There is a hotel in the Village on the way to the stream; at least it calls itself a hotel. It’s a small concrete bungalow with a tin roof and a concrete courtyard. An dented oil drum sits at the corner of the building to catch rain water. Dingy curtains cover the open windows and doors. Outside a big signboard says ‘Sunrise Hotel’ above badly painted pictures of green beer bottles and a goat head. At night red and blue light bulbs glow surreally in the surrounding darkness like Christmas lights.
Chidimma passes the hotel on her way to the stream every day. It looks modern and inviting in a village of mud huts and colonial buildings. She wants to go in and maybe stay in one of their rooms. The hotel rooms she sees in Drum magazine have nice beds with head boards, closets and bedside lamps, not like the iron bed she sleeps on in a stuffy room with clothes hanging on pegs in the wall lit only by a dim kerosene lamp.
She asks her half-sister Eunice if they can stay there.
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