"You color very neatly, Oshan," I said.
"Yes," he said. "I'm the best colorer in the whole world, pretty much." I love British hippies, because they may look wild, but their accents give them away. When I was having juice with Oshan and Darius last week, they used the words "mollycoddle" and "persnickety" in a ten minute span of time. Not to mention that when I walked up, Darius was eating baked beans on toast; a food that is utterly mysterious to me.
"Well," I said, feeling that he'd better be brought down a peg or two, "you're not very creative at coloring, are you?" He held out his work and looked at it. "No, no I'm not, am I? I'm more simple, really."
The boys and Chinua discussed where they would practice for the upcoming concert, and the rest of us sat at the table with our crayons. When they decided to go to the nearby restaurant with the Nepali cooks, Darius asked if the art entourage could please accompany them. I hemmed and hawed, since I had just finished dinner, but in the end, decided that time spent with these friends was time well spent, and we could eat the food I'd made tomorrow. So we all rounded up jackets and left.
And we colored more flyers, and we ate. And there was a hailstorm, and it grew increasingly cold, and you can sense the impending doom, can't you?
On the way back, Chinua lovingly hiked back up the hill with me, so I wouldn't have to do it alone in the dark, and we all shivered (when we leave in three days we won't shiver again until perhaps next April) and I thought thankfully about the fact that our house had been warming up all day in the sun, and would be pretty warm, compared with how frigid it was outside.
And then we reached our door, and we smelled the smoke. Chinua and I looked at each other, wide-eyed. "I didn't... I'm not... I thought," I said, cleverly, and dashed into a huge cloud of smoke which escaped when I opened the door, pursuing the children around the deck. First I turned off the stove. Then we began to open every window, every door, to let the horrific smell out. Not only the smell of burnt beans, but the smell of burnt pan. We gathered around outside, glumly, looking into the pot which Chinua illuminated with his flashlight. Nasty black bubbly beans, all charred and stuck to the bottom of the once-pan.
Now our house is refreshingly chilly, and still smells of something you'd rather not be close to. YaYa said, very distraught, "We should check all of those things, before we leave, shouldn't we?"
"I did check, I looked a few times. I didn't realize it was still on."
"What about looking under the pot, to see if the fire is going?"
"Yes, that would be the best thing, wouldn't it." Yes, yes it would.