“Look! The outcry of the people of Israel has reached me and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.” – Exodus 3:9 NLT

Taking the same route I used to take whilst going to school every day, I tried to focus my mind on positive thoughts even as dark thoughts swirled around in my head.

Just yesterday, a mother came out wailing for her child. A child lost to the harsh and unfair treatment of the ancient who grovel about in the dark with obsolete ideologies whose origins are unknown.

Not everyone could bring themselves to comfort her because they all knew what she lost her child to… It was an open secret.

A great tree has fallen but when a great tree falls in the middle of a forest, it takes other trees. Her child went away with the great tree.

I ask myself sometimes why people who create customs become slaves to them.

Maybe the people here do not know that. Or, maybe they know yet silently pray that they don’t become victims and so long as they are not victims they are fine with the customs.

The evening breeze mournfully blew over the tear-streaked faces of the townspeople. The town seemed asleep – almost as if it wanted to sleep in order to forget the deep scars it has carved into its heart.

I briskly sprinted my way back home from school, hoping and praying the good lord would give me a free pass. My mud-stained sneakers made gurgling sounds as I forced my way through a muddy patch after the rains.

I knew it was a bad idea to take a short cut through the market yet it was the fastest way home and my thoughts about the wailing woman made me wish to fly.

Onward I went trying to pry happy thoughts from the deep dark abyss in my mind when suddenly remembered that I forgot to give my girlfriend her notebook which I had forgotten I was holding when I was walking her home. I had sprinted away with it when I found myself the only one on the road. Unfortunately we had a test the next day and Angela would need her book if she wanted to study and get that ‘A’. But I had her book with me instead.

I guess that this was one of those moments you look back at. In the past is a friend in need, and in the future you see your life in danger.

I still wonder what made me do it. Was it my love for Angela or a momentary flash of bravery?

To cut a long story short, I decided to go back and return Angela’s notebook. Once again, I decided to take the short cut. Have you been through a maze before? Well, Angela’s part of town was like one – and not very popular as a result.

As I approached the maze, I heard a metallic clanking – the type of sound like witchdoctors make in movies. With my heart racing, I tried to calculate my chances of survival versus victimisation, only to realise that they chances of survival were too low for my liking. Nonetheless, I went towards the clanking sound.

As I rounded the first bend, the clanking grew louder. I paused to take in a breath and, with every ounce of courage I could muster, I rounded the bend.

I let out a breath as I found a group of kids playing with empty cans behind the bend.

That night, another wail went up and I guessed that another child had been taken by the great tree again.