This is the fourth part of the Short Story by Mac-King T. Thompson titled “Tears of the Night” – a riveting tale of three (3) African migrants journeying to Europe illegally via the turbulent seas. You can read Part One (1) here , Part two (2) here and Part three (3) here. Enjoy!
Light of the Day Approaches
It was about 6:00 clock in the morning. Nani came out from inside his closet and to his surprise; he found many of them still sleeping.
“Wow, what could have gone wrong?” He ask himself rhetorically.
Assuming nobody was awake, he went back into his closet and continued in his assignment, which was to make sure the vessel kept going safely on the ocean.
He checked his navigation map to read the miles ahead, read the fuel gauge and as expected everything was fine.
Before he could seat and test his break, he heard a noise outside. Someone was banging the door.
“Who could that be?’ Nani thought.
“Come in.” he answered under a stern tone.
The door opened and it was Solo.
“Good morning.” He greeted calmly, to please this man he thought was a little cocky at the beginning of the journey due to how he spoke to them earlier on.
“Well, how may I help you, Mr. Man?”
“I am Solo, Sir. I wish to have a little conversation with you. Can I, please?”
This man is curious too. Of course, if you are not curious enough to ask, you may never know.
“Make it brief, Solo or whatever you call yourself; I’ve got many things to do for the day.” He said.
“Thank you sir, but I guess you should be a little considerate, because we as passengers are indispensable for your work.” Solo said.
“Yeah, I know that, but I don’t work for you, guess you know that? I work for money so that I can cater for myself and my family.”
“I am surprised” Solo replied. “So you do not care any about issues surrounding you, whether affecting you or not?
“Affecting! You mean. I don’t mind any because the world neither thinks of me nor put any shelter for my family”
“Don’t you think you are becoming obnoxious with that?”
“Yes, Solo, it is unfortunate. The society I belong has made me so, we were taught to fend for ourselves at a tender age, to tread our own path and engage in things that would benefit us as we wanted it. You know what I mean” Nani responded this time as if in a jovial way.
“My community teaches us not to have, so we will learn how to get and I must confess, in my world, you stand and fight for your right” Nani continued.
“Sure, I do not argue about that, you ought to stand for your right anyway” Solo Said. “It is not as though to sit back and watch others violate your right, because some tend to forget the harmonious use of authority without violating others right.”
“You are right, Solo.” Nani said. “You might have learned something in life. Life has got its own lessons and you must be courageous enough to face it. And one I live to cherish, the idea that if you want something in life, you have got to strive hard and go for it with every bit of strength you have. Work, make a way and leave a trail, never to tread the path of fear nor lack, for it can be disturbing, even to your goals. So what do you do back home for a living?” Nani asked him.
“I do painting to earn some income to dwell on. A job I have been doing many years of my life. I would be glad to showcase to you some of my painting after our return.”
“Our return???” Nani retorted. “I have not return with any of passengers since I started sailing by commercial. I only send them off to their destination and return as ordered by my master. Though this would be my third major sail and the bigger of the previous two, my first sail was from coast to coast. I was able to go on from one country to another and now to other continent with more of four hundred passengers including you. If I may ask you, young man, what made you join this journey since you would want to return early?”
Solo replied, “I joined only for adventure in order to experience what the world on the ocean has got for me and to inspire my work of painting as well. But you know what; I have a feeling that many of my friends on board have not joined this journey only for adventure.”
“Yes, I know” Nani said.
“On two different occasions of my sailing, none was on board for the sake of adventure; some have got their own dreams, others tend to move away from battles they cannot handle anymore and the nightmares haunting many. I only look forward to the day whence everything is going to change for the better.”
“Maybe peace on the whole earth.” Solo added. “And thanks for having me here all this while.”
“You are welcome.” he said.
Solo came out from Nani’s end happy to have learned something from this man, who even oblivious to the things happening around him, taught him never to give up in life, irrespective of what is holding him back, he had got to work on his aim.
Definitely, he would love to brighten someone’s day with these encouraging words; especially one he thought was filled with grief. Who could that fellow be?
Solo look through the midst of the many around and found Waris.
“Aha! How are you?” He asks.
“I am alright.” she responded.
“Wow, that sounds with much optimism.” He thought.
“That is fine.”
Solo took his eyes off from the face of Waris and watched the faces of those around, hoping to find one. But all he could notice was a glee on their faces.
“What could have happened?” He asked.
“It is because the sun is up, so brightly that it is good for our journey. One any sailor and his passengers on the ocean would wish to see.”
“Who taught you that?”
Waris pointed at Kone in the midst of his friends, Sam and Yaya.
“Approach them,” she said.
“Right, I will”. Said Solo as he moved towards them. Before he could watch the second, he noticed Yaya well.
He looked familiar, because they were from the same village.
“Hey Yaya, how are you?”
“I am fine, Uncle.”
“I hope your mother, Mrs. Bawa was doing well before you joined this journey.” Solo asks further.
“Yeah, quite considerate I should say” Yaya answered.
“Alright, I learnt one of you here is a meteorologist, telling the good of the weather.”
“Ha-ha.” They laughed.
Here is he, Kone.”
“I am not, Sir; I took this knowledge from a friend, because I thought I needed it for this journey’s sake.”
“Well, that is fine. I wish to witness the freak too, may be the bad weather.”
“Please, you would not like it here, Sir.” Kone said.
“Do not be nervous, ok. Be careful, Guys. I am out from here.” Solo said as moved away from their presence.
To be concluded next week.
This story was sent in by Mac-King T. Thompson. He lives in Tema, Ghana.