It was a Saturday morning, so I casually walked into my sister's room to get it tidied up as usual, while she was away in school. She had to leave earlier than expected, because their class had an excursion to Ogba zoo that day. As I stripped off her bed covers to launder, a phone and several editions of PLAYBOY magazines went down with the sheets. With mouth agape, I picked up the phone that caught my eyes amongst the heap on the floor. Behold! It was a BLACKBERRY Z10- what no one else in the house had! Not even mum. " How could she have acquired such an expensive piece?" I gaped. Stealing was out of the question because she would not dare! Neither did she buy it, because she did not have such buoyant savings to acquire a phone yet. She is only 13! As I contemplated what to do with my latest discovery, I surfed the phone, only to discover some illicit content and a series of serious profane chats. I could not take it any more, so I resorted to reporting the case to our mother, who was outside pruning the garden. I explained all I saw to our mother and we exchanged our suspicions while waiting impatiently for her return. On 4.15 pm, after a late lunch, my sister was already kneeling before a curious duo, explaining in tears, how she got the phone and magazines. Of course, her boyfriend in school had gifted them to her. My mother inquired if they had gone further to sex, but she confessed that the advances ended only in kisses. My mother just could not buy the story, as while she thought her baby was still a saint, she had gone really wild! Mother did not know how to react to the situation, as she blamed herself endlessly for not giving us any form of sexual orientation earlier. Who would have figured out that a 13-year-old could be this exposed? What generation! That instant, she sat us both down and gave us serious sexual orientation. The next moment, we were all on our way to IMAGO CLINIC for a scrupulous virginity test. Osinachi Okafor
When it rains, it pours. This was my life's state for eight days within the last month. I've been so speechless that for the first time, I feel compelled to write down what I've been through, at least for this eight-day period. I'm finally fine. No one died. I guess it's one of those series of experiences that makes one stronger. The eve of the first Saturday, Friday the 19th of June. I call an installer from the DSTV office to fix my decoder. We fix time. He's late and smiling about it. I tell him I dislike tardiness. He replaces the LNB on the dishpan with a fairly used one from his work bag, starts the set-up process, tinkers about it for a while but it doesn't work. It gets late and he has to beat the 8 pm Covid19 curfew. He shows me how to go through that exact process again and promises it would work. He gives me his account details to pay afterwards. I try it after a few hours. Same old same old. I don't make the payment. I go to bed. At 4:35 am on Saturday, the rain starts. As usual, I wake up uneasy as the sound of rain unsettles me these days. You see my neighbour and I moved into our compound in October of last year, and the landlord conveniently neglected to disclose to us that the house gets flooded in the rainy season owing to bad drainage system. Because of repair costs, the landlord opts for a “temporary” alternative to drill through the wall of a neighbour's uncompleted building to ease out the water collecting in our sloped compound. Behind this building is an unrestrained water pathway. Now the water flows, but my neighbour and I fear that when the rain gets a little serious, water would flow back in from the outside, and this time, it would be more disastrous coming in with all manner of dirt. Well, that's exactly what happens this Saturday morning. You see, I have a new ritual of apprehensively watching the rain collect at my steps whenever it rains. I'm happy seeing water let out from my compound and soon enough the rain stops. But in seconds, the flow back starts and clean flood quickly turns brown in my very presence. My heart jumps to my mouth, sinks to my stomach and does a triple Arabian back up my mouth. I freeze and can't get to my generator because I've never put my feet in unclear water. The neighbour boy goes in, lifts my generator and takes it to the neighbour's upstairs building. But this is just the beginning. The water level rises with speed past my two steps climb and gets through my door. This is when I unfreeze, run in and get my certificate bag and phone, swallow my fear, sink my feet and heart into the murky water and run to my neighbour's upstairs to keep them. Then the move from my apartment starts in this frenzy with the rain on our backs and the murky flood at our knees, with the help neighbours. This very afternoon, I go house hunting. The housing agents show all manner of funny apartments. One of the agents takes me to a basement apartment where I have to bend to get in the door. As soon as I walk in, I slightly raise my arm and touch the ceiling. I'm only 5'7”! I feel exactly coffin claustrophobic. If I take the apartment, I will have to spend every waking hour convincing myself I'm still alive. I finally find an apartment and move in on Tuesday. While house hunting, the DSTV installer calls. I inform him his procedure didn't work, explain my predicament and ask to reschedule. He calls again, and again on Wednesday asking to be paid. Pay for a job not done! Who does that? Thursday, I go to the market for supplies. I use a kerchief for a mask. I secure the mask over my nose and mouth as a policeman waves me on. I get to the market and I'm promptly apprehended by men in uniforms for not wearing a face mask. Funny right? I'm very surprised as I can still feel the kerchief across my face. These arresting officers have their uniformed fabric masks around their necks like some fashion statement with their noses and mouths exposed as they bark and hurtle me to their mobile station. I point out that their noses and mouths aren't secured like mine, but they insist that kerchiefs cannot serve for masks. At the mobile station, an officer with no mask anywhere on her body barks at me to get into the vehicle. I point out that she isn't wearing a mask and that her colleagues use theirs as necklaces. You see, this infuriates them more and they bundle me into the vehicle. I'm asked to pay under the table to be released. No sir! I make calls and get a lawyer. Before they let me go, they search my phone for any incriminating files. This Saturday, my now old neighbour sends me a video clip of the freshest hell. The drainage is no longer blocked. Oh no! You see, the unrestrained murky flood has claimed the once blocked drainage and is making the compound its new abode.
