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I always knew how I was going to was written on my skin from the day I was born. Not as letters but as symbols. Everybody has the symbols it might be on the neck, shoulders, hand ,legs anywhere decent. The common places are the shoulders and the wrists. We died on the day what the strange mark on our skin stands for. A death letter. Which I plan to get translated very soon that is why I am heading to the oldest translator or sign reader in our area. Amaka.

Amaka is a 132 years old woman who still hasn’t died which I find very strange because most people die young though they know how they die. She reads the signs, tells many different ways to avoid the inevitable. I have doubts though, if she really knows how to avoid it why has many failed to live? Why is she still alive? She always wore a white dress that covers every bit of skin other than her face, her hands and her feet. In all my 27 years that I existed on this earth I never saw her wearing another colour or anything revealing.

As I reached the hut I hesitated and start to rethink my decision. Do I really want to know what my fate is? The door opened before I could back away Amaka came out looked me dead in the eye and smiled she stretched her hand as if wanting to welcome me to her house. I accepted the offer with a smile of my own.

 “I was expecting you. Come in.” said Amaka.

“I don’t really know how to respond to that but I sure do need answers” I replied and got in the hut. Contrary to its external feature the hut really is homey and modern. There lay books upon books on a medium sized table placed in the corner of the room.

Amaka turned towards me and said “Make yourself at home I suppose we have a lot to discuss about”

“How much time does it normally take you to read? ”I asked.

“It depends on the complexity of the signs but you are not here for the normal are you?”

“What is the normal?”

“You know the usual I read, interpret and tell them. The signs if you ask me are simple the hardest part is telling it to people who are not ready to deal with the truth.”

“Am I ready then ?”

“I think you have been ready for a very long time. These people, they don’t really know what they are asking for when they come to me. They just want to avoid something that they truly can’t run away from. Silly.” She started laughing. She was right though it’s a chase. She took a deep breath and started talking again.

“I see something in you kid. I see something that has been lost long ago I see a successor. Correct me if I am wrong but I can surely see the fight in your eyes.”

Her words got my gears turning. Every bit of her words were true. I think she also reads minds. I don’t want to avoid my death. I want to face it head on. I am not willing to live just to die. I refuse to believe that this is the only way. I refuse to be tied by a continuous cycle. I refuse to be just another soul. There must be some loophole, there must have been something beyond living to die, playing hide and seek with death.

“Look kid I see something in you urging you to go break the chains and I suggest you do just that”

“How?” I asked.

“Well, we can start by reading your signs. Have a seat” I obliged

I took of my shirt. My signs start from the back of my neck straight to the middle of my back on my spine. I don’t even know how to describe them the. The one on my neck looks like a fish but also a flying dove. Amaka wore her glasses and started to take a look. She started running her fingers on them. In that moment I felt something calling me from within.

“What do you feel?” she asked. And I told her what I truly felt.

“Your signs say that you will die on the day you sail on the sea for the first time. I think you know what to do.” She was right I knew what to do. I learnt it from the best. Christ. And I shall walk his path.

I thanked her and started to leave but before I got out she said something that shook me to the core. She said “see you soon”.

After I left I started to make a plan. A plan to buy a boat. I returned home grabbed some money and head for the nearest shop. Some might think I lost my mind but I will not wait for death to chase me down I shall go and meet him.

The Meranda sea is not far from where I am now. Just 15 minutes walk. I bought the boat and started my journey to death which I practically started on the day I was born.

As I reached the sea, I saw no trace of man. Meranda looks beautiful, majestic, graceful and at the same time calming I pushed the boat in to the sea and got in. I sailed deeper and deeper. 

Now it is a waiting game. I waited. An hour turned into two then tree four five six and then I fell asleep in the middle of the sea. I dreamt I dreamt about a man, a shining man, who walked towards me and looked me in the eyes. His eyes held so much love, a love that literally took my breath. He stretched his hands and pulled me up and smiled. His smile is so refreshing that it mended my broken heart and renewed my soul. He said one word “BRAVE” And then I woke up. I started laughing. In that moment I remembered a verse. “O death, where[is] thy sting? O grave where[is] thy victory?”

I sailed back to the shore and shouted a shout of praise. That was all it took to undo it being brave. Suddenly I remembered what Amaka said. I shall see her now. I headed to her hut and knocked she seemed surprised to see me when she opened the door. “Come in” she said and went inside to one of the rooms I was looking at a picture my back turned to her when she came back.

“Oh my” I turned to look at her. Her one hand was holding a tray with two cups of tea on it and her other hand lay on her heart. I took the tray from her hands and made her sit.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Your marks they are gone. You sailed didn’t you?”

“Yes I did”P

“I didn’t expect you would do it this soon. As you are now brave enough I shall tell you what is to come next. You will get training as you are now my successor. I will not have much time left as you are now ready. You will read signs and do what I have been doing for these miserable people.”

“But why did my marks disappear?”

“They only get to stay as long as you believe in them. People are so afraid of death. It is fear that holds them in a cage. The marks were never meant to scare them they were meant to toughen them. They lived because they are afraid of the opposite not because they loved to live. Life is meant to be loved.”

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