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  • A passport. A real passport. A real passport in my hand. Is this moment even true?

    What I live right now in the slums of Johannesburg is not Earth, it is Hades. This book, this book will be my key to an actual life. But where should I start? The places I can go, the things I can do. Sometimes I don’t understand the higher people; they claim to be smarter and richer, a better “breed”. Yet why do give little bundles of paper and plastic (Papa calls them credit cards) the power to almost everything. Grandmamma always used to tell me stories about things like magical flowers or food or statues given to honest, hardworking people for luck and money. She also used to say that now people are losing traditional values; small pieces of cheap paper and plastic being the access to a good fortune? And given to those who don’t even deserve it? My Grandmamma would have shaken her head with disbelief and then muttered something about disgrace and new era in Zulu.

    A tear trickled down my eye. I am not a kid and she is not alive.

    The truck turned to the right and a few pigs crushed me to the side. Papa couldn't afford to buy a bus ticket to the port, so I had to sneak into a truck which had hogs to be exported. I have no idea how Papa could have gotten me a passport with our grave financial problems; I hope he didn't steal, or worse, kill for this. I wiped the tear away, and opened the first page of the passport. It was written in English, which I couldn't read yet spoke, but I knew my name and birthday was written on it. I can use this for freedom but I have my family to take care for first. It is as if I have been released from one prison, only to find myself in another.

    The truck stopped. My heart started to pound faster. My stomach was sinking. The port was in view. Which ship was I going to get on? Where would it take me? If I jump down the truck, I would have to sprint to one of the nearest ships before anyone could catch me. If I stay put, I would get caught but will eventually go back home.

    I jumped off. There was responsibility heavy on my shoulders. Papa, Layla and little Kaweria all have hopes and expectations for me. I couldn’t see them being shattered. There was a world waiting out there for me, however scary or cruel it might be.

    I pushed off the grimy, gravelly road and ran.

    Photo Credit: varlamov via Compfight cc
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