Too black for the white kids and too white for the black kids. I don’t want to feel like this but I feel exactly this way. Forty years ago, my mother was born. Nineteen years into her life, I was born. I was a mistake. I’ve calculated this. No one dreams of having a child at the age of twenty. I am a mistake.
I am nineteen years old now and my little brother is a year old. Whenever I look at him, I realise he was planned. I wish I was him. He is lucky but he is too young to understand his luck. I think I hate him but I know I shouldn’t, so I try not to.
I am too black for the white kids and too white for the black kids.
High school was never fun for me. I had my moments but most of them were spent in the toilet. I was that kid. I want to lie and say, I enjoyed my high school days, but I would be lying. Kids made fun of me. No! They made fun of my colour. Everyone was light skinned and I was the class clown. Monster, Zimbabwean, a disgrace they would call me.
I was the kid who electricity went off when he was born. They couldn’t see me during the night, they joked. Handsome was my nickname. When they called me handsome I felt handsome but I knew they were only calling me handsome to make fun of me. I knew this but they didn’t know that and I somehow found joy in that.
I am used to the pain. Words don’t really hurt me anymore; they just kill me bit by bit. My words are never heard. I choose to keep quiet and listen to the creative insults they came up with this time. One might say, I am only torturing myself but this is how I learn them. I know them better than they know who they are. This skin colour is going to be the end of me.
I learnt from a young age that with a skin colour like mine, judgement is inevitable. I curse the day I was born. I rebuke my death. I apologise for being born. This is the burden I carry, my skin is my burden. Every time I look in the mirror I want to kill what I see. I wish I was as light skinned as my little brother. He is lucky.
I enjoy watching my uncle work. He is living his dream. I don’t really have dreams. I lost them along the way. I lost them the minute the church couldn’t save me. Mom, if you’re reading this it means my plan has worked. I am happy now. I’m at peace. I know I should wait for God to take my life when the time is right but I want this. I wanted to die.
I saw a chance and I took it. I am dead now. It’s only a matter of minutes before the pills catch up with my last breath. Forgive me.
I think I did have a dream, I think it was to die today. It’s my birthday today. I’m happy to say I died on the day the world knew me. I un-cursed that curse. Mom, please understand that I wanted this. I am at ease now.
I think I see heaven, an angel is heading my way.
Mom, I think it is time. Please give my little brother my song book. If he reads it, he will understand my life. Tell him I forgive him for not being a mistake like I was. This love is difficult but mom, this moment has taught me love. I love myself now and it’s because of this that I want to say to you for the first time ever, I love you mom. I love you a good love. Keep that smile…
Your beautiful son
For the first time in his life, he was happy and for the first time in his life, he knew he was happy. He learnt how to love. Death taught him how to love. He finally accepted himself. He realised how beautiful he was. Death made him see what life couldn’t. He is my hero.