Peace and Love in my Ivory Tower

Peace and Love in my Ivory Tower

Peace and Love in my Ivory Tower

By / Life / Wednesday, 18 July 2018 07:40

Catherine stopped believing in God a long time ago when her childhood dreams turned into the worst nightmare of her life. She grew up convinced that people loved her and would support her. The young woman was young enough to understand that life is a mix of sweetness and bitterness. Life gives and also takes back. Catherine did not chose to be born in a poor family. As she was a dynamic teenager, all that counted for Catherine was rocking classic styles, studies and boys. None of that was favorable to her, apart from school.

A couple of years ago, she entered her high school chapel, kneeled down behind a wooden chair and allowed her heart gush fervent prayers. She was praying for knowing success in her studies, dating a royal and handsome boyfriend, owing a nice car, and living a nice life.  Although, she was imploring God to give her all of these, Catherine never forgot to pray for the poor, the sick, the prisoner, the orphan, the widow and all of the souls in pain.

She adamantly waited for a response to her prayers, in vain.  One day while she was reading the Science-Daily, she learned that: Within every community teenagers suffered from poverty two to three times higher than adults do. Then, Catherine started wondering if all. of that misfortune she was facing was associated to poverty. She had recently failed her high school national exams and her boyfriend dumped her for a more chic, classy colleague. And she thought that even her wardrobe was as poor as her family was. It was the genesis of her dead faith. This entire situation turned her into a bitter young woman, whose smile was a forced action.

Catherine matured into a young lady. She was in her early twenties. Her struggle was real and inhibited her from believing God. After the death of her two parents due to sicknesses and lack of proper medical treatment, she came to know that life was a must-win battle. She was constantly fighting for the lives of her four young siblings. Her dreams as a teenager became less interesting, less valuable. She had a lot in mind to care about. According to the World’s youth 2013 data, 75% of young females aged between 15 and 24 in Rwanda are engaged in labor force. In most of cases, these women were from poor families with many children. Although some have their parents, the Rwandan adage explained why they would leave their family “Urukwavu rukuze rwonka abana barwo” (an old rabbit sucks its buddies).

Catherine failed her studies, which limited her employment opportunities. Fortunately, she got a job of working a waitress at Umunezero (happiness) Bar. Men liked her elegant and svelte figure but they liked to complain about her gloomy face without a smile or any sign of interest. Many males asked her out but her job was her life and she took it seriously. She did not want to ruin it, so she never accepted their invitations. However, one man seemed to be an exception, as he looked mature and never tried to get her phone number or date her. His name was Patrick and his indifference attracted her attention. His confident air and entrance into the bar was enough to rouse butterflies in her stomach.

One day, he started talking to her. Every day, she was waiting for him to enter the bar so she can serve him. Finally, the time came and she was visiting him. She was  feeling quite nervous. Catherine wished she could have striking attire to appear beautiful enough for the young man. He didn’t have to play games to get what some men want in women because she was already captivated by his big eyes, large smile and that sentiment of safety she felt in his presence.

Inzira ntibwira umugenzi”- “the road never tells the pedestrians what awaits them ahead.”

Few weeks later, Catherine felt like floating in the air as she waited to announce the good news to Patrick, her love. Patrick thought he was drowning into an ocean of troubles. Patrick was getting married in one month but has omitted to tell this to Catherine while invitation cards for his wedding were already distributed. Every detail of his wedding was perfectly ready as he wished, except the unplanned pregnancy the young Catherine. He wanted this news to be silenced and the only way was to deny fatherhood. As some other guys do, he also ruthlessly told her that he was not the only boy in the world capable of impregnating her.

Gazing into the empty space; Catherine’s whole body was shaking with complex thoughts dizzying her head. She could not believe she offered her pride, her youth and her virginity to the beast wearing the fur of a sheep. Catherine wondered if it was because she was poor that Christian was denying their child. She regretted being vulnerable to Patrick. She wished her parents were around to financially and emotionally support her but mostly to teach her how to change from a young woman into a gracious lady.

Life seemed to be a school where each individual had unique curricula. Catherine was a strong woman to whom life opened its eyes while she was still a teenager.  She was not the type of girl who would kill her baby at birth or throw him on the street side in a box. No! She continued to work. She was the rare type of women to fight for their inner peace till their last breath, last drop of their blood.

After he realized that Catherine was pregnant, her boss fired her. Only her strength allowed her to work as a cleaner for a small office downtown- it was better and harder than her former job. She has had a vigorous three-month-old baby boy she named after Patrick, as a lesson from her naiveté.  All of her four siblings were in high school and performing very well. Her new boss helped her to go back to school. Catherine graduated from high school with great notes because of her determination to win the race of life.

She boasted about her son all the time and the number of her admirers never ceased to increase. She knew one day she would give her hand to one of them, but for the time she wanted peace of mind. She felt the desire to share love to people who needed it in order to appease the ivory tower she had constructed around her as a shield.

She heard rumors saying Patrick’s fiancée had feigned to be a virgin; for Patrick their wedding night was a tremendous deception. He longed for a child but he and his wife had trouble to conceiving. He oftentimes spent sleepless nights thinking of how cruel he was to the woman who gave him all her treasures from trust to the baby he desired the most, the baby he couldn’t even hold in his arms and call his.

Catherine’s life had two sides: one for failing and one for bouncing back. The good news was that all people could bounce back like her in all areas of our lives. The young woman just wished peace and love to the world! Catherine was a believer. Catherine’s inner and outer beauty only increased year after year because she chose to install peace and love in her ivory tower!


Lucie Kampinka

Lucie Kampinka

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