Under the stars she lay awake on the damp sand her skin cold and numbed. The tides roared vigorously against the silent night overshadowing the Swahili taarab playing from the beach resort. Her arms crossed each other on top of her holding a note book closely to her body as some priceless treasure. But who could blame her for that was the only memory she had of her lost daughter. Warm fresh tears replaced the prior ones painting two wet strings of tears that fell down her face to her ear on both sides. They said time is a healer but two years had passed and she hurt still just like the first time. Rehemas body was freezing it was time for her to leave before she got sick. It was her last night home she would leave in the morning to Europe she didn’t want to get sick before the journey. Maybe a new place will make the pain more bearable, maybe she will find her strength again. Her daughter had loved the beach the water fascinated her so much. She always ran and crawled towards it. Her smile always widened when the waves slapped against her tiny legs and she could giggle loudly and gasp. She would have grown up to be a great swimmer just like her. Rehema smiled at the thought. The beach was the most memorable place she spent with her baby and may be it might have been the reason she got asthma, she hated herself for that. But maybe “it was no one’s fault” just as doctor Jane puts it.
Rising to her feet the notebook still in her hands, she caressed its pages stopping at the last page that had a picture of her daughter in a pink swim suit with gold details. “Oh God she was beautiful!” was oh yes past tense it had taken her so long to refer in that manner. At times she still felt guilty after she did. Below the picture were words scribbled in her handwriting. Looking at the ocean she read out the words aloud against the roars of the tides.
You could be two
You could be joy or tears
Maybe this world was unfit for your kind
I could never know but guess
But one thing I attest my little one this world never
You repelled its cruelty
But could s are puzzles questions
I will never answer …… in peace my angel
A beautiful poem for her daughter……taking a last look at the note book full of poems she had written for her little angel since she passed away, rehema signed breathing heavily she tossed the book into the ocean and left, her eyes dried for now she cried in her soul but with hope of a better dawn.
……narrow strings of sweat traced down her face falling on the white sheet
of paper with large black letters that she held in her hand. For a long time she remained glued to her desk in the same position. This was the first time in her life that she resented her job. Putting the paper down as if it disgusted her, Jane walked to the window she needed to breath the room suffocated her. It was hot outside not even the breeze from the ocean did enough cooling. From across the room a crowd gathered around a man at the public park opposite the hospital. Judging from the dress code of the man at the center, it was difficult to tell if it was a dancer or magician. Though the crowd seemed fascinated by him Jane s attention could not be swayed at least not today. In her head she kept on arranging and re arranging words trying to find the best phrase for relaying the message to her dear friend. ohh rehema!! Her heart sink at the thought of her. three that was the number, today made it four, but it was still painful as the first.” damn!!” she cursed throwing a clenched fist at human dummy that stood by the wall next to the open window. “Ouch!!” she screamed back at the pain imposed by the thrust. Looking at the watch on top of her work desk it was twenty past three pm in the afternoon. It had been almost an hour after walking away from ICU. Prolonging the talk wouldn’t change any aspect and Jane knew this very well.it was time she was not ready but then, who would ever be ready to relay such news?
Rehema sat next to her mother who held her tightly in her arms. In one hand she held on to her Rosalie she had been praying the entire night. On her lap lay a pink cotton sheet with dark brown teddy bears holding colorful balloons.” just tell me!” she screamed at her doctor cutting her long speech short. Rehema could no longer withstand the salutation or suspense Jane showed. She wanted to know how her baby girl was. It had been 26 hours since she had last held her and she missed her terribly. Part of her was missing and the void was suffocating her she needed to be complete again so she can breathe. “……..we did everything we could…… am sorry….” those were the only words that echoed in her ears. Again!! Four times she had gone through this pain how many more would she take? Her mother’s embrace tightened around her, her head buried on her daughters shoulder like she wanted to shield herself from this cruel world. She couldn’t hold back her pain her heart tore and her eyes opened wide the tears gates. She wept furiously with rage and bitterness. For a moment the mother forget her daughter and it was all about the pain she felt at the loss of her grandchild. She realized rehema remained still under her embrace not a sound not a move, unlocking herself from her, she looked at her daughter seated next to her. Rehemas eyes were dry, her face was emotionless, and her eyes looked lost far away beyond the hospital walls. The Rosalie was at the floor beside her. Miriam was worried about her daughter. She pulled herself together she had to be strong for her just like the other times. But this time she was scared unlike the previous occasions when her daughter would have wept in her arms and screamed her pain out. Today she sat still blocking the world and locking all her feelings inside, this was dangerous. Rehema responded to no one and nothing not even her friend Jane the doctor could penetrate her.”……..at least do you want to see her?….” jane was pleading. She stood up slowly like a zombie, the tiny pink sheet belonging to her deceased daughter fell on the floor on top of the Rosalie. “all I had until I got my little baby girl were corpse memories of my still births, some too young to even make a face and decide whether they would have my eyes or teddy’s and that broke me, every night I would fight to push the images aside but my heart would fail me for they were still beautiful to me, they were my babies. No I don’t want to see her like that dead and lifeless like her siblings. I don’t want my last memory of her to be dead. i want to remember her as the beautiful angel who came and replaced all those faces and I lost . The one who replaced the nightmares with sweet dreams. i want to remember her smiling and playing around. i want to remember her calling out for me and her tiny sharp scream. i want to remember her living not dead on some bed. Aha! At least she gave me six beautiful months to taste motherhood. At least I got to meet her” her eyes still remained dry not even a single tear. Rehema shook her hand free off her mother’s grip who now stood beside her both facing the doctor and walked away silently passing and ignoring her husband at the entrance. The three looked at her as she left closing the waiting room door behind her……..
