I type this secretly in the confines of my bathroom walls, for I fear that if I dare go back into my room and see the unnerving pile of books I have to read, guilt and fear will overwhelm me and I will stop typing this and it becomes yet another unfinished draft.
Hello everyone. It’s been more than a while and as usual, I apologise for choosing to disappear, leaving a lot of people hanging, including myself. I also feel bad for all the potential stories that could have been developed into a post that I let slide: the one that still lingers on my mind would be the one of the national budget that went missing in my country and how it all looked like an amusing story acted out by a bunch of clueless, uninformed schoolchildren.
Now however, I have reached a point where I cannot hold it all in any longer. Like pregnant women with babies in their wombs waiting to be born, we all carry stories in our bodies waiting to be released. Everyone has a story and in the end we must all write, we must all tell our stories.
So if anyone asked me what my story is, I’d tell them mine is one of a young African girl coming of age in a city of brown roofs and golden sand, a story of a daughter as she treads the path her society has laid out for daughters of the land, a story still in writing, a story about stories.
Now to one of such stories. I am not a psychopath, but from time to time, I carry around a knife in my bag. On a certain evening during the semester, I packed my books and set out to spend the night in the school library; it’s quite a distance from where I stay, and in the absence of a taxi I took a bike. Now it was quite dark and I couldn’t see the face of the bikeman so clearly, but I noticed he wore an oversized jacket bikemen are associated with, the one that swells up with air as they speed by. Nothing seemed wrong as we were on our way to the library until this bike man started asking me an array for calculated and premeditated questions.
“So you’re going to read in school eh?” “Yes”
“So you’ve started exams” “No we’ve not started exams.”
“Ehnehn.” “So are you going to read alone or for group study?”
By now I was starting to wonder why this man was so interested in the details of where I was going. And then he slowed down his bike as if to make a stop or a turn. “Why are you stopping?” He kept quiet for a while before answering “Err, I’m thinking of passing this Biochemistry shortcut, its faster.” “No don’t pass there, pass the normal side”, I said, hoping my voice didn’t sound as turbulent as I felt on the inside, because as far as my student self knew, there was nothing Biochemistry down his intended route. He agreed and continued to down the normal road.
It was as we approached the library and he then took a turn in another direction that I knew this man had other things in mind. As I asked him where he was going, I remembered stories of young girls who went out and were never found, and images of the ones whose mutilated bodies had been found flashed in my head. And right there and then, I smiled. I smiled because I knew I wasn’t going to be another victim added to the list, just another body, just another girl. I smiled because I knew if he tried to make a move, only one of us would come out alive or complete at least. I smiled because this man wasn’t going to take anything away from me, unless I gave it to him. I smiled because this was this man’s day to die.
Amidst my murderous resolutions, the bike man had stopped, and I tried one last peaceful attempt to change his mind. “Excuse me sir, please turn back, I think you’ve passed the library. Turn back. Turn back.” “Are you serious?” “Yes. Please turn back.” And he did turn back.
As soon as we got to the library I flew off the bike(Yes, I did fly) and gave him the most condescending look I could muster. As I took slow, deliberate steps away from him, I turned back with a smile and gave him a dramatic wave of my knife; I was very much satisfied with the look of terror and confusion in his eyes. I remained angry still, long after he was gone, because I realized in those few, dark moments he had stopped seeing me as a person, human like him. I had become a thing in his eyes, an object that served a purpose. I was angry because I knew I was much more than a pretty face or body, I was much more than a means to an end. This was a body that carried around fire in it, but never got burned. I knew this was a tiny young woman, whose broken spirit could crush mountains. I was like a caged singing little black bird, caged, but still singing.
This is for all the daughters who walk this path, and for the sons who walk it with us. We are much more.
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P.S: I have a Guest Post Page too.