The Life of a White Bird

I was about 10 when I left home, a sad day that was. I know it was for the best, however if I could turn back the hands of time I would. My parents seemed to be used to letting go, I am not surprised though: I was the seventh of a total of twelve. I was not their first and nor was I their last. I guess like they all say: “life goes on”, or was that a tupac song. I must say, leaving the house is quite an experience that I would not trade for anything in the world; not even my beautiful girls.
First day out of the house was the worst ever. It was worse than sharing a toilet with 6 brothers and 5 sisters. I couldn’t tell left from right, I had no friends and I had no idea of the whereabouts of my other brothers. I was all alone. Although I was used to being alone, this was a new type of lonely. I have never been the type to make friends. The only people I knew were my siblings and my parents. This was not entirely my fault though; I didn’t fit in with the others.
Let me not get too emotional as of yet, I’m not ready for it. After about 5 days of being out of the house I soon got a hang of things. I knew where and how to get food. I met a cool stranger, my first ever friend. Trevor is his name; he was and still is the best. He was the first person who embraced my appearance and did not judge me. Well I guess he understood because we had a similar yet different condition.
Trevor and I vowed to have each other’s backs no matter what happened. We believed that nothing would separate us; I guess we didn’t think we would ever get married. Together we were untouchable; in a weird way I found confidence in Trevor. Without him I was just as before; a shy loner. Trevor is a year older than me. That meant that he had an entire years experience being out in the “wild”.
“Hey Top, what’s for supper tonight” asks Trevor all the time. He was hungry all the time. “Top” was a nickname Trevor gave me the second we met. He is truly special to me. Being a loner as a young boy, I would be in the kitchen with my mother learning to cook. This came in handy living with a person who sees having 8 slices of bread with 6 fried eggs and bacon, as a starter or as he calls it an appetiser. Sometimes I think that he only stuck with me because I could feed him well, but I know we connected at a deeper level.
After six months of being out the house, Trevor and I decided to start travelling. I was at first not very open to moving to another town because it meant that I would be even further away from home. However Trevor managed to convince me to tag along his quest to explore the world. Starting over would be a problem for me, I thought. Trevor on the other hand seemed to have had it all figured out
“I’ll go with you Trev, only if you promise me we won’t be crossing any seas” I said just 2 days before we set out to explore. The great thing about this entire trip was that wherever we went we would have the best view of it all. It’s a bird thing. This trip helped me accept me for who I am and my abilities. We travelled on boats for most of the trip, yes I know I didn’t want to cross the seas but the second I got on board the first boat, I was hooked. I could always take the boat back if I ever wanted to go back home, Trevor reassured me all the time.
The first boat we were on was heading to Italy. The best thing Trevor and I enjoyed was the food; the pasta was exquisite. Trevor wanted to not only eat but also learn different languages as we went along. His ambition inspired me as well. Trevor was kind of a bully and a ladies’ man. He always found ways to convince me to do what he wanted, I didn’t mind because I had never dreamt of doing all the things we set out to do on this trip.
“We need mingle with the local Top. First we need to acquaint ourselves with the language” said the eager beaver, Trevor. The following day we set out to find a language school. I could read and write, but Trevor could only spell his name and that was it. He didn’t like it if I would write letters back home because he knew that all he could do was write his name. I had a secret quest; I wanted to make sure by the end of this trip Trevor would be able to read and write. It’s the least I could do after all that he has done for me.
We found the perfect school just off Milan; Lodi. Every morning at 8 am we would sit up on the window seal of the tourist classes. We learnt the basics the first two days. We learnt to say thank you; Grazie, and excuse me; Mi scusi. “Wow the food here is delicious, grazie” I would say that every evening when we would go get something to eat. After a week or so, Trevor and I could construct a few sentences. We were able to “mingle” now.
Trevor always loses focus when he sees beautiful girls passing by. “Focus Trev! We need to find our own place before we start approaching any girls” I said to him. I am always his voice of reason and I know how to get him to focus. “Look over there, there is a to-let sign” said Trevor. The place we found as bigger than the one we had back home; two bedrooms and a magnificent kitchen. The place didn’t come at a cheap price, but Trevor took care of it.
I don’t know where he got the money. Every time I would offer to pay, he would slap me and say “Top the only thing you have to do is make sure there is food on the kitchen counter for us”. I didn’t mind though because I loved to cook, it’s sort of therapeutic and it calmed me down every time I felt home-sick. However I still don’t know where he got the money. We had the same job back home and we got paid the same amount. I am very savvy with money but Trevor is the kind to spend money. He never runs out. This was a mystery.
One morning, Trevor got up before the sun came up. For him that was a first. He kept on walking up and down the room. I knew something was wrong but Trevor and I didn’t like to talk about what was bothering us. We made a deal that if there was something wrong and we wanted to talk, we would talk but neither of us was to ask until the other mentioned it.
He took his bag and put a brown folder in it and head out the door. It was still dark out, I tried to look out the window to see where he was going but he was long gone by the time I got to the window. It was a Saturday and neither of us were going to work. I was quite worried, for a second I thought that he had left for good. After six hours I decided to take a stroll outside. I was hoping to run into him and the local bar just 2 streets away; he was nowhere to be found.
I bought a few vegetables and headed back home to start cooking. I didn’t cook a lot because I was almost certain that he was not coming back. At around eight pm, he walked in. he was in a cheerful mood as compared to when he left this morning. He three bags in his hand. They all looked full to the maximum. He put them away and came into the kitchen. “Top if I didn’t love the ladies so much, I would marry you” he said while starring at the pots. “You are crazy Trev! Let me dish up for us” I said.
That night as we were eating I waited for him to say what it was that made him sweat like a pig in the morning. He said nothing at all. “What did you get up today?” he asked. I guess he was trying to get rid of the awkward silence at the table. “Nothing much, I just went to the bar and bought a few veggies” I responded.
The next morning he left early again but this time I knew why. I snooped around to try and find the bags. I found them but they were empty. I found a 100 dollar note in one. Could the bags have been filled with money? How was I to find out? I let it go for a while and forgot all about it.
“How about we hit the streets tomorrow night and explore the local bars here?” I have never suggested anything since we met, well at least not anything that we would both enjoy. Trevor was quite amazed and began to laugh to a point where he almost choked on his steak. “Sure thing Top, I guess you are getting into the Italian spirit” he said with a mouth full of broccoli.
I was proud of myself that night. For once I could be considered to be cool. I woke up super early; I wanted to write a letter home before Trevor woke up. I didn’t want to ruin his cheerful mood. I sat in the bathroom and wrote the letter. I always make it out to my mother; she is the only one that I was okay.
Dear mama
Mama I hope you are well. Trevor and I
are in Italy now. I am having the best
time of our lives. I wish you were here too.
Give my love to everyone back home, even
Love your 7th son
Boo-bear isn’t my real name. My mother gave me that nickname because I always wanted hugs just like a teddy bear. “You must really be excited for tonight!” Trevor said while banging on the door. “I had an upset tummy! I am excited but not to that extant” I said as I hid my notebook in my suitcase in the bathroom cupboard.
At 8 am we were at the window seal. Trevor wanted to learn a new phrase that would help him charm the ladies. We bought English to Italian translation manual. I helped him find the phrase he wanted. “I want to be able to say: you are beautiful” he said. I scanned through the book and we found it. “Its siete belle” I said when I found it.
Trevor practiced that phrase all day. “I think I’ve got it now” he said. I was concerned though, I wondered what he would do if the girl said something back. At round lunch time, we headed home to get something to eat and get some rest before our big night out in Italy. Any night out with Trevor is an epic one.
It’s strange how the next morning neither of us can remember a thing. I have never got why I could not remember what happened when we got to the bar. Trevor would always say that I passed out after a drink or two and he brought me back home and went back out. The rest was always a blur, he would say.
I think I might have given the impression that Trevor and I are together at all times. We may be working at the same place back home and we came on this trip together, but we are not always together. Some days, especially after a night out, Trevor would insist on staying in and I would head out and explore all on my own.
The Italians are a fascinating bunch. I would sit on the window seal of a young couple’s apartment. The apartment was perfectly furnished from the door mat to the living room lamps. The colours complemented each other exquisitely. Julian was the house keeper’s name. She had a very weird relationship with the man who seemed to be related to her.
