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I heard my mom crying after a brief conversation with my Aunt, I sat straight up “ What’s wrong mom? Is everything ok?” I asked giving her a pat on the back.“ Is auntie ok? Is she sick?” I asked not waiting for her to answer.
“Beza, it’s not your aunt.” But she still couldn’t finish her sentence, she was choking on tears. I spoke up and said
“ Is it Legie? He is going to be fine; don’t cry.” I said sleepily.
I guess she got frustrated with me for not mentioning the right names, so she got her voice back just to say
“Beza, it’s Tsedi. Her husband killed her.” And then she went back to her crying, leaving me in terrible shock.
“No she isn’t. I talked to her last night, and she said we are going to see her and her new baby tomorrow,” I said angrily, thinking that was a horrible to joke to play on someone in the middle of the night.
“He killed her,” she repeated still choking with tears.
When I saw her eyes, I knew she was telling the truth. Still in shock, I started daydreaming of the days Tsedi and I used to hang out, how she got me out of a lot of a trouble with my mom and how she stood up for me to the other family members who tried to pick on me because I was the youngest.
I remember when I was in first grade. I was getting dressed for school and Tsedi was helping me.
“Beza,” my mom yelled calling me.
“Yes, Mom, do you need anything? I am almost done,” I yelled back with my six-year-old confidence.
“Come here, right this minute,” she returned.
At that moment, I knew I was in trouble. I never imagined that she had found the letter my teacher sent home the day before. When I didn’t get to her quick enough, she came to me. The letter was about me picking a fight with a student that didn’t do anything to me. Tsedi stood in between my mother and me, when my mom came with a belt.
Tsedi was my best friend and the sister I never had, even though she was double my age. We were really close, even though we had our disagreements and fights from time to time. We made up after a minute passed by. Our relationship got stronger when I was about four, and my parents got divorced. I was really close with my father, and she knew that the divorce crushed me, so she spent her spare time with me. She got a job in the city so she could be closer to me, and she said the job paid really well.
The summer of my second grade I was told that we were moving to Kenya I was excited with the idea of a new area and new people to meet, but not the idea of my living Tsedi behind. Tsedi was at the airport to see us off and we said our good byes. As we were walking towards the building, I suddenly ripped my hand out of my mom’s hand and ran towards Tsedi to give her a last hug.
In our apartment in Kenya, I was busy watching Scooby Doo on television. When I heard my mom call my name.
“Beza, guess who is getting married?” my mom said. I was used to that kind of news.
“Who is it this time?”I asked with an annoyed voice, because she was distracting me from my television show.
“Tsedi.” she answered. I just stood up and ran to my room crying .My mom told me to save it for the wedding day, even though we both knew we would not be there for it.
We went back that summer for our yearly vacations and she already had her first child a boy . I had already heard bad stuff about her husband, and he did not make a good first impression on me. I did not know if it was because I went there unannounced, or he just didn’t like anybody at their house. I had a great summer with both her and her son who was about three months old. I made sure her husband wasn’t there when I was around. I left to go back to Kenya, and it was like the first time all over again but this time, she didn’t come to the airport. I couldn’t even see her the night before I left. I was disappointed with that but I didn’t complain.
Christmas came, and my mom gave me a ticket to Ethiopia as a present. I think that was the best Christmas present ever. As soon as I got to Addis Abeba, my uncle picked me up from the airport and we were on our way to Awassa, the little city where Tsedi lived . My mom said I could stay with my aunt because I had told her that Tsedy’s husband scared me. When I saw her she was pregnant with her second baby. I saw very little of her during my stay and that did not please me. I left after two weeks, sad as usual, but this time I didn’t cry. I held myself together.
The two years of my mom’s contract ended, and we were moving back to Ethiopia. I was really happy to get back on familiar grounds. But before we got back we took a trip to Germany and France, which took about 7 weeks, which meant I couldn’t go and visit Tsedy for a long time. I was disappointed, but I can’t get everything at once so accepted it like a big kid. While were still in Germany Tsedi had her second child, a girl. Christmas time came, and we were about to take our usual trip , when Tsedi passed away.
That year my family and I had been traumatized by the murder of Tsedi by her husband. That year we didn’t go for Christmas to the small city but for a funeral. Since I was a little kid, I wasn’t allowed to go to the burial. Instead I went to my aunt’s house on the third day, my heart skipped a bit when we passed by Tsedi’s house. Christmas was never the same for my family.