Four months ago, COVID-19 entered to my motherland, Uzbekistan. I vividly remember that on March 16, I heard this information from all channels of the TV, and the quarantine was implanted by the government. Then, I didn't understand its whole fear, I became happy after hearing about the clothing of schools. But, a few weeks ago virus entered to my hometown, and I began to respect my life, even more than before. Sometimes, I think a lot about my future, I have plenty of goals, which should be come true. I am only in my sixteen. Can it really be true? Shall I die so soon? From my perspective, all of us are thinking about this. However, it is awfully horrible just to think about it. I just forget, I should tell you about my lockdown days. When it comes to me, I'm not so bored that I live in a farm house with my parents and two siblings. Therefore, quarantine created an opportunity to spend more time with my family members. Additionally, because of lockdown, my mother doesn't have to work, she's a math teacher, but it didn't show perceptible effect on my father's work. As, I always dreamt, I am cooking various cakes and meals together with my mom and sister, Aziza. Also, I am playing interesting computer games and some outdoor games in the yard with my brother, Asadjon. Furthermore, it is enjoyable that we have been eating and watching films together. But the most happiest thing in quarantine is that I became an aunt. Clearly, my further sister, Sevara was married two years ago, and in June 2, she gave birth to a child. We named him as Bilol. All of us liked him a lot, even sometimes, I made my parents jealous of him. It can be strange, but from time to time, I would like to be a baby due to the fact that your mother always raises you in her loving hands, and you sleep, sleep and sleep again. Unfortunately, I know, this dream never comes true. As I mentioned above, I live in a farm house, and there are not only animals like cow, dog, hen, sheep, but also flowers and trees. Currently, my best friend is my little dog Pito. she has been living in our home for three years. I can remember as yesterday that my grandfather brought her to me in a chilly day of winter. Ridiculously, when my granddad opened his car, I couldn't find her because of her small scale. At that time she's as equal as my palm. I should say that in spite of her small body, Pito is very clever and kind-hearted. For example, her hobby is to pursue hens, but she never bite them. When she just catches one of them, she stops and lets them run away, and continues running. During the lockdown, most animals had children. Such as, Pito gave birth to a puppy. I called him as Hachi on behalf of the most loyal dog. He was particoloured unlike his mother. Unfortunately, he died on the vehicle crush. Then, I buried him in our garden. Lucy, she is a bright white sheep, last year I took care of her myself because she didn't have a mother, she's an orphan. At present, she is a mother herself, I named her lamb as Zorro, owing to the fact that he has a spot around his eyes. As for my studies, they are going well. Now I am doing online lessons, as a result of my studies, I took my first IELTS certificate with overall band score 6.5 in lockdown. When I received my certificate, I became one of the happiest person of the world. Truly, I spend my free time on various activities. For instance, at first, I watched TV all day long. In my view, I have seen everything from cartoons to action movies. Then, I began reading popular novels of foreign writers. Maybe, it helped me to bring out my hidden talents at writing, and during the quarantine I have been writing lots of essays. If it continues so, I may write a novel in the near future. To conclude, I reiterate my opinion by saying that there are plethora of activities, which I can do during the quarantine, nevertheless I don't like it. Anyway, sitting at home is boring. I hope this virus will be lost in recent days. We should be strong untill that day.
