Short stories

Broken Light


Looking out and seeing the pretty blue sky you would swear that there was something out there. I used to love to sit on the porch and watch darkness invade the crystal clear white light as the night drew. The moths would collect, first one then two; and before you knew it, the bulb was embellished in what looked like an ornament of dusty moth wings. I could hardly hear them
yet their presence made mine uncomfortable. I would wave my hand in an effort to continue admiring as the daylight spontaneously aborted and gave way to darkness. I would soon give up and make my way to my room.

The definition of darkness is plain and simple. However, I studied it for years yet had no answer. I suppose the protruding question remains “Why would I choose to study darkness”? The answer for that lies behind the revelation that, the strength of the opposition is found within the weakness of the opponent. The strength of a man is only seen because, the weakness of his
opponent allows for leverage. His opponent’s weakness allows for the discussion of strength. Without which, both parties would be equally strong, thus making their individual strengths of no importance. I would sit on the porch and the light simply began to disappear. I would look up in my need to hypothesize everything, I took a guess at where it went because that day light was gone. With no fight, it simply vanished. I remember my Aunt always questioning me; “why are you children of today in such a hurry to grow up? Enjoy your youth while it lasts. Now it made sense. The day begins in the yellow orange purity of the sunrise. As the day progresses the heat intensifies, slowly but surely it reaches peak around midday. Bright and scorching, despised of its purity on days where it feels it lays directly on our skins, yet darkness has no say. Darkness is seen twice in one day. The first time as the sun rises, slowly breaking loose of its grip, and the second, at sunset. However, the sun’s peak is only seen once, at
midday. Dividing the day into three distinct thirds, at each third only one is master. At midday, the bright strength of the sun can be seen only because darkness is at its weakest. The day proceeds and soon darkness appears, the sun is weakened and darkness has won. They say that when a child is born he or she is at the purest time of their lives. As white as a clean sheet of
unmarked paper, mind unpolluted, a child is pure. As the child grows up, little marks are tattered all over his or her being. The child learns about pain, disappointment and betrayal and soon the peak of purity just no longer exists.

I spent my childhood longing to grow up, but now, all I wanted was to be a child again.

I will give you one warning, I have done many things in my life, but I am not a murderer, I thought to myself. I killed the beast, fiercely, grimacing as the wind swooped through my hair. It was not as simple as I am making it sound. The beast did not give up without a fight. I am not a murderer, but if you try me I will submit, my thoughts continued. I killed the beast 12 years ago, I was 13 years old. He came at me with what looked like a saw, hesitate I did not, I was not a murderer but he came at me and I won. “Victory oh sir, victory is what I know, and I shall not let you win. I shall not let you win.” I half-heartedly exclaimed in tears as the priest uttered the words “dust to dust, ashes to ashes.” I shall not let you win,” the exclamations now turned to cries as I looked over my shoulder and in the blur of my tears captured a little girl that looked just like me. She looked just like me 12 years ago. She had probably just killed the beast, or so she thought. Mummy and daddy told her that she had nothing to be afraid of. The
darkness was nothing to be afraid of, and she slowly believed it, she killed the beast. But little did she know that darkness would emerge again. For me it was 12 years later, how ironic it is, that day only lasts twelve hours and night re-emerges, I don’t know, but I know she will meet it again. I met it again, now glaring back at me as I watched my best friend go under, for me, darkness had just reemerged, the beast I killed, darkness, he was back.


Her name was Faith, she looked nothing like me. She was short and kind of reminded me of stub. Yes, a stub, we were the world’s most awkward best friends. She told me that I looked like a traffic pole that had raided a wig shop. I don’t suppose anyone else agreed, because to the world, we were the most gorgeous two girls our university had ever see. We started school
together what seemed like two million years ago. We had our first periods in the same year, same month and same week (ok, maybe not the same week), but if memory serves right, in the same month, we became women.

