That night was a very cold one for me. Not much of a titan at the game called sleep; I failed to catch a whisker of it and drifted from side to side as the night passed by. I ended up just sitting in bed reliving the day that had just passed me. There existed a thought inside me that I had failed my friend in her time of need and it was not wavering in its footprint on my mind. This had been a day I never wanted to face in my lifetime. Life after death so to speak was a concept I never thought one day I would have to live through. I felt rotten inside, as if I was eternally useless! For a greater length of my life after great change I had always done one thing and that was believe in a greater being, the God of heaven and earth. He was a focal point from which much balance emotionally and mentally had been established but that night nothing spared me in my misery to the point of cracking. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat in the dark, trying to make sense of things but deep down inside I felt wronged. I opened my lips enough to whisper out a sentence, “God how could you let her die?” A deep anger was starting to corrupt every fiber of my moral being. It felt all too familiar; I had been in this place before. I felt my blood coursing with rage as the tears continued to trickle down my cheeks. Like a broken record I was stuck on the last image of her I saw. I could feel a war inside me, there was so much good in me now but I could feel it franticly fighting to keep an evil nature that had dominated me for most of my life. My blood was racing with this rage, I felt as if I was being crushed and reformed from the sand. I didn’t fight it; I didn’t fight it at all. The amount of loss I felt at that time made me feel as if all the good things I had accumulated into my character were worthless. After some time every breath I took became heavier, I felt something near me and I could very much tell what it was. Its presence was cold, void of any warmth and affection! A whisper broke through my misery and imposed its cold touch straight onto my mind, “You shall know fear and endless death!” I didn’t panic, I had been there before. At most I was not even moved because I knew exactly who it was! A memory pierced from the darkness and came straight into the brightness of my mind. Belana had written me a letter, not too long ago when I was leaving the country for a few months. I got out of my bed and switched on the light. I had buried it deep into the pocket of a jacket I didn’t wear anymore. I reached into the pocket and felt the letter, and remembered the day she gave it to me. Rushing to class she just grabbed my hand, stashed the latter into my hand and dashed off waving her hand. I took the letter out, and opened it; black ink in her curly handwriting spanning from top to bottom on the green paper. A two paged letter had struck me as excessive at the time she gave me the letter but now I had hoped she had written more. I read the first line and the letter read:
Today is the 12th of June 2009, and only a couple of days before you leave. It feels so unreal but alas it is the reality of life. It feels like only yesterday when I started talking to you as a girl who was confused and on the verge of losing it. Today, I’ve emerged a woman I only dreamt I would be and its all thanks to you, God and Adrian.
I know I am one to write letters containing a thousand words but this is one of the hardest letters I’ve had to write. Why you may ask but it’s because you’ve become a big part of my life. I wonder who is going to interpret my dreams for me; or who am I going to ask for advice, or who is going to call me and ask for stories. Strange at first I was afraid of you but now you have become a friend.
Thank you Corey Adams because you have had a positive impact on my life and for that I truly am grateful. But then sometimes to grow you need to leave the limiting environment you have grown into saturation. I pray where you are going will be all you want it to be. I know that you will make an impact so there’s no question or doubt ‘bout this.
Corey, Corey, Corey, can’t believe that you’re now evaporating and you haven’t bought me weed to put in my hair or given me the recipe for that fridge tart you always tell me about. I’ma miss you so much and I’m not even going to lie about that. Life will be quite ordinary without you. If I think about all the stuff that you’ve helped me through I can’t help but laugh, smile and get lost in wonder. It’s all strange but completely true, thank you Corey for everything. I will write more when I can but now I’m drained. So much to write but so little words. Thank-you, thank-you! May God continue to bless you abundantly and that may you remain the strong person you are. Emerging from Disturbia couldn’t have been easy but you did it with God as your strength.
Take care of yourself and ‘till we meet again.
Stay blessed and loved forever.
Lots of love
She signed off at the bottom of the letter with her signature which I could recognize a mile away. I held the letter and thought of her as she would have been writing this letter, smile across her face with a not so complicated face shone with joy as she pilled word after word onto the letter. I folded the letter but a better half of me wanted to tear it but the more sensible part acknowledged that this was the last thing I had received from her and put it back into the jacket. I sat on my bed and pondered away, thinking of all the things I should have said before she passed away. It was too late now, dead man tell no tales and dead man heed not to the words of the living. I tried beyond measure that night to not develop fault lines in my heart and mind but I was too angry, too enraged to even attempt to retain some form of reasoning. I started talking, “How could you just let her perish like that? How could you! How could you simply let someone I loved perish like a common house hold pest?” I was seriously angry with God; I thought it all to be his fault. I struggled with myself, fighting between tears that wouldn’t stop and emotions that wanted some form of revenge, some form of retribution. It had always been a part of me that I fought hard, the need to deal a blow with a blow and the moment never felt riper. But what could I do? The pain was mine to feel and the misery mine to behold! Looking around me I saw my table and on it was my pad with a pen next to it. I fixed my eyes on it and felt a thought creep into me, “Its time I write her a letter!” So meaningless now but I felt I would have one more chance to talk to her, maybe she would hear me, maybe she would listen, maybe I would hear her voice one more time.
