I think it was about six or seven when I got out of bed in the morning. Another day of doing nothing. Even sleep seemed to be more enjoyable, than to be awake and just walk around, breathe and eat. On my way to the fucking kitchen there was the smell of burnt eggs. So nauseating. It could only be one person who’s frying the goddamn eggs to smell like that. My lil’ sister Kabbie. She was only eight but she thought she’s a grown up, always wanted to do shit by herself, like those disabled individuals who have too much pride they feel their ego lessen at the help of others.

Me and grandma had lost count at how many times we’ve both scolded Kabbie not to play around with the fucking stove. Grandma once gave her a hiding in the ass. She also realised that the eggs were burning as she rushed to the stove and removed the pan with a cloth. At least she was cautious.

I took it that grandma wasn’t awake yet, hence Kabbie saw a chance to make herself breakfast. But I doubted she would ever eat those eggs because they looked yellow-brown. She saw me open the door and windows for the smoke to clear out.

“Lee,” she said. She didn’t look the least guilty that I just caught her doing something we told her over a million times not to do, nor guilty that she’s burnt her fucking eggs–a fucking waste. “Good morning,” she said, sounding so damn squeaky, she had a chipmunk voice.

I said hi to her, offered to make her new eggs. She was about to talk back like she usually does. “No, I can make my own eggs myself,” she would’ve said but my assertion came with a hard tone which made her squirm a little. Good.

By the time grandma was up and out of her room, me and Kabbie were eating; toasted bread, bacon and eggs with some glasses of guava juice on the side. We said our good mornings to grandma, Kabbie’s coming of in one of those loud kid voices you’d often hear at creche when oral activities are taking place. Annoying shit. It was even more annoying when she kept telling me about what happened at her school. Why would I want to know about what happened in a Grade Two class? She was too young to deduce by my face that I was annoyed as hell, even the goddamn food wasn’t enjoyable; the fucking eggs tasted like they didn’t have enough salt in them, then I thought my juice wasn’t sweet enough.

Grandma pulled out her tiny pot to make herself some brown porridge. She ain’t got too many teeth, I think there was nine left. She only ate soft food. Her false had been ordered and they were due to arrive next week.

Her and Kabbie were made from the same cloth. One could tell how grandma was like at eight by observing Kabbie, one could also predict how Kabbie would be when she’s much older by looking at grandma. As old as she was, at seventy six, she too preferred to do shit by herself, even when her body and strength wouldn’t let her. Grandma Mavis would force it and get it done. She’d find a way. It took some goddamn convincing from my dad to get her to accept the incoming false teeth which he ordered and bought for her. When a cane with wheels was suggested to help her walk, the old lady said no. It was like in her mind she stopped aging at forty two years, being old was too bad. I should have been the cook of the house but grandma said that’ll mean she’s dead. “Don’t worry, Lee. I’ll cook.” The only time I got to clean the house was when she was asleep or away. And she damn near cried when dad said he finna take her to the home of the aged. That was hella funny.

Anyways, I was half way through finishing my breakfast and Kabbie kept talking about school. Or was she still talking about school? I didn’t know, I wasn’t listening. Getting on my nerves with that squeaky voice of hers. I was right next to her but she was talking as if I was listening from a far distance. Shit. And of course there has to be a way of asking an eight year old to shut up without sounding rude or else you’ll hurt their little feelings. But damn! My young sister was such a talker, a loquacious little thing, she probably say a billion words in a day.

“…we played on the see-saw during break time and then our teacher, Ms. Collins called us back to class and there was this girl Michelle who–oh!” She jumped up on her seat. “Did I tell you about how– how Nqobile broke her leg under the table?”

I didn’t say yes but she kept talking anyways. She’d forgotten about her bread and eggs. Finally, after emptying my plate I granted myself the excuse of leaving the goddamn kitchen, of which I did so immediately, dumping the saucer and glass in the sink. That didn’t mean Kabbie stopped talking. She bounced from one story to another, never running out of breath and her volume meant that she was now talking to me and grandma. But the old lady wasn’t interested at all. “Nobody cares. Just finish up, your eggs are getting cold,” she scolded her.

Tell us: being talkative, is it a bad thing or a good thing?