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My Life

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I closed my eyes and told myself to dream happy dreams. I told myself that everything was going to work out right. I told myself that I shouldn’t linger on the past, but I knew that it was too late. I could barely see the images coming forward into my mind. I braced myself for the tears. Here it comes. The nightmares.





I was lying face down on the fluffy carpet. Al Green’s, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” was playing softly in the background. I scowled at how ironic that song was to this moment in time. I could hear my babies crying in the background, though the sound was faint in my ears. I could hear the many dogs barking on the other side of the sliding glass door, though it didn’t faze me either. I had a dull ringing in my ears that started from the moment I heard the gun shot. It wasn’t the shot, though, that had hurt my ears. No, it was something deeper than that, but what? I tried my hardest to concentrate. How did I end up on the floor? Yes, I remember falling...no, fainting rather. I couldn’t bring myself up to look at his body. Though I’d seen many lifeless corpses before, in fact, there were many a-days that I had been the one who had taken the life. However, this was different. Much different. This time it wasn’t a rival tribe in Africa trying to take away my only meal for the day. This time I didn’t put a pokers’ face on and pull the trigger. No, this time I wasn’t even in the same room. It’s almost humorous, the saying, “what goes around comes around” will be forever imprinted in my brain. All of the lives I’ve taken, it’s come back to haunt me. I didn’t even know him that well. We only just met a week before, but the impact it had on me at that moment was crushing. I found it difficult to breathe. With effort I looked up to reach for the phone on the low table. I dialed 911 and after I had explained the situation the operator said something, but I didn’t hear. I couldn’t hear. Not because of the ringing anymore. No. This was because my eyes wandered over to the body on the floor just 10 feet away. My eyes wandered to the man laying there with the pistol in his hands. To the man who took his own life, before he really knew what and who was in it. My eyes wandered to my father.




The weeks following were strange. Usually when people die, people send food to the family and phone calls are made to tell you how sorry people are for your loss. Not this time. Not my dad. There was no food, nor were there any phone calls. No one cared. I actually found that when people found out there lips twitched almost like they were fighting back a smile. It didn’t cut deep though, I never really cared for what other people think. In the back of my mind I kept asking myself why did I care so much? Yes, he was my father, but I was 14. He was never there for me. Never. I remember days lying on the floor my stomach aching for food, listening to my mother crying over the crackers she basically killed herself for, vowing that if I ever did find him I would kill him. For leaving my mother, for leaving me, for going off to America. I was going to kill him with my bare hands. I was going to watch the light leave his eyes. I was going to be there to listen to his heart slow and then stop. It was then that I realized that I truly hated my life.



There wasn’t anyone I could talk to about this. I was born in Botswana, but was raised in Mozambique, Africa. There, people were used to losing loved ones. I remember being a very young boy and watching people die on the dirt roads. I actually count myself lucky that I didn’t live in central or northern Africa where it gets the hottest. My father called himself an “explorer”, and I guess that’s understandable. However, really he was just a rich guy who loved to travel. A rich guy who loved…woman. To get more specific, he loved “easy” woman. Therefore, my mother, who just so happened to be the prostitute of the town, was perfect for him. When he found out she was pregnant, he left. I loved my mom. She wasn’t perfect, she couldn’t provide for me, but I loved her. It was her brilliant idea to go to America. To a place called Georgia, to find my father.




Moving to America was a big change, I didn’t know any English, and there were so many different accents that I didn’t know which one was the normal one. I did fall in love though. Here, in America, I got to attend school, which was a change for me because usually I’d be out working all day for some change. I think people here call it “puppy love”; we were both too young to understand what real love was. So really, we had no business having sex. Though, I suppose that depends on your own set of morals. I was used to my mom being pregnant, so I could take care of her. In America, they have all these different kinds of pills and stuff to give pregnant women. She was surprised by how much I knew about pregnant women. However, after talking to her doctor, I realized how little I knew about it. She was very strong. She decided to keep the baby, or shall I say babies. Twins. She died giving birth. I feel bad that…I don’t remember that much about her. She really wasn’t that important to me at the time. But those boys…those were MY boys…they were MY responsibility. I would die before I let them have the same childhood I had. So, I worked. I worked after school late hours, and all day on weekends. I paid for a small apartment for my mother, my babies, and I. It was in worst neighborhood, but I could say I did something for my family.