At first I paid no attention to their endeavours, but then one day the paramedics had to be called in. from that day on I was hooked like those people who spend so much time watching television series over and over again. I wanted to see what would happen next. I was at that window seal so many times that I got used to their schedule.
Mr. Benedict was Julian’s employer. For about a week or so there seemed to be no Mrs. Benedict, until one day at around noon she appeared. She had long blonde hair. She reminded me of the characters in the stories that my mother made me read. She was pure perfection. I noticed that while she was around Julian only came once a week instead of every day from 8am until 5 pm.
There was something that was odd about their living arrangement. Mr. Benedict slept in what seemed to be the master bedroom and, the person whom I had thought was Mrs. Benedict, slept in the other room. I watched their apartment as though I was being paid to. On occasion Trevor would agree to head out with. Trevor would only tag along only if he knew that there is a football match that day.
“One day they will catch you on their window seal” mentioned Trevor. I was determined to see the season finale of this apartment and I wouldn’t budge. I would rather risk being caught than miss a single moment. “Don’t be silly Trev, I have been very careful. No one will ever notice me” I said. Trevor was ready to move on to the next city or else we would have to find employment before we ran out of food and money for rent.
Obviously I found a job just next to my favourite apartment. It wasn’t mush but it paid enough to help around at the apartment. Trevor found employment at his favourite sports bar. It seemed as though we would never leave Italy, I was ready to settle. We stayed in Italy for about two months, during this time I sat every day from 10 pm until early hours of the morning.
I felt like a little detective or that fly o the wall. I knew everything, I had their schedule all figured out. Trevor would bring me supper every night and sit next to me as I did my daily spying. “Tony honey?” that was the voice of an angel. I have never seen her before. She stood at the door with her tight red dress on and very high heels. “What do you want? You know you shouldn’t be here?” whispered Mr. Benedict.
Little did Mr. Benedict know that the Mrs was wide awake and was listening in to everything. “Stacie did you come all this way to just stand there and stare at me?” whispered Mr. Benedict again. “Well Tony, if you must know, I was kicked out of my apartment because you forgot to pay rent for over three months” said Stacie. At first, being little naïve me, I thought that Stacie was Mr. Benedict’s sister or step daughter or plain relative.
“I’ll call you in the morning and I will take care of it” whispered Mr. Benedict as he closed the door quietly. “Who were you talking to?” asked Mrs. Benedict. He stood there for ten seconds flat and didn’t move, not even an inch. “You are still up. It was nothing, I just heard a noise and thought something was wrong” said Mr. Benedict. “You must have not heard me clearly. Who were you talking to?” she repeated he question.
“It was Mr. Jackson from down the hall, he just got back home and was making a raucous” Mr. Benedict answered. She didn’t seem to believe his story. Mrs. Benedict walked away and went back to bed but this time she was in the master bedroom as well. “So you have forgiven me now?” said Mr. Benedict. “Forgiven you for what, you have denied all my accusation; even the ones where I had concrete evidence” said Mrs. Benedict. I left soon after, my eyes were beginning to itch and they were burning red.
The next day was my last day ever. Firstly it was because Trevor and I were leaving the next morning. Secondly it was because the Benedict family was moving out that day. I woke up bright and early that day. When I got there, Mrs. Benedict was loading what seemed to be a body into the boot of her car. The windows I sat at showed the living room floor, there was blood all over the floor. At first it looked like ketchup but then it was too thick to be ketchup.
I could not believe what I had just witnessed. It was like a scene from those crime investigation shows. “Trevor! Come quick please” I said on the phone. He took his time as usual. “Honey, this was for the best and you know it too” said Mrs. Benedict. “What was for the best?” I kept asking myself. Mr. Benedict looked quite melancholic as compared to his rude and egoistic self. They left in such a hurry. What or who -ever laid in that boot was still a mystery to me.
“Who died Top?” Trevor asked when he finally arrived. I was still in shock and didn’t say a word. Moments later we were off. “Where are we off to now?” I asked Trevor. He said it was a surprise, just like Italy was a surprise. All I knew about this place was that this was where we were to settle. This was where we would find all that we had been looking for or what I had been longing for my entire life.
Trevor had never been so nervous on a flight before. I felt coerced into asking if there was something bothering him but I didn’t. “We are almost there” said Trevor anxiously. Whenever he didn’t finish a sentence by saying my nickname I knew something was wrong. I didn’t say a word until we landed. When we landed, Trevor was still shaking. “Does that say OR Thambo Airport?” he asked. “Yes it does” I responded.
He calmed down a bit. We carried our bags to a hotel. “We need to find a more permanent place Top, these places are not that cheap” he said but this time with a little more enthusiasm. I didn’t unpack my bag because I knew this was not our final resting place. We headed down the elevator to the dining area. “The food here is…” before I could finish my sentence, Trevor stood up and went into the bar. He would always finish his mountain of food before I would.
Eventually when I finished my meal, I went into the bar to look for him. It’s not a mystery where I would find him. He was seated a table surrounded by bunch of women. “Hey Top! Ladies this man knows his way around the kitchen” he said to the ladies at the table. They were all certain that I was homosexual. “I’m off to bed Trev” I said to him. He ignored me and carried on chatting to the women.
The next day he was up before me. “Time is money and sleep is for the dead Top” he said as he shook me. He was an early bed and I liked to sleep in until late. “Where are off to now?” I asked Trevor. I always wake up quite cranky especially if I was woken up. “Well we need to find jobs and a more permanent place to stay” he responded. I for one was astonished, why would he want to settle here. It is not as fun as Italy was.
By the time we had found a place cheap enough for us, Trevor had become the towns favourites person. I don’t know how he does it. He is just so good with people, how does he do it? I guess his good looks put him above my average by far. I am just glad that him and I are friends, I get to get the rejects to be in my life because they think they are getting closer to being friends with him. A cool guy that Trevor of mine, supercool.
Amazingly where ever we go we veer struggle to get jobs, must be the magic hand of chance playing in our favour all the time. “Up so early Top” murmured Trevor as he got up from bed. “You know what they say Trev, the early bird catches the worm and plus it’s our first day on the job and I aim to impress” I said. Trevor starred at me and laughed. “You getting yourself all made up for Mr Rou” he said.
Mr Rou is our new boss. He is quite strict in how he likes his employees to dress and behave. We have always gotten jobs at places were the boss immediately becomes your buddy. They were quite lonely folk. Mr Rou is different, he has a wife, two children and a pet dog. I did my research, I figure that this will definitely impress Mr Rou even further.
I know people always prefer to interact with Trevor more than me, but Mr Rou liked him way too much if you ask me or any one for that matter. Mr Rou even said he prefers to call me Top as well, “just like Trevor calls you” those wee his exact words. I choose to brush people’s comments or judgements about me under a carpet so it doesn’t hurt me as much.
“Trev, how’s about you come for dinner at my place tonight? My wife makes the best lasagne” said Mr Rou. “hmm I’m not quite sure, I…” said Trevor. Right there, his response, is the reason we are great friends. “Please, you can bring Top along with you.” Mr Rou said as he put his arm around my shoulder. I was like a bargaining chip, I guess. “I guess we can come “ Trevor responded.
At this point I wondered if it had occurred to any of them that I might just have plans or better yet wouldn’t want to go to Mr Rou’s house. Anyway being the good fellow that I am I played along and accompanied Trevor to Mr Rous place. Not what I imagined, I though a well established man like him would have something a little more decent. I guess the cost of living is too high these days, even for the big boss himself. Mrs Rou is the most beautiful women I have ever set eyes on. She is the perfect shade, shape and height. I think I’m in love or maybe just attracted to her.
“Hello, come in come in!” she said as she welcomed us into her home. Although the house was old and not what you would expect from a big shot like Mr Rou, Mrs Rou made it look beautiful. “What a lovely home you have Mrs Rou” said the charmer, Trevor, as he softly kissed her hand. “Oh thank you, please just call me Evelyn” she said as she blushed like every other one night stand that Trevor has been with.
“Boys don’t just stand there drilling at my lovely wife, come in and join me for a drink or two before we sup” said Mr Rou sitting in the lounge area. Evelyn said something, neither myself nor Trevor could make out what she had said. I had a strong feeling that there was trouble in paradise. “Come tell me about your trip to Italy” Mr Rou requested very enthusiastically. What was thee to tell? Nothing really, just great food, great people and a little snippet of what could have been a murder.

