by Eran Taylor
First Prize winner in the English Category of the 2008 Creative Writing Competition of the eThekwini Municipal Library.
1 Chapter 1
2 Chapter 2
3 Chapter 3
4 Two years later
“Ah!” Jakalski James said. “The heat is getting to my brain!”
At this very moment, she is sitting in her room by the window, doing her geography homework.You can’t blame her about the heat getting to her brain. The sun is streaming in on her from the window. She can’t move because her room is too cramped. Her best friend, Alice,is coming over in five minutes. Jakalski just finished her homework. Now she’s just chilling on her bed.
“Jakal”, (short for Jakalski) said her mother, Tonks. “Alice is here.” “She’s here early”, Jakalski said to herself quietly.
She went out of her room and into the hall. She then answered the door.
“Hi!” Alice said happily.“Hey,” Jakalski said. “Come on in.”Just then, Jakalski’s mother came into the hall.
“Hey Mrs James,” Alice said to Tonks. Tonks just smiled and went into the lounge. Jakalski and Alice went into the kitchen and closed the door.
“So, have you told them yet?” Alice said.“Told who, what?” Jakalski asked.“You know what I mean Jakal,” Alice said.“Oh yeah, that.” Jakalski said.“Well, have you told your parents?” Alice asked.“Oh sure, Why don’t I say it like this, hey mom, hey dad. Oh yeah, I forgot. I got raped last month. No need to worry,” should I say it like that?”
“Don’t be silly, you’re acting stupid!” Alice said.“Oh, so now I’m stupid!” Jakalski said.“I didn’t mean it like that!”
“Then what did you mean?” Jakalski asked.“I just meant that -”“You know what?” Jakalski cut across her, “I’m leaving!”
“What?” Alice asked, a little confused.“You heard me!” Jakalski said.“You’re leaving because I called you stupid?” Alice asked.“I’m leaving because I don’t want to be here when my parents find out. So good-bye. Have a good life!” Alice just stood there gazing at Jakalski.“I’m sorry!”, she said.“Too late for apologies!” Jakalski said, climbing out the window.
Jakalski is now on Petor Lane. She has been walking for two days.
She stinks, she can’t wash and doesn’t even have clean clothes to change into. She didn’t pack any money, she doesn’t know what to do. Suddenly, a dirty-looking man with a knife starts walking up to her.
She smells trouble. She runs, he runs. He keeps running after her so she keeps running.Jakalski finds a side street and turns into it. She finds a rubbish bin surrounded by big boxes. That’s where she hides.
On the floor, there’s a piece of paper. She picks it up. It’s an advert. It says “Kobey’s Hair Salon, 24 Hey-hey street.” She hears a noise. She’s terrified she looks over. It’s just a cat. A surge of relief shoots down her body. That was close!
She gets up and moves out of the side street. She can’t see the man anywhere. Suddenly, she feels sick. She pukes and then faints. When she wakes up, she’s in Kingsway Hospital.
“Kingsway Hospital?” Jakalski said to herself, a little confused. “How did I get here? How am I going to pay for being here?”
Just then, Dr. Edon walked up to her bed.
“Miss James?” Dr. Edon asked happily.“Yes? Doctor, how did I get here? All I remember is puking and falling!” Jakalski said, breathlessly. “Well, a man dropped you off and he just gave us two thousand rand up front to do what we can to help you get better. He didn’t tell us his name!” Dr. Edon said, still smiling. “Ok, please tell me. Is there anything wrong with me?” she asked.“Nothing’s wrong with you,” he said. “You’re pregnant! How about that!” Then he laughed. Jakalski just sat there. Her mouth hanging wide-open.“Do you know who the father is?” Dr. Edon Asked.“Fath..Father?” Jakalski said shakily.“Preg..Preg…Pregnant?” she spluttered.“I g…Got rap…Raped!”
Suddenly the smile drained from Dr. Edon’s face.
Two days later, Jakalski left the hospital. Every time she walks, she has the feeling somebody’s following her. She is a bit hungry. Yesterday she found a sandwich in the garbage bin. That’s all she’s eaten. Right now she’s walking on Dumpty Lane.
She trips over a rock lying on the pavement. She falls but doesn’t injure herself. Instead, she sees a piece of paper lying face-down on the floor.
She picks it up. It’s another advert. She gets up.“What’s this?”, she said to herself, reading it.
It was advertising a place where women can go and eat and stay for free. Women who have no money.“I don’t believe it!”, she said loudly.The people around here stared at her. “It’s like God made me trip over that rock so that I could see this advert?” She’s just standing there, smiling.“Thank-you God, thank-you so much! Free food, wow!”
So it’s been decided (by Jakalski) that she will go check this place out on Thursday (that’s tomorrow). Right now, Jakalski’s making her way to something that will hopefully be light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s in Sheaki Street. Jakalski’s nearly there.
She walks for about another ten minutes and then she’s there.
“Please God, please let this work for me”. Jakalski said to herself.
She opens the door and walks in. There was a sign pointing to the office door. She followed the sign. She opened the office door and proceeded in. She was the only customer. There were a couple of chairs around but the room was quite stuffy. She walked over to the desk.
“Hello”, she said shakily. “I would like to sign up”.“Sure”, said the secretary. “Just fill this in”, she said, pulling out a form from a file.
She went over to the chairs and sat down on the chair next to the door. She looked around. She doesn’t have a pen. There’s a pen on another chair. She got up and went to fetch it. She then sat back down in her original chair.
She looked at the form and then put it against the wall. Then she started filling in the form. She wrote her first name and her second name. When she got to date of birth, she started to cry.It said “(must be over 18)”. Jakalski threw the pen and paper down and stormed out of the office and out of the building.
She was crying so much.
Liberty of Life Y M C A
Date of birth:(must be over 18)
Reason for being here:
How long do you intend to stay:
All her hope for nothing. When she was finally going to see light at the end of the tunnel. One year, she’s one year too young. One puny little year too young.
“Thank-you so much, God!”, she shouted. “Why couldn’t you let this work for me? Why?”, she shouted so loud, everyone was staring at her. She didn’t want people to stare at her, so she ran.
But shortly after that she tripped over another rock. There was an envelope on the floor. She picked it up and turned it over. It was addressed to her.
She stopped crying so much and opened the letter. She’s a little scared. How did anyone know she would trip here? How did they know where to put a letter addressed to her?
This is what the letter said:
Dearest Jakalski I’ve been watching you for a few days now. I know your story. Remember that dirty-looking man who was running after you? He didn’t just leave because he couldn’t find you. He knew where you were, but I fought him off. When you fainted, I took you to the hospital. I’ve been following you around just to make sure that you were safe. Please forgive me for being a stalker.
From: Turn around and you’ll find out.
Slowly, she turned around. And there he was, Jakalski’s father. She ran up to him and hugged him, crying tears of joy.
Two years later
Today, Jakalski is in her first year at college. She won a scholarship because of her maths and her English. She had her baby. It’s a boy. His name is Peter.
Alice was forgiven. No one hates her because she’s a mother and life can’t get any better for Jakalski James.