For Ned

Abigail Jones

I

The girl is at that precise moment of adolescence wherein ugliness and prettiness are at the very apex of their battle to claim a lifelong dominance. At some times, the girl looks in the mirror and can’t believe how delicious she is. Most of the time though, she is horrified. To assuage her burning rage at not only having to live in Zimbabwe, but also at having missed out on absolute beauty, she adopts mannerisms and outfits that are sexually provocative and consciously inappropriate for whatever the task at hand is.

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The Midlands Hotel

Abigail Jones

I had never spent much time in Gweru before last summer. The town, capital of the Midlands province of Zimbabwe, was the place of my mother’s childhood and a four-hour car journey from Harare, the place of my mine. In the nineties, we had driven through a few times on family holidays, on our way to the southern city of Bulawayo. I remember that we stopped once at the Gweru’s Midlands Hotel for tea when I was ten or so. My siblings and I ate inconceivably gigantic scones on the verandah.

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