To be continued….

Another Summer’s Day

A beautiful summer’s day greets us congenially as my sister Gayle and I stroll into the bar area of the luxurious Bush veld resort. Tables nestle casually under the luscious thorn trees, with a live band of various cheerfully twittering birds entertaining us free of charge. We have a whole weekend planned to recharge, chat, reminisce, and solve the world’s problems, and our own, at leisure.

We get seated at a table that allows for a generous panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys, the tranquil earth instilling an inner peace even to the most restless soul.

A waiter, dressed in colourful traditional clothes, introduces a special offer: with every cocktail, a complimentary cigar is served. We giggle like teenagers, as we have never smoked, and then I decide to try the novelty – after all, we are on holiday!

Gayle, the table, surroundings and sounds fade suddenly. It goes completely dark. When I wake up, all shaky and blurry, with no idea how much time has passed, the first thing I notice is that my sister is gone. All our belongings are missing too. No cellular phones, no wallets. Unable to process what has happened, I suddenly focus on her jacket, still hanging over the chair’s back, and my brain screams at me that something is terribly wrong.

I struggle to my feet, fervently looking for any sign of my sister, the scene rising and falling in and out of focus in waves of dizziness. Everything around me seems disturbingly normal. Waiters are moving back and forth with orders, and guests leisurely talk to each other, sipping on marvellous outlandish cocktails and drinks. When I try to get the attention of a waiter, I know without a doubt that I have not been imagining things – I croak when I try to speak, and the harder I try to scream, the less any eligible sound escapes my mouth, albeit a hoarse raspy moan.

I grab onto one of the waiter’s arms as he walks past, and lose my balance in the process, but hang on for dear life, while I croak to the best of my ability: “Help me, please. My sister is missing..” The waiter stares at me as if I have the plague, or lost my mind, or both. I refuse to let go, shaking him and screaming silently: “My sister is missing, my sister is missing!”

The sheer terror in my eyes must convince him that there might be merit to my story, and he assists me quickly to the manager’s office, eager to be rid of the wild mad woman. The manager forces me to sit down on the closest chair, summons a glass of water and begs me to take a sip, in order to calm me down. I obligingly take two quick sips, hoping that it might help my voice to return to normal, but when I try to speak, I have to strain to get out the slightest whisper: “My sister is gone! We were having cocktails and I lit up that complimentary cigar that the waiter told us about, and I blacked out, and when I woke up my sister was gone. All our belongings are gone too. But here is her jacket, see, it is her jacket, but she is not here, she is gone!” Exhausted from the exertion, I slump back into the chair and close my eyes for a moment to catch my breath.

I burst into tears, as the only response from the manager is a thoroughly confused look. Wild and disorganised thoughts race through my mind: “What am I going to do if no one believes me? How will I find Gayle? How will I be able to look for her if I am still dazed and dizzy?”

It takes another hour to be taken seriously by management, who reluctantly agrees to call the police after I threaten to call the media to assist me. The possibility of bad publicity definitely weighs more than the perceived peril by a mad woman and her “missing” sister.

It is four hours later. I sit despondently on a chair at the bar, my sister’s jacket draped around me for emotional comfort. I have relayed my dazed experience a few times to different officers now, and they definitely do not share my concern. One officer even hesitantly offer what she thinks is a viable explanation for my sister’s disappearance: “Ma’am, you and your sister are like best friends, right? It is possible that you drank your cocktail too fast, and got slightly intoxicated, don’t you agree? Don’t you think she might have gone for a walk to give you time to sober up?” I warily shake my head. Obviously, the officer do not know what kind of a relationship we have.

I am the youngest of three daughters, born and raised in a smallish town in the North Western Province. Our childhood was neither spectacularly happy nor sad. Both our parents worked, and we were often left to our own devices after school. Very conservative child rearing rules were followed when they were home though, and we were expected to be seen and not heard.

My closest sibling is two years older than me, but I have been sort of taking care of her since early childhood. Gayle was the shy one, with impeccable manners, always diligent and kind, and a model daughter. She was quiet in her ways, and never demanded any special attention. Unfortunately, she was also a little overweight, and had mousy fine hair that my mother always pulled back in two tight ponytails to reveal protruding ears. Being the cruellest species alive on earth, children at school teased her constantly about this, and although she visibly cringed at the insults cruelly tossed at her, she never retaliated.

It happened more than once that I jumped in, quite literally, and defended her like the proverbial mother tiger defending her vulnerable cub against advancing predators. I did not only attack them physically, but also did not hesitate to inform the closest teacher of their bullying in explicit detail, grinning happily when they got into trouble, and had to apologise to her.

Since then I became her guardian of sorts, defending, cheering, or mothering, as dictated by the situation. A very close bond developed over the years, even to the point where the one could feel when the other was sad, or in trouble, without fail, and we often telephoned each other simultaneously, giggling at our telepathic capabilities where each other is concerned.

That is what the officer does not understand. I know she is in grave danger, and that she was harmed in the most horrible way possible, and that I had to find her sooner than later, or it will be too late. My mind search desperately for a way to convince the police of the serious nature of the situation, and make him listen, because I know!

An urgent shout shakes me from my thoughts. A police officer is running down the hill that borders the bush pub, arms flapping, shouting something intelligible.

The feeling of dread rises like springtide in my chest as the officer explains that various barefoot adult footprints as well as drag marks were found in the soil that leads up the hill. A team is despatched and I follow as best I can, struggling against the lingering giddiness, ignoring the manager of the bar that tries to stop me.

What they find at the end of the footprint trail, buried in a communal shallow grave, covered hastily with small rocks, are human remains. I die a thousand deaths as I randomly grab at the cloth rags covering the faces of the victims, allowing a tiny sigh of relief to slip out every time it is not my beloved sister I uncover.

My search becomes more and more fervent as I do not find any trace of Gayle, no pieces of familiar clothing or our cell phones and wallets. At last I have to relent that she is not at the scene, but with the initial relief another wave of desperation fills my heart and brain. “Where is she? Is she alive? What are they doing to her?”

I cringe involuntarily and fall to my knees while sobs explode from my chest when I examine the bodies found. The fifteen victims I count have the most horrific mutilations inflicted to various parts of their bodies. Eyelids are stapled closed, mouths sewn shut with a crude implement of some sorts, leaving ugly jarred cuts. Grotesque ornate wooden plugs protrude from the ears of the nameless victims. Signs of severe struggling are evident, as not only their fingernails are badly broken, but fractures also show that they were restrained forcefully and without any mercy. Bruises to the lower parts of their bodies unmistakably point to sexual assault, and I realize with horror that they were alive while these inexplicable atrocities were executed. The gruesomeness of the situation floods me again without warning and I have to retreat to a few rocks nearby quickly to relieve the nausea that engulfs me!

The search is resumed with new fervour by the team of police officers, all doubt now pushed aside that my sister, and possibly others, are indeed in very grave danger. More footprints are found, and the search escalates with intense velocity.

I stumble after the police, ignoring their pleas to go back to the resort. The next hour and a half passes in a daze, with police officers alternating between running, walking, retracing their steps and shouting instructions, all set against a majestic South African sunset. There is no time to appreciate the beauty of nature’s way of bidding a gracious good bye to a long day, as the team realize that daylight is running out quickly, and with that the chances of finding any possible victims alive in time.

