Saturday, October 27, 2012

So you see the way I feel it

Yesterday was my birthday, the birthday I share with my mother. It’s always a bittersweet day for me. I wrote her a poem, and to help ease my pain. I will always miss her because she is someone worth missing. To Doris Zanele Amoateng, the most beautiful person I had the privilege of loving.

When I speak of you
I tell them of dreams
The you I wish I knew
Here. Today
You were frail and I was scared
Hiding behind see-through facades
Pointless and comforting

I’m still curious
How exactly do they expect me
To live without your voice
I knew it well, the sound of love
Please don’t ask me to describe it
I’m afraid they’ll see
I might have forgotten
Let it be my secret
My private shame

“Mummy please! I love you”
As if that would keep you here
I have no way of knowing
I wasn’t there
I know you loved me
Did you?
I’ll die wondering, regretting 
It’s mine to keep, a souvenir
So they know you’re missed

I walked backwards in circles for you
Maybe God would be kind
Reward my dizziness
Stop time. Take me back
I wouldn’t stay long
I’d hold your hand
Maybe if I was brave
I’d tell you we’d be fine
Without tears
You’d believe me, for my sake

Breathe deep until the air around us
Wasn’t enough to keep your heart beating
Peace would kiss your eyelids
Telling you to let go
Telling me to do the same

Miracles are for the rarest occasions
We aren’t so lucky
Do you know that I loved you?
Everything good in me
Is because you lived and loved me
Beautiful and perfect
Even your flaws glowed
I saw that, I won’t forget

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I’ll doubt me, kinda

Will doubt be the gas that fuels your fire or will it be the fire that consumes you?

A little bit of doubt is good. If you don’t doubt yourself then you will never have any reason to strive to be the better, to be the best. Is there ever a place where you’ve made it, completely? If you answered that, and you think your answer is worth a pooh. Then please continue to be a silly fool. There is no hope for you anyway. If you think you are right at the top chances are you’re not. The people on the top have a healthy amount of doubt and while they acknowledge they are high up. They also acknowledge there is much left for them to do. Healthy doubt! Too much of a good thing, is no longer a good thing. Too much doubt is crippling, it stops you from trying before you have even began and you have sentenced yourself to fail time and time again. Find a balance!!

Essentially, we live in our minds. So whatever we put in there is what we are forced to live in. You want to fill your mind with fear and doubt then be prepared to live in fear and constant doubt. No one can make you doubt yourself unless you give them the permission to.

So I’ll ask you again, will doubt be the gas that fuels your fire or will it be the fire that consumes you?

Friday, August 24, 2012


“If it makes you happy. It can’t be that bad. If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?”
She must have sung the same line over and over in her head a hundred times. She just needed something to do; something to distract her.
“Daddy’s not very happy with your singing.”
 He spoke the words in a voice that dripped with salaciousness. It was a voice that no father should ever use with a child, let alone his own.
“Lisa! Pay attention, you don’t want to miss this. Daddy’s got a trick for you.”
Lisa knew she could stop singing now or keep singing and get beaten until she stopped. She weighed it up in her mind.
Right now what’s worse? A beating or his touch...a beating or his touch?
The tears began to fall. She was angry at herself. If she cried he won. She really didn’t want a beating today.
“You are in control” she whispered to herself. She needed to hear it to believe it and she needed to believe it to get her control back.

Her tears excited him. This wasn’t about the sex for him. It never really is. He wanted the control, the power.
This is the only way. I’m irrelevant everywhere else. She understands. She knows I don’t mean to hurt her. I love her. And she loves me. She’s okay with this.
Clive assured the little part of him that was still human.  He hated it when it had the nerve to make him feel guilt. It was never enough guilt to stop completely. But it put him off his game and he would have to do something to spice it up.

