Warm Honey Drizzle & Lemon - EXCERPTS

Introducing My New Book – Warm Honey Drizzle & Lemon (For my blocked up soul) – A draft Excerpt

5.{Endurance}

 I can do all things, suffer all things, give up everything and still be me if I so determine it. Something inside so strong. Can’t crumble under pressure when I know the strength inside.

 

 

 

The Indomitable Human Will

Strength expressed is often seen, by others as a noble thing

Strength contained is hardly seen,

Its power at rest, Controlled and tamed

It takes much more than meets the eye

To turn and walk away from strife

To deem it fit to keep one’s peace

No matter how provoked one may feel

It is beautiful to watch and indeed to see

This silent strength we all can have

The will to do and the will not to

Is strength beyond the popular show

The human will can move a mountain

There’s always a way, where there is the will

You can survive almost anything, anywhere, at any time

If you just know how to draw, on that treasure, the human will

So next time you are tempted to say out loud, It’s all too much, I cannot cope

Draw on the strength from deep within

Stand tall and dignified, if only on the inside of you

Your will, its strength it will lend to you

To carry on, when hope has died

Don’t let it break, ’tis a treasure indeed

Stand tall inside, your future is for keeps.

 

 

Meet David…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were all smartly dressed in their colourful celebratory military regalia. Graduation day! Thought David. Finally. I am now a full fledged soldier. He turned to look at the young man on his right. His colleague Carl. They arrived as young recruits almost 10 months ago to start their training and despite the many who have fallen out of the race, they both managed to keep up with the gruelling regime and have graduated today.

David, aged 20 was set to take on the world. His military career was just the beginning. He will not succumb to living a dull life, like his parents and some of his friends. He plans to travel around the world and do life the way it was meant to be done, living on the edge, by the seat of his pants, never settling down.

He garnered and begged for his first posting to be an exciting one and by exciting he meant dangerous. It was not long before he was posted to Afghanistan for three months. And so began the great drama of his life. A drama to surpass all other dramas he could have drummed up for himself in his wildest imagination.

His was a moderately comfortable life prior to enlisting in the army. He was still living with his mum and dad in what he felt was an average house, average town with no potential for excitement. He did not have to be concerned about where his next meal was going to come from, or about dangers lurking in the night. He thought the rest of the world was not so different from his, perhaps just a bit more exotic. He thought that all young men just worried about being popular with the girls, being lauded by their mates and spending time being football mad and strategising how to lay hands on the next season’s football premier league tickets. In his world, game boys and virtual war lords were heroes. Jumping off cliffs and going sky diving were the best thrills in life. He was constantly seeking scarier thrills until he decided an army career was what he wanted. No one dared tell him otherwise. His parents felt that at least he will learn some discipline, and after a few years settle down and have a life like theirs. A good life with strong family ties and children and a good job making a decent living. That was not David’s dream.

So he set off for Afghanistan that autumn month last year. How wrong he was about the world. It did not take him long to see that the rest of the world was quite different. It was plagued with, poverty, real poverty, people living in dirt houses that get smashed in whenever it takes others fancy to dislodge them, school was a luxury for young boys his age, everyone had to fight, one way or another, fight to live.

The Horrors of those three months will always remain vivid in his mind no matter how much he tries to forget them. He saw horrible things that no young man should be exposed to. Decapitated human heads, children’s limbs hanging loosely on their bodies, body parts strewn in bits and pieces all over a compound, a place of laughter and communal family meetings now turned into a grave site, whole villages that have been abandoned now ghost towns. David thought to himself, where’s all the love gone? No community of people should be made to live like that by their own people in the name of freedom fighting. His young mind could just not make any sense of it. It seemed that over here betrayal is punished severely, children are treated like comrades in war. Mothers become detectives and war casualties who have to find the bombs before the bombs find them and their children. As a soldier, as far as David was concerned, that was just one side of the story, the enemy’s side. You could not help but feel sorry even for them. These were people whose culture and orientation to life was so different from the carefree, let’s have fun, all is well with the world attitude he and his friends grew up with back at home.

Then came the day he will never forget. The day he became a man. The day he learnt all his lessons at once.

