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Anse a La Mouche

By Sylvie Hoareau-Cholewinska
An Editor's favorite

It was a typical Sunday afternoon. As usual my mother decided at the last minute to go visit my brother. I was really upset. Being pregnant and all, mood swings were quite frequent with me. And that particular Sunday was not an exception.

We lived in a small village called Anse a La Mouche (part of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean). It is a beach village situated on the southern part of the main island Mahé. My brother lived about twenty minutes walk down the beach from us. We lived further up the hill. The idea of walking the whole way was not particularly pleasing to me. I knew that afterwards, my feet would swell up like melons.

Nevertheless, as angry as I was, we headed down. She told me that we were taking the bus. I was speechless. My mother wanted to take the bus. This was really weird.

We always walk to my brother’s home because my mother believes that exercising is the best way to remain healthy. Even after five children and going on fifty, my mother has the figure of a twenty year old. I was envious of that. I always said that I wanted a figure like that at her age. Thus the exercise emphasis of my mother. If I wanted that figure that is.

The bus ride took five minutes. We then walked the rest of the way to my brother’s house. It was awfully quiet when we got there.

‘Maybe they are not home’, I said to my mother.

‘Let ‘s go check round back’, she said.

We went round back and were greeted by the dogs. Malika and Candy started to jump around. Malika nearly toppled me over. At that point my brother came over.

‘Down girls. Hey you made it. Thought you were not coming today.’’ he said as he gave me a hug and kiss. Maggie, my sister in law, was at his heels.

As we stepped, in I heard ‘SURPRISE!

I nearly had a heart attack. The whole room was decorated with balloons. There was a sign saying ... ’Welcome New Baby' ... The table was laid out with plenty of food and drinks, I was near tears.

My family was there. That included my grand mother, my sister with her two children, plus my two best friends had made it as well. At that same moment, as was still getting over the shock, my other brother walked in.

‘I thought we left you at home. You knew what was going on”, I asked.

He gave me a smile that said it all. He was in on it all along. A surprise baby shower for me.

Maggie had really kicked her heels in. My mouth watered as I looked at the food in front of me.

‘Can I eat something? I am famished,’ I asked rather shyly.

‘Sure. Go right ahead. It is your party after all.’ she said to me. I dug in. The food was delicious. An assortment of fish and other meat accompanied by rice, salad and chutneys. I ate until I honestly could not move. Maggie came over with some juice for me and said that I should save some space for dessert. It was a lovely cake with fresh fruit and whipped cream. I kept thinking that the baby is awfully happy with all that food she was getting. I, for one, was. I was enjoying every minute of it, as well as every morsel.

When I thought that I could not swallow another bite, I got up and went outside on the veranda. The fresh air from the sea was nice and it felt good on my skin. My friends joined me and we started to chat. It had been a long time since I had seen them. We had so much to catch up on.

Inside the music had started. The rhythm, along with the breeze, left a good feeling in the air. My brother, as usual, was making fun inside. He was making some weird dance moves and every one was enjoying themselves and laughing at his expense.

It was funny because the baby was moving about and kicking. I guess it was the music. So I got up, went inside and started to dance. Just try to picture a heavily pregnant woman. Funny enough, I resembled a huge water melon rolling downhill. My mother could not stop laughing.

Maggie was trying to dance as well. She always told me she could not but she was not so bad. My friends joined in the fun. My grand mother was so drunk that every step she made, she either tripped on something or fell on the floor. I guess she fell like three or four times until she'd gain her balance properly. She in turn started to dance. She was really good. I do not know if it was the drinks she had or it was her natural talent. I pondered on the thought. 'I should ask her later', I reminded myself.

The my sister in law came to me and said that it was present time. They also wanted to give some name suggestions, so I welcomed the idea. Every one, at that point, was quite drunk.

Most of them wanted to feel the baby kicking. I told them as soon as she does I will let them know. My nephew was very quiet. It was then that I realised that he was jealous of all the attention for the baby. He was no longer the youngest. I gave him a hug and he relaxed. I said to him, ’You are still my baby nephew and do not ever forget that’.

He smiled and gave me a hug. I tried to hug back but the belly was in the way. At that point the baby kicked and I knew that was a jealous kick. Quite sharp and to the point.

The presents were all lovely. There were baby blankets, matching pillow cases and covers. Also night gowns for me. Bottles for the baby, powder, baby cream and shampoo. Assorted fluffy toys and a number of baby clothes as well as pyjamas.

I started thinking that by now I having too much stuff for just one baby. She already had so much clothes. And I just bought cream and shampoo. But one can never have too many. I also got toiletries for myself. My sister in law gave me a huge hamper full of goodies. Chocolate, biscuits and peanuts. I was so happy that I hugged her until she was so squeezed she had to scream. My sister got me lingerie and I laughed so much, that I started to have heart burn after that. How can I wear lingerie looking like I do. 'Well I will save it for a better day', I laughed to myself.

By then it was nearly nightfall. My friends said they had to leave, as they had to catch respective buses back to their villages. I said goodbye and thanked them for coming by. The rest of the family remained for dinner. That was the leftovers from the afternoon. The food was even better cold, I have to admit. Then later on we started on the names that could be eventual possibilities.

My brother said Emma was not bad, whilst my sister in law said Chloe was nicer. I suggested Ingrid. Maggie hated the name and said no god child of hers would be named Ingrid. I had no idea why she disliked the name. My mother suggested Clara. I said 'not bad', but I wanted something original as well as something the family of my husband can pronounce. In the end we agreed on Ilyana. Thus she was to be named Ilyana Samara Rose. Rose was in honour of my mother.

An hour later we were saying goodbye and headed home. It was really late when we got to the house. Until today, I still find it unbelievable how I managed to make it home in my state in the dark. For me it was a day that I will never forget.

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