i met Yousef for the first time on December Seven. the day was not a good day until I met yousef. if days were like books, that day would be like the shopping mall booklets that make the newspaper fat when they put it inside. the ones with the discounts and the pictures of food that never look like the real foods at the store. but around 8 pm it became good. it was the best day ever. i want to tell you everything about it. I only saw him three times after. but that is okay. i will see him again soon. i want to tell you everything because you do not shout at me when I tell you the things that make other people shout hard. i know i did many wrong things but i am going to tell everyone that i am sorry for everything. but I do not want you to wait so i am going to tell you now. i do not like waiting. it is very bad. it is the worst thing ever. i just want you to know why i am doing everything because knowing makes it not very bad anymore. i have to be quick because i do not want to wait. i do not want to be here because i want to be with them and nobody says my name like it is a name and the pillow is not mom enough and I want to tell god everything. i know he will understand but also you have to forgive me. i do not know what to say, but you have to forgive me. please.
i do not know what to say so i am going to stop writing until I find the best place to start from.
i love you because I know you will read this when you find it. i am going to put it inside your room from the open part of the door at the bottom where the cockroaches can go inside and outside. i took these papers and this pencil from your room because you leave the door open and sayyed knows when the doors are not closed and you do not think anyone will want to steal anything from you. but i am not stealing because i am going to give them back to you but with the things i need to tell you written on them. and i think everything that belongs to you is beautiful like you like your long black hair and your small eyes that make you look like you are always laughing at a good joke or someone falling but not hurting theirselves that bad and the hijab with orange and purple fat flowers on it and the smile on your mouth when mister ahmed knocks on the door before he enters and you have to put it back on your hair because he is not allowed to see it like me and sayyed and the other boys because we are all nine and ten and eleven years old and not old men like mister ahmed. that was a very long sentence.
i want you to know that i think you are good. you are the best teacher ever.
the second time you came in class you told us that proper nouns are the ones that get capital letters and that is important because that is how we know that they are real things. i was so happy that day but I could not tell you or anyone why because it is bad to tell anyone because some things make people angry maybe because they do not have things like that for theirselves. i only know one proper noun that is important like that and that is Yousef. but sometimes i write the things about him as proper nouns too like the day i met him and that is because they are like your black hair and your small laughing eyes and they are important because he is important. i was very happy because you were teaching me how to write Yousef’s name like it is a name and not just a word. but please do not be sad because your name is not my proper noun because i am sure that there is someone who thinks your name is their only proper noun too. you are very good. i love you again. i love you one more time. one time is not big like my happiness that day which was very big. i just want to ask you for one thing. please do not leave your proper noun alone in the world because that is very bad. i don’t know what to say but that is very bad. and please do not let anyone read this.
i think i will start my story now. i do not know what to say. i do not know what to say first.
i will start with my father. my father is best man in the world. i am missing him now like i am missing my mother. but before i tell you about them i have to tell you about my pillow. it is a very bad pillow. before this one i had another one but the boys in the room started to have a pillow fight one night after they close the lights and safwan took my pillow to hit another boy and i never found my old pillow again. yunis saw me crying and helped me look for it but i think it was broken like some of the were pillows were broken. the guts of the pillows that were broken was on the floor and mister ahmed was very angry the next morning. but you do not know why my old pillow was important. sometimes at night i held my pillow. but not just held it i held it hard and closed my eyes and tried to see my mother very hard inside my closed eye. now i try that with my new pillow but it does not happen. i do not have a way of feeling my father because he did not hold me hard like my mother did because he came back from work at night and very tired. i do not know what to say but his work made him very angry like mister ahmed when he saw the pillow guts in the morning. sometimes when my mother did not make the food fast enough he hit her but my mother told me in the night when he was sleeping that he loves us and it is not his mistake. but it was not her mistake. he did not like waiting like i do not like waiting. waiting is very bad. like safwan. safwan is very bad. i did not tell mister ahmed about the pillow because i think he will hit safwan like he my father hit my mother or me or Yousef but that kind of love is not good. my father gets very angry. the last time he got so angry he even hit himself. the police people came to see what happens and they told me they found him hanging from a tree with a big rope around his neck after the fight with my mother got very bad and he got really angry. my father does not get angry any more. i can not wait to tell god about him because safwan hits me and tells me my father is going to burn in the fire for hanging from the tree from his neck and taking my mother with him. but i will tell god to forgive my father and my mother because my father is the best man in the world and he loves us and i know god is not going to say no because i will look into his face and talk like people who are can not be lying. that was a long sentence.