You know I am nt gud with letters but tday I hve to try for you. Ok short hand is not working so yah! I remember talking to you just before my sister came and now you are gone. Express to me what you would have me feel for I have fallen apart.
Your voice echoes in my head, maybe that’s my scar for life. I can’t believe you are gone! I was thinking of going out with you, Adrian and Michelle. Now I can’t pick you up considering where you are. Emotions are not my strength; I am just about to cry as I write this. I have fought so hard to keep them in but even I have my limits.
You left so fast, like the turning of a page you were gone. Even in my vast understanding I fell like a fool. Many things went unsaid and now lateness seals the lock to unsaid words. I looked at your picture on my phone; I never thought you would leave me, not you Belana, not you! My dearest of friends, my special person, no one spoke to me the way you did. You were my shoulder my dear friend, a part of me. I am at times thinking this is a nasty prank and that I will be cross with you for your sense of humor but I guess the joke is on me. How can you leave me dear? Why leave me alone, with a gaping hole where you once stood. Tell me how to feel, I am lost! I am terrified of life without you!
I am such a fool, I lost you! My fear of a weakness has been my undoing for in the end the suffering rests on my lone shoulders. Tell me what to feel, I am so lonely in my heart. Not so soon dear, not so soon! You just can’t leave me, who will take your place? Who will listen to me like you did? Who will not fear me like you did? Who will not judge me like you did? Don’t you dare tell me I have Michelle, Liandra, Josephine and Adrian because I need all of you! You were the last part of me; the never aging rock of my affection and now you are just gone, no! I have been broken and destroyed, left aside like a rotting corpse. It took me 18 years to have a friend like you and now I must suffer? Words evade me like racing cars; leave me in a state of denial. Oh gosh, not you Belana, not you! I can’t accept that you are dead, I can’t accept it! Even if I die of old age, to me you are alive and with me because if I lose you at all I am undone.
You of all people know what I am and what I was. You will never condone me to lose all sense of myself for in the end I become destructive. I can’t Belana, I am sorry no I cannot do this. I will create a home for you in my mind. For as long as a strand of you is in me I have not lost your love and I am not defeated. Leave me not, dwell in my thoughts, and make my mind your home for I cannot put you in the soil. I still need you in my life.
I signed off at the end of the letter, trembling with all form of confusion and pain. I reached for my phone and tried to look at her picture but couldn’t get it to even unlock. Frustrated I gripped my phone hard until it began to crack and lose shape. I almost threw it into the wall before I simply just lacked strength. I loosened my grip and it fell to the floor as bit by bit I started losing all my resolve, all sense of who I was and drowned in my own tears. If insanity knocked at my door it would have found a new home that day. Everything raced in my mind and I watched not being able to stop it, bring a sense of order. I could hear voices of my head, Michelle, Adrian, Liandra and Josephine all racing around me crying with tears lining their cheeks. I sat down on the floor and held my head trying to calm down but I purely was entering a mental state I had never experienced. I crawled onto my bed and covered my head with a pillow trying frantically to race off to dream land. Dawn found me lying on my bed, insanity having dissipated. I got out of bed and walked to the table. I knelt down to pick up my cell phone and attempted to send a message. I entered in the number by head **** 367046 but failed to write a message. I had never been so blank in my life, so out of words and thoughts that I simply could not do simple things. I was so surrounded by fear that crippled my confidence in anything yet at the same time I was so angry I could not feel anything good inside me. Daybreak found me in cold silence sitting on my bed thinking but with no definite thought to grab a hold off. I had never experienced such confusion and fear in my life, I felt really abandoned and discarded. I spent most of the day without many words with anyone at home. I had never been the one you could talk to and offer counsel if you did not understand what I was going through. At the peak of the day I switched on my computer and started watching videos I had taken not so long ago. Belana was in all of them, leaving her mark on my memory like an unpaid bill. She was singing, dancing, shouting and I could see myself with her in the videos. At that moment I wished I could have gone back into time, lived a day with her over and over and over and over. Every image of her that passed through my mind, every video made me relive every moment with such unimaginable intensity. I stopped halfway through the last video, the pain and misery was now too much. Her voice was now alive in my head so much I could literally hear her as if she was standing right next to me. In the midst of all of this my cell phone vibrated, it was Michelle! “Hey, we are going to see Belana’s mom tomorrow. Wanna come?” Michelle had never been one who asks a question that does not merely tell you what she is thinking. She already knew my response, “Sure, let’s all meet at school and go together then.” I threw the cell phone away and dragged my chair to the window. By now nighttime was settling in and I wanted to look out of the window, into space and wander off where nobody returns from. Over the years the only reason I would drag my chair to my window was when I wanted to talk to God but I didn’t want to talk to him now, didn’t even want to hear about him. I thought of someone in all the time I spent at that window, Josephine! By now news of Belana’s death would have found her. She had left the country and relocated to South Africa not too far back. Dear to Belana, how was she handling all of this? I wish I could be with