I really did not like sharing my lunch. Mum made enough just for me and I honestly could not understand why my mother now had to provide food aid to Africa (other children whose parents were just too lazy to make them lunch). So, Faith was one of the kids I was fortunate enough to be sharing my lunch with, and from there, I suppose she just wiggled her way into my heart, then my soul and before I knew it, we were going to pee together. Now any girl knows that going to pee together is the ultimate step in female friendship. We reached it and then planned my wedding together. I believe that we were the creators of friendship telepathy. What she thought I thought and what she said I knew before she even uttered it. It was a rather invasive life though, I had no glimpse of privacy but I loved it. As psychotic as that may sound, I loved her invasive nosey arrogant rude short crazy and impossible being poking around in my every move. I dreamt about the day we both found true love, when we would sneak out of our homes to go for ice cream, leaving our husbands and kids at home.

Faith was half Egyptian and half coloured, a mixed breed and she was proud of it. Her grandfather was Egyptian royalty numerous years ago, but a supposed civilian war broke out and stole everything her family had. Her father sent her to live with her grandmother here in Namibia and here is where we met. She was a terrible driver, I was the designated driver and it was the norm. Everyone knew that Faith was the 24-year-old beauty queen who could not drive to save her life.

Those days were only but a memory. “I’m ok…I’m ok” I mumbled as my teeth shattered against each other from the cold. The rain was pouring and the sirens accentuated the headache that throbbed so painfully against what felt like my skull. “I shall not concede, I shall not concede”, I had to say it until I believed it. I did not want to turn my head, I could not face her. She lay still, completely motionless. I did not know that human beings could do that. Her hair, what had happened to her hair? There was nothing left. I kept sinking in and out of what felt like amnesia. One moment I could grasp everything that had happened and the next I was out of breath muttering who knows what in confusion. They came in and dared tell me that it was time for her to go. I jumped and grabbed her, holding her in my arms I cradled her lifeless body. My lips pursed against her neck, so close to her that the sweat from my body silently made love to her pores. They tried to take her away but I refused, I would rather die than concur that darkness had arrived. I sobbed bitter tears; they burnt through my skin and into my soul. I knew that I would never recover. My husband sat at the corner of the room, head buried between his legs. On the floor, I could see drops of glistening tears, his other half was broken, and I feared for him. I feared that she would never be whole again. He knew that she would never be whole again. He mourned for her too.

Death where is your sting? It was right here, right here I could feel it piercing through my heart, I let go of her body one inch at a time, with each loosening grip I could feel my sanity disintegrate. They covered her in a bag, from head to toe. I hated that, I knew how she hated covering herself completely when she slept. She always said that she felt like she was suffocating. I got up from the floor and fell right back down, I heard rushing footsteps as my husband quickly collected himself from the floor and rushed out to grab me as I hit the ground. He wiped my tears with hands filled with tears. I could not help but be distracted from my grief for a second and thank God for a husband who could feel my pain when I needed him to. He understood my grief all too well. I was an only child and faith was the only family I knew after my mum and dad passed away in a fire back in high school. Faith was my hope and I loved her for it. My family had been washed away in a moment. He understood that all too well.
Years ago, Faith was diagnosed with Leukaemia. I starred at her for a second then burst out laughing. We had this thing that we did whereby the most serious issues we found ourselves laughing at uncontrollably. This time it was different. Hidden within the laughs was pain, excruciating pain. We held each other and laughed for a few moments, and then the tears flooded my eyes. They just sat there, refusing to fall, my eyelids now engorged with a salty sea of liquid, but I trained myself that no matter how bad things ever became I would never let my tears fall. She slowly walked to the window and started unravelling the scarf that had been so fashionably wrapped around her head. Her hair was gone, and she turned back looking at me as if her eyes were searching for a response. I could not hold myself back anymore and burst out crying. Refusing to be consoled I lay on the carpet sobbing. She came as close to me as possible and turned over onto her back. I had now run out of tears, and we simply lay  there. Hearts beating, minds pondering, we just lay there till the sun began to set, and it was darkness

