scale. Strangely, the affluence of high class villas and the Los Angelos style boardwalk shops and cafes by the water was bordered by the slum and poverty of the Shanzu village. I prefered to focus on the red top and makuti villas shining white against the jade blue of the ocean. Read the rest of the episode here.
You can help me tell this story by sending your ideas email@example.com. What will happen is that your idea will help carve a subsidiary character through whom our main character will learn something on her way to being a Queen. You can also access the story by going to the page bar, click on Creekside Princess and then click on the story title then read on.
© Juliet Maruru 2010 www.jmaruru.wordpress.com