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karenwhitney

Harare, Zimbabwe

I am a young woman who is passionate about development work. I love writing short stories and poetry. I am currently self employed as a hair dresser but have over 2 years work experience with Hivos, Urban Space and UNFPA Zimbabwe. In my spare time I write, draw and do lots of research on developmental issues.

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Bailey

Jun 13, 2018 6 years ago

Bailey came a few days after i got pregnant and a few days before i knew it. Tinny little black thing. I fell in love with her instantly. She was about just two weeks old or so and could hardly open her eyes or walk. She fit into the palm of my hand perfectly and lay there in a bundle. This was the first puppy to ever come to the house. I was thrilled. I knew an exciting journey had just begun. The first night she was to sleep in a box in the dinning room and would soon be sleeping outside in a small shed id been told. However as soon as everyone was asleep i sneaked her into my bed. Poor thing had been crying for her mother.This was the beginning of many more nights of sharing the bed. I didn't know it at the time but the times she woke me up in the middle of the night for her potty time were a training for a future routine. And so was the cleaning after her as she popped in all corners of the house, the feeding and all the care. The bond we had grew stronger with every passing day. She was there when i realised i was pregnant. She was in bed with me during the time i felt sick. When the cravings came she would eat with me. She soon became a little active ball of fatness and soon due to my new waking up timetable it ceased to be a secret that the box went unoccupied every night. First the bed sharing bothered some family members. When the baby became common knowledge they said if the dog touched my tummy the baby would come out looking like her. They also said cleaning after the dog was a man's job and bad luck to the woman but when the \\"prison break\\" from the box became an unending episode they finally accepted the arrangement. They say when you are pregnant you grow to love one person extremely and hate one person with equally a strong passion but i can say i loved one dog that much. As she grew she grew very fond of me too. She would cry when i left for work. I would feel so emotional too and would almost cry. Sometimes when she was still smaller she would make it out of the gate from below and run after me but i would make sure the HR heard a more believable reason ad to why i would be late. When i came back she would be waiting eagerly for me by the gate and I would have my favourite biscuits to share with her. Shorties,they were called. Everyone at home and work knew them well. They became a permanent item in my handbag and the old lady at the tuck shop knew what i needed when she saw me.Weeks became months and bailey and my tummy both grew bigger and bigger with each day. There was more napping and eating and more napping until finally one day the agony and fun ended. She came about two weeks early. I bet she just couldn't wait any longer to see what the world outside looked like or she simply had had it with those biscuits.Its been over two years since Bailey came along and so much has happened since. She is now a grown beautiful dog who has experienced motherhood jus as i have. She has had at least four generations of puppies six to nine at a time through my second pregnancy and first year of my son Kyle.Some of them have died and some have been taken away just as she was to join new families.I sometimes wonder how she feels being separated from her little pups. Would animals have as many emotions as us humans? But my experience with Bailey has taught me that we are not so different in our need for companionship, love and acceptance as well as our protective instincts.I love Bailey and i am pretty sure Bailey loves me. Our friendship is special and i hope other people get to experience this with animals too.

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The queen

Jun 13, 2018 6 years ago

Mesmerised by the way she speaks, I look at her in awe as she speaks to the men and women that work under her command, Her voice so sweetly feminine but tinted with unmistakable firmness and authority, There is balance as she verbalizes her thoughts and plans, Here and there she smiles kindly but a smile not inappropriately friendly, She may even laughs at times but just enough, Her voice is not deep but when she opens her mouth she echoes the strength of a lioness, A few words and gestures translate to many assigned expectations for those around her, She rarely reprimands but as she walks around they all naturally feel the pressure to do what is right, She is the queen of this empire and her mere conduct gives her an invisible yet visible crown.

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Modern Rituals

May 23, 2018 6 years ago

The grey dress had fast gone from a nice formal wear to useless and vulgar as the cold July evening wind blew it way above my knees. I cursed myself for coming to work with those stiletto heels because now I could not walk fast enough to end the torture. Thank heavens my house was just minutes away. It was a little after 7 pm and many people were already indoors in this quiet neighborhood. I had decided to work overtime as I was behind schedule. My house was only minutes away and I would not have to worry about transport hustles. I noticed the car behind me as I turned into my close. There was no one else in the road. In the semi darkness I could see it was a red mini SUV. It seemed to be slowing down as it approached me so immediately I was now on high alert. My gate was still meters away. Then two men got out of the car and began walking towards me. Were they wearing black suits?! It did not look good for me. I knew screaming would not help because no one would dare come out. I increased my pace as I looked over my shoulder and saw them follow suit. My knees felt weak and I was shacking but the desire to survive whatever this was had overtaken the fear. I thought of all the stories about men who were kidnapping people for ritual murders to become rich and the horror movies I had seen with familiar scenes. I was now close to my gate and I quickly made my calculations as my left hand went into my purse. I slowed down and kept looking back every other second to see where the men were. At what I had calculated to be the right moment my hand was out of the purse and I aimed at them both indiscriminately before running like a mad woman. The pepper spray had done its job as evidenced by their screams. By then I was already on the safer side of my gate, locking myself in. Once inside the house and with my heart pounding, I dialled Larry's number but his line was busy. What if they attempted to get into the house? With shaking hands I googled the local police line and I was about to dial when Larry returned my call. I was close to hysterical as I explained my nightmarish ordeal. He tried to calm me down and promised to have a taxi take me to his office in town. He had also been working late unfortunately. There were local taxis at a nearby shopping centre so as I was rest assured that soon I wouldn't be alone. After what seemed to be forever the taxi arrived and I was on my way to Larry's office. Soon the city lights were in sight and my nightmare was over but just then the driver took a route that I knew definitely was not going to Larry's workplace. At first I thought the taxi driver was mixing up directions so I gave him clear directions but he said he was taking me exactly where my husband had instructed. I was back in my nightmare. What in the world was this? Was this man also part of the duo that had come after me? Had they been outside listening to my conversation with Larry and arranged a backup plan? I reached out for my purse on the seat but it wasn't there. I had left it at home in my hurry to get to the taxi. The car was leaving the city by now and I was immediately frantic. The windows and doors were locked so all I could do was scream on top of my lungs for the driver let me out of the car which he did not. He remained so calm as he repeated that he was taking me where my husband had instructed him, so calm I began to think he was a dangerous man. I decided to be quiet and try to think but I couldn't. Soon we were in some sort of garden and there was a huge building in view. Was this where the ritual happened? I was having a heart attack. Just then the car stopped and I saw the driver unlock the doors. This was it. I dived for the door and started another race for my life. I could hear another person running after me but looking back would slow me down. I wasn't quick enough. I felt strong hands grab me by the waist and I helplessly wriggled to free myself until I heard my captor's voice. It was Larry! What was this? He reassured me that I was safe and that I would soon understand what was going on. He then walked me into the building and that's when I understood. Our friends shouted, 'Surprise”, as we walked in. I saw the large velvet cake written, “Happy 26th birthday”. I had forgotten my own birthday! I then spotted two red eyed men in formal wear and I knew who they were. The poor guys! Their evening hadn't been so great too. Larry had decided to do a surprise birthday party for me but in an unconventional way. The men I had pepper sprayed were the main plan and I had not made their job of “kidnapping” me to the venue any easier. I had been right about the taxi driver being a backup plan, only that he wasn't dangerous. I was right about there being some sort of ritual but only it wasn't as bizarre. I did not know whether to kiss my husband or call a divorce lawyer.

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