It was to be the day that his life will be irrevocably changed. The morning call went out as usual. His regiment were based in a remote area and everyone knew the morning drill. A splash of cold water on your face, a quick tidying up of yourself, group breakfast eaten in a hurry, after which soldiers dispersed  to their various patrol areas. He was with the bombs squad and theirs was a small team and he was the youngest in this very specialist team.  Their main job was to go over old grounds, detonating bombs and grenades that have been buried by the enemy some as a trap for foreign soldiers and ‘traitors’ and others which were still buried and forgotten right there where their own children and new communities now venture to rebuild their homes. These go off all the time killing civilians, and often travelling indigenous people along with their children. David’s squad are trained to detect such bombs through a painstaking process of sweeping whole areas one little bit at a time. Every single step they took was an exercise in threading a path between life and death. He witnessed first hand a colleague being blown apart by a bomb that went off because his equipment did not detect it. In this area of work your equipment and your attention to every minute detail were the two most important components of what kept you alive.

David was fully geared up today. They, all seven in a group were ready to begin the tedious, step by step accurate horizontal walk to clear the area. It was one of the previous villages where one notorious war lord was known to have been hiding. Now, deserted, there was nothing but debris left over from when the rebels were here; broken pots, pieces of cloths, even tobacco pipes, pans, burnt out remains of food and campfires. The team has to patiently sort through each thing they could see because you never could tell what was lurking underneath something inconspicuous. Anything could be a trap. Even more dangerous were areas of ground that looked cleared and immaculate. There was almost always something buried at such places. Nothing  is considered irrelevant or disregarded and one has to have a keen eye and great focus. You had to be fearless, not the jumping off the cliff kind. You needed to be calm, focused, unflinching, accurate hardheaeded person to do this job and David was learning fast.

He thought to himself as he inched forward; back at home, his friends always called him a daredevil, never afraid to try dangerous stunts. He was considered fearless. Now, he realised that one did not know what fear is until you see colleague decimated by a bomb and you think to yourself, that could very easily have been me. The mental torture of not being able to predict what will happen next was enough to drive a grown man crazy. It was a relief at the end of each day to go back to base with no casualties. Due to their skill and level of training, casualties were rare but profoundly traumatising if you happened to witness one.

David saw a patch of grass just a few steps ahead of him and thought to himself ‘that looks suspicious’. No sooner had he had the thought than he heard his commanding officer yell out a command for everyone to stand still. David’s heart begun to beat erratically. The patch of grass was directly in front of him and it will be him who will have to step towards it as they worked in one single file, going straight ahead only with everyone concentrating on what was directly in front of them. There was no way he could swap places with an older more experienced soldier. All eyes were on him as everyone understood that this patch was his patch to tackle. He was the youngest among them all and the least experienced. He considered himself lucky to even be part of the team. Funny he was not feeling very lucky right now. Sometimes, such patches were clear traps and had something buried there but other times it was a distraction to keep them away from looking at where the real trap is.

The captain knowing he had their attention seemed to be speaking directly to David now. He spoke as softly as he could, reminding him what to do with his equipment. His voice for some reason was soothing and put some much neded confidence in David. The command was given and they all went forward one step. Shouts of ‘clear !’  rang out all around. Another step. ‘clear!’, a third step and he was right in front of the path of green grass. Finding green grass anywhere here was a miracle of nature, but this one seemed to be firmly planted, not a trap, but you never know. Command was given, next step…. As David moved forward, for some reason which he will never fathom, just one of those quirks of fate, he turned to look at the soldier next to him and realised that he was frozen on the spot. He had not taken the next step as ordered, he looked petrified and was shaking profusely. David noticed that the red alarm light on his sweeper was blinking. Soon it started beeping, a sign that there could be something buried right there where he was standing.  David could hear him muttering to himself , ‘ I don’t want to die’ ‘no, no no no I don’t want to die’ David called out his name and said ‘come on man’ do your job, man’.  All attention was now on him. This was no time for delay. If there was a bomb in front of him, it has to be detonated and there was no time to spare. David’s mind played back a conversation he had recently had with him back at base. This man had just received news the previous week that his young wife had delivered their first baby, a baby boy. They all saw the picture of his smiling wife with the beautiful baby boy in his arms. He’s had a huge smile on his face all week and was looking forward to going home to see his new baby as soon as this assignment was over. He had everything to live for.

