The shadows in my eyes
The writers’ workshop: Meeting each other in Suva

“My negligence lost my love forever”

Gunage running down to the Wahgi RiverJIMMY AWAGL

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Paga Hill Development Company
Award for Writing for Children

SHE lied to her husband that it was not very painful even as she confined herself to her room all day because of the agony.

They had been married for 18 years, had three teenage kids and lived happily in the rugged terrain of Dinga Aregol overlooking the Wahgi River.

She had a gum infection from a decaying tooth. It ached each day for two whole years. But she made no attempt to get to hospital for medication.

Over time, the infection affected all her teeth. She decided to devise a remedy to ease her pain for all time.

She made her way to a nearby cliff and threw a pig’s twine rope over the stretching branch of a casuarina tree. She tied the knot around her neck and was about to hang herself from the tree.

Her husband sighted her and screamed. Caught by surprise, she dropped the twine.

“What are you trying to do?”

“It’s not that I am mad but it’s the pain. It forces my flesh to end the pain,” she cried.

They strolled home miserably with doubt entangling their minds. They said nothing.

And so life continued with the daily chores. The father used no sense and did not take her to hospital for treatment. He lived as if in ignorance.

Two weeks after the incident, the pain grew even more. It was beyond her strength to control.

Her husband had fone to a nearby primary school to attend a meeting.

Unseen, she left the house at midday.

She strolled gently down to the river again and this time threw herself into the fast flowing current and was swept away instantly.

An elderly villager fishing along the Wahgi River sighted her body and reported the incident to her husband when he returned from the school meeting.

The husband and the relatives wept bitterly.

They family accused the husband for being ignorant by not taking her to hospital after the first incident.

The husband admitted it, saying, “It was my negligence. I have lost my love forever in the tide of the Wahgi River,” he screamed and cried bitterly.

There was not even a corpse to bury.

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