It is said that she was taken by supernatural means and that her soul would forever be restless, hovering on earth unless she was avenged. This is probably the reason why I have never trusted howling winds and will never feel safe in a room alone. In my mind I have conjured up terrifying scenarios involving spirits that I never want to reenact in my reality. Ofcourse all these theories were never put the test and were never proved, but hearing them continuosly over a decade have made them seem all the more real. And now exactly ten years after her death, the line which seperates reality from fiction, truth from myth has since been blurred and is now nolonger visible….
I don’t know why I thought of her today, maybe it’s because it’s so long, maybe it’s because of this dark cloud hovering over my head, maybe it’s because I’ve discovered the real reason behind her early demise. I don’t know. But whatever it is, it did manage to get me thinking of those times years ago when I was still a carefree young girl myself who loved to weave fairytales in her journal late at night…..
Ruva, just like her name was like a beautiful flower always in bloom. Every morning her exuberant laugh would wake the hostel and we would know that we had all woken up to a beautiful brand new day. She would jump out of bed, with a joyful exclamation on her lips, and dance all the way to the window to look out on to the gardens outside the hostels and breathe in the fresh air With a contented smile on her luscious lips, she would turn back to us and playfully urge us to wake up and enjoy the morning with her. She was so happy, the picture perfect example of joy.
But all that eneded in the summer of ’02; all of a sudden, the rose shrivelled and shrunk and song died on darkened lips. We were all baffled, noone knew why or what had brought about such drastic changes in Ruva. The changes were subtle,taking place slowly but we did not notice until they had reached an acute stage and it seemed as though it had occured overnight.
Ruva became reserved and no the outspoken carefree girl that she once was. The spring in her step disappeared and it was replaced by a slow painful gait. She lost all interest in the activities around her, her books lay forgotten on her desk, gathering dust. All of a sudden all she enjoyed doing was slowly following the sun in its orbit around the earth . Besides frequent visits to the tap and the bathroom,nothing could move her from her favourite spot in the sun. She lost weight, she was reduced to a mere walking pile of bones and her clothes hung on her. But surprisingly noone seemed to take her ailement seriously. Visits to the school dispensary proved futile, the nurse would look her over and send her back to the hostel with a bottle of panados in her tiny hands.
The last time I saw Ruva was on the second of August 2002 at the city bus terminus. It was the closing day for the term and we were both going back home for the holidays. I remember she looked pale and tiny, just a mere shadow of her former self and even then my heart ached for her because I knew her and feared for her. We hugged and parted ways after having promised to meet regularly during the holidays inorder to do our holiday assignments together.
I don’t really remember what I occupied myself with during that August holiday, but one thing I remember is that the days flew by fast and before I knew it the holiday was almost over but I had not yet done any of my assignments. I had not heard a word from Ruva, so I called her mother inorder to arrange a meeting, but her words knocked me down, ” Ruva passed away a week ago, she was bewitched,”
Up to this day, whenever I think of that day, I feel chills run down my spine, the same way they did back then and my eyes well up with tears. For years I had believed that story of witchcraft but now I know that they were all lies. Ruva was taken away not by witchcraft but by ignorance. She had diabetes. Had we known it then, maybe she would still be here with me.
BY TANYARADZWA VANADIS17 MASAIRE
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