With my tears steadily streaming down my cheeks I slowly fall to the wooden floor with my knees facing the bed. I’m alone in my bedroom with the door shut. I even turned the lights off so that my brother would believe that I had gone off to sleep. I open my mouth and shake my head violently as if I was screaming in pain, but not a sound comes from my body. I'm shouting silently. I try to contain myself after a few minutes of weeping and shaking, but the more I try, the harder it became to keep myself from making a sound that might be heard through the thin walls of my simple, yellow room.
I take a deep breath, bury my entire face into a purple polka dotted pillow, and let out a loud scream that bursts from my throat until all of the air in my lungs gives out and I nearly faint. Putting the pillow down I get up on my feet and crawl into bed, crying the entire time. I refuse to take the blanket from under me and put it over for comfort. I’m cold and it’s best this way, so that I don’t keep all of my concentration to my own sorrow. I weep out so many tears that my eyes become tired and my lips become extremely warm and dry.
I try to pull myself together, looking at all the positive things in my life. It’s never been like me to cry and feel this way. It’s never been like me to feel so down and alone. I’ve always been the positive person in my family and in my friends group. People call me strong yet innocent, and here I am crying every single teardrop that my eyes can muster out. The worst part about all of this is the fact that I have to continue the next day as if nothing has happened. I have no one to confide in because I’m supposed to be the one they turn too, the one person who stands strong no matter what.
I try laughing to lift my mood but instead I wind up coughing. `` I’m being silly, crying this hard over something so small…`` at least it should be considered small compared to the problems and difficulties that other people face in life.
I sit up on my bed, turn my reading light on and take the letter out of my pocket. I read it again, and again,…and again, but no matter how many times I read it, the feelings are all there, in between each and every word. My body starts shaking again as I try to read the words out loud,
`` Dear Kathy,
I sincerely hope that you have received this letter, I have something very important to tell you. If in fact you have received this then the men I have entrusted this to have worked hard and risked their own lives to send this out of the country and should be respected greatly for their bravery and loyalty to their words.
Please, read this carefully and obey my urgent request. The war here has gotten out of control, and the police officers have run out of the city and into the rainforest in hiding while the U.N. has been trying to fight off the rebels without much success. Not a night goes by where I don’t hear shooting or shouting. People, particularly women, are continuously being kidnapped. I won’t lie to you, I am afraid of my own wellbeing, and even more so afraid that I might not ever be able to see you again. Although I hold these fears, I want them to be my own and not to become fears that you would have to carry with me if you were to return. Please, I beg of you, under NO circumstances do I want you to be as daring as to return here.
If this letter is my final chance to say something to you before I died, then I would like to add, that I am so thankful that I have met you and that I had the chance to be called, your friend.
Goodbye dearest Kathy. Know that I will always remember you and I pray for you every day. I hope that my prayers are heard. For if they are, than I won’t be expecting to see you here for as long as the rebels continue to raid our villages.
I send this with all of my love,
I stare blankly at the letter in my hand once I have finished reading. After a long pause I repeated the last sentence to myself again, `` I send this with all of my love….Kinta….``
I hold my breath and try to steady my breathing. My hands felt cold as I held the wrinkled- up letter that seemed more like a death note that held the victim’s final words, then a simple letter from a dear friend. My body feels weak from the crying and constant shaking. Nothing was ever been the same once I left my home land. All that I had, all that I was, felt like it was being taken away from me. This country that I now live in, has changed me in so many ways... Now I always knew that there was a war back home in my country. The war had already been there for a few years. It was because of the war that I had left, and now that I decide to return the war had only gotten worse, and far more dangerous for a white girl like me to go back.
I shudder as I think of the worst. What if the rebels win over? What if the government can’t ``deal`` with the situation at hand? By the time the war will be over most of my friends and family would have either been killed…or …no, no I can’t even finish that thought. I take another deep breath and sigh unsteadily.
I try to close my eyes and think of all the good times that I had spent with my friends and family when I was younger, when I was home. I smile when I remember that one bright sunny day when I had first met Kinta. I smile as I see images play in my mind. There I was reading an amazing book that I had just received from my aunt. I was walking along the river line thinking that as long as I heard the river I could read my book and walk towards home at the same time without losing my way in the rainforest, but what I hadn’t anticipated was that up ahead another river line was going to cross horizontally to the one that I was walking beside by.
The next thing I knew I had slipped into it and was dripping wet while still holding the book in both of my hands. It took me a few seconds until I snapped back into reality realizing what had just happened and once more, realizing that someone behind me was laughing…Kinta. Of course I had to laugh as well. I must have been quite a sight. After a while of laughing together, Kinta came towards me and pulled me up. Still with a grin and a chuckle that could just light up anyone’s day. It was at that moment that we became instant friends.
