Thursday, May 16, 2013

Houhia and Hinewai discuss moves (No. 95)

A story of Ahu and Ahuahu and their family in a Maori village in Aotearoa during European settlement of New Zealand. (Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts)

Houhia had become very close to Hinewai who was like an aunt to her as she was Hatiti’s sister. Houhia still thought of Tiemi the botanist even though she had rebuked him and shown her strength and determination to preserve their land from the pakeha takeover. She still kept the little card he had given her with his name on. She often held it in her hand and placed it on her breast at night when she thought of him. She remembered his eyes when they looked at each other and thought they told her that he desired her and that made her feel very good inside. Then she would hide the card away again.

When Ahu her mother suggested to her that she should be thinking of being married, she could only think of him and would reply “I am not ready yet.” She knew she was lying and even Ahu looked doubtful as all girls Houhia’s age would be hoping that would be asked to marry even though they could refuse.

So she went round to Hinewai’s whare and asked if she could talk with her. Hinewai was very pleased that she asked. Even though she did not have children of her own she was happy to be involved with Hatiti’s and Ahu’s children and be part of the families now that she lived at Black Sands.

They sat together on the porch and chatted about everything except what Houhia wanted to talk about. Finally Houhia asked Hinewai “How far is it to Auckland?”

A broad grin spread over Hinewai’s face, she tried to suppress it but in the end she laughed and said “Houhia, are you still thinking of Tiemi?”

Houhia nodded. “I cannot forget the way he looked at me, Hinewai.”

Hinewai reached forward and hugged Houhia. “I expect he looks that way at all girls as he is not married. He will marry an ugly pakeha woman and then think of you when he makes love to her. Please to not hope for more.”

“What is it like living in a pakeha town Hinewai?”

“Dirty. They do not wash as often as we do. They defecate in the same place in a container in a shed behind their houses, they do not oil they bodies; they lie to each other or have different meaning to their words.” Hinewai paused here and then said “When they speak you do not know if they tell the truth or if they laugh at you.”

“Surely not all of them, Hatiti?”

“Why are you asking this? Do you really want to walk to Auckland to find him only to discover he has a wife and three children?” Here she paused then said “We would have to make some new flax shoes to wear if we went or else our feet would be torn to shreds on the stones on the roadway.” Hinewai paused again as she thought out the problem. “We would be in danger not only from the pakeha but from our own people as we travel though their lands. As everyone is so edgy these days“.

“But you managed before, Hinewai, travelling by yourself.”

“I had something to trade then, you do not.” Again Hinewai was silent as she thought it through. Then she came out with “No, it is wrong, Houhia. Ahu and Ahuahu would never forgive me if I took you there.”

Houhia looked crestfallen, so Hinewai took her hand and said “How do you think that Tiemi feels about you?”

“When he looked at me I could see the stars shine in his eyes, and he always smiled when he talked to me as though he was happy even though we were arguing with him. Why did he do that Hinewai?”

“It did that because he admired the way you were strong and assertive, he probably hadn’t seen that before in a woman.”

“What should I do then?” whispered Houhia.

“Nothing, if he wants you he will return. I think he left that card to tell you he cares for you. He will think more of you and want you more if you do not make the first move. I feel sure now that he will return for you. However the big problem then will be persuading Ahuahu to permit you to be together.”

Houhia thought about this a little then said “Did you ever want someone you shouldn’t have?”

Hinewai nodded, “All the time. Don’t tell anyone else but I flirted with your father when he first came to Black Sands as I wanted to be loved so much.”

“What happened?”

“My father Kamaka beat me, I deserved it but but he forgave me eventually."

“Ahuahu too treats you very well now.”

“I would do anything for Ahuahu, Houhia. He respects me.”

6 comments:

  1. I like reading their conversation, and the last question happens to many people.
    She was beaten by her father? well at least her father forgave her.

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  2. A lot of people feel like Hinewai. They love and respect Ahuahu because he respects them.

    Little did I know back when you first had Hinewai flirting that it would turn out this way. She paid her dues. She's where she belongs.

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  3. If you were to send this series to a publisher, his editor would have very little to do - you are keeping your story-telling standards very high.

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  4. I agree with Altonian..this series is very well imagined..i can picture you..picturing it..for me stories are about leaving with a feeling for the characters and your last lines always provide me with that satisfaction..

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  5. I like how the view of your charactors try to interpret the different people they encounter.

    It is too bad though that we as humans attempt to modernize everything because we highly prize advancement over what had been a successful system. Doesn't matter which native peoples where displaced.

    Thanks for your visit to my wordle.
    Off to read yours now...

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  6. This is lovely in every sense of the word. I hope the man doesn't disappoint the young lady.

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