I made the first stroke, On our virgin framed canvas, Sheer ecstasy! Coating our painting of love, A brush and a palette, Crimson ink from my heart Briskly cultured my half, Melted affection into art. But you left your half untouched, Your beret to gather dust, Your bristles dry and parched, Your heart sated and scarlet, Void picture! Halfway quenched, Like a dying fire with no bellows, A piano with only white keys. But my limb pushed me to paint, Culture your half with my surviving ink, Drain my cardiac tincture, Give our painting a clincher, Altruistic love! Bleached my heart and its nerve, Robbed its hue and its curve. A gavel and a French accent, The verdict and the critic, An infatuation! Not worthy my ink you said, A painter for a sculptor you'd trade, It was only a fading charade. Though beaten and pale, Matte grey like Calvary, I pinned the picture in the gallery, Praying for an eye of valor, That will behold my sacrifice of color, And heal my heart's pallor.
Drop. Dead. Silence. The intensifier of my hallucinations, the bane of my very existence. I am caged, and I wish it were behind indestructible cold metal bars. I am in shackles, and I wish they were clasped around my wrists and ankles. Instead I am trapped, pricked by the thorns of bondage in the comfort of my very own home. It would be less unnerving if I were amidst the laughter of my heartwarming friends, or in the company of people that I was comfortable enough with to call them my family - people that would make my house feel like more of a home. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of things for a diverse majority of people. Things from newfound hobbies to new cyber friends, everlasting love and even heart-wrenching heartbreak. All being forms of drama of some sort. Whereas for me, it has only but augmented the truth I have been relentlessly attempting to shy away from: the existence and ever-growing presence of my loneliness. Sometimes I wished I did not have windows, for they are the most elementary doorway to stepping outside the confinement of my ignorance. The booming voices of ignorance that continuously hovered over my minuscule voice of reason. The voices that told me I did not need people to be happy. Through windows, I had front row seats to short episodes of people's lives. I could observe them basking in the joy that I could not share with them. During the winters, it would be James throwing snowballs at John. In the Summers it was the bikini body posse driving to the beach with excruciatingly loud music, waving their hands in the air out of the top of their roofless cars. My stomach would churn at the unfamiliarity of it all, and the nostalgia of when my life was once like that would cloud my thoughts like hawks over a freshly deceased corpse. Sometimes I dreaded the access I had to the internet, for it was just a window in disguise. The windows restricted by the borders of my walls just gave me a narrow scope of the life outdoors, whereas the internet would give me an analytical breakdown of what was happening across the globe. I would scroll past my timeline with mixed feelings of confusion and dejection. I would wonder how people managed to still be productive with all the unfortunate yet never-ending global occurrences, while I lay here, soaking in the stench of my self-pity. Drop. Dead. Silence. And a half-painted picture. With each bristle of my paintbrush that grazed against my canvas, I felt a shard of self-oppression break free. With each droplet of excess paint that escaped from the tip of my brush, I felt a flake of anxiety drop to the ground. It was a sensational occurrence I had only read about in books and seen on television but never one I had experienced personally. It was the feeling of liberation, that quenched the emptiness that had been hovering over me for a long time. But to prove to myself that my current feeling was not my brain putting up a temporary façade to numb my despondency, I had to continue my work in a place where I where I had the option to compare myself to other people but would choose not to; I had to paint outside. I watched as people scurried back to their homes - by car and on foot – which was understandable as the sun was already out of sight. These were people probably going back to their loving spouses, and unbearable yet lovable kids. People that were going back to places where they felt like they belonged. I, on the other hand, sat on the grass and took note of my environment. I noticed something new; something I could not see from the miniature scope of my window. I saw a man, that looked like he had not had a change of clothes for weeks, making himself comfortable on the gravel of the sidewalk. I saw a little girl, sobbing while a woman, who seemed to be her mother, dragged her into a sports car and drove off. I was mentally contemplating the peculiarity of it all as it was not something I was used to, not being the only one around my immediate surrounding going through a tough time. I decided then and there that I loved my life, and whatever had happened to me in the past to make me unsure of that fact was all that it was: in the past. I was going to let in everyone I had mentally kicked out of my life by withdrawing myself from their daily activities which I previously partook in. I realized I did not want to have someone else's life, nor did I want their seemingly everlasting joy, because I had my own. In the dead of the night, I dropped my paintbrush on the dew-holding grass for what was going to be the last time that day. Drop. Dead. Silence. And a complete painting birthed from raw emotion.