Clive began kissing his daughters’ neck; she closed her eyes and filled her mind. With anything and everything she could think of.
I hate this stupid farm house.
She was 19 now. But every time he brought her here, she transformed into this 9 year old wide eyed girl who can’t fight back, who can’t fight for her life. The thought almost made her laugh. Almost.
Fight for my life, what life. He’s taken everything. There really isn’t anything left to fight for.
And just when her mind freed her, something would bring her back. The smell of old mould and urine. They didn’t have much money. Clive couldn’t take care of the farm house, not the way it needed. Again lost in her thoughts and again her trance was broken.
He was...
Come on. COME ON...think stupid think. Anything. I can’t be here. Don’t you dare cry.
He stopped. This scared her.
This can’t be good. Maybe he knows about my hiding place.
“Run” he spat.
Lisa was confused for a second. Why was he letting her go, did he finally feel bad, was he ready to be a real father? She stopped herself.
Who the fuck cares!

She bolted. Lisa had a small build. She didn’t have the luxury of body issues.
She falls flat on her face coming down the narrow stairs. She rolled and with a thud she landed a few stairs shy of the bottom. Sharp pain. She didn’t have time for that now. She got up.
Fuck. FUCK...that hurts. Stop being weak. Run Lisa run.
The strong side of her not allowing her to give in. She ran towards the front door. She turned the knob. Nothing.
Shit, it’s locked. What now? Back door? No time. Break it!
She used all her weight to try and force the door open. There wasn’t enough weight, there wasn’t enough force.
Keep trying? No. What now!
A surge of panic swept over her.
 Lisa jumped through the window next to the door. Glass shattered and went everywhere, mainly in Lisa.
I’m out.
 She got up.
Fuck! The pain is unbearable. I can’t run. Hide. Where?

“Fuck!” she finally spoke out loud.
She heard the key in the front door. Defeat set in, paralysing her. Not enough to numb her pain.
Good god!
Lisa wanted to just lie down. Just standing was painful.

Clive was standing in front of her now. Lisa looked up at him. Looked him dead in the eyes. Ready to face the next couple of hours of her life and she was going to be brave.

“Lisa...Lisa, are you still with us?”
She didn’t answer right away. She was really gone this time. It had never progressed this far. She had never gone unnoticed long enough for her mind to think of all the vile details.
“Lisa, would you care to share with us?”
“No thanks” she rushed back.
She hated it here. She was nothing like these people.
Group therapy, what a joke.
“Lisa, you won’t benefit from these group sessions if you don’t share. And think of the good that could come from it; you could be someone’s break through. Your story...”
If I have to listen to one more word of Leslie’s wishy washy counsellor bullshit, I’m going to scream.
“Okay, okay!” she said impatiently cutting Leslie off.

Lisa stood up and took a deep breath.

“I'm sad. That’s lame. Everyone is sad. Everyone has that dark side. It annoys me that mine has to define me.” Lisa was visibly uncomfortable. She rocked on her feet.
“Go on” Leslie urged her gently.
Lisa had no intention of being honest when she first stood up. But now she was feeling brave and she was just going to go with. She didn’t know when it would make another appearance, if ever.

“One day I was fine and then I wasn’t. I can’t say when it changed. It was a slow process. Each day I was more depressed than the previous day. And then one day I woke up and wished I hadn’t.”
Lisa began to cry and the more tears that dropped, the more she spoke. She was losing her nerve and she needed to finish before it was all gone. With a sense of urgency she continued.
“I get so tired. I have no energy left. Sometimes I think if I was lying on the floor and there was a magic wand next to me that would take my depression away and make me happy.”
She pause.
“ I wouldn’t have the fight to roll over and pick it up.”
Lisa paused again. No one spoke, everyone knew she wasn’t done yet.
Lisa had been picking at her thumbs. It was a nervous habit. She had broken the skin and it stung. She gave her thumb all her attention. She didn’t dare look up. A stranger and fellow sufferer took her hand, she just wanted to be there for Lisa.
“I’m ashamed,” Lisa continued; drawing strength from her neighbour’s hand.
“I’m damaged goods and I have nothing to show for it, no real reason why.” Lisa closed her eyes.
”I day dream, fantasise...”
She took in a deep breathe before continuing.
“About being sexually abused by my father. I think of all the terrible things he could have done to me. I tell myself ‘it’s not too late, he can still turn into a monster now.’”
Another pause.
“He never hurt me not once. My father is perfectly lovely.”
She sighed.
“I wish he had though.” Lisa shuffled her feet.
”I wish he had raped me.” Lisa waited for her words to sink in.
“Then I’d have a reason to be like this.”

