‘If you want to eat the honey of a bee hive, always be ready to endure the attacks of bees.’
On the 19th of April, l walked, heading to Musanze town. I was from school with two of my friends.Happily and joyfully we had a discussion, of course talking at the top of our voices due to our excitement.
On our way, like teenagers usually do, we discussed about this battlefield. We were discussing the grievances that we teenagers today face.
Some of us have parents, but still suffer a great deal psychologically and live with internal grief inside. That maybe is the cause of so many ‘giant squids’ trying to flee their insecure homes.
Busy talking, we met another boy whom I have known for a year and a half but hadn’t talked to him about his life. He joined us in a discussion and narrated the story of his life.
“Friends,” he started. “To me, it is overwhelming. I have both of my parents, but I always wish I had my mom only. It is not being rude, but my dad seems to be nothing. He is not nothing because he produced me, but he is more or less useless to us. You can also imagine the so called dad comes home at 11:00 p.m every evening roaring and booing, yelling to Mom and hitting doors. He has a good job and a car that we feel proud of, but I can’t tell when we hear the horn before the gatekeeper opens the gate, we start fuming and fretting only imagining how much abuse and cuss words are going to be cast on our mom. We dash to our rooms, everyone quitting the living room as if he was an intruder.” Sorry, I intervened, trying to show compassion.
“Man, it is hard to describe,” he continues. “Think of a boy of my age who goes to school with no school bag wearing torn shoes like these you are seeing, two shirts and one trouser with only one pair of uniform, and yet I come from a so-called rich family. Look. If it was not for the fact that I have a big brother, I don’t know. At least, he gives me a worn out pair of shoes.
“Hey boys, boys,” a voice from our backs interupts, “listen,” the old man said. “I have been listening to your discussion and now I feel I can’t go on without telling you a secret, but before I do, allow me to ask you a short, simple question,” he requested. “Are you all in school?” “Yes,” we answered. “A good school?” “Yeah,” we confirmed.
“Listen to this, then. The French say, ‘If you want to eat the honey of a bee hive, always be ready to endure the attacks of bees.’ I am sorry, boys, you are undergoing this sad feeling, and yet your papas and mamas still live. But you have to know, this life is a puzzle, more or less like a battle. All you need to know and conceive is that you have to benchmark your life on your own. You have to know you are blessed; you have this kind of experience. Learn from it, and let it be your best teacher, that in your time, I mean in the days of your future, you may bestow the necessary love to your children. Let this be a lesson to you. Work hard and harder that whoever is seeing you crying may see you laughing one day.”
He paused for a few seconds, then said, “This is enough, my sons. You can now move, but unless you endure the stings of this crazy world, you won’t feel free. So, endure and be persistent and stick to your dreams.” He departed.
After like three minutes, standing still in total silence, the boy sighed and with tears in his eyes burst into laughter and said, “I wish all Rwandan men were like him.
I wish I could get men to tell me such words of encouragement on a weekly basis. I wish I knew any professional counselor of that kind. I wish, I wish, I wish. Every old man would treat every child like his, but all wishes are not horses.”
He paused. “Guys,” he again murmured after a few seconds, “I will treasure his advice. I’m going to view my life newly. I’m going to face my full teenagehood. The challenges of a teenager are so many, but I will still stick to his words and be focused.”
“He we are almost reaching our destination.”
We had to part ways as the boy departed, but the truth is, if all were like the old man filled with passion, this world would be paradise.
The author is a student at SONRISHE HIGH SCHOOL.