The captain backed out an order! The distinct tone of urgency could be heard in his voice. David for the life of him could not remember a word of the order. All he could think about was the picture of his colleague’s wife with the new baby in her arms. He had to do something now.

Against all his raging natural instincts, David stepped sideways to try to clear the ground in front of his colleague. It was the wrong move.  The time had run out. He heard the captain’s loud shout at the same time as he heard the bomb go off. Boom! The whole earth shock, and then there was…. Nothingness. David thought to himself. This must be what it is like to die. I must be dying. Then he had no more thoughts.

That was three months ago. It’s a miracle he did not die. What is left of him is hard to live with. As he lays here in hospital back at home having had so many near death episodes, in and out of comas, surgeries to save his life, with his life still hanging in the balance, blind and limbless, fighting to wanting to live, even more so after each of the numerous surgeries he has had, he realised he desperately wanted to live.

He was satisfied with what he has seen of the world so far. Now he was ready to settle down. To really live. His progress everyday was a surprise to all. Any one visiting him comes away with their faith in human kindness restored. David makes sure he tells them that he is no hero, he simply followed his natural instinct and that instinct tells him that there is so much more of life for him to live. He will fight to live. He is not about to give up now.

David is happy that, through his actions the life of a new father and husband had been spared. This whole experience has peeked his desire to live despite the seemingly un surmountable disabilities he will have to live with. No matter what the doctors say, he knows he will live. This was meant to be. His life now counts for something. He is survivor. Not only that, he has stared death in the face and refused to let it take both him and his colleague. David can barely talk, but his speech is so clear to anyone who listens.  Life is for the living, you can fight both for yours and that of others. Never give up. Never give in. Once a hero, always a hero. Come on soldier. The battle is not over yet. That is the voice of his commanding officer ringing in his head even now lying here, half dead. It is an order he intends to obey.

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Warm Honey Drizzle & Lemon - EXCERPTS

Excerpt from my Book – Warm Honey Drizzle & Lemon For…..

3.  {Uncertainty}

How I wish, I could catch the wind and keep it close to my heart so I never have to be blown away by what tomorrow holds.

 

 

 

 Hope for Tomorrow (Poem)

How can I

Know for sure

What tomorrow holds?

How can I see beyond

The troubles of today

Feeble hands

Tired Thoughts

Reminders of my past

Deep Regrets

Time misused

On things I thought will yield

Can’t go on

All strength is gone

And yet my spirit cries

Arise and seek

Your makers will

His strength to you will come

Hope renewed

Direction seen

To walk where angels dare

How could I

Not have seen

A road so very clear

A joyful heart

Strength untold

To do my makers will

Now I see

Beyond today

There’s hope for Tomorrow. 

 (Insert graphics)

 

 (Short Story)

‘Come on Sheila. It’s time to go. It’s almost midnight’, urged Diamond. ‘We do not want to loose our regulars. Its ‘good friday’ our best night of the week. Come On!’

Sheila tip-toed into the small dark room and planted a big wet kiss on the forehead of her sleeping toddler and gently tip-toed back to the door where Diamond was impateintly waiting.

This is not the first time Sheila has left her baby home alone at night. She always tells herself; ‘he sleeps like a log and I will be back before he even wakes up’. 

She looks up into the night sky as they made their way towards the busy high street. Diamond looked at her curiously and asked. ‘What are you looking up at the sky for? I never took you for a star-gazer or the romantic type’. Sheila responded; ‘No, I am neither really. I am just thinking that there must be someone up there watching over us. Do you know the number of times I have had to leave my baby home alone and each time I have returned and he’s been safe. Anyway, let’s hurry before our spot gets taken by those hustlers’.

