Gayesha - Character Intro

           Gayesha swore under her breath as she fumbled the fold on her sari, the fabric falling to puddle around her feet.  In the kitchen, with a knife in her hand, her fingers were as deft as she could ask – they should be, after more than a decade of training. But sometimes they failed her at routine household tasks, and her husband was no help.  Even now, when he could be holding the fabric taut for her, so Gayesha could more easily pleat the folds, Sandun was snoring on his sleeping mat. He’d promised to feed the children breakfast this morning, so she could get to work early on this, her first day, but there was no sign of that happening.  

           “Rasathi, can you slice a mango for your brother?  There’s some uppuma in the pot – can you manage?”

           “Yes, Amma,” her seven-year-old daughter obediently said. She was young to wield such a sharp knife – but Gayesha had been showing her how for years.  Asheni would be fine. Although if Sandun could at least supervise…

           Gayesha got the fabric tucked in properly, finally.  She hesitated a long moment, and then went over to the mat and kicked her husband in the side.  Not too hard, but hard enough. Sandun rolled over and cracked open one eye, glaring at her. After eight years of marriage, he knew how to read the glare Gayesha sent back at him.  

           Sandun had been full of praise when he first tasted her cooking, had claimed he was proud to have such a talented wife.  Well, even the best milk soured if you let it sit long enough.

           She snapped, “I’ll probably be late getting back today.  Don’t forget to feed them something for dinner. Don’t wait up.”  

           And then she was out the door, Kosoma swooping down to perch on her shoulder.  Gayesha reached up to stroke a finger down his bright green feathers, taking a deep breath.  

           Calm. She had to be calm today, had to do a good job.  A great job! Gayesha would do whatever she had to, to make the king happy.

           Her family’s future depended on it.

Megan McAvoy