It was an awfully confusing Friday afternoon when He left. The clouds loomed at the distance, so dark and heavy laden with tears of our ancestors. For a second, I thought that the clouds would just swoop in, gather us in her bosom, and wash away our desiccated faces. Instead, she just blew a soft wind to ease our parched and worn out skin. The sun on the other hand battled between burning people to a crisp or easing itself soothingly into our bodies, chasing the cold and heartache away.

When He left, the little boy cried for his mother. She, however, lay unresponsive on the ground, next to his little rivulet of urine. The boy eventually gave up when no one heeded his cry for attention. He, instead, had a new point of focus- the red trickle, sticky substance flowing from his mother. He crawled to and sat, oddly fascinated and captivated by the puddle and started splashing his mother’s blood on himself.

His father sat with his back against the wall, mortified, shaking so hard the gun fell from his hand. He only meant to bring down some thunder on her, make her shut up and stop her ranting over his love for the bottle and the devil’s piss. The woman just could not shut up!


When He left, the young lassie was so shot up that her pupils rolled to the back of her head. For a minute, I thought that she had overdosed and I was staring at a corpse. I was ready to bolt when she stirred and coughed a little, sniffed, and tried to stand up only to fall back down then she laughed. She desperately needed to fit in. Tired for always being on the out looking in, even though she had the faintest idea of what it was she was looking at. If only she knew…

The desire to please, to be recognized, to not be the girl that spent all her weekends doing laundry and basically having no “life” led her to this quagmire she needed to get out of. Many a men and boys had made their way between her legs, more than she had crossed the big river on her way home to her ailing father and overworked mother.

She was the first born of seven and only she could read.

The twins came shortly after and both were epileptic.

The fourth was a worthless drunk. Died before he reached twenty.

Number five and six became mothers too young by the same village hoodlum.

Seven still suckled on their mother’s breast. She was an ‘accident’. The father just couldn’t take it and hit rock bottom. His head didn’t work right anymore, neither did his entire right side.

She knew she had to help them. However, freedom became too sweet and before she knew it, was chasing the hive wherever it led her.

Before her high wore off, she looked at her reflection in the mirror and smirked at the innocent girl looking back at her with pleading eyes. “There was no turning back now,” she thought. With shoes she couldn’t afford, she wobbled towards the old looking fossil with a big, big nose on a really small head, dressed in Italian, two sizes too big, lips too plush struggling to balance the cigar he still hadn’t lit, in a big, big car, knowing all too well that He had already left her.

“And most importantly don’t betray yourself. Not for a relationship. Not for status. Not for power. Not for money. Not to fit into a stereotype. Not to look a certain way. Not for approval. Don’t betray yourself.” -Aaliyah Royle



How he knew He had left him?

When the bullet tore through his heart.

He did not know what hurt most. That or the image of a father who disowned him and a mother too broken by him to pick herself off the floor. How cruel regret can be seconds before you breathe your last.

“Always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.” —Mufti Ismail Menk

He had crossed the path of a perennial, high functioning sycophant who preyed on the naivety and desperation of young lads to do his bidding. They called him BOSS MAN and he and his miscreants sent a cold chill down the spines of many for their horrific deeds. What he wanted they got it for him with no regard for the piling body count on their wake. In turn, he provided them with enough women and coke their sinuses could handle. All their problems were dissolving right in front of their eyes.

His weak spot was the money, and the booze. Don’t forget the women, light as day and thick like the yams back home with absolutely nothing between their ears and everything a man would ask for between their legs and on their chests.

They say the days of a thief are numbered. His took twenty. The long arm of the law finally caught up to him and his boys and a bullet stopped him right on his tracks.

His family depended on him to pull them out of the deep, murky waters of poverty. Now he was an added expense. His father had to build him a wooden box to bury him in.


When the blood started to flow, they sighed a deep-seated sigh, deep from their bellies and conscious that indeed He had left them a long, long time ago.

It started as rivulets meandering through the cracks and crevices of society and misconstrued versions of events. It hungrily seeped into the dust and scorched earth. The rivulets all flowed to join into a stream where the road to peace and harmony broke after indifference, ethnicity and plain old animosity detonated like a radioactive bomb. Already the after effects were visible. Orphans, widows, men hopping around on mangled limbs supporting themselves on curved sticks from the trees they failed to protect and now relied upon.

The stream now became a river. A roaring beast, tearing a clear divide between the haves and have nots of society, as heads of the innocent, the guilty and the misinformed partisans’ bobbed along with the current, with tears made of letters and shapes that could only be taken as warning signs and messages of, ‘if only I knew’ and ‘please do it differently from we; do it better’.

Do we listen?

The cancer spread, and in pain, remembered when we had Him. And lost Him.

One by one, feeling irredeemable, finally accepting the inevitable, they all agreed that indeed God left this place a long, long time ago.

We live in a chaotic world where it’s difficult to understand the rules. Because why are some people poor and other people rich? Why do some people have to be refugees, while others are safe? Why are some people spit on on the street? And why is it that sometimes, even though you try to do something good, it’s still met with hate? It’s not weird that people give up. That they stop believing in the good. But thank you so much for not giving up. Because even though it sometimes feels like it, no one’s ever alone. Each and every one of us is a part of the big chaos. And what you do today, has an effect tomorrow. It can be hard to say, exactly what kind of effect. And you usually can’t see how everything fits together. But the effects of your actions, are always there, somewhere in the chaos. In a hundred years, we may have machines that can predict the effect of every action, but until then, we can trust this:
Fear spreads. But..
But fortunately, love does too.”
—Jonas, SKAM TV Series




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