her, talk and go through this together. One of the few people I confided in, Josephine had time and time again proven to be reliable and trustworthy. But what was I to do, we were thousands of kilometers apart yet I knew grief was a common share between us. I could have sent her a text message but what could I say? Blinded by my own anger and grief I could not have been objective in bearing someone else’s tears. I realized I could not be there for any of my friends, like I had promised to all of them. I was just too weak to be of any help, just useless! Time progressed and it was getting close to midnight when something caught my attention. A voice came from behind me and it was a voice I had known for such a long time it needed no formal introduction. “Corey, Corey, Corey! You could not wander away from me forever, are you forgetting that I am you?” I turned my chair to meet his gaze as he sat on my bed, legs crossed with a devilish smile cutting across his face. It was him, the representation of what I was, and the polar opposite of what I was now. “I have not seen you since, hmmm the days of Disturbia. Fancy meeting you now, what brings you here?” I knew why he was here though I asked; I had driven myself into a state where my anger had consumed all that was warm inside me. I had gone back to the state of my life where I was a black home; a dark star that consumed all that was around it. His name like me was Corey, a part of myself so long ago that enjoyed hurting people and destroyed every sense of moral fiber that existed inside me. “Come now Corey; is that a way to greet me? I see death has visited your doorstep. What is that I see, that anger, hatred, need for revenge?” I turned my chair around so that I didn’t have to look at him. I knew why he was here, he wanted in again! If ever someone thought split personalities did not exist then they would have loved to meet me at the time I struggled with this guy. He drove me onto destructive paths; no one loved me because all I touched died. I had kept him away for such a long time now, because I had changed my life, learnt to love, respect and appreciate other people. All this was hanging in the balance and I guess he thought it was time to visit the old house again. Without much effort I cut his presence completely as he thrived in my imagination, a place I had now managed to grab a hold of completely. I knew it would not be the last of him but I certainly didn’t have the resolve for his maneuvering on that day. I spent much of the night gazing out my window, only catching some sleep in the early hours of the morning. I woke up to a familiar morning routine, shower, brush teeth, breakfast out the door! Of course others would argue the logic of brushing my teeth before I eat but I stopped trying to figure out why I do it that way. By nine o’clock I was waiting for Michelle and the gang at school. Of course they took their time, arriving one after the other like delegates to a party. I didn’t have time to fuss about it like I usually did what would it matter anyway! Soon all the people who were going were gathered and we made our way. Being a small crowd we boarded an omnibus taxi. The journey seemed short as the others whispered away at some form of conversation. We were dropped down the road from Belana’s house and we made our way slowly. Michelle walked close to me with Gabby not too far. Adrian was not with us but I take it wherever he was he had stuff going on in his mind as well. We arrived at the house, greeted by a cold chilling silence that clearly told that death had passed through recently. We walked in slowly and got to the front door where we were greeted by a relative. The relative led us in and we sat on the sofa’s as Belana’s mother had to be called. I looked around, the house had been so vibrant and full of life not so long ago when we were celebrating Belana’s eighteenth birthday but now so cold and quiet. I hoped to see her in the kitchen baking her heart away, or her rushing through the passage door straight for me with a huge open hug but there was nothing. Her mother walked in after some time and we all stood to greet her. I had never seen the woman so broken, torn and without hope. She had always been a soft spoken person but she had a hope of the future written all over her face, which now was completely gone. She sat down and extended to us to join her. One by one we spoke to her, trying I guess to bring a calmer sense to her agony. I didn’t want to speak but again so much was expected of me because of the kind of person I am. I came in last with just a formal introduction. Others had really insisted on God being a force of comfort in this time but I completely dodged that aspect. I reassured her that she was not alone in her pain, that we all felt it, I felt it and explained to her that us as her children as well needed her to be strong. Tears lined her cheeks and I literally just started tearing inside. Never again in my life do I ever want to see such a thing happening to a person whether friend or foe it was too much to bear. No one deserves to live through such pain.
Conversation faded with time and we asked her if anything needed doing around the house. She just asked us to clean the lounge of which we did. Michelle being a kind soul had me doing all the heavy lifting for her! As we finished cleaning up, Belana’s mother came to us and requested something of us, “Take care of Bobo, he is the only one I have left.” That was such a heavy request coming from a grieving mother and we all agreed to honor it for her sake. Time passed and we said our goodbyes. I remember looking at the house as we walked away thinking what it was all coming too now. I knew the brother Bobo who had always lived in Belana’s shadow. Belana was the favorite, the one were all the hope lied on. Bobo would have to live in the shadow as he proved to be more radical than Belana. Would he ever be good enough not to be compared to a page in the past, time would be a story teller there. I dropped off along the way and made my way home, slowly pondering with each and every step. A few words slipped out of my mouth, “God how could you?”