My Soil

A short story on a thirteen- year old boy who declares his right over his nation's soil...


1. Conflict

Conflict - a fight, struggle or disagreement. Conflict - when people perceive that because of a disagreement there is a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Conflict - misunderstanding. Conflict - a person experiences a clash of opposing wishes or needs.

Conflict, conflict, conflict! The only word that relates to my life; in fact, i could say that 'conflict' is what my life is all about. I am a thirteen year old boy who lives in the most unsafe place to be right now. I live with my five - year - old brother and my mother. To you, my family may sound incomplete, that's because my father no longer lives with us.

I wish i could say i live with my brother, mother and father together as a happy family, but i'll never be able to say these words. This is where conflict makes an appearance in my life. When we all lived together, nothing ever seemed 'jolly', 'happy' and i couldn't even call my own house a 'home'. I would play outside with my brother all day long and come home tired and hungry. That's when the true reality of my situation would dawn on me and i would sometimes hide and cry wishing i had a school to go to, wishing i could read and write properly.

Then i would see my mother trying to disguise her tears whilst doing her daily chores and trying to hold things together. I knew she was never satisfied with her life, i knew she was depressed. I mean wouldn't you be if you were an educated woman that was forced to marry a man that expects nothing but slavery from you? I always tried to make her smile because when she did smile, it seemed as though everything was perfect in my world and i could ask for nothing more. My Ma taught me to never complain, but i feel as though she just didn't want to show the way she feels inside.

My father would then come home; a grim, tall and very bulky man. He grew up in a patriarchal family; i mean a very patriarchal family, so much so that they believe that women shouldn't even speak without permission. so as i was saying, he would come home and my mother would serve him food. We would all eat in silence, as though if someone talked, they would be shot. My brother and I would quickly gobble up our food and leave the awkward silence of the room behind us. We both always knew what would follow.

''BANG! CLASH!'' My father would throw plates on the floor if the food wasn't a certain texture or temperature. We hear the clattering of plates, shouting and yelling, arguments between them everyday. I would often find myself embracing my brother tightly, hugging him harder and harder telling him that he is safe in my arms and nothing is ever going to hurt him as long as I'm around. I would then feel my chest dampen with his sobbing; it was like a knife to my heart. He would cry so much that my clothes would get saturated with his tears. Ma would then come up and wrap her arms around us both in order to console us, however i don't think she did it just for us, i think she needed the comfort herself, she needed to feel loved. We would eventually fall asleep in her arms, sometimes i wouldn't sleep just in case father would come and i needed to protect her. Every morning t 5am, she would gently kiss me on my cheek and go downstairs to feed Pa before he goes to work.
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