A heavy burden


It was Sunday afternoon, while the afternoon breeze blew me mercilessly while I was comfortably seated at the back of a Toyota trunk (pick up) when I saw a guy masqueraded like a clown. He was as red as a blazing fire and as big as a Roman gladiator. Because the vehicle was at top speed, I decided to provoke him like other pedestrians were doing. Chorr Buda Haysalo!! I bellowed at him. Immediately, he turned to me and looked at me straight. He raced towards the Toyota with extreme determination, and to my utter surprise, there was a traffic light at the next junction which blinked red upon our arrival at it. As he increased his speed with instantaneous velocity towards me, I was also thinking of the best way out.

When I realized that there was no possibility of the traffic light turning green any time soon, I thought of many things. Some horrible, some impossible while others just sounded good. But because the thoughts were triggered by fear, they failed to materialize. A crushing sense of helplessness entangled with a feeling of impending dread descended on me.



At that moment, the masquerade was getting really closer, because he runs like a wolf with double machetes held in his hands. As he came closer, I jumped to the other side of the truck. He was incensed at my action. He finally gripped and dragged me off the truck. My entire body became numb while I groaned on this tough guy’s shoulder, and headed to an unknown destination.
I could imagine how my sincerity level was on the unbeatable increase as I was perfectly balanced on the shoulders of an unknown, scary and stinking guy. I uttered different supplications.
The manner in which people followed me, shouting and screaming, was enough to serve as my embarrassment supply for two years.

Ok! Now things got out of hand because the guy was almost getting to the edge of the town. In fact, he was already at the edge. There, he got into an uncompleted building. He just threw me on the ground like a bundle of firewood. I wiped my eyes, and what I saw served me a severe headache for what seemed like eternity. I was actually scared to my bones.

So, all along this guy had a clear purpose for all the struggle he went through. He started to slowly remove his mask starting from the eyes; at that moment my heart was being pumped like balloon to explosion. As he took off the black round cloth off his eyes, he wildly opened them to its limit and shouted at me.

Removing his mask, gave me all the explanation I sought to know. Modou Njie was my classmate back in the days. He was one of those who dedicated his entire life to making my stay in that school a semi-hell for me, for almost no reason. His persistent clownish behavior towards me which included torture and terrorism, got so intense that I couldn’t help but put the school authority in the loop regarding it. As if that was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, he was severely whipped to an extent that he couldn’t walk to school for two days.
He swore an oath that he will do whatever is possible to get hold of me and double his pain on me.
Knowing very well how to safeguard my safety, I employed my safety tactics. Modou had no chance to satisfy his aim until migration overtook him from that town.


Today, 9 years down the line, this man still remembers everything as it happened precisely, and blamed me for it. I had no guts to deny anything he said at the spot. It was now time for him to ease out his long kept grievances. How much he was swimming in his sweat, dwindled my hopes of being safe.


For a second, I knew the only way I could defeat this gigantic and angry guy was going to be through mental and psychological manipulation. A brilliant idea flushed out from my cracking brain that could actually make him tremble and shake and shiver. The statement I told him was as heating as a pebble of stone straight from hell to his cranium.

Modou now spread me on the ground like a sheet of toilet paper. The bouncing of my chest was so loud that I almost passed out. Notwithstanding, I had to patch the grundle of ideas that I had to him.
“Modou, the ultimate decision in this desolate house, is undoubtedly yours, but with due respect I have to remind you of the type of a father you had, in case you have forgotten. Your father, in his entire life has preached among many things, forgiveness. He was a good man, and therefore you will become an insult to his lineage if you live your life the other way round”, I cheerfully provoked his thought. He was now going forth and back in the tight building. I knew I just had to employ little more effort and I would get to the iron heart of this cretin. I softly told him, “I never expected you to keep a grievance that you had since childhood to this age. What a heavy burden to carry. I know a lot has happened between us, but you of all people should know that it is only normal for children to go through such moments. Let’s learn to endure the immature-motivated actions”.


I think for some reasons, the supplications I made and almost gave up on, the thought provoking provocations and aggravations, the intellectual, spiritual and mental winding were now in high gears. He squatted beside me and whispered, “I’m able to crush you here and now, but because you have spoken sense to me and because you did it in a respectful way reminded me of who I am, I’m pardoning you.” He rose to his feet and showed me his back, as if he was hiding tears from me.
That was my best news in 12 months. I emitted a grim smile. I stood up, my entire body covered with sweat and sand, faked a hug for him and he whispered in my ear and said, “Who is now Chorr buda haysalo ” I said, “Now it’s . . . .