For the whole month of February, I will be posting a letter of gratitude to the people who have contributed immensely to the woman I am today. Some letters I’m thinking of sending to those I’ve written about and some I hope are never read. This will be the first time I post daily. So I am really keen on seeing how it will turn out, both for me and for those who follow this blog. I look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. The theme for all the letters is that ‘We Are Stories’ and I will be telling mine in #29LettersOfGratitude for a whole month. If you would like to join me (PLEASE DO!!!) remember to link me in your posts.
The man who had given them directions was right. He had said, they would see a big white tent on the left hand side across a river. They should have celebrated finding the house, after getting lost for so many hours but instead the taxi was filled with quiet sadness. Her index finger tracing the river bank on the window glass aching to drown her misery in its still glistening waters. She closed her eyes hoping to stop the tears from exposing her heartache but that didn’t seem to work much.
‘Amanya you always promised to bring me here, I shouldn’t be coming to bury you my friend.’
Amanya had looked at his city friend and smiled, quietly thinking how innocent she was to the things of the village. She’d never seen a river before and gleefully declared ‘they would swim together’ when they’d made the trip to meet his people back home. Amanya had nodded reassuringly as if he had just heard the best idea ever. But secretly he knew there could never be any swimming in the village’s life source, they needed it for more important duties. And now it was just an empty promise that Komusana would always hold against her late friend.
The taxi parked inside the yard but still no one stirred. They were all too consumed with their grief for a friend who’d loved them all so deeply. A girl who’d talked about him a lot on the way, held a hymn book in her hand and started humming a song they were all too familiar with, a few other guilty grievers joined in. Komusana got up and opened the taxi door and walked out on them. She didn’t need to validate her grief by singing his favorite song or reminiscing about their good times. She didn’t want any of this. They all stared as she left but none of them dared to say a word.
Daudi was the first face Komusana recognized, he was amongst a group of men standing in front of the house. When she made out his face from the crowd, she felt her feet get heavier unable to take another step, she opted to stand and wait for him to reach her instead. ‘Hi Komu. I saved you a seat at the back. Ama’s mom insisted that the both of us sit at the front with the family but I politely explained to her that you probably would decline that option.’
The last time they spoke was a week ago, on the night he told her about Amanya’s passing over the phone. Even then there had been no pleasantries, in just 59 seconds the most heartbreaking call of her life had come to an end. ‘Thank you for telling me’ she had said but they both knew, she hadn’t been grateful at all.
I found this a few weeks ago in my email drafts folder. I don’t even remember writing it. It was clearly about my friend Mvuyisi Mditshwa. We lost him in 2009 and we couldn’t go to his funeral. I think I wrote it imagining how being at his funeral would be like. He was the first person in my life whose loss I ever felt so deeply, I couldn’t understand his death, it made no sense to me. Sometimes I wonder how different our lives would be like if he was still around. I still miss you Poza ❤
Cover Photo By: Smangaliso Tshabalala