Her procrastination in informing me of her illness frustrated me. By the time she had opened up to me, it had been a year since she was diagnosed with the deadly disease. I couldn’t find it in myself to forgive her, not because I was furious at her but because I knew that she needed me then more than ever. I knew that in the past 365 days, my friend was empty, alone and scared. Faith always cried easily, this disease did something to her, for 42 days I had not seen her cry. It was as if she had abandoned her emotion with her spirit, body and soul. As though her emotions tightly wrapped in her soul were slaughtered by spirit and body that refused her soul to feel again. She would never have the opportunity to say her vows to the man of her dreams. Faith was astoundingly beautiful. She had a slightly tan coloured caramel skin with hazel coloured eyes. She looked like a beauty queen but had the most adorable baby face ever. She had never known true love. Of all the reasons that were tormenting me, that was my most painful one. She fell in love with a man who was in love with another woman and since that day she vowed to remain alone. Her morning was the most beautiful time of her life. We met in her morning, pure and mind unpolluted, those were the days that we sat in the little tree telling unrealistic stories about our future husbands.

Night Time

I kept reminiscing on the past, for Faith it was intuitive, she would sit on her balcony for moments on end just thinking. I never quite understood the sense behind it, but I thought I would try it nevertheless. I walked over to her bedroom balcony and found myself in her seat. It was made of straw and she adored that chair. I was never allowed onto the balcony neither was anyone else, that was her free zone. She said that on the balcony she felt the stars aligning for her sake and the moon staring down at her to wait on her every need. I looked over on the wall closest to the chair, flattered. She had placed pictures and letters on the wall and I found myself procrastinating the writing of her eulogy, so I leaned to the side and began looking at the pictures one at a time. One picture was of us as children, it was old and frail so I wanted a closer look, as I carefully removed the Bostik that held the picture onto the wall, I discovered that the picture had another little picture glued to it. I started separating the two as the rattling sound of old dried glue on glassy paper stole the silence. What I saw left me in tears. I went back to my seat and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen. I could procrastinate no more, but my heart was bleeding. My eyes quickly scrolled down the picture. I then placed it aside; tears fell down my cheeks like a rushing avalanche. I started writing………… She had found true love, Faith was happy before she died, I recently discovered that the one thing that ached my heart concerning my dear friend was actually dealt with, Faith had found true love. I glared at the picture as if my soul had just been murdered, my eyes slowly moved from the edge of the picture where she stood in bright pink heels and a man holding her. I had never seen her so delighted and profoundly joyful. This was the one time in my entire life that I hated her. I hated my friend as she lay in her coffin. My eyes moved an inch at a time up the picture as if I had not already seen the entire picture, but I knew what I was hoping for. I was hoping and praying that my eyes had deceived me.

“Baby…” the warm sound of my husband’s voice echoed in the room and woke me up. I looked up to feel his muscular arms wrapped tightly around me. “I’ll be down in a minute” I muttered coldly. He was a big man, and as he made his way downstairs I could hear every step so pronounced. I lifted my foot to reveal the picture that had fallen, picked it up and slid it into my pocket. I stared at a picture of her on the wall and all I could think was “why” … I was now only a few feet away from my husband as I made my way down the stairs, but I could feel it. I could feel darkness creeping in. He slowly made his presence known, first with
a whisper, then with loud yelps as if he mocked me. Darkness mocked me bitterly. He smiled at me now, my husband, with a melancholic look, he stared at me from the bottom of the stairs. My feet were now heavy, the size six as if magnified to a ten weighed me down, and before I knew it, I had stood still. As if he knew exactly what had just consumed me, he dropped his head. They say that like attracts like and for that moment I understood. I understood because the heartless darkness in him had been alerted by that that had now filled me. In a gentle voice he whispered, “Forgive me”.