ALTERNATE ENDING; A Child of History

     Nosizwe sees the old man from the neighboring tribe limping up the dirt road, followed by a laden down ox.  She sees him once a month, he is the postal service for this poverty and AIDS stricken region of Africa.  Paying him no heed, she goes out on her daily journey to the Red Cross station where she is sometimes given medication for this killing disease she carries.   This horrible disease that has killed most of her children, some of her friends, and is quietly killing her.  The nice white people at the cross of the Red tell her not to give up hope, and she silently laughs to herself.  Her name itself means “The Mother of a Nation” and she can’t help but believe that she has failed miserably.  Instead of teaching her children and her people how to become industrious and strong, she has instead taught them death, and she knows her nation will soon be no more.

     Nosizwe returns from the clinic, another day she is turned away, and finds a mysterious package on her own patch of barren earth infront of her meager hut.  The last of her laying hens is pecking at the package, she has not layed eggs for over a month, and since all but the last of the grain is gone, she pecks at the package as if to find nourishment.  Nosizwe picks up the light package and puts it on the table and goes to the back room to check on her dying daughter.  Enitan, whose name means “a child of history” is failing fast, and is already the color of lavender, and there is nothing Nosizwe can do but to wait.  She goes to the package and opens it, in it she finds a small box and a strange letter written in her native tongue.  The letter is written by a woman named Quanna, a name that means “Queen”.  As she reads the letter she can’t help but think it is a horrible joke, until she opens the box and finds a single red pill.

     “Nosizwe, The Mother of Nations, you do not know me but I am your daughter, many many years in the future.  I live in a world of peace and harmony where the lands are always fertile, the children are always laughing, and no one ever dies from disease.  In the box you will find a red pill.  It will not save you from this AIDS nor will it save anyone anyone else, but you must take it anyway.  You see, the pill will guarantee that you will give birth to another girl child who will be born disease free , and her daughters and her daughters will bring forth this new world I live in now.  I know this sounds impossible, but I don’t have much time, you must believe me.  You must take the pill and name your new daughter “Ayira” which as you know means “The Chosen One” and it is from her line that I will be born.  Thankyou for your sacrifices, your daughter, Quanna”  Dec 21, 3012 

Nosizwe reaches to take the pill, having nothing to lose, and her trembling hands drop it and the hungry chicken plucks it up off the ground and swallows it whole.  As the last of the life leaves her Child of History, she puts her hand to her diseased womb and cries the tears of lost nations.

Sept 12, 3012

“I’m sorry Quanna” the frail doctor tells her, “this child too is born with AIDS and will not live any longer than the other’s”.  As the doctor leaves Quanna looks down at her dying newborn baby girl and says “then I shall name you Yejide, it means you are the image of your mother.”

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