“SURPRISE!! Happy Birthday Gita!!!” everyone screamed!
The room was filled with warm smiles and genuine laughter. She was so grateful to be in the midst of people who loved her. Her story could have very easily been different. She still believed that Zenzi her best friend was an angel in disguise. She casted her mind back to when they first met.
After changing schools three times, Gita’s mother finally felt like “Little Souls” was the perfect nursery for Gita. By the end of January Gita was fully enrolled. She loved every bit of Little Souls. For the first time she had so many friends. Although she was very young she remembered those eventful days like it was yesterday.
Miss Rose explained to the class yesterday. She told them I had to take medicines everyday to keep me strong. She told them not to be afraid of being my friend. Today Sanderine’s mummy came to the class. She told Miss Rose to move Sanderine from my table and to make sure I was never near Sanderine. Miss Rose told Sanderine’s mummy that her behavior was very “mi-mature”, I think that’s the spelling of it. She took her out and spoke to her. Sanderine is in the other class now. No one wants to play with me. Their mummy and daddy told them they would get sick if they play with me. Anna wouldn’t even let me use her blue fish eraser. Henry threw away his pink crayon because I used it. He told Miss Rose his daddy said he can’t sit by me or let me touch anything of his crayons. Tomorrow is my birthday. Mum said my birthday is very special because it is a day of love. Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I’ll be six. One-Too-Free-Four-Fife-Six!
Mummy made me wear my favorite black shoes and my new pink dress. Miss Rose told the class yesterday that today was Valentine’s day and she wanted us to be ready to tell the class what we loved most. She said it was also my birthday.
Zenzi came to me during break time and gave me a present. Zenzi is in the other class. She said her mummy said she must be my friend.
15 years later Zenzi and I are still best friends. Against all odds I’m still alive. Em still grateful to Zenzi’s mother and her will to stop discrimination. Over the years having a strong personality like Zenzi in my life was exactly what I needed especially as the older I got, the more I could see the disgust in people’s eyes. The doctors predicted that I won’t see my tenth birthday but I stand here on my 21st birthday remembering the life changing moment that happened on my sixth birthday which undoubtedly gave me the desire to keep living. Zenzi’s friendship is still the best gift. The day I was shown what true love meant, on valentine’s day.