Ivan Musoke

The Light at The End

…it’s continued

There’s a bright flash. Well, it would be pretty ridiculous if it was any other kind of flash, but this thing hurts my eyes.

I don’t know where I am for a minute and then suddenly, I do.

I’m back home. My childhood home.It’s like I am a member of some audience. Watching in silence, unable to move or say anything.


Then I see myself.I’m bitching and whining saying I want a bicycle. This is a memory? Oh yeah, I see why. Dad’s not too crazy about me screaming my lungs sore and he hits me. Like that’s supposed to help.

I’m on the floor.

Squirming in pain.

I think I may be bleeding. Mum comes over and tries to console me. Mum did that a lot. I loved her.

She places my head on her chest and for a minute everything is okay. I’m surrounded by bliss. All my troubles have gone away. For a minute

“She got what she deserved.”  Dad says to mum. Not a trace of regret in those eyes. I want to believe this is discipline, that this is one of those spare the rod and spoil the child moments. That daddy knows best.

No, dad, what I deserved was a bicycle, I want to tell him. I can’t. I’m sobbing a lot and I can’t form any words.The deal was if I performed really well this term I’d get a bike. I performed well, so I expect him to keep his end of the bargain. Seeing as he hasn’t, there’s only one thing left to say.

“I hate you!” I manage between sobs.

He moves to hit me and then there’s another flash.

I’m in High School.

Man I hated those uniforms.This time round I’m in the Chemistry Lab. We’re doing “Practicals”.I think I remember this.

I have gotten over the loathing I had for dad after he dumped me in this place. The old man’s dead, I can’t hold a grudge. It’s wouldn’t be right. My classmate slides a note over.

“Meet me at the back of the chapel after class. We need to talk- E”

I hate that she never writes the full form of her name. There’s something wannabe-ish about the whole abbreviation thing.

Everyone’s doing it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it okay. Or cool.

Right on time, the bell rings. The teacher decides to ignore it. Figures we can rely on his droning voice for sustenance. Mark speaks up and lets him know we can’t.

He doesn’t use tact, says something like, “Go away. We’re hungry!”           

The teacher is not amused. Mark has to write an apology. Fifty times across the board. His martyrdom is not in vain. The rest of us are allowed to go and have lunch.

We’ll probably call Mark “Yesu” after this incident.

I decide to skip the meal. Something about weevils swimming in my gravy doesn’t quite do it for me. Fuck the extra nutrients.

I meet E where she said she’d be. She’s excited which can only mean one thing. She’s got some gossip.

I’m wrong, she’s trying to play matchmaker again. This time with a senior. I decline and we talk about how frustrated we are with life. It’s a topic we visit all the time, but it feels nice to know you’re not suffering alone. Misery loves company. For all her shortcomings, E is alright by me.

We keep talking and seemingly get lost in the moment. We embrace.

We’ve done this countless times. It’s not really a big deal…and yet today it feels a little different.

I draw back. My hands wrapped around her waist. We look into each other’s eyes. We connect without words. It feels like telepathy. I know what she wants, and she knows what’s on my mind.

I draw her close and our lips meet. It’s perfect.


Until the scream.

The school nurse saw us and snitched.


We are in the Headmistress’ office. Heads hung in shame, listening to him go on and on about how what we did is wrong.

Curiously, E keeps trying to hold my hand, like she’s trying to be defiant. Trying to say “Fuck it!”.

Our parents come to pick us up. I see the look on my mother’s face and that’s when I feel something. Its not regret as such…I enjoyed the kiss.

My mother is disappointed and that makes me feel awful. I have hurt her. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I have. At that moment, if it makes sense, I want to die and be swallowed whole by the ground.

There’s a flash.


Everything else passes by so fast.

My mother’s second wedding. I didn’t like the guy, but it made mum happy. I was all for making her happy. Even if it meant keeping quiet when I was abused by her husband. It was a small price to pay.

My first day at the university. Not at all memorable. Got wasted and ended up in bed with someone I didn’t know. The sex with her was good, but she had the aesthetic appeal of a bar of washing soap.

My first real relationship. Lasted all of a year then the cheating started. I tried to take it for a while, but it got to a point where I figured I’d had enough.

Then I’m standing over a grave. Looking at a coffin. I pick a mound of sand and a lump forms as I toss it in. I never got round to making things right with the occupant of the coffin. I begin to cry. Then it quickly evolves into wailing. I make the unrealistic wish that many before me have, that I could turn back time, that I could make it different.


Then its dark. There’s noise all over the place. Sounds of gunshots. Screams.


Then there’s silence… In the distance there’s a light. It seems far away and I begin to walk towards it.

As I get closer something f
eels wrong. I get a feeling in my gut that I may not be doing the right thing. Then I feel a tug at my hand.

I look down and I see myself. The young me.

“Its not yet time.” She says with an urgency about the way she delivers the words. She seems to be trying to pull me away from the light.

“Time for what?” I ask her. I mean, I ask myself. Its pretty confusing.

“Its not yet time!” She insists.

I try to shake her off, but her grip is firm.

Suddenly there’s bright flash. The kind
some overzealous writer would describe as being as ferocious as a million suns.

I realize I am lying down. Looking up. There’s a man in white standing over me. Next to him is a woman. A nurse, I can’t hear what she is saying, but her lips move to form the words, “It’s a miracle”.

The man in white nods his head.

He peers into my eyes, aided by light from a small torch. After ascertaining that I am alright, he stops and says something.

This time I hear it.

He says, “Welcome back Dorothy.”                                                                                               


  1. LOL@ chem practicals.
    Brilliant stuff dude. Fell for you being the subject like cheri, till I got to “the young me”, and then Homer Simpson “doh” moment at the fiction tag.
    Nice stuff.

  2. Who the fuck is Dorothy? And could we explore that which was about to happen with E? Sounds like a whole other post. Dude, you can weave a tale, will be here waiting for the next instalment, but without bated breath, i would hate to see them flashes meself i cant say i have lived such a colourfully remarkable life.

  3. Cheri is begging Ai? Hm! ((clapping my hands and holding my mouth))
    But Dorothy is not cool. And neither are you Innocent. You keep dying or close to in whatever you’re doing. I don’t like death. So, unless you write about life and the good of living I shall be on strike from you! And that my friend is a threat . . .

  4. I thought that after one sees those flashes, one never comes back, i.e. you die… you are breaking the rules Ivan.
    So it was Dorothy who was shot… by who? The bible quoting psycho?
    Do tell… and where are Albert, the ho and the dead body in the bath tub?
    Can’t wait for more!!!!

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