i do not like this new home with all the boys like me with mothers and fathers who went to god too.
i will tell you about Yousef because i can not stop thinking about him today. the first time i was i was in the masjid and Yousef was standing in the front and he was saying the athan. Yousef has the best voice in the world and when he says the athan i think everyone that can hear him will tell you the same thing about him. this was not the first my father took me to pray but it was the first time Yousef was there. i was so happy. when the praying was over i stood up and walked to the outside and i was waiting for my father but he was maybe talking to a friend or a man from his work and maybe he was in the toilet i do not know and then i saw Yousef standing in the black place where the light was not there and his mouth was laughing. he gave me a chocolate from his pocket then my father came to take me and we went home but i did not stop remembering him and i did not tell my father where i got the chocolate from because Yousef told me it was a secret and that he will give me more chocolates if i do not say so i did not say.
i do not know what to say but you know when you play on the swings and you go very fast and your stomach feels like it is hot water that wants to fall out of you? that is the feeling of when Yousef tells me he loves me but not to tell anyone and that life is hard for him but i make it easy and that is why he loves me. i am only telling you because you are the best teacher ever and my only friend in the house with boys with parents who went to god and you have to know why i am going to go to see god. and then after my dad went to work and i went to see Yousef and i told me my mother i was going to pray and she did not say no and to wait for my father to go with me.
after the third time when i was going to the masjid alone to the place i see Yousef in my dad was walking behind me and i did not know he was walking behind me and Yousef was loving me on my mouth and my father got very angry and he was hitting Yousef and i was standing and i did not do anything because my father hit me too to put me far from Yousef. he hurt him very bad and then i started running to my home and my father came back after me and his hands were cut and his clothes were very red and he hit my mother because he said she did not love me because she let me go to the outside alone. and then after i came to this new home. i can not wait to see Yousef another time. and my mother and my father and god. i hope safwan is very tired from playing football and sleeps because when he is not he hits me and throws the things on my bed on the floor.
i will tell god about him. but i will also tell god not to hit him very hard.
i will tell god that you are good and that you pray like good people. and i will tell god that you are the only person who says my name like it is a name and not a word. not a stupid word. you say my name like my mother says my name and my father and Yousef. you say my name like it is a proper noun not a number or a name of something small and stupid but like it is a big event to say my name. and that is very good. i told sayyed that i want to go to the last floor after the stairs and he told me he knows how to open the door because he knows where mister ahmed puts the keys which is inside the desk of his office with his papers and his pens.
a long time ago there was a singer actress that i saw on TV who went to god because she jumped from one of the lastest floors after the stairs. she was the biggest singer actress of all of them. if i see her with god i will tell her about you and everything. i think i will stop writing now.
i do not know what to say.
Tuesday 14 December 2005,
Alleged Child Molestation Ends in Murder-Suicide
A man of Asian ethnicity, 43, was arrested for allegedly sexually molesting a ten-year-old. The victim’s father interrupted the act, and assaulted the accused, leaving him bloodied. Back at home, a fight arose which neighbors described as “frightening and the loudest yet.” Early investigation suggest the victim’s father beat his wife until her death, then committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree.
Sunday 2 January 2006,
Pedophile Sentenced to 30 years in Prison, Deportation to Follow
Friday 30 April 2006,
Boy, 11, Jumps to His Death From Orphanage Rooftop
Motivation yet unknown. Investigation ongoing. Suicidal tendencies a possible cause, says chief investigator.