Shards of Glass

Have you ever wondered how your voice sounds like when you scream? When the rush of wind hit and unhinged my bedroom window, its metal frame fell down on me a little above my nose, the window glass splintered and shattered, a small piece of glass entered my eye and I jumped off my bed while I screamed. The scream wasn't long but I have been trying to remember how I sounded like. Whether my voice sounded scared, loud, medium pitched, hoarse.

This incident that occurred on the second afternoon of 2018 had me in a loop of despair. Oblivious to the fact that the window could have hit the top of my head, a few inches away from my skull and a few more inches away from my brain, I mourned over having a terrible start of a year.

One morning during the last week of 2017 when I was in Gisenyi, I heard a woman scream calling for help. When I arrived at the scene I witnessed two men beating her, one of them using a bicycle tool that looked like a plastic pipe while the other one held her down, slapped her and kicked her. The short version of her story is that she was a sex worker who refused to leave that guest house without getting paid. The top half of her body was bare and she cried and stood (sat) her ground while they physically and verbally abused her.

Shamefully, I felt powerless not being able to do anything to stop the violence, but I was angry. The beating stopped when the number of passers-by who came to watch multiplied and I later saw one of the men who had been beating her stare at me. I had anger written all over my face; I stared back. We did that for a while till I got scared that he might attack me at night when no one else was around. I then averted my glare.

I was recording. Sometimes I record things with a possible interest in writing about them. Maybe the dude was glaring because he realized that I was recording. After failing to resolve the conflict, a policeman in a civilian disguise called soldiers who later came and took them all to the station for arrest. I lost interest in writing the story because they were released that evening after paying a fine, not for beating her up but for refusing to pay her.

When the glass broke, shards of it scattered all over the place: in my hair, in my blanket, on my bed, on the floor. My head raced and I raced out of the house feeling dizzy. While my sisters were picking glass pieces from my hair, I touched my face and blood spread on my fingers. I was shocked for I knew I was hurt but I didn't know I was injured. I had been told to make tears come out of my eye to cry the piece of glass out, but when I saw blood tears were naturally shed. I consciously spaced out right then and during those few moments of fullness and nothingness, I made the decision to jot this down.

I want to write a book. I have wanted to get my first book published before I am 25. I could start now. I can start right now. I now have a thousand pieces that make the puzzle, the puzzle being the story that holds the promise to be written by my hand. But alas, this is not the moment. I wait for the moment when the crystal that holds my current life will break and splash its pieces all over the place spreading its light. I don't entirely expect it to be a tragedy. If the odds are in my favour, it will be the best thing. For the bad thing, I will cry the words out and the bones in my fingers will be crushed by the writing. For a good thing, well, my cheeks will hurt from too much smiling, my voice will crack due to loud laughter, and I will write songs, and play music using the fortress that is my heart.

I guess for someone to stay on mission, they have to be on it first. They collect and collect until the glass breaks and they are left to walk the sole journey of putting the pieces pack together until the masterpiece is complete. Thus staying on the mission to the end.

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