I had seen him before. He had intimidated me, always sitting there silently. I had tried smiling at him but I realised quickly that he wasn't a very sociable person so when I was sitting on the balcony, sniffling and trying to talk to the kind lady on the evening shift the last thing I was expecting was his quiet voice to say “are you ok?” “Not really”, I was not a pretty sight, snot bubbling at my nostrils and tearing dribbling pathetically down my cheeks. “Well, I'll make myself this tea and then we'll sit together, yeah?” curiosity started to overwhelm me at his words. I wanted to know more about this lovely boy who had previously made me so nervous. “What are you always playing?” “League of Legends” “Hey! I played that, well Mobile Legends”. I was already cheering up, his plan was working. We sat there talking quietly. I told him that I had overdosed and ended up in a coma. He told me about his severe depression and abandonment issues. Then and there I knew I would stick with him, even if I couldn't help him. We chatted until past the time even the night nurses were awake and snickered at a magazine claiming it could help your depression. A magazine they had stuck on the coffee table of a psych ward. I was finally happy again. Another girl came out at one point, she was an oddball and kept lightly telling us how the death of her husband was so hard, in between showing us pictures and videos of him. I decided I didn't like her after all, even if she was fun to talk to. Christian had a soft voice and no emotions, he said. I didn't believe that the only reason he helped me was because he had a complex. That was what he told me but his kind heart told another story. He was the first person I held off asking what his trauma was. Instead I asked if he was bald. He wasn't. In fact, his hair was quite long. I remember braiding his hair. It was greasy but I didn't care, just like he didn't care how I wiped my nose on the front of my pyjama top. He hugged me good night and rubbed my back. Before I fell asleep I whispered his name over and over again. “Christian. Christian. Christian.”, I wasn't allowed to forget it. And I didn't.
By: Ymir clark One of the major problem's youth face in the twenty first century is the youth thinking they aren't good enough when they have not had the chance to fully blossom into the amazing person they will become. I saw this video where a little black girl looked into the mirror and said that she was ugly, and eventually broke down and started crying. The little girl's mom started telling her that she is beautiful and that she should not think like that and the mom started crying too because her child was having these thoughts that she should not even be thinking about. This is a major problem because no kid should even have the thoughts that they are ugly and that they don't deserve to be here. I don't want any kid to feel the way that girl felt, but sadly many kids do, and they eventually grow up with those insecurities, causing them to have anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and so on. This one problem can easily turn into so many other problems. Kids should be playing outside, enjoying life, messing up their hair that was just done this morning, instead of feeling these insecurities. A way I would stop kids from thinking they aren't good enough would be to just get out in the community and help. I would open little free libraries and fill them with books that empower children and tell them how beautiful and unique they are. Books that tell kids and the youth that it is okay to not look like everyone else, that it is okay to be different In the little free libraries people can switch out books and put new books in as they go. The little free libraries would be set up in parks or other places where kids are a lot to ensure that the kids have easy access. This is just one of my plans, I would also start a club that that would be free to helps kids get active, where I would help lead the kids in different fun actives. I could also help kids who aren't feeling like their selves by bringing awareness to this problem by starting a campaign about how kids should love themselves, and bring awareness to the fact that sometimes people can't help the way they feel about their selves, and that depression and anxiety is real. If someone is telling you that they aren't feeling well, then they shouldn't be ignored and they shouldn't feel ashamed or be shamed for having the confidence to realize that they need help. So many that are part of the youth don't speak out about the problems they have. They feel as if the cant talk to people or their parents, because that's what they are taught to do, not speak out when they have a problem, or they try to ask for help and people try to make it seem as if they aren't having real problems and then they push their feeling down and start to disconnect from the world In conclusion kids, teens, or the youth thinking they aren't good enough and that they should hide their feelings is a major problem in the twenty first century. Kids should never feel the way that little black girl felt. Kids should be out hanging with friends or on the playground, not worried about the way they look.
\\"Today is a new day, new colour and new life\\". In my life I have seen many difficult situations and managed them in a proper manner.