Lisa sat down quickly. No one said anything to her. There wasn’t anything to say.

Finally Leslie spoke up. “Thank you for sharing Lisa.”

Hardships of love

Rachel was in an impossible position. She had two choices, she could make the best of this situation or she could throw a catastrophic pity party. Tragically she was really good at that. This time however Rachel would choose the former. Anthony was not obligated to her in anyway and she needed to be more grateful.

With her new mind set, Rachel headed towards the kitchen where Anthony was. “I was planning on going for a...” she trailed off as she entered the kitchen filled with Anthony’s entire family. “Oh God! Um, I...I didn’t realise that you were expecting” Rachel lost the words dead in her throat as her eyes momentarily met with Anthony’s younger son’s. He looks just like Joe. I can’t do this, how could he not tell me about this. He should have told me, HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME. He looks just like Joe. Suddenly Rachel was distracted by a pain in her chest. What the fuck is going on, she thought to herself. She was consumed by physical feelings of pain and emotional ones to match. She grabbed her chest hoping the pressure would help with the pain. After what seemed to be the longest time, Anthony was by her side, piloting her out of the kitchen and out of everyone’s view and into his living room.

“Anthony! I'm having a heart attack.” Rachel said with the upmost sense of urgency. This made Anthony laugh out loud. He knew it was completely inappropriate especially considering how scared Rachel was but he couldn’t stop himself. And once he started it just kept coming, almost as though the laughter wasn’t even his. “What the hell Anthony, what is wrong with you?” Rachel was furious now. By God he loved this girl. She was beautiful and irrational, sometimes more than slightly crazy but she was important to Joe and now Anthony knew why.

“You would be dead by now if it was a heart attack.” The laughter was gone now but it had left a smile on Anthony’s lips.

“That’s not necessarily true!” She snapped back.

“When did the pain start?” he asked her in a gentle voice. Well as gentle as he could sound, Anthony was a big man and he had a very deep, very large, extremely intimidating voice. Rachel looked at the ceiling as if the answer would magically appear there like a replay. “When I saw your son.” she said sadly, “the one that looks like Joe.” This time her voice was barely a whisper.

The truth was much more tragic than a heart attack. She missed Joe more than she was willing to admit. When she found out he had died, her heart broke and the cracks went deep. There was so much pain that her emotional side could not handle by itself, the physical pain, her physical heart pain was just a manifestation of the emotional heart pains she felt.

Anthony did not need to tell her what he thought, it was written all over his face and he was right. “I’m sorry Anthony.”she began to cry, “I shouldn’t be here. I have no right to do this to you and your family.” Anthony desperately wanted to console her but he knew she wouldn’t understand his love and he didn’t want to make this any harder for Rachel.

Completely ignoring what she had just said Anthony began to explain why his family was there. “It’s Sunday. We always have Sunday lunch together and they came to surprise me. I shouldn’t be surprised that my kids would completely ignore me when I say ‘I just need to be left alone for a little’” Anthony smiled; it was the most disingenuous smile she had seen on the old man. Worry was starting to set in.

“I need to go lie down for a moment, Anthony.”

Jamie and Nick heard Rachel going up the stairs and they took this opportunity to talk to their father. Walking into the living room, Jamie took the lead. “Who’s the girl, pop? And what’s going on? This secretive behaviour is not like you at all. Whatever it is, we can deal with it as a family.” Frank smiled, his family probably though Rachel was his lover.

“It’s a long story and we’re all going to need a drink for it.” Jamie obliged his father and returned with three tumblers half filled with scotch, each. He managed to balance them thanks to the years of working as a waiter, all through his high school years. “She was Joe’s girl.”Both men looked at their father as if he had lost his mind.

“No pop, Joe was with Cynthia. They’d been together so long and he hadn’t brought any girls home before her.” Nick corrected his father. Anthony completely ignoring his son, continued. “Rachel’s father is the head of the Oritha business. That’s her name. Rachel.”

“As in Peter Oritha, the drug lord? “You could hear the surprise in Nick’s voice.

