July 14, 2019
It was surprising yet gratifying when I opened my email and saw a note from a very special person who I have not seen for quite a while, but thanks to this medium, I was able to read the message sent to me, to which I respond by saying:
Thank you, dear cousin, for reading my letter to the Editor that was published in the Amandala newspaper on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
Yes, there are many circumstances that are experienced to which many others can relate. I hope that through this medium I will be able to reach the minds and hearts of many youths, because there are so many things that we go through which we cannot share with the adults, since their world and ours are totally different.
When I was little, a few months after my mother’s death, I was alone. Alone in the sense that, I didn’t have friends, well, flesh-and-bone friends, with whom I could have played at my house. My father is the type of person who doesn’t mingle with other persons and doesn’t want people in his house. So technically, I was alone, with no one to play with.
On occasions, my father would take me after classes to this lady’s house. She was a close friend of my mother’s who also worked at the primary school I attended and has two beautiful daughters who are my age.
However, when I was at home and tired of nagging my father, who would be busy reading, I would put on an oversized dress belonging to my mother and pretended to be a princess. I would go to my mother’s garden, where I would start singing one of those Disney Princess songs and would dance around the flowers, imagining that the birds and other creatures were surrounding me, chirping, croaking, and barking to the tune of my song.
Imagining that I was in a castle with no worries in the world, that I was happy with my mother and father, with my newborn sister, as a happy family, together, unbreakable. Happy without any quarrels, without any one screaming at me, thinking that they know what is in my mind, thinking that they know what I want to do in life, without them using my own words against me when they’re angry, without telling me words with the intention of hurting me, without worrying about what to do next after high school, without having to worry about how to get money to go to 6th form, without having to mourn the death of a loved one, without being alone, living happily ever after…
Unfortunately, that was only an imagination. The reality is different. I live in an old board house with little holes where the sun peeks through every day and insects go in at night, which are difficult to be seen due to the lack of electricity (light). We get to kill them when they decide to make the terrible mistake of landing on us or nearby.
In the mornings, the sun would come in through my bedroom window, waking me up. My every morning routine after waking up is going to the well and washing my face with the cold, salty water so that I wake up completely; thereafter, I would go to the bathroom to do my necessities.
Since we don’t have electricity or running water, I would have to fill a bucket with water from a plastic water tank which has a cloth and a sieve on top of the opening that receives water, which helps to stop leaves and other things from entering.
Unfortunately, every time I go to bathe I have to put a little Clorox to somewhat disinfect the water, because there is this beautiful, huge green iguana, known in Spanish as Garrobo, that for some unknown reason decided that it is okay to do his physical necessity in the gutter that helps capture the water to fill the tank on rainy days.