As the midges quiet down and the shadows lengthen, we increase the pace even more, following the tracker as closely as possible, without disturbing the trail. I have never felt so alone…

As we cut cross yet another hill, an officer spots what looks like an outbuilding of some sorts, in the distance. I am forced to stay behind this time with an officer that has to restrain me as the team advances carefully. A lifetime of sorrow ages me visibly while we wait. Half an hour crawls past at the pace of a dead tortoise trying to cross a highway. Little sweat streams run uncontrollably down my back to stain my shirt, while fear, anger and despair well up at will.

When an officer appears eventually, my heart sinks to a new low, and the dizziness and nausea threatens to make me retch again. He looks at me with so much sympathy, I suddenly do not want to hear what he has to say, and I involuntarily cover my ears.

“Ma’am, please come with me,” he pleads uncomfortably. “There is something that the captain wants you to see.” I stumble forward, clinging to his arm for support, while fresh tears stream across my cheeks, anticipating the most terrible of outcomes to the ordeal.

As I reluctantly move towards the building, my mind starts processing the images. A rugged outbuilding the size of a rondavel is outlined against the horizon. There is no sign of life, apart from police officers busily scurrying about. Nothing bodes any evil or wrongdoing from the outside, and I know that whatever the police want me to see, is waiting inside.

The first sense that heightens involuntarily is my sense of smell. As we approach the entrance gingerly, I smell conflicting scents, ranging from damp clothing and sweat, to faint traces of perfume, quite unbefitting a seemingly uninhabited ruin in the middle of the Bushveld.

The scene that unfolds inside initially confuses me. There is a tattered desk and chair propped against one wall, with an old calendar dangling skew from a nail. The roof, made of grass, is in dire disrepair, and the early night sky is clearly visible through the wooden beams. An empty box or two were discarded carelessly in one corner, while a dirty bucket without a bottom keeps the swinging half-hinged door open.

The floor on the other side of the small building has been covered by flattened boxes. On the boxes, piles of clothes are neatly stacked. T-shirts, pants, shorts and jackets have been sorted into lots. All the clothes were clearly second hand, some dirty, displaying disconcerting stains that resemble dried blood and mud.

A sort of relief runs through me when my darting eyes tell me that there are no bodies piled up covered with rocks, as we have seen on the hill. But relief only lasts for a second, as I recognise my sister’s sarong, the bright primary colours taunting me from the top of one of the batches of garments stacked at the far end. I fall on my knees, grabbing the piece of material, and press it to my face. The unmistakable smell of Royal Secret, my sister’s favourite perfume since we were teenagers, fills my nose.

Trying to comprehend and process what we have found temporarily turns me into a mute as I stare at the floor. The captain’s voice forcefully returns me to the present: “Miss Peterson, I assume you recognise the sarong?” I manage to nod my head slowly, painfully, and he continues: “Is it possible that you are mistaken? That design is fairly popular, and many women use it?” I jump up and unceremoniously thrust the sarong under his nose and demand in a hoarse voice: “Smell! Royal Secret. My sister’s favourite perfume. Stop trying to convince me that something is wrong. I know something terrible has happened!” My outburst ends in a hysterical shriek, and I bury my face in the silent piece of material, tears disappearing into the red, blue and yellow.

The captain allows me to grieve for a few moments, but then urges me: “Miss, I have something else to show you. It seems to be connected to the mutilated bodies we found, unfortunately…” His voice trails down to a whisper at the sight of the anguished stricken look on my face.

I get up reluctantly, unable to handle more terrible information, and walks slowly towards the desk that I saw when I entered the shack, where the captain is waiting.

An old, tattered and well-worn Bible lies open in front of me. Various pieces of paper of different colours and sizes stick out from apparent places of interest to whoever the owner was. Several parts of the visible passages have been underlined heavily, with hand written notes in an untidy handwriting clearly visible in the margins.

The passage is from the Old Testament, the book of Isiah, chapter 6… and I feel my blood churning as the words turn into intelligible sentences…

(1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
8 Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, LORD, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.)

The images of the mutilated bodies we found earlier flash before my eyes, with their eyes stapled closed, their ears plugged, and their mouths sewn shut. I turn to the captain in horror: “He or they think that they are fulfilling a divine instruction?!”

Thankfully, we are interrupted by excited voices, and I found myself outside the building, inhaling large amounts of clean air, to try calming my thoughts.

I vaguely hear, as if from a great distance, that a new set of fresher footprints were followed, and that a number of men were rounded up, ready for interrogation by the captain. I follow with dread, wanting to know, but not wanting to find what seems to be the inevitable outcome.

We reach an opening in the bush, and the first thing I notice is an ornate spear, carefully arranged amongst a pile of rocks, resembling the proverbial Excalibur sword of Arthur. Next my attention moves to a tall figure who is detained by two officers. He is dressed in a hideous head dress and badly fitting colourful western clothes, clearly belonging to some of his victims. His face has been painted to depict a wrathful and vicious expression.

Fear is a funny emotion. When it lingers too long, snubbed, it turns into anger, a hatred so powerful, it engulfs all reason, igniting a fight response more powerful

I do not think. I act as my primordial brain instructs me to do. I lunge forward, rush past the officers, grab the Excalibur spear, and with inhuman power I attack the creature that took my sister away from me. I must have looked like the devil reincarnated to that god-awful being as I raged towards him. Thick waist length dark brown wavy hair are spread disorderly around my head like a misshapen halo and my full lips are pulled back into a cruel grin. Everything happens in slow motion as I jump up and raise the spear at the same time, then crashing down with every ounce of energy I can muster, to bury the spear hilt deep in his chest, watching with diabolic pleasure as the blood spurts from his chest and mouth. Some of the blood spurts on my face, and I turn my head in disgust.

It takes more than just a few minutes to regain control of my own brain. Air rushes in gasps through my nose and throat, making frightening animal like noises. I shake uncontrollably, and my heart pounds in my chest like a sledgehammer. I am not sorry for what I have done. In fact, I wish I could do it over and over and over, until the hurt in my heart subsides to a level I can endure.

Above the confusion, I discern an anxious officer’s voice shouting to the captain: “Cap, more bodies!” My legs refuse to carry me, and I crawl like a wild dog towards the voice. Then I see it. Three bodies on the ground, discarded like used paper bags, only covered partly by rags. Raw screams rack my ribs as I recognise my sister’s wrist with upturned palm, protruding from a blood-covered cloth, begging me to find her.

The hurt and sorrow is unbearable, yet I cannot take my eyes away from the humble bundle. I reach her and remove the cloth attempting to cover the brutal mortification inflicted. Three rag strips have been arranged purposefully over her eyes, nose and mouth, as if part of a ritual performed. I will never be able to describe in words what I feel as I carefully lift the first rag slowly from her eyes. Her eyelids have been stapled closed in crude fashion, as with the other victims. I see with exaggerated clarity that some of her eyelashes are missing, and it feels as if the pain in my heart physically rips my chest apart, bending me double and I find my head resting on her chest, while uncontrollable sobs blur my vision.

Then I hear it. So feint, I think I might have imagined it. A heartbeat. “O, God, no, please” the thought races through my mind. “Please don’t let her be alive through this torture”, and simultaneously: “O, thank you God, thank you for letting me find her alive!”

What happens next feels surreal. I experience an almost out of body experience, my soul floating somewhere between myself and my sister. Thankfully, I cannot feel the pain in my chest any more, and a blue calmness wraps itself tightly around me, focusing every sense I have to the most of my ability. My hands stop shaking, pins and needles indicate that additional blood flow has been restored to my extremities, I focus like an eagle, consciously shut out all sounds, and with infinite care and love, I remove the staples from Gayle’ eyelids one by one, guided by the light of a torch held by a police officer.

What happens next, however, let my soul crash back unceremoniously back into my psychologically battered body with such force I almost lose consciousness. Gayle opens her eyes. What I see saddens me so, I will not forget it until the day I die, and it will most probably even follow me into eternity.

The sheer terror, sorrow, shock and grief that stare at me, is unbearable. She does not seem to recognise me, and cringes at my touch, fighting against me, trying to get away. She grabs the piece of torn cloth and with desperation tries to cover her eyes with it, trying to get away from the piercing light of the torch shining in her face. The white of her eyes are a horrible colour, a mixture of red and orange, irritated by the cruel metal staples. I instinctively start making soothing clicking sounds, and cradle her as close as possible to my chest.

