Everyone thinks they know who you are so they judge. Let me tell
you something, no one will ever understand an inch of what I go
through every single day. It all commenced when my mother died and
took a pause as my life took a different turn, but it continued
that one rainy August evening otherwise known as my 18th birthday.
In 1968, my father, Kan Ly at the age of 15 left Japan decided to
fly out to London to escape his problems. There he met a Venezuelan
man called Abaven who took him in and treated him as his own son.
Life was going great for my father, and one evening in 1974 Abaven
recieved a phonecall that changed both their lives. It was a call
from Venezuela which requested them both to catch the first plane
to Venezuela due to a family death. On the airplane to Venezuela,
my father questioned whether it was the right thing for him to be
doing due to the race difference, however Abaven reassured him that
his family were open and loving. And he was right. When they
arrived, no one discriminated my father as they loved him and he
loved them. The day of the funeral, the Yacobs', a well respected
Muslim Venezuelan family invited Abaven and my father to their
house to discuss business and personal matters. Upon arrival, they
were greeted by the youngest daughter in the family, Emelinda who
caught my father's eyes. He said that her eyes told a story only a
real man would understand and that's why they describe their first
meeting, love at first sight. February 1975 came along where they
both gained a life time partner as they married in my mother's
childhood village, Sinamaica, and soon after they both eloped to
Croydon in London where I, Alexa-Dayan Ly, was born. After a few
years of them playing happy families, life got tough. There was
more arguements than there was hours in the day. There was more
tension in the air than expected and all I wanted to do was make
everything right. So it was a evening in November 1980 where I
faked an illness to get my mother out the house so my father could
surprise her. She only went around the corner of our flat to the
local shop, but little did we know my father's past caught up with
him and the love of his life had to pay.
When Abaven heard the news the next morning, he demanded we both
had to be close to our family in Venezuela, and my father obeyed.
Abaven and his family, and my maternal family did everything they
could to make sure I had a safe and normal childhood. And i did.
That's where all the problems and negativity stopped in my life. Or
so I thought until my 18th birthday. That morning, I rose early and
over the moon like any normal teenager would on their 18th
birthday. My family, Abaven's family and the Yacobs', prayed for
me, differently, but for the same thing.
I was at my
grandmother's cafe when a young, handsome male walked in and
noticied me. He slowly walked towards the till and smiled the most
beautiful smile I have ever seen. "Just a coffee please" he spoke
with a foreign accent.
I smiled and ordered one of the workers behind me to make the
best coffee in arabic. As I continued with paperwork, I felt his
gaze on me. "Can I help you with anything else?" I asked, still
continuing with my paperwork.
"Not really. I'm just trying to understand you."