“Yes, his wife Lisa found a girl pregnant; she had a heavy drug problem. She begged Peter to keep the baby once it arrived and he eventually agreed. Lisa couldn’t have any children of her own. Rachel was that baby.” Anthony took a large sip of scotch before continuing. “She met Joe when he was doing undercover work. When he was undercover she was his girl and he really loved this girl.” He paused. “You know she didn’t know Joe was dead; she never looked for him because she knew he was an undercover cop and she just figured there was a reason he was gone for so long. She didn’t want to cause trouble by looking for him.”

“She knew?” Jamie asked his voice slightly throaty.

“Yes, your brother told her, he really trusted her.” Anthony replied.

“This is ridiculous her family is the reason he is dead, why is she here!” Nick was hurt and confused; he tried to cover this up with anger. Anger was really the only way he dealt with most things.

“She finally came after him, she couldn’t do it anymore. Rachel was worried. She showed up here looking for Joe. When I told her he was dead, after she calmed down, she asked me to help her testify against her father. She wouldn’t let him die in vain.” Draining his glass, he went on, “I didn’t want you guys here because I am not prepared to lose another son. I couldn’t handle it.”

Jamie got up, not saying a single word he walked up the stairs. Feeling like he barely knew his brother shook him to the core. He needed to talk to this woman. He didn’t know what he would say but this was just something he felt he needed to do. She’s probably the only one who knew you. He was speaking to Joe more than just thinking.

When he got upstairs he listened for the sound of Rachel. He noticed movement in his old room. She probably couldn’t bring herself to stay in Joe’s. He walked towards it. The door was open. Jamie stood in the doorway waiting for Rachel to notice him, he didn’t dare speak, and he still had no idea what he would say. Why the hell am I here? He thought to himself.

Rachel was packing. Where are you going, it isn’t safe for you to leave. Eventually Jamie spoke, where he got the courage to, God only knows. “You don’t have to leave.” Searching for the words, he went on. “You shouldn’t, it’s not safe.” Rachel couldn’t turn around. She didn’t know which one of Anthony’s sons was standing behind her. She was afraid it was the one who looked like Joe and her heart couldn’t deal with that. She kept packing, more frantically than before. Just to appear busy, so he wouldn’t see what she felt. Stilling avoiding him she answered. “It’s not safe if I stay here, none of you were supposed to know. I can’t.” She stopped herself. It’s not your place to comfort me.

“Why won’t you look at me?” Jamie asked his voice had changed.

Fuck!She screamed in her mind. There was no avoiding it now. She turned around.

Oh God! Oh God! How do you look exactly like him?Her mind was racing. Looking at Jamie knocked the breath right out of her. She began to cry before she could stop herself. He smiled at her, not knowing what to else to do.

“You must be Jamie; Joe told me so much about you, about all of you. He loved you all so much.” She said as the tears continued to fall. “You have to understand that I cannot put your family at risk. Not after Joe.” She lost control and began to sob.

Jamie walked up to her and hugged her. He could tell she loved Joe.

It felt so good to be in his arms. It felt like beginning in Joe’s arms. No this is wrong, she moved out of his hold. “I need to go. I need to feel like I’ve done something for Joe.”

“My dad won’t let you go.” Jamie answered without moving his eyes from hers.

“I’ll be gone before he realises anything.”

Jamie knew it was wrong, letting her go was a mistake. But against his better judgement he was going to let her go.

Rachel picked up her bag.

“I’ll distract my family; don’t make a sound when you leave.” He turned to leave.

“You knew your brother Jamie; you knew all the things that mattered, all the things that made him Joe. Don’t let this make you doubt that, he would hate that.” He knew she was right.

Jamie walked briskly towards Rachel and kissed her. It was a soft, sweet passionate kiss that lasted a little bit longer than he had intended it to. Jamie knew he resembled his brother and he just wanted to give her some sort of goodbye.

Emma's wedding dress

“I hate talking about my mother. Not because she was a bad one just because it frustrates me”
“Why does it frustrate you?”
“There are no words really.” Emma awkwardly turns in her seat. There is so much room for her to move and be comfortable but she is stuck in the corner, feeling rather tight.

