Read this story listening to any song(s) that give(s) you peace – Marcus.
He came to St John’s Boys’ High at a time when I wasn’t sure what I was. In the mornings, when everybody taunted Ben, calling him a homo, sissy, fag, I watched and said nothing, afraid that Ben would get tired of being teased alone and suddenly blurt out that I did stuff with him too; and in the evenings, I visited Vera, a girl from Our Lady’s Girls’ High whom I liked a lot because she was always willing, always giving.
He came one sunny morning looking like a thing from hell, thin and droopy-eyed, his scalp a radiating mirror, an old, ugly schoolbag slung lazily on his shoulder. He stood beside Miss Lara in front of the class, and introduced himself. His name was Amara, which was another ridiculous thing about him because all the Amaras I knew were girls. Miss Lara gave him a seat by the window, and whenever I looked at him, he was either always staring outside or sketching something in his sketchpad. He hardly ever talked, always mumbling a one-word reply whenever talked to, and soon I began to think of him as a bag of monosyllables.
Whenever we played basketball, he stood under the dogonyaro tree outside the court, watching us. One day I asked, “Do you want to play?” and he shook his head, mumbled something nonsensical, and started walking away.
And so, apart from being called Solar System because of his clean haircut, he was also called Robot, Dummy, Alien. I didn’t know why, but I found myself riveted by him. Maybe it was because he had an air of mystery around him, of enigma. I would sit across from him in class and stare and stare at him, until he looked up from his book or away from the window, and his eyes would settle on mine, a lazy settling, like a pat on the head; and it would linger, his eyes, until, always, I was forced to look away, embarrassed. Continue reading →