The Subtle Return

Seth Doyle Tell-7d0df886

The scenery came to an end abruptly, has this smooth journey now come to an end? Apparently,   the road had come to an end and  now trees baked in brown powder-  dust complimented the untarred road that lead on to my house. My house? Well, my home town. The memories came flowing down like stream in a hurry to snitch on a culprit.  Blurry, yes but vague, of course not. 

The days went by so fast, I can’t believe I’m here now. The previous years had been filled with several emotions, all of which has moulded me today. I was back to my home town after some years of avoiding my childhood. It had been one hell of a journey.

The rings of laughter we used to have, the shouts of the joy, the cries from our mother’s after we erred were a regular at home. The moonlight stories and the late night breeze aren’t left out. All these was beautiful till I encountered my first jab in the heart.

I wasn’t like the other children. I was daring, much more outspoken and mischievous. I went the extra mile with everything I did. There was one school closer to my house than the rest, my parents made us – me and my siblings go there. I would sneak off during lunch hour and go to the other school to get a glimpse and make friends. I got away with this always till the day I met my father on the way back. There was no hiding spot and I was toast.

There and then, something was to be decided  about my case. I was becoming unbearable. I was a pain in the butt. Their intention was not to get rid of me, it was a correctional approach on their part. Some of my relatives lived at towns closer to mine and I was to go and stay with one of my uncles. My worst nightmare. Was this really needed? I quizzed. I was blank the whole time and even though that didn’t buy my dad’s sympathy, I could see he felt sorry for me.

My fate had been decided, and the day of reckoning was here. I had never imagined leaving my family for any reason. But now, I was to stay with the harshest of my uncles. Why? I dragged this to myself I thought. My uncle was somewhat happy. I did not understand what his joy was. Wasn’t he supposed to beg on my behalf? I guess I was wrong, he had his own ulterior motives. 

Now at his place, I was well welcomed. But what could be better than home? My uncle didn’t waste time in spelling out rules to me. My routines were clearly stated and my boundaries weren’t left out. It was a sad development for me. A week had barely pass when I was involved with the serious labour. Things I didn’t even do at home. Well, I was to learn and I guess I was learning the hard way.

After about a year, the way my uncle treated me got to me. I was tired. But, I couldn’t go home. My parents came once in a while, but I couldn’t tell them what I faced. It was just to put up the fake smile, bid them goodbyes and continue with my slavery. Guess who got a breakthrough? Me, yes. I had it all carefully planned. I had run so many errands I knew the way to the city. I had caught the glimpse of it several time and was determined to be a part of that journey. It wasn’t easy, but on one of such errands I went and never came back. It was the most daring thing I had done. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Well, if I was to be a slave, then I better get paid for it. Luckily, my education at home added to the labour skills I had acquired  wasn’t a waste. Getting hired wasn’t too much of a big deal. The problem was shelter. Where to go after working all day? Fortunately for me, I impressed my boss quite well and I was allowed to live with them. Working at both ends- home and the store.  The story seems easy now, but the practical aspects were nothing to write home about. 

I did this for about 5 years and yes, I was getting my footing. Things started to look normal and I was glad things had changed for the better. I continued my education here- self sponsored and by the time I was done with secondary school, I was 18 years. I took a year break to help fund my University education. And luckily I got a scholarship. It really did pay off.

It was the end of the first session and everyone went home. I battled really which home I wanted to go. I could run away for ever and there my mind got made up and I got to the road. My mind wondering how the journey had been till the smooth ride came to an end. Now that I am back, the reunion was much awkward than I had envisage. I hadn’t seen them in years, but here they are looking as beautiful and radiant as I had left them. My dad was sorry, but I was glad he did that. He gave me insight to leverage on my limitations and that had built me today. It was a bitter sweet ending.

Irrespective of all these that had happen, here I was back to tell my story, enjoying the scenery and getting inspired by the children in my town and the lovely times I used to have. My home – Africa is a place of several people, emotions, lanes, paths all intertwined. It was indeed a great choice to be back home. I had to spend the 3 weeks of holiday I had here before the new semester resumed. 



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