Everyday People PNG: Shalothy Pata'aku

Some of you might be making false judgements about me, because I joke a lot, chill with friends, laugh a lot and look okay. But I use a different mask.

Eleven years ago my mom and dad got divorced of some vague reasons. I was just a kid growing up back then. All I could reminisce about was my dad pushing his bicycle away out of the entrance to the main road. The moon so high above the coconut palm trees dancing rhythmically to the breeze looked as picturesque as viewed from under the flowers not exceeding my shoulders. The place looked so inaudible, after the Beng! Pang!  Twss!  Brrrk! sounds coming from the kitchen. These noises still ring in my head in moonlit nights these days. As a kid, I was watching as those cinema goers who watch acted movies with laughs and sometimes in tears. I creeped out from my hideout to the open space and stood there, watching the black figure on the white sandy road as it diminishes. “GONE’’, I whispered to myself.

The next day I picked my book, a pencil and an eraser as did we the village kids, and headed off to school hungry. After an hour of two I felt that my stomach is empty and I really need to eat. I sneaked off back home. Arriving home and finding no one in the house, was the first thing that broke my heart. I felt how it feels when there is no one at home. NO LOVE AT HOME. I sat there and wondered if we will be together again. On a broken chair was where I sat and cried, recalling all the happy times, the good food we used to eat, the stories we share with beaming smiles and all the miscellaneous small things I did.

Every ‘’daddy’’’ word pronounced by other kids to their fathers was a sad word. Seeing other kids chilling with their parents’ hurts so bad. However, I just have to accept it even though I don’t like it.

Not to mention everything, I started giving up school, but my grandparents were there to help. After the broken home they open wide their arms to us the six siblings of our mother. Being supported by my grandparents, I finished my primary schooling successfully and commenced to high school. I was so broken deep inside but still manage to handle my school work with the help of prayers from my grandparents. As the saying goes, “broken crayons still colour” and so I keep glowing at some extend. I have been crying and praying to God asking him if he could reunite us again somehow, someday. As I did, I started to realize that all the years were wasted praying for something that couldn’t happen. I totally quite praying. I started to live this life.

During my stay in the high school my grandparents were responsible of my school fees and everything. They would come visit me on weekends, advise me and walk back home. Rarely, my mother did. I would lay down on my bed and cry my lungs out imagining the long, stony winding roads my grandparents track back home. normally, they left home at 4am and arrive to school at around 9:00am or half past and went back again home.

I would sit there questioning God about my existence too, but then I would remember all the Bible talks they used to tell me and caught up with the lucid thoughts again.

My circle of friends enlarged and I started involving in all sorts of unethical practices, with the intention of finding happiness. I started to forget that there’s a God who’ve created Heaven and Earth. Entering a new world without God I always find it hard to distinguish right from the wrong. Everything I did was seen as morally right although it’s not.

However, I dropped some of my friends and things change a little bit when I was selected to a secondary school in the far South. I meet people with new mind sets and they started turning me into who I was supposed to be. This was very hard too, as I was going through a lot. Fighting battles alone in silence and darkness. I was going through a lot. Sleepless nights, days without food and lonely nights of crying and overthinking. I used to go chill out with my friends in a different mask. Not many of them knew what i was going through. Only those I’m comfortable of expressing things to them knew who I actually was.

However, living this kind of life I received an offer from where I’m now, after the grade 12 exams.This too did wake the devil in some people. A few familiar people make negative comments upon seeing my name on tertiary institution acceptance list. They started coming up with negative questions like, ‘; Husat bai payim skul fee blo em? Husat bai lukautim em? Tupla bubu blo em too go lapun finis now, oli no nap painim disla bikpla moni blo ol uni manmeri. Mama blo em too no more busy lo ol now. These were all their negative talks. My friends would always come tell me, ‘’displa meri ya tok osem osem lo you”’ and I would reply with a smile , ‘’wsss mino busy ya, larim ol toktok stap lo hap’’. My bubu used to tell me that our God is greater than all the problems. I stood firm on my bubus words and watch them talk. Until, one day just a few weeks before school started my bubu whispered, “ Bai you go skul”. I got up and told her, ‘’ but bubu olsem wanem lo ol 5pla brother blo mi? Yupla ba mekim school fee blo me tasol na ol? Then she replied, ‘’God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see’’. I smiled and agreed.

I’m now at where I am now, because of him, who strengthens me when I feel like the world is falling apart. Being trapped in the midst of darkness and light, there stood my grandparents. They rescued me when the dusk seemed overwhelming. All the past years Ive struggled alone with them. What little they offer was accepted with pride. I have promised them many good things but I’ve sadly lost my granny a month ago. But I am still fighting, till everything will be alright. I WON’T GIVEUP.

I now have picked many good things from my past.
1. God will never leave his children alone, no matter how big the mistakes are.
2. His blessings are endless but I’ve never realized it
3. Prayer is the key to everything
4. There’s always someone who mends the broken pieces
5. Happiness is found within.
6. If it hurts run to GOD
7. Problems are temporary
8. Everything happens for a reason

I am still struggling to achieve my dreams;
Untill oneday I'll be the happiest person on Earth
God bless.

- Shalothy Pata'aku

Loop Author