Thanks for joining me!
THE PASTORS DAUGHTER….
“……..It is hard to remember her face without a smile or giggle mostly a loud hilarious laughter, Olga thought she even smiled when she was sleeping and yes she did. On her dead bed before her final breath she had smiled at her parents in between tears had murmured “I am scared but not for me but you, I am tired and it’s my time to rest before I visit another world but I cannot go because I am scared not for me but you, I know you think am strong and fearless but it’s not true I am human and like you both I get scared, I get hurt, I have bad and good days too. But I look at the world and I see black and white there is always two side to everything and the best part we get to choose what to feel. I choose courage when most choose fear, I choose to try when others skip out, I choose to laugh when most choose tears, I choose to live free like a human and make mistakes while most choose to be programmed like robots to fit in a system that requires perfection. The truth is its just black or white and I made choices some were not wise but I don’t regret because they were my choice. When the doctor told you I was sick you dint seem much surprised and it didn’t surprise me too but your reaction hurt me. None of you has ever asked how I got this disease you all avoided the topic like leprosy. It hurt me that you didn’t give me a chance to explain myself or share my side of the story but instead you believed in the other side of the story that portrayed me as an indecent loss girl. You have been ashamed of me all this five years but I choose to forgive you before instead of holding a grudge after all didn’t I tell you that life is black and white. I need you to listen carefully and I hope this will give you piece of mind at last and you don’t have to sign the divorce papers because you are going to need each other now more than ever. Remember the church camp meeting that took place at Rusinga Island five years ago? I had just turned thirteen. Something bad happened the last night at the camp before we came back. That night I had choose to stay awake and go for a last walk not so far from the campsite just a mile away and climb this short cliff. I wanted to see the beautiful sun rise against the great Lake Victoria and take pictures. I took my sleeping bag and a few items I needed and left for the cliff after dinner. I felt it was wise to inform the Mrs. Mackintosh the pastor’s wife in case of an emergency but getting to their tent I only found the pastor. He told me it was okay to go as the area was well protected and it was only a few meters from the site, furthermore he promised to send someone to check up on me from time to time. I set for the cliff and made camp. I could see our campsite at the bottom the bonfire was still blazing hot. Everything was okay until a few hours later when pastor mackintosh or pastor mac as we are used to calling him appeared. I thought it was a routine check but he prolonged his stay. I choose to trust him and he took advantage of me the entire night, on that cliff I lost my childhood. When I awoke from the torture he was already gone. It was a few hours before dawn and the sky was milky. I looked down and I was cleaned up but that shampoo was not mine. Mum, you say I see the beauty in everything even the ugliest situation? That morning my eyes failed me for I looked at myself and I saw ugliness. I have never seen an ugly sunrise like that morning.” She had broken down fiercely at that point holding tightly to her parents hands. “I was a kid I didn’t know who to tell and who would believe me nothing seemed wrong apart from the pain inside me. I was embarrassed and I lost I didn’t know what to do. When we came back I wanted to tell you but every time I tried you brushed me off you were either busy with my brothers or attending to something. The night I made up my mind to talk about it to you dad at the dinner table, you brought up Bridget’s story. The way you both judged her for the changes she had made on herself her new way of dressing and the kind of group she was hanging with you even made fun of her and laughed, that made me choose to never tell you. What you didn’t know is that pastor mac had raped Bridget too one evening after children’s choir practice when her mum had been late to pick her up. In fact that horrible night at the cliff she had bumped into the pastor on top of me and had witnessed half of the act she was the one who cleaned me up while I was passed out after the monster panicked and left me, the sweet shampoo was hers. Everyone judges her for influencing me on leaving our church and going to heaven’s gate church but I need you to know it was my decision. That night I choose not to dwell on self-pity but live again, I choose not to abandon my faith and Lord but to seek him in a different place where I felt safe. Bridget and I have never been with any other man apart from the monster who stole our pride. That could only mean one thing he is the one who infected us with HIV/AIDS. Dad I know you’re having an affair with Mrs. Mackintosh I think you should get tested. I was young then I didn’t know about the disease so Bridget and I just took birth control pills we took from mum’s drug shelf and thought we were safe but I guess we were wrong. That was the reason we fought to omit him on any other children programs, now I know the children are safer in the camps and that gives me peace. It is important that you know it wasn’t anyone’s fault bad things happen for no reason just as good things do. I have made peace with my destiny and I forgive even the monster. I have no regrets even if my life was cut short for I lived to the fullest each second and it’s okay for id rather live eighteen happy years than fifty sad ones. I love you today like I did as a toddler, I want you to smile at life no matter what comes there’s always something good.” With this she took her last breath her tiny hands in her parents hands her face stained with tears but her smile still their fading slowly as life escaped her beautiful body, maybe she was too good for this world. Tears were rolling down Olga’s face, Graces mum had suddenly stopped talking, Cleo jumped out of his seat and ran to his wife, kneeling on the floor, and he held her tightly and kissed her fore head severally fighting back his own tears that balance on his eyes. Olga rose up after a while and excused herself from the room. Grace’s mother apologized before leaving she felt guilty of bringing up the stories that reminded Olga of her loss. Although they knew the pastor’s family had lost their older daughter just a few knew the real story……..”
How many more silenced young voices? how many more untold nightmares taken to the grave? how many more stolen dreams and livelihood will it take to protect to act? Rape is real! @inkedtears.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton