The Sunday Mail
Chinhoyi University of Technology
AINDROPS were softly landing on the tent as mourners gathered to say goodbye to ‘a loved one’. Sadness clothed their faces and tears rolled down their cheeks as the body was being lowered to its final resting place.
What exactly they were mourning about was a mystery waiting to unfold. Was it the letter the deceased left, her passing or perhaps simply tradition that they should cry? The pastor read words of comfort from the holy book but was it enough to wipe off everyone’s guilt and shame. Her cries for help had fallen on deaf ears and like an orphan she had been on her own though surprisingly, hers was a dignified funeral. Clothed in the best clothes money could buy and in a casket almost as breathtaking as the vintage car she always wished to own.
After all had been said and done, it was time to pack and give away all her belongings as per African tradition.
Finally those faces were beaming with joy as they reaped where they did not sow. Cheers and giggles filled the atmosphere as they received her clothes and accessories which she had worked harder than anyone to get. Lastly there lay in the jewellery box, a ‘treasure’ she left for all to share equally. It was an ordinary piece of paper but engraved on it was sorrow and a longing no one thought could fit on a paper. This was her note to whoever could listen and she released all the feelings she had bottled up for years before they ‘killed’ her.
“If you are reading this, it means I am already gone. I decided to go a happy and free person and I guess I will be happier in another life. I hold nothing against anyone so never blame yourselves for what happened. Life is not for the weak and I guess this is the natural selection my Biology teacher always talked about. I tried and heaven knows I did, but how much can a human heart take.
I strolled through the streets of life, gave my all but it wasn’t enough so here I am. Like a flower taken off the Jacaranda tree, I withered away no matter how much I tried to survive. I used every survival skill. I swear I did. “What happened to the bubbly and lively person, you might ask? The truth is she never existed. Yes, she never did. I was so gifted in camouflaging my emotions and that, beloved, is a secret I took to the grave.
“Every struggle pinned me down as I tried to make ends meet. I cried for help like Rapunzel in the giant castle but a prince never came. Oh, my naive mind thought fairytales were true! Technically I had many friends but in my real world I had none. I was a loner and sorrow was my only companion. You all know how many times I knocked on your doors like the friend at midnight, but you never answered, did you? It’s no big deal though because this is not a courtroom and I am definitely not pleading my case. Anyway, do you know how many times I cried myself to sleep or went to bed with a heavy heart? You have no idea, so let me tell you, countless times. Quite ironic isn’t it?
“The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was the heartbreak I endured in a single year. Firstly I was struggling emotionally, financially and physically at school. Secondly I couldn’t find peace in prayer anymore. Going to church was like an obligation and failed to quench my spirit but crushed it even more.
Thirdly all my efforts to earn an extra penny backfired and left me in even deeper waters.
“You probably won’t believe this but I was engaged to a long-time boyfriend before he did something terrible that broke me. He robbed me of the little light shining in my heart and left a darkness I couldn’t extinguish. I had already been disowned by friends and family because of him and he dared to do this. Lord forgive him. I hung on to the tiny thread that tied me to my faith but it slowly broke like a tissue paper and I fell into a dungeon. Daniel was saved but it was a little too late for me.
“You can scream all you want telling me how much of a fool I am for taking my own life, but I had nothing to live for. Your tears won’t bring me back or make my life bearable. It’s a little too late and I am on the other side now. This is the verdict. I officially deem you free to do whatever you had been doing when I was alive. Buy your expensive designer shoes, feast like royalty, go on vacations and spend your money however way you want, like I never existed.
“I was never part of your lives but an incubator for the dreams you failed to fulfil in your youth. I never lived my life but yours. Tied to the girdle of your dreams, swaying in whichever way you turned. If I lived mine, it was for a minute. Let’s pop champagne and celebrate on this auspicious day. We are definitely going to need more wine. A burden is finally buried and we are free at last. You’re going to miss me when I am gone.
Let’s celebrate each other whilst we still can. Every person is a gift and we all deserve love. A life lost can never be recovered. For the record, a majority of suicide victims are actually murdered. Compelling someone to commit suicide is murder. Even though there is not enough evidence for arrest, we stay in the jail of guilt pondering on the things we could do right. The things we could have done and the sacrifices we could make. One day all the things you have become a reminder of the thing you had but let slip through your fingers.
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