“I couldn't fully paint a picture of her, who she was” Emma continues to say.” She was incredible.” She rubs her face, it has a pained expression.” That doesn't even,” she pauses trying to find the words to make Dr. Assange understand,” get across the person she was. Anyways she's dead, why does it matter? I’m not struggling with her life. I’m not even struggling with her death. I’m just struggling with death. It's just so unreal. So hard to understand.”
“Losing someone is never easy and everyone experiences grief differently. Your mother’s life is important Emma, because her life and what it meant to you is why this is so difficult. You would not have a sense of loss if you didn’t know her, if you didn’t love her. Grieve is the natural response to losing something or in your case someone you love. The key is not to ignore it but to experience it…” Dr. Assange was saying but Emma cut him off.

“I would really appreciate it if you could just fix me, fix these feelings. I just don’t want them anymore. It’s your job; you aren’t very good at it clearly.” Her agitation building, it was threatening to make her lose her composure. What little she had left.
The death of her mother had turned this poor little girl’s world upside down and she wasn’t willing to acknowledge it. She cannot possible begin to put all her tiny pieces together, until admits she’s all broken inside.

Their session was over; Dr. Assange put his pen and notepad down and walked over to his desk. “Emma our time is up. I’m going to print you a pamphlet on grief. I would like you to read through it and write down the points you can identify with, point out the stages you feel you've experienced and the stages you haven’t. Next week we can talk about grief and what you've written.”
Dr. Assange knew she would be very displeased. Her distress was growing at an accelerated pace and she just wanted a quick fix. If they didn’t have some sort of breakthrough soon, he would have to seriously consider medication.

Dr. Assange thought about his patients all the time and worried about them more often than not. Since the day he first met Emma, she preoccupied his mind more than his other patients ever did. He worried for her a great deal. He made a mental note to call her father and ask him to be very cautious when dealing with her. He didn’t want to worry him but at this point he felt as though there was other option.
Emma took the pamphlet and smiled at the doctor. She thanked him and assured him that she would do as he asked; she told him she would try harder. This pained Dr. Assange; it wasn't her fault that this was such a difficult time. He was about to tell her but stopped himself. Don’t get too attached, he reminded himself, he would be no good to her if he got too emotionally attached.

On her way out Emma stopped at Lisa, Dr. Assange's sectary’s desk and asked for an envelope. Lisa gave her one. Emma thanked her and left. She walked to the park around the corner. It was 11am, children were at school and adults were at work. Apart for the occasional vagrant the park was deserted. Emma sat on a bench and for a few sweet moments she enjoyed the sunshine. It warmed her up from the inside out. This was the sign she'd been waiting for. Things would be better she told herself. “How could they not be on this fine sunny day” she said it out loud and a vagrant closest to her looked at her as if she had completely lost her mind. She couldn’t blame him, she was all smiles and talking to herself. The thought made her giggle. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this way, the last time she heard her own laugh. For a brief moment the sadness crept in again. Emma stopped it dead in its tracks. There was no going back.

She scratched in her bag searching for a pen. She was certain she would have one. Nothing. No, that can't be right. She emptied the contents of her bag next to her on the bench. “Ah-ha” she cried in victory. It was a purple metallic pen, but it would do the job just fine. Emma took her notebook she normally used to write her shopping list on, ripped out a page and began to write. When she was done she placed the piece of paper and her special necklace in the envelope. With one lick she sealed it and addressed it. She walked back to her car parked just outside Dr. Assange's office. Once she was in her car she took a moment to think where the nearest post office was. It wasn’t too far, a 15 minute drive at most.

At the post office she bought a stamp and gave the envelope to the lady behind the counter.
“How long will it take for it to be delivered?” Emma asked the lady
“Not long at all, tomorrow or Thursday the latest. Is it urgent?”
“No, I was just wondering. Thank you.” Emma replied

From the post office Emma drove straight home. She opened the garage door, drove in and closed it. Once it was shut, she opened her door went in the house. Ran upstairs and changed. She’d left the car on. She ran back downstairs and went back into the garage, closing the door behind her.