I smile to myself with tears still on my cheeks from crying. I laugh out loud thinking of what Kinta would say if he saw me in this state. I can see him now with his face all scrunched up like that of an old man’s telling me that this is how I would look in just a few years if I would keep this frown on my face.
I try to turn my smile into a grin. That’s what Kinta would want, for me to be ok, to be happy and to stay positive. I fold the letter and put it back into my jeans pocket. Take another deep breath, and sigh loudly leaving any bit of me that might have wanted to cry again behind.
A teardrop threatens to fall but I close my eyes tightly and lay myself to bed. I pull the purple blanket from under me and tuck myself in. The room is quite and still. I open my eyes and notice how dark it is, even with my curtains opened and pulled to the sides. It’s pitch black outside with the clouds shutting out any light that the stars and moon try to shine down. Closing my eyes I noticed that I was shivering. I pull the blanket closer to my body, but I still feel cold. I try to sleep with good thoughts, but when I finally fall asleep, a nightmare takes place in my mind. The nightmare held all of my greatest fears and made them all come true.
Even as I sleep, peace refuses to come to me. There is nothing and no one to comfort me. I feel myself slowly breaking as my heart warns me of shaddering into a million pieces unless I find the peace that I so desperately needed. I’ve been hurt by the negativity that this world has brought unto my friends' lives and now has infected me with it as well. What little strength I had left just crumbled into the pit of my stomach. Penetrated by the words I read from one single letter. A letter from a dear friend whom I might never see again.
Morning comes and I feel the sun hitting my face. I pull the blanket over my head refusing to get up to start the day. My cheeks feel rather dry and crispy from the salty tears that had dried up overnight. I managed to fall asleep again only to be awakened by the sound of my brother knocking at my bedroom door.
``Kathy? ...Kathy?....Hey, Kath are you awake?``
I groan and mumble to myself `` I just can’t get a break can I?``
`` What’s that?``
``Ya, ya, I’m awake…`` I say wearily as I lift the blanket off of me and swing my legs out to the side of the bed.
`` Ok, well I just wanted to tell ya that I made some breakfast for you. I hope you’ll like it! I made waffles, blueberry pancakes , chocolate whipped cream… and I even made those weird peanut butter and honey dipped strawberries you always liked!`` His voice beams through the door.
I was about to tell him that I wasn’t hungry but then I realized what he had just said… Waffles…pancakes...chocolate whipped cream… and those strawberry dipped thingies? ``He must have heard me cry last night…``
``Oh, uh…nothing, it was nothing.``
``So will you come and have breakfast with me?`` his voice sounds encouraging…even sympathetic like.
Although all I wanted to do was to stay in my room for the rest of the day, I couldn’t turn down my brother’s offer. I knew what he was trying to do, and I didn’t want my depression to affect him, or to hurt him. He was all the family I have here and we're really close.
`` Alright, I’ll come soon, let me just get dressed and freshen up a bit.`` I reply.
`` Ya ok, just hurry up before the pancakes and waffles get cold… and before I eat up all those delicious, juicy strawberries! I’ll try to hold myself but I don’t think I can!`` He laughs heartily as his footsteps descend quickly into the kitchen.
I can’t help but smile. The one person that can make me grin even in times like these has always been my brother Jacob. He was adopted by my parents when he was about 8 years old and I was 6 at the time and living in one of Kenya’s rainforests with my folks. His village had been raided and burned to the ground by rebel soldiers. Who apparently had nothing ``better`` to do.
His mother was shot while protecting Jacob in trying to escape. She wasn’t instantly killed though, just wounded. She shouted to him, `` Run! Run Jacob! Don’t look back! I promise you, everything will be alright just keep running!`` He heard his mother’s voice echoe from behind him as he runs, while listening to the sound of his village burning to the ground as angry soldiers laugh and shoot like drunk men. With tears dropping from under his chin, Jacob continued running into the thickest part of the rainforest. Until finally, the last thing he heard was another shot from a distance, followed by a complete silence. Even the animals and birds were too afraid to show their hiding places by making a sound.
Jacob would call out his mother’s name over, and over again, but the only answer he got was that of 2 rebel soldiers shouting, `` There is someone over there!`` The first voice sounded thick and angry `` Well then don't just stand around! Go and take a look!`` The second voice commanded.
Jacob instantly turned away from the voices heard and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him towards the opposite direction. The souls of his feet were terribly scrapped up and bleeding, but he kept on running while ignoring the soaring pain. Even now you can see the scars that he had received that horrible day.
After about a week of wondering through the rainforest he stumbled upon our village. My parents were just outside of the village taking pictures when they saw a shocked, shriveled up little boy with a terrified expression on his face. He had never before seen white people. It looked like he was about to collapse due to his weak condition from all those day of running and with little food. So my father walked towards him, afraid that he might drop at any second...which he did, but my father managed to get to his side just in time before his body touched the ground.