I’d always sit on my veranda just to look at her. She was different. Her family was that happy family where there were aunts and uncles, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Laziness was her weakness, at least she believed that she was lazy. I’d often hear her family members shouting at her saying she wasn’t a good cook. You’d hear her uncle saying, “This tastes bad, your little sister is better than you. She is not lazy. Her food tastes good. Why are you so useless? There’s nothing you’re good at.”

She would go around the house and cry silently. If it happened that one of her siblings saw her and said loudly that she was crying, you’d hear one of her aunts saying, “Leave that idiot alone, she’s a spoilt brat and she’s crazy. Don’t go near her.”

The kids began to see her as a lunatic. They’d sometimes beat her and she’d try to defend herself. When she cried her family would say, “Hey you lunatic leave my child alone. You’ll never grow up. You’re just grown on the outside but inside you’re still immature. You’re busy beating kids but you can’t fight your peers.”

I felt pity for her. Even when she went to play with other kids they’d beat her up and when she cried one of her family members would tell her that she was stupid and that she couldn’t fight for herself.

She didn’t have friends, she’d always sit alone. Visitors saw her as a reticent person. Even at school she was the same.

I called her to my house one day. I was interested to know more about her. I’m 38 years old and in my entire life I never met someone so vulnerable like she was. She shut everyone out. Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know more. She was a confused child and her mother was naturally ignorant. She didn’t really see that her child was emotionally troubled. She thought whatever was said to her child was only to discipline her, not knowing that it was slowly shattering her confidence.

At school she was bullied because of her body shape. She believed that she was ugly and lazy, that no sane man would marry someone like her. In her teenage years she still felt ugly. She didn’t chill with her peers because they’d speak about physical beauty and that deeply hurt her. She’d feel even more hurt if someone told her that she was beautiful, it felt like mockery to her. She wouldn’t look at herself in the mirror. she wouldn’t raise her hand in class. The boys at the back of the class would mock her and everyone would burst out in laughter. She felt like she didn’t belong in the world. She didn’t have a purpose to live.

Sometimes she’d hear people talking about suicide and how it was only done by weak people who were afraid to handle what life threw at them. She would feel stupid because suicidal thoughts were all she had. Whenever she tried to overcome her fear by speaking, people would be like “Ahh there she fumbles again”, they’d just wave her off. The more she tried to overcome her weakness the harder people made it for her.

She couldn’t take drugs or run away from home because she knew that wouldn’t help. She was helpless. There was nothing fruitful about her life. Her life was a complete mess. She felt like a burden. She didn’t know where her life was going.

She ended up committing suicide. Everyone was surprised, no one really knew what was happening in her life. Her family didn’t know that the little things they said did matter. They said that if she had spoken up earlier they could’ve done something, but when she tried to talk they didn’t listen to her. They thought she was just seeking attention like she always did. What an empty life she lived.


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