It had been a long journey for Cassey. Dumped at the church to whoever would have mercy, she had hoped from one orphanage to another. While she was glad to have a roof over her head, a bed to sleep and food to fill her belly, some days were too cold that she wondered when life would stop hurting so much.
She’s learned earlier in life that gratitude was the recipe for a great life despite the prevailing circumstances. Moping was, therefore, one thing that she had kicked out of her life as a way to make it big despite the little availed to her.
Filling her time with giving hope to the new orphanage entrants, she found joy in putting a smile on other people’s faces. Though never adopted, Cassey was glad whenever one of the little girls found a new home. Besides, with her education guaranteed, she knew that it was a matter of time before her ‘crossing’ came forth.
Indeed, as the year came to a close, she was offered a scholarship to study Law at Harvard. Walking through the gates of this prestigious university, she felt like everyone was waiting for her, standing there to give her a standing ovation for the far she had come.
It had been a journey of endurance and hope. Not that she’d reached the zenith of her life, but such was a landmark that only God would have granted her.
Tom valued everything that was in his possession. From the pin that fastened his pants, to the mat that carried his tiny bones every night, not to mention his brother Pete. They were precious to him. His was a life of frugal living. Not that he desired it that way, but life’s circumstances had dictated.
It had not always been that way. Life had been one filled with plenty and luxury. He and his siblings never lacked and studied in the best schools. However, that was short-lived as his parents started falling sick often with a need to be hospitalised. This went on for quite a while.
They knew that all would be well so soon. Besides, people loved them enough to volunteer to nurse their parents during those long hospitalisations. So they carried on with their lives with an unfretted sense of security.
All that came to a halt on one Saturday evening when Aunt Teddy came to announce the demise of their parents. Then reality started to set in, faster than the speed of lighting.
The once loving relatives turned into monsters, grabbing whatever they could and making away with it. The children had no say seeing that these people had helped them without asking for anything in return.
Precipitant, the house was devoid of all that gave it charm. Then the ‘friendly’ uncles came and announced how they had to relocate them to the village so the house would be rented out to raise school fees for them.
They were quizzical about the proposition but had no voice or strength to put up a fight.
While all this was going on, Tom wondered what had killed their parents. He wondered how they would get them to the village for burial. However, there was no one to ask all this as it seemed rubbish in the face of wealth division.
It was later that he and his siblings learned that they would be leaving the next day for burial. That meant packing up what had survived the hungry relatives.
Looking at his siblings with pity and rage, he wondered how he would fend for them. He pondered about where Lucy’s medicine for asthma would come from. The future looked bleak.
Tom was not only the head of the herd and their parent from this day forward. The pain of the prevailing circumstances outweighed the pain of losing their parents. It was numbing.
The burial was hurried as there was no grandparent or bothered adult to see to it that they were sent off in dignity.
Then the sea of people turned into a desert. It was Tom and his siblings. He had never known what emptiness meant, it was staring at him.
Scavenging for something to eat for his siblings, he discovered that the roof of the house was leaking, the house was riddled with rodents, and there were no beddings for them.
No words could explain the misery that filled this young man’s heart.It was too much that he wailed. How was he to find a warm place for Lucy? What would he use to cover Pete? He was astounded.
Looking a little deeper, he found some old clothes of his late grandmother. With those, plus a tattered mat, he made a bed for the younger ones. He failed to sleep because the burden on his shoulders was too much to bear. He wondered where they that filled his parents’ house to no end with smiles plastered to their face were. He pondered about how he would fend for his siblings. All he did was moan silently lest he awoke the others.
Early the next day, he crawled out of the house, opening the door with utmost care lest he scared them. Though it was not so bright, the village folks were already in their fields. Talking to the first stranger he saw, he asked about work in the field. With a sneer on his face, he brushed him off. As though a can worms had been opened, Tom’s doggedness got the best of him. He vowed to find work, regardless of what it was, as long as it was decent. He walked to the next homestead and finding a lady, he asked again. This time, he got a welcome nod and was pointed to the right direction.
That was the start of his journey as a shamba boy, both at home and other people’s fields. Finding time to work at home after a day’s work in the other fields was bone breaking, but he did it anyway. Besides, Pete and Lucy helped with the miniature jobs around the home.
He was sure that there was food every day, and with the earnings from the fields, he bought basic needs.
Hard as he worked, Tom could barely save Lucy. With threadbare coverings, the attacks had become more frequent and more ravaging. The last straw was on a freezing cold night when Lucy started wheezing uncontrollably. The fire he’d built to warm up the room was bellowing gusts of smoke into the house, thanks to the great winds. This was choking her and increasing the congestion in her chest.