Frank had been away on business. He hated leaving Emma at a time like this but he had responsibilities and it was just one night. His flight wasn’t delayed, which is a baldly miracle he thought to himself. He travelled often. He was operating on autopilot. Collect bags. Pay ticket. Walk to long-term parking. Insert ticket into machine and home. When the garage opened, Frank’s heart lifted...Emma's car was there, she was home. He drove in, he was exhausted. He turned his car off got out and as he was about to take his bag out of the backseat he noticed Emma in her car.

“Hey Em, where are you off to? I thought we could have a nice evening you and me.”
 He walked over to see his daughter, his beautiful baby girl.
Nothing. No response. Emma was gone.

It wasn’t even a month and Frank was planning another funeral. All these people here, trying to comfort him. He wished they would all disappear. Their words of comfort were insulting to him. Did they honestly think their words would make things better? Fuck them. Fuck them and their meaningless words.

Frank was relieved when the doorbell rang, even if for just a moment he could get away. It was just the mailman. He took his mail and walked into the kitchen. The usual stuff. He scanned through them anyways, just for the time alone. Frank froze. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t think. It couldn’t be. But he was one hundred percent sure it was Emma’s handwriting. He couldn’t read it. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction, she doesn’t get this closure. He wouldn’t let her rest in peace. He left the letter with the others on the kitchen counter.

After Emma’s funeral Frank was back at square one. Left with his messy emotions and this time he was alone. No one who understood him. His family, his true loved ones had abandoned him. He was still so angry at Emma but he was even more desperate for a piece of her. He walked into the kitchen, picked up the envelope. It was exactly where he left it.

He opened it. Come on Frank, he told himself. You can do this; it’s just a letter …just a letter.

There was something else in the envelope. In his rage, Frank hadn’t noticed it before. It was Tina’s necklace. The one he gave Emma shortly after Tina’s funeral almost a month ago.

Frank unfolded the letter and began to read it.


Here’s our necklace, I want you to have it and I’m sure mommy won’t mind. I’m sorry I hurt you. I can’t anymore. I am so tired. I'm too tired to try. One day I hope you forgive me. I need my mum; she is so good with these things. Now she can take care of me and you don’t have to worry. There isn’t really a choice here. Once I decided, I was happy again, I’m will be over soon and I’m not scared. I look forward to it. I don’t have anything special to say that will make you feel better when you get this, but please know that I considered not...because of you, daddy. Because I love you! I left all my love behind for you, every single bit of it.

I know you will never get to walk me down the aisle. But at least you got to see me in her wedding dress, so now you can imagine it.

Always yours

Short stories

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing short stories for a while now. Wanting to be bold and never having regret, or as little as possible.  I went for it. I will be posting the three I have written so far.
Emma’s wedding dress.
Hardships of love.
I hope you enjoy them and look forward to hearing what you think. Please be one hundred percent honest. I want to improve and I will take all criticisms with the upmost humility. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's black, it's white, it's racism?!

“Racisms still alive they just be concealing it.” Let us just all agree now, regardless of his crazy nature and complete arrogance Kanye West is a genius and speaks the complete truth most of the time. His lyrics more often than not are thought provoking. So I thought I’d share my little epiphany and I hope that if you disagree with me you have the humility to respect my opinions and the wisdom to realize that they are mine and you are more than welcome to have your own.

If you are in a relationship and your partner cheats on you. Even if it was completely out of character and they will never do it again. From the day they cheat till the end of the relationship the dynamics have forever changed. No matter how much you want to trust them, the doubt is still there. Are they really with friends, was that really a business trip, that tiny bit of doubt forces you to be weary without you ever intending to be, sometimes without you even noticing.

“Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it's broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother f#cker's reflection.” (Thank you Lady Gaga’s songwriters, because I refuse to believe she could come up with this on her own.) That’s exactly the same for me as a black person, I’m very happy building relationships with people from every race, BUT, the amount of different cases of racism in different countries all over the world has made me cautious, has lowered my expectations and has made me expect the worst more often than not.

The problem isn’t that we are different. The problem is that we refuse to admit that we are different. If we don’t profess, except and embrace our differences then there is never a reason for people to be understanding and accepting towards one another. Till you do we’ve condemned ourselves to a polite (at best) existence.