Strength Within

Written by A.Z. Alfred

Forrepparttar twelve hundred hostages, most especially Timur Kasumova.

It’s a bright morning. The sun is smiling warmly onrepparttar 136179 just andrepparttar 136180 unjust as they busy about their daily routine. I personally have nothing much to do but get torepparttar 136181 Post Office, send a permission slip, authorising Voicenet to publish one of my poems in their anthology. This done, I would come back home and work on my computer.

As I approachedrepparttar 136182 Post Office, a TIME magazine caught my attention at a newsstand. Though I did not stop to pick it up but I glanced at it and onrepparttar 136183 cover read, “Slaughter ofrepparttar 136184 innocents” in bold red. Then I walked away.

Walking away from such caption if it be a graffiti in a subway is easy. But when it is boldly written onrepparttar 136185 picture of a young boy, say age nine or ten; a frigid boy clothed in a blood stained panties, blood gushing out his nose and he’s crying passionately, I must say it is not easy to walk away if you are not heartless.

Paying for stamp, affixing it to my mail, dropping it inrepparttar 136186 big box from which letters would be sorted out; I couldn’t getrepparttar 136187 little boy out of my mind. In fact, I almost messed uprepparttar 136188 stamp while thinking of that little stranger on a cover page.

Heroes are meant to appear on a cover page. Then what makes this boy a hero, I wanted to know? What if that boy is my son, will I walk away from him? What if that boy needs me to know what has happened to him? I can’t help from thinking of so many what ifs.

When ifs begin to stream into my mind, fear grips my heart. That moment I felt my heart taking twice it normal pace. I wanted something desperately, I wanted to go out torepparttar 136189 Newsstand and pick up that face staring at me.

I got torepparttar 136190 stand, but he was gone. The magazine was gone. It wasn’t sitting where I saw itrepparttar 136191 first time.

“ I saw a mag right here and it- its gone. It’s a TIME . Of a little boy.”

“I sold it.” The vendor said smiling.

I almost strangled him for that.

“Can I have a copy please?”

“ Sorry, it’s dated for September 13 2004. Don’t have another copy.”

He tried selling me a current edition. But I declined.

I could have ordered that same edition of that little boy if I had a credit card. I would simply go online; place an order for that old edition. But I can’t because I stay in that part of this planet where credit cards are like some UFO.

I tried other Newsstands but to no avail. That edition is sold out. All what these vendors are trying to do is sell me a current edition. I was left with no choice than to vanish intorepparttar 136192 rush crowd like every other person and try to come back to be who I am—A writer.

But instead of going back home to stare into my white screen monitor, I took a cab and went down torepparttar 136193 beach only to sit on a bench watchingrepparttar 136194 waves and thinking about that little boy who survivedrepparttar 136195 Beslan school siege in Russia.

After about an hour of living in oblivion, I heard a voice.

“Mind if I sit” she asked

I shook my head like I was being distracted by my girl friend while watching a football game. She sat beside me saying, thank you.

“I’m Helena Williams and you are?”

“Alfred, A.Z. Alfred” I took her hand as she says pleased to me you. I responded.

We sat in silence for say five minutes. And she broke it again

“I’m an editor of a local magazine”

“I’m a writer and a poet” I responded

“ I’m here to read through some mags. Just want to be away fromrepparttar 136196 office. I like doing it here from childhood with my mom. So, what are you doing here, thinking on a book or what? She asked pulling out some magazines from her big blue bag.

Move On !

Written by A.Z. Alfred

woke up one morning with a sharp pain in my ear. The last time I had an earache was some eighteen years ago. Then it was my mother’s lot to worry about it. But this morning, I am to worry because I’m grown and hardly could hear withrepparttar left ears. I felt as if some insects crept intorepparttar 136132 ear while I slept. A friend once told me roaches and spiders could be that crazy. Whatever causedrepparttar 136133 pain all I wanted to do was see a doctor. I learnt that Ear specialists are atrepparttar 136134 General Hospitals, so I decided to visitrepparttar 136135 General Hospital on Broad Street.

I arrived early at this hospital but couldn’t see a doctor until after four hours of going through some tiresome routine. Finally, I got an appointment with a specialist and left.

Back on Broad Street, sea fresh air embraced me, washing awayrepparttar 136136 foul smell ofrepparttar 136137 hospital from around me. The breeze was so welcoming that I decided to take a short walk downrepparttar 136138 street.

It’s been almost a decade I last stepped foot on Broad Street. The last time was my graduation from high school. My absence from here was not because my experiences in high school were some kind of bored moments. No, I hadrepparttar 136139 best days of my present life in my high school.

I attended Methodist Boys’ High School popularly known asrepparttar 136140 gentlemen of Broad Street. They callrepparttar 136141 boys gentlemen becauserepparttar 136142 school was situated on that street that is not too different from Wall Street, a business district. I had wonderful moments, which some people will hesitate to throw into a waste Bin. I threw it away anyway.

But this morning, out there on that same street that I walked for six years, I revisited my past. I floated onrepparttar 136143 street like I’m dressed in white shirt, white jacket,repparttar 136144 school multi colored tie and a pair well pressed trousers sitting on brown shoes. I chose to wear my uniform that makes me one ofrepparttar 136145 gentlemen of Broad Street again.

Though I knewrepparttar 136146 school had moved to Victoria Island (another part ofrepparttar 136147 city) butrepparttar 136148 old fence and gate remain onrepparttar 136149 former site. I walked torepparttar 136150 gate, greetedrepparttar 136151 security men and asked if I can take a look in. They did let me.

I passed throughrepparttar 136152 gate and all that faced me was dilapidation. Stones covered with giant grasses and shrubs, which painted a picture of a wasteland. I could not make out where my favorite classroom used to be orrepparttar 136153 chemistry laboratory where I do choose to read instead ofrepparttar 136154 library. I could not make out a thing that could link me withrepparttar 136155 past years spent. I shook my head pitying this desolation that once gave me my wonder years.

But afar off, I saw something that sparked up hope in me. It wasrepparttar 136156 school hall. It did surviverepparttar 136157 massive destruction caused by some petroleum company who bought this estate. I stared at it for a long time thinking it a mirage. No, it was not. It was there still standing. Standing tall.

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