This is where it all begun.

little

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There was something about this little girl that drew me to her. She was African-American with big black eyes and wild black afro hair. From our first encounter, I sensed she had a nasty attitude. But I didn’t mind. I still wanted to talk to her. I watched her in the same spot she was yesterday. Once again, against my better judgment, I walked towards her.

‘Hello. What’s your name?’ I asked, squatting beside her.

She glared at me for a moment then continued scribbling on the ground.

‘What do you care?’ she finally replied

‘Please, I just want to be your friend.’ Her utmost look of shock was no surprise to me.

‘Why?’ She asked, still bewildered.

‘Because I want to know you.’ I seemed to have gotten her attention before I heard a voice calling out behind us ‘Rasheedah!’ I turned back to see the really skinny black woman on dreadlocks. She looked like she was in her late 20s. The little girl scampered to go and meet her. The woman had quite a scary air about her, I could understand why the little girl was so afraid.

I turned back to go get my daughter, Karen when I noticed a white piece on the ground. I carefully unwrapped it and the first sentence struck me like a thunder bolt.

I feel like dying,

Just put an end to my misery,

This life isn’t worth living,

I can still hear the kids laughing,

Well, the joke’s on them,

Though they may never notice when I’m gone- no one will

I’m the invisible girl

 

I read the note 5 more times. It left me distressed. My thoughts spiraled. I couldn’t comprehend how a little girl could be so- disturbed? Is that the word? Why did she want to kill herself? I was more curious about her now.

‘Mom!’ Karen’s voice broke through my thoughts. I quickly hid the note and went home with my little girl.

****

I drove so fast to go pick my daughter because I wanted to continue from where I stopped with Rasheedah. I prayed I could get to her before she took her life away.

I heaved a sigh of relief as I saw her petite frame crouching on the same spot. My heart went out to her. I stooped beside her once again.

‘I saw your note.’ Ignoring her puzzled look, I went on, ‘why do you feel like dying?’ I asked holding out the note.

She grabbed it from me and store it safely in her dirty pink bag.

‘Please talk to me. I want to help you.’

‘You can’t.’ she snapped. I could see the pain in her eyes. She had probably seen too much darkness for a little girl.

Day after day, I went to see her and talk to her. Karen finally came around and left me undisturbed with the little girl.

This beautiful day was special. The sun was out; the birds were chirping. I went to meet Rasheedah as usual and we spoke briefly. Well, I spoke mostly and she just nodded. After much hesitation, she reached out to her backpack and brought out a rumpled diary with dog-eared leaflets.

‘Here. Read this. If you still want to be my friend afterwards, you know where to find me.’ She stood up and disappeared in the crowd of kids while I kept staring at the diary. Finally, I would get to know why she was so- different.

©Mfon Etuk,2016.

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