“I’m here, Gayle, I found you”, I whisper softly, while maintaining eye contact. “You are safe, you are safe, you are safe, I have you now, I won’t let go” She stares at me without comprehension, collapses, then fight again with the strength of a mad person, wild eyes and groping hands searching frantically for the cloth to cover her eyes.

I keep my voice calm, although my soul dies little by little of sorrow moment by moment, as I repeat soothingly over and over: “I have you now, you are safe.”

Although I weigh a mere 48kg, I bear against gravity, not letting go for a moment, holding my dearest sister as close to my heart as possible. One vicious look that makes my hazel eyes look like glowing gold, stops the officer in his tracks as he steps forward to relieve me of my burden.

The hours that follow are blurry, without substance. I have vague memories of an ambulance, nurses, doctors and police officers. The only clear recollections that I have are that of the occasional jolts from Gayle, as she desperately fights me to see where she is, only attempting to vanish behind any piece of material she can grab onto as soon as light shines in her face. This alternates with me trying to keep the rags from touching her mutilated eyelids and me cradling her closer and closer, and whispering: “You are safe, I won’t let you go, you are safe.”

Days turn into weeks. Recovery is slow. By the grace of God they did not have time to sew her mouth shut, or harm her ears with wooden plugs. Doctors tend to the wounds to her eyelids and ravaging rape injuries using the best medication. The emotional damage, however, is severe. Gayle do not talk. At all. She shows no interest to participate in any conversation, and is cared for like an infant. During this time, I never let go of her hand, and even though she does not react to anything I say, I repeat a million times and more: “You are safe.”

Physical wounds heal, and new wispy eyelashes grow back. Occupational therapists eventually help her to walk again. She stays silent.

The day arrives when she is allowed to return home. I hold her limp hand on my lap as we are driven to our parents’ house. I lovingly help her out of the car, and hold her as close as possible while we ascend the steps to the front door.

Home, at last! We walk slowly into the lounge, where my parents anxiously await us. And then, for the first time since the incident, Gayle shows signs of life. She walks forward slowly, and with a low, broken voice announces: “Mom, Dad, I have been assaulted in the most horrific way possible.”

For hours, days and weeks I was strong. I ignored every time my body or soul demanded my attention, pushing it to the subconscious, concentrating on my sister, and her well-being only. The sentence uttered is so unexpected, it breaks through my fragile defences completely, and I just notice vaguely that everything goes dark around me, and I float off in a quiet dark and cool blissful oblivion.
It does not fit, I think, and frown. The clear cheerful melody playing aloud has no place in this sad and awful tale? Slowly, oh so slowly, I resurface, and return to the world of reality. My eyes fly open, and as I jolt upright, arms aching, body shaking, with eyelids swollen heavily from crying, I finally realize: “It was a dream! Just a dream!”

The dream refuses to leave my mind’s eye. I see Gayle’ eyes, all red and orange, ducking away from the intruding light of the flashlight and bright hospital lights, I see where the eyelashes are missing. I smell the dried blood, feel her limp body in my arms, and relive the terror in explicit detail.

I force down a very strong cup of coffee, and decide to call my sister. I have to reassure myself that this was only a very bad nightmare.

The phone rings for a long time before it is answered eventually. It is her husband: “ Hi, Jane. Funny you should call. I am actually a bit worried…. Gayle and a friend were invited to a luxury resort in the Bushveld, and I have just received a call from the manager at the resort. Gayle seem to be missing. Only her jacket was found hanging over a chair…”


thats the question is everyones lips. others agree that it seems like they are more concerned with the idea of dying than accepting that indeed the’ll die. if someone dies he/she will be born in a different country or continent and that particular person wont recall that he/she once lived. somehow this is true, there is a time in which you might bump at someone who looks exactly like someone you know from somewhere. you may consider this a coincidence, but i guess that’s how god wanted you to think when a person diesw, another one is biorn to rep,lac e the one who has departed.this whole thing is like a spiral, that’s we wont figure out if there’s life after death.the only thing that divides us is religion. for example; indians ; when a baby is born they cry and mourn for the fact that the baby has come into the world of problems. on the other hand when someone of their race passes away, they celebrate gesticulating, this shows that the departed person has been subdued from all the troubles and sufferings of this life

Spiritual enemity

She could taste the blood in her own mouth, though she was about two and half metres from the him, ‘the high priest they called him’ , to think that here, in the underworld they ought to honour him , while at school he was just the guy everyone made fun of. Mariam was sure that is what got Ben in the occult thing, in fact all of the members of SDL had a sad story , like Jane who ‘s parents are in a middle of a massive divorce ;Peter who is just not good at sport and making friends and not forgetting Keith who just lost his whole family in a car accident .She failed to understand why she was there . She had a lot of friends , was part of the cheer team ,and her parents seemed to be doing okay. She never dreamt that on her sixteenth birthday she’ll be out drinking actual human blood .She should be home celebrating with her friends.

‘Blood of purity! drink purify your souls for tomorrow is the day we will see the great master,’ Ben said walking past them and handing a golden cup to keith who was first in the line, Mariam failed to understand why they needed purifying after all they are of the kingdom of darkness. She realised that this was way too deep for her to handle , it started off as a joke and now , now they killed a person, a baby. Jake’s little brother who had been sick with flue all week. Jake offered to take him to the baby clinic and while his mom went to arrange her sisters funeral. He brought him here , because the master commanded him. She never herself was able to communicate with the master, all crews claim that they ‘ve had an encounter with him .Especially Jake who the master directed to give the blood of his little brother as a purifying sacrifice. ‘how was he going to explain it to his mother? ‘ she thought ‘drink sister drink! ‘ she awoke to the voice of their young occult leader. puzzled, she took the cup and placed it on he cherry lips, the smell alone turned her stomach ‘ I can’t , sorry but I can’t!,’ Mariam protested.’she ran as fast as she could towards the door ‘seize her!’ Bed exclaimed . Keith and Rose ran towards her, Keith grabbed her arm so tight that she felt the pain pierce through her heart , rose grabbed both his legs and tied them with the occult scarf and Ben came and blinded her with Rose’s hair band. ‘ you are a traitor of the religion , your one of themr ! Mariam kept on breathing out hard . ‘answer me!’ Bed fumed .’ for Christ sake let me go’ Mariam commanded, not realising that she was adding patrol to the fire .Rose shouted ‘blasphemy!’ the rest of the pack joined her. the pulled her using her waist bealt and brought her to the alter , Ben surrounded he tiny body with wood and the put wax all over her body…’how about a burnt offering ?’ Ben asked the pack agreed by nodding.

The Hunter Awakes (Intro to a new story of mine)

