Do you know how it feels when you stand for four hours, thinking hard and using every stint of your senses, to try and make sense of an abstruse experiment and nothing comes of it?
And then, after the frustrating four hours, the lab technician who has been giggling and grinning all the while, staring at his monitor with earphones across his head and a pitch black veil, walks towards you with a cluttered face like the angel of death, ‘Where are your results? ‘
You look at him blankly and he looks back. He sneers at you and looks at the equipment he gave you. For a moment he burst out laughing and says, ‘These pieces of equipment do not work. Find time and come back to repeat the experiment using better equipment. ‘ With that, he walks away.
Some people are alive just because it is illegal to kill them, I think to myself. Although it’s the thousandth time, I just never get used to the frustration it brings. Feeling hungry, defrauded emotionally and desperate, I walk sluggishly to my room and lay flat on my empty belly. All the while, my stomach is rumbling as if there is a power shortage in my body and my whole being is running on emergency power from generators in the stomach.
The heat got too much making me uncomfortable and a bit restless. I got up and adjusted the window. Just as I was compressing the curtains, a huge body brushed through the parallel arrangements of glass that made up the window and broke them all. I was terrified. I peeped through the curtains to see what can only be described as a lifeless human body lying on the ground. Two thirds of the head compressed into the chest. Blood gushed out of the ears and nose. A small depression on the ground formed when his head speared the ground. He had gone to the roof top of the sixth floor in the building to get high. Amidst the excitement, he tripped and fell straight down ‘six feet under’. From a ‘He’ to an ‘It’. All his friends disappeared.
In my first week on campus, I received the heart breaking news that a very close friend was found dead in his room. He had been out boozing all night with friends and came back before dawn. He slept henceforth, never woke up to tell the tale of his experience. Not even to his village which had been called upon every year, to raise money for his fees ever since he lost his parents. There was speculation that he had been poisoned by a friend after they fell out over a girl who denied them both because she was seeing some filthy-rich politician. She was found dead under mysterious circumstances. She was last seen in a multi-million party at the politician’s home in the city.
In my second year on Campus, a lady from the neighbouring campus was found dead on the highway, minutes away from the City. Rumour has it that they were headed for a night out with her lover when an argument erupted. Things heated up. Both of them were high; neither of them was willing to come down. He pushed her towards the busy road. She was instantly knocked dead by an oncoming over speeding vehicle. He ran away and left her lifeless body there, bleeding profusely.
Several months later, I woke up to see a former classmate in all news sites; WANTED! He had stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death using a kitchen knife because ‘..she led me on.’ He was later found in a dungeon attempting to commit suicide. He was one of the politest and respectful students I had ever met in my former high school. In my 4-years tenure as a prefect, I had never found him make a single mistake. Life has acerbic ways of throwing surprises to us though.
Last year ended with yet another tragic news. An acquaintance was found dead in his room. It is said that this was caused by an overdose of some illegal drugs. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time that the drugs had brought him complications. Unfortunately, none of his parents or family members knew a thing about his addiction to drugs. All they knew was their gentle, polite, down to earth son, brother and role model who was beyond reproach when around family and relatives. In fact, the evening before his death, his mother had sent him money because ‘he was selected to participate in an academic trip after emerging top in his class’ as he had said. Ironically, all his colleagues in school knew a complete opposite of these traits. They knew him as a rogue, violent, abrasive drunkard who consistently received warnings for his poor performance. The sad reality for most young people. My question is, How many more young people need to die before common sense resurrects?
We are angels when around family but demons at school. We are virtuous around parents but thrive on vices around temporal friends. We boast about how skillful we are at living a double life and laugh at how smart we think we are, having fooled the world. We would rather be enslaved by someone who feigns-love for us than take advice from someone who truly-loves us! We hate those who are real with us and love those who fake it all to please us. We run around social media on cheap quotes about ‘our haters’ yet our lives have nothing significant to attract self-love. We go to extremes to do stupid things to massage our frail egos. We want quick money to show ‘them’ we are indeed making it big. We get sponsors (sugar-daddies, sugar-mummies) and give our bodies in exchange for petty acquisitions. All these because we want to prove to ‘them’, that we don’t care what ‘they’ think.
People would actually stop worrying about what others think of them if they realised how seldom ‘they’ actually do. Most young people poison their lives thinking they are punishing parents/brothers/sisters/friends/haters only for reality to kick it, when it is too late. Nobody really cares. When you acted all-knowing and too smart for them, everyone retreated and got busy with their own races.
The tragedy of most young people is not fooling parents. It is that of fooling self and spending the rest of your time proving or disapproving inexistent beings (‘they’,’them’, ‘haters’). Nobody hates you when you are a Nobody. You are too insignificant to be hated. You are just like a kitten, chasing it’s own tail, and getting mad about it. Then finds itself in the fireplace burning to death. Its soul remains alive, grumbling with the pain of dying in oblivion.
That is why I believe, there is extra pain in dying young and foolish.