Preordained - Episode 7

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The weather of the next day was a perfect reflection of my mood. It was neither here, nor there: Mixed feelings, I’d say. The sun might’ve been harsh, even burning right through my dark skin, but at the same time, the atmosphere had also been cool, swaying my skirt as I walked through the village path.  

Everywhere was familiar to say the least; after all, I’d spent my entire life in that very space . Yet, since the discovery of the past few days, the tiny village had become unfamiliar to me. It felt strange gawping at the entire landscape. I suddenly felt like I no longer belonged. 

And to think I’d spent my entire life here, I thought; memories dated back to my innocent childhood, to the years inbetween, even up until that very moment. 

Identity, they say, is a measure of true selfhood. Anything without an identity is absolutely nothing

And those were the words that echoed right through my head as I packed my belonging later that morning, carefully sorting them into my favorite leather bag. 

My lack of tears wasn’t a problem. Mama cried enough for the both of us. She begged me over and over again to stay, that she still accepted me as her daughter, but I had to go, I’d already decided. 

She didn’t seem to be taking the revelation well, and she wouldn’t even let me go for at least five minutes when we finally leaned in for a hug. And only in that moment, did I let myself cling onto her, getting a final whiff of that lemon fragrance she was never without. 

I thought I’d braced myself for it, but as it appeared, no amount of preparation could’ve possibly readied me for something of such magnitude

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. I was leaving, technically abandoning the only woman I’d ever known to be my mother. For seventeen years, she’d accepted me, cared for me, and nursed me to be the Lulu everyone had come to know. And suddenly, I was deserting her? 

It wasn’t fair to her. 

And neither was it fair to me.. 

“Take very good care of yourself Lulu,” Those were Mama’s final words as I turned to leave. And as I headed towards the opposite direction, I tried so hard not to look back, because I was scared that would change my mind about everything.

Read " Zakia " by the same author ( Ishola Ubaydah )

. I had to go; with that, there was no question. I needed to seek for my past, in order to give my future an essence. I needed to secure an identity. My identity. 

As I walked through the bushy path, my pace was slow, gentle. I wanted to take in the features of Zululand I probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to see again. I wanted to hear the sounds of the birds as they hummed beautifully; the view of the geese, as they glided through the river in unison. Sometime along the way, I’d pulled out the golden crown from my bag, and gently placed it onto my head. Call me weird, but it felt right. My legs continued moving on its own accord, it was almost as if it had a mind of its own. But I didn’t mind. 

Apparently, I was only but a curious soul, on a quest to search for some sort of truth to my existence. And whilst my future seemed to be clouded by nothing but uncertainty, one thing was for sure. 

I’d stepped into the Zonke Forest, and there was no going back. 



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