It is not often that men consider the lot of beings lesser to them.
At their peril they discount the very idea these creatures may hold knowledge they themselves lack the capacity to comprehend.
A humble fly, a pest, a spreader of disease and pestilence, the worst kind of vermin. Reviled and exterminated whenever possible. Yet even now, thousands of their number were being drawn to a place, plain to see were the night not so dark under the clouds of the coming storm, where lay one who the givers of law so fervently sought.
She lay not alone, for within the steady and dispassionate circle of light cast by the electric lamp above stood her killer and no single emotion marred his placid face.
Her remains were not fair to see. Even discounting dirt and blood, the signs of hard use by hand and blade were upon her cold flesh. Had her spirit lingered, as perhaps it did, she would have witnessed the true wakening of that which had slept for long ages past.
Her killer spoke, though to whom it could not be said for he was alone in that lighted circle with only the departed dead.
Had her eyes still seen, as indeed from beyond they might, she would have seen the shaking of his hands, the primal fear belied by his dead eyes and unmoving expression as the blade which had stolen her life was drawn once more from its hiding place upon his person.
Had she been able to hear, and in truth she must have as all the dead do when they are spoken of, bitter would have been her tears to hear his stumbling words of supplication. No laments for her forgiveness, not entreaties to stave her wrath, none even to wish her a graceful rest in the life beyond. No, only worshipful mutterings in some ancient and nonsensical tongue passed his lips.
Up came the blade, and well may she have run, remembering its deadly touch. To heart, to lips he held it, swearing that which should never be sworn. Stillness, absolute and infinite settled. No creature born of night dared give voice. Even the masses of flies stilled, their innumerable wings held as a man would hold his breath.
On and on he spoke, making promises and bartering the tangible and intangible essences of his being and hers to the silence… until…
No sound changed, no great lights broke in the sky, no flicker marred the heartlessly efficient circle of light, no shadow moved, and yet within the circle he stood alone no more.
Eyes were on him, older and darker than those of his departed victim, unseen but felt unto the dregs of his soul. Smells assaulted his nostrils, rain, smoke, fresh turned earth… and blood.
He knew what he had woken, primal and ancient, born of the sacred blade first christened by his own willing blood… and then the blood of prey.
Twice before and now, the final time, he’d heeded the whispers seeping from the shadows, their promises ambrosia to an ashen heart. He felt no remorse for he was pure, and he was blameless. He’d hunted and sacrificed as was demanded, as men had done since the first days, no crime at all compared to what was to be gained.
From the first it had shielded him, showing him what paths to walk, where to sleep and when to flee, and when to take his prey all unawares. The givers of men’s laws were far from him, walking different paths and serving different powers. They could not touch him.
He shuddered as that which he had woken regarded him, coldly assessing its servant.
He’d sworn, he’d sacrificed, yet even now his acceptance into its embrace was not assured. It would brook no weakness, no frailties, no hesitation.
Moments wore on. Each a searing eternity under its scrutiny…
And then it spoke for only him to hear
Lightning split the black sky and all sound returned in a rushing wave, the legion of flies burst their ranks asunder even as glass rained from the shattered lamp. They would not touch this meat, this prey. It belonged to the oldest of things now, woken from its slumber and returned to a world it had long since abandoned.
And in the darkness as the first rain fell, he laughed.
(Written to set the tone and scene for my main antagonist)

only if i was less foolish

if life was a film/a book and I was the official,i guarantee you that I would censor it at every horrible part of its chapter.

one Monday morning I woke up to a delightful day it felt like it was gonna be the best day of my life,God pardon my confusion.It was the day I bought pain and sorrows in my life and to my already critical emotions.I took a long over whelming bath,with the smell of fire to fire body lotion it felt like heaven.

My school bag was ready,school books all packed in and school uniform ironed ready for me to wear.When done I made my self breakfast “just a bowl of cereal will do” I thought to myself.

i grabbed my bag and off to school I went,while at that I bumped into someone.His steak of books fell to the ground,I bended down to pick them up that instant with hope that it’s no one rude.Only to notice it was him, “its the guy from school” I wasn’t aware that I was thinking out loud.Nevertheless he gave me a formal introduction and trust me when i tell you I was impressed.

days…….weeks…….months……passed and we got to know each other, we grew closer and firm together that he even proposed love to me.I was too blind and foolish to believe him.We dated for a year and few months it felt so amazing,i was so complaints towards him with no curb.

All that was for nothing,I am stating this with tears on my face.Now we like strangers who are taking the same road to a funeral…….IF ONLY I HAD NOT LISTENED TO HIM…….I wouldn’t have had to deal with the heartache,so much torture,lots of pain because of seeing the love of your life love someone else.

It just felt like my world came crushing down with the thought of watching but not being able to do a thing about it.

Do you want to know what happened not long ago?it certainly involves the same person I really must tell………
but that’s a story for another day

Memoirs of a Dog

I recall how willing I was to reclaim our territory. Full of vigor and youth, we would venture at least thrice per moon cycle to realms beyond our own. By paw or by machine, we journeyed along the blackened paths, navigating our way through uncharted lands. One of our favourite prospects was known as the Land of The Dozens. It was a lush field of grassland complimented by sloping mounds and scattered foliage. A vast expanse of land which required a vantage point in order to scope the entire arena. Many artificial lookout posts had been erected and were utilized by their young. They would scurry and climb, slide and swing, quickly learning the essential rules of play. Upon entering the Land of The Dozens, one would be greeted by hordes of enemies. Often I would see the familiar mug, and a new face from time to time, but all with the same look in their eye, that same sheer desire to lay claim to that land as their own. But none before had been able to establish a settlement within the hallowed grounds, so each cycle bore opportunity. The atmosphere within the picketed walls would teem with unrest, culminating in a tension so electric, it was palpable. In my impudence, I would rush onto the battlefield, bellowing the ancient call of my kind, paying homage to the most primordial of games! We were on the hunt!

As a wee whelp, my mother would tell my siblings and I stories of how our relationship with the Bipedal Ones came to be. Tales told by our elders of how our ancestors domesticated them. For the ancestors were fascinated by how these hairless creatures lacked any significant natural weaponry, yet fashioned artificial claws and teeth in order to compensate. We taught them how to bring our young eats and drink, and in return we aided them with protection from predators and lent them our keen sense of smell when tracking prey. It was theorized that since they lack any true proboscis, they are reliant solely on their eyesight and opposable thumbs, yet they were a proud warrior race. A formidable partnership had been born and as its success grew, we moved into their settlements and shared migration patterns. But not all of our ancestors left their wild ways; many stayed and procreated, and to this day, inhabit immense outcrops of territory in lands far away. Their progeny are our cousins, the Wolvian kind. My descendants were farmers in the hills of western-central Europe, shepherds by trade. My great, great, great, great, great, great, great uncle told his family of how he had had a brief conversion with an old wolf whom had told him that the Bipedals were not only slaughtering one another but also the local population of wolves as well. They had betrayed the scared oath. But these are lore of old, now the Bipedals seem too amused by distractions and our kind made too soft by their comforts, too obsessed with worldly possessions to heed the call of the explorer. Too often on my return from expeditions with my bipedal, ten settlements before our own, one would hear the mut at the end of the path hollering, “Sound the alarm gentlemen! An intruder is in our midst!” Had they the decency to introduce themselves, I would have lost the hubris air with which I walked. Their taunts were directed at our freedom. I basked in it.

For generations we had watched them grow as a species. Under our tutorage, they made remarkable advancements in development and exploration. One of our most notable achievements was sending the honourable Laika into space. However, it seems that they no longer rule their tools, but rather their tools rule them. My own Bipedal would spend copious amounts of time staring at the moving pictures on the wall, a veil of static seemingly able to reach within his being and subject him to aimlessly sitting on the couch for hours on end, transfixed by a random pattern generator. But that was not the worst of his worries; he was addicted to a luminescent box which he kept on his person religiously. Every time it cried he would run to its aid, every time it flashed he would respond. Pavlov would be proud!

Perhaps the reason for their downfall was in fact the very essence of what made them successful. They seemed so intent on creating a utopia that they forgot they were living in one. I remember my alarm when I first noticed that my Bipedal kept mutilated fowl and beef in the cold box. I thought to myself, “Good gracious man! What will stop him from doing the same to me? I mean they do do it in East Asia don’t they!? How could he desecrate another living creature like that? I’ll have to end it whilst he’s sleeping…” But soon I learnt that this was just one of the many forms of their superstimuli. But not all of their stimuli have been disastrous. They have a keen sense for companionship, one surely developed long before they had even met us. It is the very thread which holds them together. The last shred of love in their rapidly deteriorating world. I pray for the day when I can tell them that a caterpillar emits the same signature as a butterfly.

The Other Me

For every woman who carries a secret in the deepest corner of her heart.