Sheila and Diamond became friends when they met one night on the street corner where Diamond worked. Diamond worked as a call – girl and was at her usual spot where all her regulars come to pick her up. Sheila had just had her baby and had been thrown out by her boyfriend who said he did not want her or her lousy baby anymore and that they had to find somewhere else to live. Sheila had no work permit and was illegally living in the country when she met him. She had no relatives or close friends to turn to given that she came to the country as a war child from another country seeking refugee status. She was put straight into the care system until she turned 18 and then got chucked out and told to return to her country. There was nothing and no one to return to. She lost everything years ago and honestly believes that she would have died had there not been an invisible hand guiding her path all this time. Well, her trials and struggles both from her childhood and during her time in the Care System, those are long stories not to be remembered today.

Luckily for her, Diamond found her that night. The night that horrible boyfriend of hers threw her and his 3 month old baby out. Diamond found her crouched in a corner on this same high street covered with some cardboards to keep both herself and her baby warm. She took them both home to her small flat above the shoe repairer’s shop. They have been inseparable ever since. Best friends for life. Diamond introduced her to prostitution soon after. Now, she spends her day taking care of her baby and the night  prowling the street with Diamond, looking for customers and playing hide and seek with the police.

Sheila quietly thought to herself; ‘fridays are good nights, they each will get at least two customers tonight which will put some much needed money in their pockets. ‘I do not enjoy this lifestyle but there is no other way to survive’ She reasoned with herself. ‘Maybe one day, I will save enough money to…..’  She wasn’t sure what she will save for. Infact, she wasn’t certain about anything as far as the future is concerned.  Lately, she has not been liking friday nights because one of her regular customers who says he is a Solicitor working in the city has been bugging her to tell him more about herself, to give up the lifestyle, with promises that he will take care of her. But once bitten, twice shy. It is hard to trust anyone now, anyone except Diamond. It is especially hard to trust any man. Despite how she feels about people and about the future, she just has to take one look at her son and realise that she cannot help but want a better life for him. Anyway, this customer always pays her well but insists that he does not want to have sex with her. He just wants to talk. He unsettles her but seems kind too, in a strange sort of way. Come to think about it, what will a good kind man be doing seeking the company of a prostitute? He tells her that he sees a light shining in her eyes.  According to him, a person’s eyes are the windows to their soul. He tells her that he thinks her soul is beautiful and that she deserves better things from life than what she appears to be involved in.

Tonight she will find out more about him and what he is really about. Tonight she will treat him like a person instead of just a customer. She was so deep in thought she did not hear Diamond whispering. Anyway Diamond is not the whispering type. She is the shouting type. Diamond takes life by the horns and rides hard. Her slogan is, Life does you no favours so why should you do it any favours? She jokingly always says that she is a diamond in the rough, you have to look closely to see her sparkle. But Sheila has always known that underneath the hardened exterior is a very loving person who deserves better than the hand life has dealt her. Diamond was and will always be her guardian angel. Friends for life.

‘Why are you whispering Diamond’? Asked Sheila. ‘Look!’ Diamond responded, staring straight ahead. There he stood, waiting; her regular customer, the one who wants no sex. He was dressed differently today, in a suit and a tie, looking really smart and posh. He had a bouquet of flowers in one hand. He was smiling at them as they walked towards him. As they got nearer, he went down on one knee and began to say the words that Sheila thought she will never hear as long as she lives.

He said ‘tonight, I come to ask you to marry me, Sheila. I have come to love you, although I know you think I do not know much about you. I lost my wife two years ago and until I met you, I have not wanted to be with anyone else. The night we met, I was not looking for a prostitute. I had decided to end my life that night and thought I will do it as far away from my home as I could. So I came this way. When I saw you, I knew straight away what you were doing standing there soliciting for customers with your beautiful eyes. Your eyes….. they looked so haunted, so sad, almost as sad as I was feeling, but there was a light shining through at the same time. I just wanted to be with you, to talk to you. You took my mind off my own misery for a few hours by just listening and giving me the attention you did that night. I was not interested in sex but I wanted to see you again so I decided to go back home and come again the following week. You have made me want to live again and I want to live with you. I want us to have a life together. Will you marry me?’

Sheila was speechless. To say she was shocked would have been an understatement. Even Diamond was shocked into silence. The silence was deafening as they both waited for Sheila’s response?

All Sheila could think about was that this must be a dream. If she just stands very still she might wake up any minute now… any minute now…… any minute now…..