day #9: how important you think an education is
two children, born only days apart, but it was as if we were twins. our mothers are sisters, but our bond was thicker than that of merely cousins. we were brother and sister. we were best friends.
we grew up in the same sort of environments. successful working mothers and fathers, loving nuclear families. good schools, big houses in good neighbourhoods with big yards to run around in, and dogs to run around with.
he had two brothers, i had none. until finally i got mine and he got a sister at the same time. our lives weren’t that far removed. but that didn’t last long.
his world came crashing down whilst mine stayed pretty much intact. we were only 10 when his dad passed away, whilst i was allowed to keep mine, the one i couldn’t imagine living without.
he took it better than i thought – i don’t remember him crying. i didn’t know what to do to help so i let him ride my bike as often as he wanted, without kicking up a fuss. he could watch any tv channel he wanted, and i let him have my white high top filas.
he started to bunk of school, and eventually he only went every other day. he joined a band, and he was only 11 whilst everyone was at least 25 plus. i stayed on at school. i barely missed a day.
i got the highest grade in my SATs, and went on tour with the band. they played in germany whilst i did my homework and listened to b2k cds.
i went to sixth form and he jumped from band to band. he was the best drummer they’d ever known. i wasn’t the best in my maths class.
time and distance pushed us far apart, and our lives couldn’t have been more different now. 12 years had passed by, and the bond that joined us dissolved into the sands of time.
he’d stopped playing, and i’d gone to university.
one evening his mother called me, asking if i’d heard from him. it had been 4 to 5 years since we last spoke. she said he’d moved to cape town to join a band. but his luck turned bad and he got robbed of all he had and he’d been struggling every since. she’s been calling every number he’d ever given her, but none of them go through. it’s been months since he last spoke to him and she has no clue where she is.
i was torn up by how differently our lives have turned out. he’s somewhere out there… God only knows where. we started in the same place but took different turns.
sometimes i wonder what if he’d just stuck to school instead of joined the band? what if we’d carried on the way we had started and we’d finished in the same place? sure, a university education doesn’t guarantee a fairytale ending, but it sure is a start.
even if i couldn’t change his father passing away, what if i could change just that….? i’m sure he’d be better off now. at least i like to think he would be, and every time i think of where he could be now, it tears me apart.