I’d been there so long now, it felt as if I was born in Daru, and I looked wretched with only one pair of shorts and no shirt to call my own.
I was only allowed to use Duran Kanjia’s clothes when my long-estranged older brother sent me to go buy his cigarettes or marijuana. This was my ordeal. I had no clothes to go to church, something I was used to doing. I attended both the Methodist — my grandmother’s church — and the Catholic church, and it felt great. I would serve at the Catholic church and run to ring the bell at the Methodist church. I played a dual role. I loved being an altar server.
But even with Easter approaching, that would have to wait.
My brother was quite happy to say I could leave when he was paid at the end of April, after Easter. I started praying for that day. It was about three months to final exams, and then the long vacation till September.
My brother had a different plan altogether. He raised my hope and said that when he was paid, that would be his target to send me home to go to school. My father had died when Duran was still going to school; he said no one helped him after Dad’s death. He recounted how he suffered since there were no school fees for him either. (He was very clever but stopped school in Grade 11.) He complained that he had no help from my mom and stepdad. He was disgruntled about that.
I think he paid it back to me as he made me suffer.