I’m not sure exactly where I am. I took a taxi into town at 5:15 a.m. this morning. I left a note for Aunt Blessing. I don’t want her to worry. She doesn’t deserve it. I wrote on a sheet of paper:
Dear Auntie Blessing,
I have gone into town to stay at my friend Tina’s house for the weekend. I’ve been feeling a bit stressed about exams so I think a break will be great!
Don’t worry about me, I have my wallet, keys, and phone. See you on Monday.
I love you!
Ps – please water the plant in my room. Once a day, in the morning, if that’s cool.
PPS – yr awesome.
I left it on the kitchen table before leaving. She might worry – I don’t know. I don’t usually do this kind of thing. I hope she doesn’t feel scared. I hate it when she gets worried about me. I feel responsible.
She knows boys pick on me and it makes her angry. She’s always threatening to talk to the Principal and I always persuade her not to. It just makes things worse – the guys find out you told on them and they bully you harder.
It’s so hectic. My life … is about fighting. Fighting to be me. It makes me tired. But I am always optimistic.
One day, in ten years, in a hundred, in a thousand, gay people will rise up and people will understand that we’re flesh, blood, kind, normal, just … people.
I’m under a bridge. I need to find my way to Greenmarket Square. I heard about this place called The Triangle Project on the news once. It is a safe place for people like me. I wrote the name down and the address … maybe I knew I would need it one day. And now I do.
There are boys skating on a skate ramp here, I’m standing next to a MyCiTi stop. There’s a beautiful mural on the wall. Pictures of deer, roses, clouds, faces. It’s so lovely.
I go to the fence where the boys are skating. “Hi,” I call out.
A boy with a backward cap and scabs on his knees approaches, his skateboard in his hand.
“Sup, guy?” he says.
“I need to find Greenmarket Square.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s a vibe,” he says, taking off his cap and pulling his long hair back. It’s blonde.
“So, like, get onto Long Street right? Walk down it toward the harbour. Then at, like, Shortmarket Street, you make a right. You’ll see the square. Lots of vendors, art, curios, that type of vibe.”
“Thanks,” I say. “Which way is Long Street?”
He laughs. “You don’t know Long Street, bru? Where you from?”
“Somewhere … somewhere I’m not safe.”
His smile fades. “That sucks, my guy. OK, so,” he says pulling out a notebook and pencil from his backpack. “We’re here.” He marks an X, he draws roads and arrows. He hands me the map through the fence. “Good luck, my brother.”
I smile. “Thank you,” I say, and he smiles.
I make my way into town. It takes me only twenty-five minutes to find Greenmarket Square. The skater’s map was messy, but worked!
Now, I need to find Triangle Project. I look at all the buildings, reading their signage carefully. Finally I see it. I press the buzzer.
“Hi, is this Triangle Project?”
“I need help. People are trying to kill me.”
“Come upstairs. We’re on the third floor. See you in a few minutes, OK? Everything is going to be fine.”
I start to cry. I am so relieved, but I am also hurting so badly, in my heart.
Tell us: What sort of work do you think Triangle Project does?