VOTE DEAR JOHN
Not everyday I come here to appeal that people should vote a certain property to win, but this piece really got to me so follow this link and vote http://prize.etisalat.com.ng/dear-john/
meanwhile below is the piece and I thought it was worth sharing
Hymar David / Nigeria
Title: DEAR JOHN.
Yesterday, mama returned from the village and said to me, “That boy don die o.”
I went numb. Somewhere inside me, a dam burst, unleashing torrents of memories that swirled round and round like whirlpools inside my soul.
Once again, I saw you: the severe cross-eyed face, the single vertical marks on each side of your cheeks, the lower lip, a little too big and always loose, that provoked sniggers from the boys in class.
Everything came to me.
“Him kill himself o.” mama added.
I didn’t ask how, and I was grateful mama didn’t volunteer to provide answers to questions best left unasked. What you don’t know can’t haunt you.
But later that night, as I lay under the switched-off electric fan, watching geckos stalk moths across the ceiling, I hoped it was quick and painless, and I hoped that God understood.
When we were boys, they turned your surname Chima to chimpanzee, they mimicked how you read; face pressed into the book to align your sight with the letters and numbers. You would sit alone during recess, eating biscuits and kpuff-kpuff and stealing glances at me. Glances that said, ‘Please be my friend.’
Because I was the boy with the heavy stammer that made even the teachers giggle. You wanted to identify with the loneliness you knew was there.
But I laughed at you too. I laughed at you trying to bribe my friendship with paper-wrapped Cabin biscuits and kpuff-kpuff.
But it was a forced laughter, my own bribe to the boys. Something I hoped would make them like me, to show I was one of them.
Dear John, I’m sorry.
If I have a son, I’ll teach him to love people in spite of other people. And I’ll call him John.
I will remember you.