Friday, May 11, 2012

If Tears Could Speak by Salatu Sule

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It is almost midnight, and the city is now very quiet. From the balcony where I am sitting, I can see the mild glow of the street lights reflecting off the tarred road. I hear the whoosh of waves beating on the rocks, a sound amplified in the stillness of the night. The children are asleep after the day’s hustle. Though I call them ‘children’, they are all grown up.


Hassan is a strapping young man of twenty-seven and has just started his own business – hard to believe, isn’t it? Walid is nineteen, looks as burly as Hassan and believes he has no more growing up to do. Faiza, your little princess, is twenty-two and it is because of her that we are all here this weekend.

Is it not strange that for the first time in fifteen years, we will be here together again on October 1st? I wonder if this day carries any special significance for Faiza. She was touched much more deeply than anybody else. Hassan went to boarding school shortly afterwards; Walid was young, too young to remember those tumultuous times.

I remember many things, too many things, things I don’t want to remember: Mama and her harsh words, Big Brother and his sudden hostility. I can see the bedroom again as it was on that morning, many Octobers ago. Faiza barges in, in her customary manner, throwing a greeting as she bounds up to the bed where you are lying.

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