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The perfect sunrise, the heartbreaking sunset

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My second week on Indie Ink. The challenge is at the bottom. Sorry, it’s a little too long…

It was still dark when Roko headed towards the beach, tugging Ahil, his six year old son, under his arm. The fishermen were busy pushing their boats into the waters. The sun had not yet dawned. Roko couldn’t sleep. He was happy. He hadn’t felt this free in ages. Vyan, his beloved wife was trotting along towards him. He smiled and kissed her forehead gently as she reached him.

“Couldn’t sleep?” he asked.

“No, I was too excited,” she smiled.

Even the Sky Gods seemed to sense their excitement. The rain of the past two weeks had stopped. Instead, the sky was a striking blend of hues, shades of bright orange, red and yellow, mixed with thin lines of blue, grey and white, forming a brilliant canvas. The birds chirped away merrily. Their harmony was astounding. It was the perfect sunrise, his son, his wife, all by his side, just like old times. He couldn’t ask for anything more. They were all welcoming a new day, a new beginning. Around him were happy faces, ready to face the brightest day of all.

Ahil cried.

“Shhhhh,” Roko rocked him in his arms.

Vyan stared into the distance, deep in thought. Roko lifted her chin towards him.

“We’ve only got a bit of bread. There’s also nothing proper for lunch,” she told him.

“That’s ok. We’ll get something,” Roko said softly, putting his arm around her thinned waistline. Vyan opened her mouth as if to say something, but didn’t. Roko knew what she would say. They didn’t have much money now. They had spent it all on getting Roko’s release sorted. He would have to find a job soon. But for today, everything was perfect.

In prison, they didn’t have all this. They gave a good enough breakfast, but Roko longed for his Vyan, his Ahil. He hadn’t spent this long with them in five years. They’ve always been rushed, disturbed, their conversations buried in tears.

Roko let out a scream. Ahil had grabbed his hair. He hid his face in his father’s shoulder as Roko tickled the little boy. Vyan laughed affectionately. “You should cut your hair,” she reminded Roko, “…and shave too.”

The sky was now a perfect blue. The beach was beginning to fill with fishermen anchoring their boats home, villagers, tourists in beach shorts, boys looking for some money, lovers, the elderly and young.

“Let’s come back when the sun sets to fly kites,” Vyan said, rubbing Ahil’s hair.

The sunset will be as beautiful, as perfect, Roko thought as he made his way quietly towards their little house by the beach. It had lost its magnificence of the past. No longer were the walls a polished white. The roof was broken in places. The chairs needed replacing. Spiders had slowly crawled up the ceiling making perfect patterns. But still, for Roko, this was perfect. It was more than he had bargained for.

His cell in prison was smaller. The walls were black. There was a small window, but he couldn’t see much through it. He had no idea of the insects crawling up his roof. There were too many to distinguish.

Roko didn’t want this day to end. He had spent most of the day cuddled next to his wife and son. They were too precious to let go. He had protested when Vyan had suggested he go to the market. He feared he would lose his wife and son again. He didn’t want that.

It was around four in the evening when Roko went for a walk. Vyan and Ahil were fast asleep.

The beach was still crowded. Roko listened to their voices. All seemed happy. He walked further. The memories of the past five years were still fresh in his mind. They had accused him of aiding in murder. But, he never did that. Yet, the jury had enough evidence, apparently, to say he did. He was friends with the group of people believed to have done that. He was the most innocent of the lot. He had never heard from the group since he was imprisoned.

But, the case was turning tables. Roko was released. Apparently, they were hunting for the “mastermind”. They were close enough to getting him. But Roko was warned. He had once had a visitor – a clean shaven, well-speaking guy he’d never seen before. In a calm voice, the guy had delivered a message, “if you get out, you will pay.” Roko hadn’t quite understood this. He had told his lawyer, who calmed him. He had never told this to his wife though.

It was getting dark. Roko quietly made his way home, lost in thought, without sensing the mayhem around him. He was unaware of the swift movement, the screams and the panicked voices. He was forced to look up only when two big guys knocked on him. They muttered a ‘sorry’.

With a glance at the guys, he walked ahead. But stopped in his tracks. What was all that commotion at his house? Has someone come in search of him? What the ****! Couldn’t they just leave him alone? He quickened his space. He was annoyed. He walked fast, picking up a branch lying at the beach, ready to chase away the mob now crowding his home.

As he moved closer to his house, he was greeted by the most unpleasant of shrieks.

Roko froze.

A man stood holding up what was a lifeless little body, wrapped in just a piece of blood-drenched cloth. To his right, a woman’s body rested against the knees of a white man, bloodied and bruised.

Roko was shaking. Crying. Screaming. Howling. He fell on to the floor. He grabbed his hair. He tore it. He bit into his flesh. Like an animal. He knelt. He stood. He rolled. His face was wet. He sobbed into the still body of his wife. He kissed her forehead, gently again. He wrapped his hand around Ahil. The little boy’s face was expressionless. What did he do to deserve this?

The sky was dark. The sun had probably begun to set, in the West, unknown to Roko.

Roko ran, without sense, without direction. He ran towards the ocean, he kicked it, he cursed it. He cursed the sun, the sky, the moon. He cursed this world. He fell on to the ground, buried his face in his hand, heartbroken and dejected. But no one heard his plea for help, for mercy, for forgiveness… for revenge. He cried into his arm in anger, in pain, like a helpless and incosolable little kid, his sobs drowned by the rising tide under the setting sun.

—-

I was challenged by Dee on the topic, ‘the perfect sunrise, the hearbreaking sunset.’ I loved the topic at first glance, but when I got to writing down, I got a little stuck! Hopefully, I’ve done something ok. I challenged xtinabosco

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7 Comments

  1. Head Ant says:

    I think you captured it perfectly.

  2. ADL says:

    Engrossing.

  3. Dee says:

    Wow. Good one… !!

  4. […] Dee challenges The Womanist: The perfect sunrise, the heartbreaking sunset […]

  5. Reznor1959 says:

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  6. Jo Bryant says:

    This really was heartbreaking you beautiful.

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