R E F U G E

He carefully examined everything he had set up for himself as an option. Hanging from the roof was a noose that was ready to hold his weight up. On the table was food spiced with poison – he prepared this for himself. Just beside him was a stool with pills in their overdose that just needed him to swallow and he would exit this world. All these options stood before him; he was the one who chose them and now the options looked back at him just waiting for his decision.

In his heart, he held the conviction that no relationship existed between himself and hope. He started to reflect on the moments that led him to this place. He did feel like he was a stranger to most and a vision to none. As others were granted seats of honour, he was granted a mountain of shit to sit upon. This decision would have come sooner for him but momentarily he had found a safe haven upon which he could find some peace of mind.

He was a teacher of a local school in the neighbourhood. In this school, no one noticed his efforts. He taught his students to the best of his abilities, yet the students wouldn’t put in any effort. He genuinely loved the students, he went out of his way to get them extra material for study. They wouldn’t engage with the seriousness they ought to. This reflected in the students failing in their exams. When the students failed, he would be paraded in the staffroom, his ego was trampled on, he was threatened with being fired every single day. The passing of each day saw him separate further from his manhood; he essentially lost the pride of being a man. He sank. No one noticed. No one cared.

As time passed, one student started to pick. One student started to listen. One student started to improve. This became his hope. He focussed all his energy on this one student and the results could be seen. No one else noticed. He was still ripped for the performance of his class. He did not care, he was happy that in the least the result of his work could be seen. The head of the school did not care, he got tired of his underperforming class and got the teacher transferred to an insignificant school. He had been separated from his hope and this was the end for him.

He then spoke to himself, “Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? Is anything certain in life?” He then stopped himself probing further. “If I die today, I’ll be alright because even after I’m gone, the spirit carries on.” Immediately he said that, he noticed that indeed the spirit carries on. He began to see that whether he ends his natural life or not, he really is not escaping. If indeed it’s true that the one who’s better is the devil you know, then none of the options before him would present a solution. If anything, you kill a man, he becomes immortal.

He then noticed that he had hope in death. He believed that death would be his savior. It then dawned on him that if he could build hope in death, then hope is not truly lost. He noticed that death is not a savior as death has no capacity to end existence; it simply ushers you into a new existence. Informed by this thought, he took the food on the table, combined it with the pills to the side. He then stood on the stool and positioned himself for the noose. He took it off the roof and threw everything away. His stand was to start afresh.

Disclaimer: I do not own the art used in this piece. The artist’s name is Genoveva Lobo De Sousa. To access more of the artist’s work Click Here

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