Hard as he tried to aerate the room yet still keep it warm, he was losing the battle. In fact, he lost it because in the wee hours of the morning, after several gasps for air, Lucy breathed her last.
She had fought so hard to live. With no money to transport her to a hospital facility or buy more medicines, they had relied on what they had managed to carry from home. For eight months, she fought off one asthma assault after another. However, this time, her frail body and lungs would barely take the blow. So she left two sobbing and deeply sad brothers with yet another loss to deal with.
Tragedy had visited these young people and it was set to strike again.
With many mosquitoes in the area, Tom had tried all he could to mend all the nets available. However, they had seen better days hence no handiwork would make them really usable.
That is how Pete got malaria. This lad fought all he could. The nights were the worst as his body would go into spasms. Tom barely slept; he could not imagine losing the only caring relation he had left.
Thankfully, he’d made enough friends, thanks to his honesty and zeal to live. That was how he ably got medicine for little Pete. At least, he did not have to lose him as he had Lucy.
Seeing him play with the other children once again filled him with glee.
After a year of work, he had saved up enough and made a lot of constructive relations to patch up the old house up. Life was a lot better despite the ever-present reminder of their sister. It was one that made him watch over Pete as a lion would watch its prey.
Kellen needed some hope to hold on to this morning. Darkness had filled her life for all she could remember. From losing her parents to a horendous accident, to being kicked out of their family house by greedy relatives, all was bleak. With no where to go, her only option was going to an orphanage. In as much as that was last thing on her mind, she was glad when she found one to take her in. At last, there was someone willing to give her food, accomodation and a place to call home without any ulterior motives.
Coming from plenty to scarcity, she had very many adjustments to make in her life. Looking back at the food that filled the bins after every meal, her stomach churned in pain. She had barely had much to eat save for the cup of porridge served at 7:00hrs.
But all that was soon forgotten when she was called and told that she would return to school. She was handed the brochure for the school and told to get ready as she would start on Wednsday. After dealing with one disappointment after another, she was glad that for once, she was being given something real. False hope had nearly killed all the trust she had for man. But with this, a glimmer of hope shone within her heart. She promised herself to do all it took to make the best out of this opportunity so that one day she would reunite with her siblings.
She promised herself to make the best out of this opportunity so that one day she would help others like her.
The weather was great, time was all hers, there was no reason to worry anymore. She had looked forward to such a time as this. A time to throw all care to the wind and enjoy what her Father had made available for her.
There was no better way than heading to the beach, to soak in the sun, unwind and let the world slide by.
Thinking about the past week, despair had turned into hope. What had seemed hopeless as she walked through the theatre doors to her mother had turned around. The surgery had gone well, albeit what the doctors had earlier said.
The tumour had been located, tamed and taken out without damaging any vein. Mother had come around after just 4 hours instead of the eight that the surgeon had said.
Glenda was indeed glad, there was a lot of hope in the air. And the beach was the ultimate place to let the steam cool off.
So with a smile plastered on her face, knowing that mother was well and the best were at her beck and call, she swung her bag to her back and headed for a bit of enjoyment.
“It is just a snap shot, so let’s get done with it,” yelled Pete.
“It means the world to me, so cool it,” retorted Alexa, “besides, I am trying my best.”
She had waited a long time to actualize this dream. She was finally getting a passport, a ticket to see the children that had been taken away from her 5 years back. So she had got up as early as 5 am to prepare for a snap shot slated for 9 am.
She needed it to be as perfect as possible and she didn’t want to be pushed about or rushed. However, hard as she tried, her nerves were not helping her either. The thought about finally seeing her children had kept her awake the whole night causing her to be so jittery and excited.
So when Pete tried to remind her about the line of customers waiting for the same service, Alexa was angry at him. He had no idea what this moment meant to her. And she was not going to allow him to spoil the moment or the outcome.
Posted on Daily Post – Snap
Twenty-five years ago, they said, “I do.” And they have done for all this while. We are a product of that vow.
My, oh my, the storms have blown, the pits were dug, but they stood to their vows. There were days I found mother in her little corner with her face awash with tears. But cry though she did, yet she never threw in the towel.
Dad was no saint. Drinking from time to time, coming in late for dinner, yet mother stood by him faithfully. She sat at the pouch doing whatever her hands would find to do as she waited for her mate to return to the fold. Dutifully, yet with a smile, she catered to him.
She never divulged why she stayed, but now that I look back, I fully understood. She never raised her voice at father, even when most times she was justified.
As I watch him strap her shoes for their anniversary ball, I am in awe. She played her role well and in no time, he had no reason to stay out long or stray.
Oh the lessons that you have taught us, mother, they are ingrained in our hearts.