Two years after moving to America, my mother died of breast cancer. My twins, Darrion and Dwayne (D&D), were a year old. I had made some acquaintances, and one man who was about 30 agreed to be my foster father. Well, that didn’t work out for various reasons. I was basically bounced from one family/person to the next, until I was 16. I decided I needed to be on my own. I had saved enough money to stay at a motel. I could work the same hours I could otherwise, babysitters wouldn’t go up any. So what was I waiting for? To this day, I have no idea why I hesitated. My theory is that I was testing myself. Testing to make sure this was the right thing to do. I was 16, but I needed to be an adult. So I learned.


You can imagine of all the things on my plate, you would think that school wasn’t very high on my “to do” list. But, actually, it was. I was pretty much a “B” student and I was happy with that. My favorite class was of course English. Ever since I first learned the language I was intrigued with it. It was so complex, and even the people who spoke it didn’t know. My people used to call Americans foolish rich people. They had everything they could ever need at their hands, but never had the sense to know it. Or if they did, they were much too lazy to do anything about it. Oh yes, my people did NOT like the Americans. But, I won’t get too far into that. The sciences and math’s weren’t all that difficult. I easily found myself in the advanced classes at an early age. History was also one of those subjects that just came to me. I could read an entire chapter Monday night, and not look at it until the test Friday morning and receive an “A”. I thanked God for my wonderful memory. With out it, I don’t know what I would have done.


Another thing that wasn’t high on my priority list was girls. I mean of course, I’m a teenage boy, so yeah girls are in my mind. But, I tried my hardest not to let them side track me. I think the real reason so many girls came up to me and spoke wasn’t because of my looks. I think it’s because I was different. I didn’t brag about my talents, and I didn’t talk to many people. I didn’t flirt a lot, but when I did I could see the reaction. Girls just kind of also came easy to me. I mean, not the “getting them to talk to me” part, but the “after we’re talking and getting them to blush” part. I think in America guys don’t cherish their girls. I was surprised by what I saw when I came over here. No wonder none of the countries in the world like America. Guys walk all over the girls, but what’s more is the girls allow them too. I was just taught to treat girls with respect, no matter what. I had to keep my mind on school and work though. Girls were amazing creatures, but they didn’t pay the bills. A big thing to me was sports, particularly basketball. I was 6’4” and pretty much had the body for the sport. I tried out for the team at school because the coach said he saw me at night in the streets, and knew I had talent. So I tried it, and I started my sophomore year, I was the first sophomore to do so in my schools history, ever. That felt nice. So, you would think I had everything under control right? I had the good grades, the basketball, I was fairly popular, an all-around okay guy right? Well, I was until I met the one girl who would change my entire perception of life. Alexandria.



Now, before I get into that, I want to explain something. I don’t trust people. People have proven to me time and time again that the only people you can trust are you, and God, and sometimes you don’t even want to trust him. I prided myself in the fact that no one got close enough to me to hurt me. Not anymore. I’ve had too much heartbreak, too many disappointments. I promised myself after I let the last girl in my heart, no in my head, that I wouldn’t do it again. I came to the conclusion that “relationships” just weren’t for me. I’d rather have one night stands. Sorry. But, that’s the truth. There aren’t any emotions with one night stands. I made sure every time that, that was known. I wasn’t looking for something stable. I just wanted the sex. Because...sex was my outlet. Sex was my release (no pun intended). Then, after the sex I would sit and think about what I just did, and cry. Just cry. Until I made myself sick. Because, me doing that was no better than what my dad did to my mom. Right? I mean, I used protection but…wasn’t it the same thing? Well, contrary to popular belief I didn’t want to nor did I have time to ponder on my life “dilemmas”. So, to cover it up I started lighting up. At first it was just a once a week thing. But it spiraled into something that even I didn’t know I was capable of. After the first month of my, “cover ups”, I met her.





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