I sees Wuke today. We schools on the same class in Methodist Boys and Girls learning school, Unitari, Litanda. Father Ksoto always say she is the most buaetiful girl in our class. Wuke come in and smile at me. ‘How are you Thambo?’, she asking me. I smiles, I stammer. ‘You-You’re fine, thank you’ I say. Wuke laughs, ‘You’re such a clown, Thambo.’ Father Ksoto start this school 6 months ago, with UNICEF. They be wanting all we chidlren to learn. Education, they called it. They said that in other parts of the world, all chidlren go to school from when they are baby till they becoming older. I enjoy education because I love saying the English. I am not very good in the English, but I tries better than before. I also enjoy education because I sees Wuke everyday. It help me forgets about the war. I forgets about Nshika, my baby sister being killed by the Polise when they did not thinks her boiled potatoes is still sweet. I forgets about Indishe, our neighbor that they shooting in both nipples because he too short to fight for the VOF. I forgets about all the violence in Unitari and I imagines that I am living in the America, just like the people on our color radio set.
The VOF started this war before I was born. They believing that President Musente and his familia have been ruling our country for too long. I don’t cares about who rules Litanda. I just wishing that the war between the government Polise and the VOF is not be killing people. “Thambo, didn’t you hear me?” barked Father Ksoto. I had started my dreamings again. “I am sorry father”, I murmured. Father dismissed us and I go play footing ball with other Methodist Unitari boys in the school compound. Today is a good day. No Polise. No VOF men around the school. No military waepons or tanks. I hadn’t feeling this freedom for a long time. I could not wait to tell Mama that I scored two goals today. “Ko jatu Fortunes!”, “Let’s go Fortunes!” I yelled. We unlocked our old bycilcles and started riding home. Fortunes is a faster rider than me. I am tries to catch up as we passing through the market. Suddenly, we smell something bad. Something very bad. We sees that someone has cutting up a body on the roadside. I see the market womans gather arounding, and shake their heads. “Kilady kilady, what a young girl”, they says. Fortunes leaves his bycilcle and runnings back to me, panting.
“It is Wuke”, he says.
“Life’s for the living so live it, but you’re better off dead.” – Passenger