“You only live once…but if you do it right once is enough”…or is it? It’s midnight and I am sitting in my favourite chair in front of the fire place…a second glass of Merlot slowly romancing my mood as a bouquet of soft berries flirt with my tongue…the words of Mae West echoing over and over in my mind…You only live once…and with that the unspoken truth I had dare not admit to myself until recently…you love only once.
And as acknowledgement finally makes way for acceptance I look back on years of building a white picket fence marriage all the while longing for a man I did not know but to whom I was somehow connected…unknowingly caught in a web that time had spun…slowly and ever so delicately placing us on separate journeys and as the years passed by would sling shot us into each other’s path …never quite understanding the pull of gravity until finally we had reached the right place at the right time.
As I stare deeper and deeper into the flames I go back twenty six years …to 1985 and the school dance…and as the veil of fogginess slowly subsides …I see the 15 year old brunette with the hazel eyes …dancing with a boy…unconsciously moving to a rhythm not dictated by music…but by a passion that in its infancy would consume and destroy if destiny had not set its plan in place.
And destiny that night had turned out to be a red necked teacher with quite a bit of a temper and reputation for being difficult and most certainly not to be crossed. Keeping an eye on the activities it seemed to him the teenage boy and girl still intimately swaying together after several dances had no regard for the acceptable space allowed between partners as the rules required and even less regard for the boy’s long-time recognised steady but now suddenly abandoned and fuming girlfriend standing waiting in the wings.
Letting go of the emotions and desire that the boy had stirred in me I watched as he reluctantly pulled away from me and made his way to the other side of the room where trouble was waiting to greet him. The look on his face suggesting that he feared nothing and regretted even less. And in that moment I saw his spirit…I saw a fire that would burn my soul and it scared me. Never one to fit in with social norms, I sought comfort in the knowledge that I was seen as being different and by that meaning that I was not really his type…too snobbish by his standards…which again seem to be destiny changing course.
As the days turned into weeks and weeks tuned into months with not a word spoken about that night the boy would pass me in the hallways…and while not staring at him directly I was always aware of his blue eyes burning on me. But I kept my distance and so did he and when he arrived at my house one night with a group of friends I was more than just a little surprised. And although the night was filled with promise we both seem to not have the courage to approach each other and follow up on whatever unfinished business we had from our previous encounter. And as I closed my eyes that night I told myself it was simply not meant to be and that I should close the chapter and move on.
Paracelsus wrote…“Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new, but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design”. And by some design of fate I ran into the boy a few years later in a convenience store just around the corner from my house. I say design of fate because I had left my home town many years before and was now living in another town 1500 km away. And there he stood, no longer a boy but a very attractive man. I cannot recall the conversation, thinking about it now I probably stumbled over my words. But what I do remember is that he still had the same affect on me and I could not shake the feeling that somehow we still had unresolved business between us. But I was married and so was he and we were both building a life, committed to the choices we had made that had shaped our now twenty-something day to day existence. And again I walked away from him, not allowing myself to think what if.
But fate it seemed had other plans and on a Wednesday morning I received a phone call that would ignite the flame I thought I had extinguished many years ago. Twenty years had passed since I had left school and it was time for the class of ’86 to reunite. I accepted the invitation with a great amount of fear and anticipation…my thoughts immediately fixated on the boy whose blue eyes I still seem to feel burning on me. A boy who’s face had haunted me for years even though I have crushed the memory of him time and time again. But fate was holding the cards and did not quite like the hand I was dealt for a few weeks before the reunion destiny decided to put a wild card in play. And so the boy made his presence know by sending me an email.
I remember reading the content over and over again looking for hidden meaning between the lines. We were both searching for that certain something that had connected us so many years ago…and in an instant the lines seem to be blurred for we had not an inkling of an understanding what had been rekindled and the magnitude of what was to come. And although the exchange of emails between us was mostly catching up on what we have achieved with our lives, it was also filled with what was not said…filled with unanswered questions and unspoken longing. Being thirty something adults now one would think that it would be easier to behave as such…that experience would bring maturity and with that fulfilment in our relationships. But we were being held captive by a time in our life that would constantly remind us that something was missing. And as the reunion drew closer, I found myself building up an expectation to finally be able to deal with the significance the boy had in my life. I was completely convinced that the infatuation I had felt for him would finally be put to bed once we stood face to face. I was wrong.
Staring into space I found myself sitting in a rented car outside the venue of the reunion. Not quite myself, my mind had been occupied for most of the flight to such a degree that my husband had given up trying to make conversation. I had purposefully refrained from any exchange regarding the event that no doubt in his mind must have posed some questions about old flames. And now I was there and uncertain of what the evening would reveal. Getting out of the car I suddenly wondered if I had made the right decision to come because if I was honest with myself, I had everything, I had success, I had a beautiful family…I had a loving husband. And with that I felt anticipation make way for guilt as I walked down the pathway to the entrance of the venue. It did not take long before I noticed his presence. The boy was even more of a man now…his appearance more rugged, the lines on his face had deepened…he had aged well like a good red wine.
There is a quote by Peter McWilliams that says “Guilt is anger directed at ourselves’. And never was it truer for me than that night. I had successfully averted any physical contact with the boy and a few sideways glances indicated to me that he was completely immerged in conversation with the boys which if one is already predisposed to feeling guilty would suffice as proof that whatever expectations I may have had was utterly foolish. Feeling completely out of place and out of touch I left that evening, driving along the coastline. Overwhelmed by a sense of loss I cried for something I had longed for for such a long time, something I never had although I never even understood what it was. And as I rolled down the window and smelled the salty breeze I told myself that it was time for closure…that it was clear that whatever unresolved feelings there may have been would remain unsaid and that I should close the chapter on the boy…but more importantly on a time in my life that now belonged to the past. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge and admitting the truth was hard. The foolish trip down memory lane was nothing more than an attempt to try and rekindle my lost youth. And so I made a decision not to entertain any more emails from the boy. Complex things are easy to do, its simplicity that is the real challenge. The simplest thing was to walk way but not without allowing myself a moment to embrace the memory of seeing him again that night and I am reminded about a line in one of my favourite movies “The Bridges of Madison County”…” The old dreams were good dreams, they didn’t work out but I am glad I had them”…
But fate was still holding the wild card…in fact this time destiny had joined the game and they seem to be on the same side. Five years had passed since the reunion. Convinced that I had it all life was good. It wasn’t perfect…but whose life is right?
Completely now settled in to suburbia with all the other forty something friends and acquaintances I was surfing the wave of whatever flavour was going down…three years ago it was big screen TV’s and surround sound…two years ago it was Blue Ray…a year ago it was the latest Sony compact digital camera. And now it was Blackberry. It had become my favourite past time to connect with friends and family. So much so that I would often neglect accessing messages that would from time to time still come through on my other old phone…to such a degree that if the battery ran out I would not notice and leave the old phone lying in my handbag for weeks. I reasoned that all of my important contacts had my new number so there was no significance in keeping the old. But the contract had not quite expired and it would be stupid not to use the airtime and free sms’s that was still available.
It had been a long and hectic day. I was glad to finally sit in my favourite chair in front of the fire place. Closing my eyes for a few minutes I tried to leave the office behind. Timing is everything. Just as I was starting to relax, my son the opportunist presented me with a glass of my favourite red wine and immediately dove right into the pressing matter at hand. His phone had broken and it would be the end of his world as such if he could not be in contact with his girlfriend. Did I say timing is everything? The things we do for love. And in that moment of weakness I reached for my handbag to hand over my old phone in the final act of moving on and to be honest to get a bit of peace and quiet that would follow getting him off my back.
But it was not time for peace and quiet… it was not time for anything…..and yet it was time.
Staring at the phone in my hand I decided to clean out the emails and messages before handing it over to junior. Scrolling through the messages I suddenly felt a jolt through my heart. There it was…little more than a day old…the boy had left a message…
Up until that moment I had lived in a world of choice… I had regarded my life as a product of my own decisions and I was in control. But this was something else, this was destiny. And if you believe in destiny, you suspect there are greater forces defining your life’s story. Even if we are each part of some great master plan, our unique journey has more personal meaning when we choose it for ourselves. You make many choices every day. Whenever possible you choose the life you want. We are the choices we make… And in that moment I made the most selfish choice of all. I chose him.
Love will never obey an expectation; its mystery is pure and absolute. Twenty six years later I find myself waiting at a secluded table in a restaurant…nervously anticipating the moment the boy would appear. It had been five years since the reunion however it seemed like eternity. And as a million thoughts were racing through my head…I perched myself from the chair towards the entrance…and there he was walking towards me. I trembled for a second and fell back in my chair. The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity. We spend our time and energy defending our life rather than living it fully.
Realising that we both got caught trying to catch a glimpse of each other suddenly made me smile. And with that I stood out of my chair and walked towards him…no longer afraid or holding back anything I greeted him with a kiss on the lips, not wanting to let go of his warm embrace.
My heart was pounding wildly. He was seated across the table from me and as I looked at him, I could not help but feel that I have known him all my life. It was not anything specific that he said or did, yet it was everything about him…it was just a sense of knowing. It was in the easy conversation that just seemed to keep on flowing… it was in the way he held his glass… it was in the way his eyes would search mine and we both would seem to be hanging on to the same thought…26 years to get to this moment…
The man sitting across from me was no longer the boy I had idolised…not only had he become a man…he had become the man that I had dreamt of all my life. And it is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. He was the one. My heart only ever had one thought. One want. One need. Despite all, in spite of all…all my heart ever wanted was him.
Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives. That moment was defined when he stood up and sat next to me. Fully aware of his presence so intimately close to me I was amazed at how comfortable we seem to be with each other…our bodies now touching ever so slightly, his leg brushing against mine. It came naturally and it felt felt right…
The heart never forgets, never gives up, the territory marked off for those who came before. And when he suddenly leaned forward mid sentence and parted my lips fate and destiny had concluded our twenty six year journey. It seems that all we have ever done in our life was make our way to each other…for in that kiss we had found our destination…we had found one another. I realised that till that moment I wasn’t alive’…that I had longed for him like the moon pulls the tide. And like Meryl Streep in the Bridges of Madison County in that moment everything I knew to be true about myself up until then was gone. I was acting like another woman, yet I was more myself than ever before. This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.
“You are, and always have been, my dream”…his every word folding like a blanket around my soul. He is every reason, every hope, and every longing I have ever had. My restless soul has found its harbour.
And herein lies the irony for as much as we have found each other and are bound together in another space and time, we will forever remain separated in this life. Vows made to a loving wife and devoted husband are printed like headers and footers on every page of the remaining chapters of your life. You cannot simply change the storyline of the book, or the title. Commitment negates you finish the story you had started though it may not have the happy ending you had wanted.
I have had one life but I have lived it as two completely different women. I have existed in two separate universes. Like night and day I am dusk and dawn, forever floating between darkness and light.
In the light of day my defences are up, my life is a series of controlled actions and purpose. I am safe. But as night falls, like a hungry predator he haunts me and I surrender my soul to be devoured by the darkness where he lives. I call his name and he answers with a flutter in the deepest core of my being. His name is written on my soul and no matter how I try, I can’t erase it.
In the darkness of night there is no escape. There is no distinction between reality and fantasy, I taste him. I drown in him. And as the light of morning falls he exits my dreams like a dagger ripping through flesh and swallow the silent screams of his brutal torture.
And as the morning breaks I cling to hope and sanity like the last remaining life jacket on the Titanic, knowing that just like Rose never let go of Jack, so I will too never let go of him. I shall for eternity run to that place in in my dreams and nightmares where he waits for me.

