The Sunday Mail
U6 Zimuto High School
EMMA didn’t want to wake up to face the world anymore because suddenly she felt dwarfed even by the size of her room. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to cry, but it wasn’t pain she was feeling. It was a kind of emptiness that could not be dispelled even by the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting into her room.
She opened her eyes with a start as ugly thoughts started to run pell-mell into each other. She turned to the wall and gazed into the pink brightness it possessed, but even that failed to comfort her.
The incessant bleeping of her answering machine got her up and headed for the table on which it sat.
She pressed a button and there came the voices of the people she had known so well in the past three months. Involuntarily, she rolled her eyes in disgust.
“Hey girlfriend,” came Trish’s voice, “the dance floor misses you! Where on earth are you? I’m worried so call me as soon as you can. Love you!”
Emma sneered and muttered, “As if you ever cared.”
The next three messages were from her other so-called friends who expressed their fake concern over her supposed withdrawal from the social scene.
The last one was from Elvis, her . . . what was the word, boyfriend?
“I’m sorry, Emma, for being so harsh with you last night but I maintain half of what I said. Just get rid of the baby so we can continue with our blossoming relationship. If u can’t do that, I’m sorry but you leave me with no choice but to get rid of you, too. I have a marriage to protect. Choose wisely.”
“What relationship was he talking about?” she thought. His manipulation of her to get her into his bed or his business deals with her friends to get her to sleep with him in return for thick wads of cash? Either way, nothing was going to blossom anymore. He was married? Oh no!
It was in that moment that reality came knocking on her door. She felt the colour drain from her face and she slumped to the floor in a heap.
After almost 12 hours of fruitless efforts, she finally broke into hysteric sobs which rocked her to the very core. She recalled how she had fallen into the wrong hands when she transferred to St George’s.
In a desperate attempt to fit in she had agreed to adopt the way of life of her friends which was going to late night clubs and dating older men.
There she met Elvis, a young (which meant between 30 and 40) businessman who was filthy rich and remarkably handsome. Emma thought it was wrong to date an older guy, wealthy or not, but after some pestering from her friends, she altered her mindset and went out with Elvis.
Before long (and with the help of Emma’s friends) he had already bedded her. Emma recalled that her friends had made it sound like it wasn’t a big deal to lose virginity at 16 but she knew otherwise and began to doubt the friendship’s genuineness. When she told them she was carrying a baby, her doubts were confirmed and they slowly but noticeably started to shut her out of their little circle. When she told Elvis, he was surprisingly angry with her and told her he just wanted to have fun and had never bargained a baby would come with the package.
He wanted her to abort and risk her life in the process or their little affair was over. That was when the blindfold was removed from Emma’s eyes.
“Traitors!” Emma screamed as she hit a mirror with a steel brush instantly shattering it to tiny shards. She felt her bile rising and rushed to the bathroom where she wretched her stomach empty until only bloodstained water came out. When she was done, she collapsed to the floor and in her half-conscious state, her mind’s lens scanned the landscape of her life. She saw her parents, all that they had done so she could have a better life and how she had failed them. She had taken bad friends into her life and had become a bad girl. Now she was carrying a grandchild for her parents at just 16. Oh how that would ruin their social status! However, could they show their faces to the world again? No, she would prevent all that.
With renewed energy, she got up and dragged her debilitated frame back to her bedroom where she picked up a piece of glass and used it to slice her jugular vein without a moment’s hesitation. She was found ages later in her blood-splattered room, bled to death.
Such a tragic end to a 16-year-old who had a whole lifetime of opportunities ahead of her. She had wasted it all by letting her friends judge her destiny for her.
Maintain your individuality even if it means going against a horde of people to prove your way.
“Being yourself in a world of people trying to make you into someone else is the greatest achievement” — Ralph Emerson Waldo.
THE writer, Fadzai Mataru, is an U6 student at Zimuto High School. Students, send your articles, pictures, poetry, art to Charles Mushinga at [email protected] or [email protected] or follow Charles Mushinga on Facebook or @charlesmushinga on Twitter. You can also post articles to The Sunday Mail Bridge, PO Box 396, Harare, or call 0772936678.