I am surrounded by lots of people, yet I am a very lonely person. What do I mean by that? Let me explain. Imagine you have lots of colorful pens and you want to draw a picture, you want to create something spectacular. You try each of them but neither of them contributes to that one single drawing you want to make. They are all pretty and unique in their own way but don't help that much on you to enhance your drawing. You end up getting a lovely picture but not a very special one. Because all the pens you use are pretty similar to each other and doesn't match the ideal coloring you want to see on your paper. You create art but it doesn't satisfy you the way it should be. It is a similar situation I encounter with people. Like the pens, people are all different and may all be distinguished from each other by a variety of specialties but they don't help me to get through life, they are only here for today and sometimes they are not even there for me. They are not in the big picture, they assume me as some kind of a safe place to go and some sort of friend who they can always rely on and trust no matter what. I am such a great friend; keeping secrets, checking up to see if they are okay when I am actually not doing well myself, giving advices, encouraging them for their goals, making time for their countless problems and solving sessions, being happy with them and getting depressed with them. Sometimes I can't even feel like myself, I become a shadow of the person I am willing to help. This is killing me and the sad part is, I am well aware of that however I do nothing to fix it. I just watch how I get drowned every single day instead. Having friends doesn't mean you are social. Getting too much likes and comments on your posts only make you happy for a few seconds, then they are all gone. Chatting through messages doesn't help you to become more confident, it just confines you into a big deep hole. You can't get to know people through social media. You can only see a much better version of them which is a plastic and unreal coverage. They wanted to be approved so badly that they almost become strangers to theirselves. In conclusion of all of these, it saddens me to see that the amount of time I'm wasting on people equals to my lifetime I should have been spending on myself. It saddens me even more when people just take it for granted and start behaving like I owe them my time. I owe nothing to anyone but myself. I owe myself self appreciation and love for what I did for people. Because I could be a douche just like some of the people around me and didn't care about anything if it did not affect me in some way. But instead, I chose to be kind and lonely. I realized it had much more in it than to be a self-centered person. And for that, I'm proud of myself. I finally noticed that the art I create with pens is just a vision and the idea behind the drawing is much more meaningful than the drawing itself. So the people who come and go in my life are just the visitors of my exhibition and the real artist is me for giving them the chance to look at it. Being lonely is not bad when you know your own worth. In case it is a good thing for opening up spaces for you to come along and take a look at what you've done, it helps you to see you, to be more you. I recommend every single person to take a step back and see what they are capable of. Because once you see, you are going to start looking for no pens to create your drawing; you are only going to use your own colors and this will be enough.
If days had colors, today would definitely be orange. I don't know why, it was the only color that popped in my mind when I thought of that. It had both good and bad sides so I decided not to give it a pink or a white, but also not a black. It was not a day so light yet so dark. Orange is good I guess. Since my childhood, I like drawing and painting and creating a whole eternity that certainly clears my mind and help me get through a lot of things. When life is not that good I usually find a way back to my pencils, to a new world with only colors and happiness. It's like writing to me, I feel like I'm expressing a lot through the lines I draw. Even if my art doesn't seem perfect it isn't a big deal because whenever I draw or paint I come to a whole new world which enhances me with its fascinity and beauty, I find my lost parts there. Besides, it helps me get a more healthier mind and encourages me to move on from all the bad things happened in past. That's why I find it so comforting to make art, art itself is a magical thing. It shows us, people. Update: Well, maybe orange was a bad choice for today cause now I kinda feel like it can be more of a brownish color. I had bad news lately. But I'm trying to see the good sides of it. Honestly, it's pretty difficult right now to focus on positive things, unfortunately sadness has a deep affection on me and I'm still learning how to get along with it. But whatever, let's keep on my writing. For me, art is not a thing that only appears in museums, galleries, etc. It is a thing which we carry with us on the street, in the park, at the mall, in our own home; art can shelter in different places at different times. When you see a bird flipping its wings, it's art. A cat climbing upon a tree is art. Pouring rain is art, heavy rain is art and rainbow is art. Two people hugging each other is art. Love is art. Feelings are art when they are meant to be and this is how it is so never forget to involve art into your life cause when you look carefully around yourself, you'll find different types of art and you'll realize the inner beauty of things. In art, you'll find yourself. So whenever you feel low and try to escape from things, just remember the colors. Give each moment a color to remember. They all lead you to a huge rainbow and that rainbow is your life with all the colors in it.
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