Survived the storm-2

Friends dont steal from each other but the one i had was an absolute the opposite,We would share anything but mine was for a big catch for her, I remember telling her about my new man and she was laghing hardly at how ugly the man was but i loved him anyway and i was not willing to sacrifice losing him for my single friend who would joke of him everytime we were out for some fun.It is crazy how this particular friend of mine felt deep down inside about this man,she had the hearts for him and was willing to do everything in his power to sbatch him from me,so one day i was on my way home when i accidentaly saw my friend and my man together laughing their lungs out and the fact of the matter is they never saw me.That very moment i pinched myself hard because i couldnt believe my eyes,I was shockely terrified.That day i knew it was over for me.

I went home,tried to call him and when he answered i said ‘Are you in love with her?’ and he said ‘yes so wat?The begging of good things was now the end.I thought i was somehow reckless but then i remember the words my mother told me ‘good man cant be stolen’ and that menute i was strong again and i was willing to move on to better things and forget the bitter past.

Two years later i met someone and i wasnt sure if i wana be more than friends with them ,i didnt wana experience heart ache again, back when i comprehend the words,which had sailed through my ears of the man i love,that rejection was somehow strangling me to death and i have never felt that in my intire life.It was clear he was leaving me for someone else ,he was leaving me for my so called friend…

I had dreams like everyone else but mine were so hard for me to fulfill because of the friends i keep.I had hope that one day i would meet someone who would make me forget every sad chapter in my life and speaking of who:There was this Martin guy one hell hotty a girl would want to have ,he was the who purchase and we met one day.I felt the connection there,we would chat for long hours,text each other daily and the was no doupt in my mind he was the one but i had to be sure first.

But who was i kidding because i ended up with him anyway now the very same girl who stole my boyfriend had kept her distance but not for long.He came to my place begging for forgiveness because she finally saw i had moved on and she wanted to know what she was missing and because i am a happy soul i forgave her and we were back at being friends.This time around she was acting all innocent and i was convinced that she was indeed changed.we started hanging out together as we used to.Trust me when i say some people never change and my friend was one of them…

My friend was heartless and didnt care for other people but only herself,she made my life a living hell.This time she was flirting with my new man on social media as unknown until my man asked her who she was,she told him and when asked why she was doing that whreas we are friends: she told my man that i wasnt a woman enough for my man and when Martin refused to play along she decided to create false stories about me and that lie had a huge impact on my current relationship.

Men are so complicated sometimes because instead of confronting me he decided to fade away ,he was distant,he stoped texting and his silence was killing me until one day he decided to tell me ‘baby you are beatiful and smart im sure you are happy with your current man so leave me alone and concentrate on your man and a baby’.What a fat lie he heard from my so called friend and again this time i had lost him for no reason.

I Thought to myself that happiness was not part of me because it didnt last,i thought i was meant to live a lonely life and that i deserve to be hurt.Thathat very moment i chose to live my life with no friends and i decided that my friends will be my mother and my siblings until one day i came across i very motivative ,it was answering all my questions and i was ready to start a new chapter of my life.

I was happy and i thought common now the man who deserve me happiness is this one i have friendzoned all this time.
You how free you are to tell your friend(man) about the man you are dating and he is always there to listen and sometimes its funnuy how they able to hide their feelings knowing that they would lose you if they ever tried to tell you how they really feel.And it funny how we started and emmedietly he swa me crying he hugged me tied and told me,its gona be ok and then we kissed ,Thats how i survived the storm bacause he was not planning to leave anytime soon he was there from the begging through thick and thin,Today we have a beatiful daughter by the name of Hope and our love is still going strong.

Survived the storm

Have you ever wished that there was no such thing as jealous? This story is my would be life; the life which came to abrupt halt by jealousy and greed. The life which i wanted so bad;thrown to ash in the blink of an eye…

It was about 10years ago when i completed my matric.Everything was perfect ,i wanted to make it big in life.All i wanted was the best for my family; i was willing to work hard and make that happen,luckily my grandfather had been saving all these years for my tertiary education.I was the first in the family to complete matric and go study at a college.

I worked hard when i got there because i knew where im from and i did wana dissapoint my family,Everything was running smooth until i finish my first semester and when i was supposed to do my second simester people started talking
and because my grandfather was too old he was convinced by a neighbour to stop paying for my studies: he didnt want to do that but ended up doing it anyway and i had to drop out.

It felt like stap that wasnt bleeding and i was scared to go home in that mind people will laugh at,its a very big pain when someone wants something bad enough and people keep on taking it away.For the first time in my life i was working as a domestic worker and i knew i was gona go back and finish where i left of with that money and for love my mother had for me,i was stronger than ever and was ready to face the world.She used to buy me smaller things i needed every month end and i was like any other girl my age but still i was angry and i have decided to turn to alcohol for comfort,i bought bought alcohol for me and my friends but then this was somehow becomung a habit so i was back to square one…..continues