March 13, 2009
By Stevi Briggs BRONZE, Marion, Massachusetts
Stevi Briggs BRONZE, Marion, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

His name is Elias. He's a good man, but he doesn't have a good life. In the early hours of the morning he raises his head and beats the sun. He has to be up early to go out to work in the sugar cane fields. His house was very effete, old, and small. However in Section 17, Zimbabwe it was one of many. Since it was lacking space his whole family slept in one room. His sons Honest and Manuel lie so close to him that sometimes he doesn't dare get up in fear of waking them. His wife Grace sleeps next to him soundly, the most beautiful being he has ever seen. He rises and gets dressed and ready for work.

I see him there at work in the daytime. He works hard, long hours for little pay. The sun beats down on him once it is raised in the sky. He wipes sweat from his forehead and takes a small break before getting back to his vigorous work. He feels a great pain in his chest but thinks nothing of it. 'It's probably just all this heat and work' he said to himself. It subsided as the day went on so he forgot all about it. Honest and Manuel are at school right now. They have been given the chance that their father has never seen. They have a chance to get beyond Section 17. Elias wants his sons to have a great and happy life. He doesn't want them to have to work long hours for inadequate pay. Most of all he wants them to be able to support their families unlike he can.

The sun begins to set which means Elias can head home from work. On his way home he remembered Grace had told him to get some bread and fruit. He stops at the market and grabs what he needs. He reaches into his pocket to find only enough money for one item. The owner saw the chagrin in his face but could not give him any food for free so Elias headed home with just the bread. He felt impotent because he couldn't support his family with what money he had made. It's time likes this when Elias wishes Grace and the boys had someone better. 'They deserve more than me' he said to himself wishing he could give his family more.

I see his wife. She stands stooped over the fire outside, cooking what little food they have for dinner. I see his boys; I swear they've got their mothers eyes. Honest and Manuel start to help their mother with dinner. She looks so proud, and she looks so happy. Despite her misfortune she is the happiest woman I have ever seen. She doesn't seem to care about luxuries. She has her family and that's all she needs. If only Elias knew this was how Grace felt.

Later that night Elias's chest pains came back. He started to get worried. He told Grace and the boys that he had to lie down. He crawled into bed and laid there for a few hours. He knew this was the end. Grace came in with the boys. They knew Elias would not last much longer. They each took turns on their own with Elias. Honest, being the youngest went first.

'Makasimba, here? ' asked Honest

'Ndakasimba kana makasimbawo. ' replied Elias quietly

They sat there in silence until Manuel came in to have his time alone with his father. Manuel just broke down crying, his tears running down his face. Elias tried to comfort him but Manuel couldn't bear to see his father like this anymore and left the room.

Grace came in already in tears. She climbed into bed with him and he held her until she slowly sat up.

'Kwaziwai? ' stuttered Grace while crying
'Ndakasimba, ndakasimba' Elias said while grabbing her hand

They also sat in silence until eventually Elias passed. Grace sat crying and screaming 'hold my hand just one more time, to see if you're really going to meet me'. The boys didn't dare come in and disrupt their mother. They all kept to themselves that night. Grace stayed in the bedroom so the boys slept in the kitchen in respect to their mother. In the morning they did not say a word to one another. The boys went off to school and Grace headed off to town to discuss what had happened last night. She knew that she would never be able to support the boys and herself. Without Elias she was nothing, they were nothing. But she had to be strong, for Honest and Manuel; she had to try her best to keep this family together.
Before Elias passed I wondered if I would get word that he was gone, or if I would hear it in passing conversation. But I knew I would stop short and fall to the ground. I knew this because of one simple reason. My name is Honest, and Elias was my father.

1.How are you feeling? In Eastern Zimbabwe tribal language called Shona.
2.I am fine and I hope the same for you. In Eastern Zimbabwe tribal language called Shona
3.How are you in Eastern Zimbabwe tribal language called Shona
4.I am fine, oh, I am fine in Eastern Zimbabwe tribal language called Shona

The author's comments:
For those of you who have never heard the song Elias by Dispatch, you need to give it a listen. After reading it, tons of thoughts will be running through your mind like "who is Elias?" "What is Elias doing?". I myself had these thoughts. My english teacher gave us an assignment to write a creative story incorporating exact lyrics from a song into it. She recommended I submit it to an online magazine. So, I dedicate this story to her.

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