April A-Z Challenge - Z is for Zaire - River (Origin : African)
Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters
It was a beautiful Friday evening. The wind created a steady shower of leaves laying a carpet of mixed hues in the cafeteria's patio. There were students walking around, some dressed in their best, eager to get to their dinner dates, others casually walking in a group to go out and forget the stress of college. Zaire sat at a table by a lamp, his head deep inside a Mathematics book. He looked up every now and then, carefully assessing his surroundings. He was used to the buzz of the early evening giving way to a chilling silence as the evening passed. Then it would just be Zaire, and the open skies.
Zaire put his book down and walked towards a nearby fountain, the water gleamed in the light of the full moon. Zaire ran his hands in the cold water of the fountain, the free flowing water had not stopped to amaze him. He looked upwardly at the skies, with fond memories of home. It was the same skies, with the blessing of the stars and the moonlight, that had got him so far. He missed home and his family, especially his mother. The thought of his mother, made him feel hungry. He went back to the table, and pulled out the remainder of his lunch from his bag.
It did not taste anything like his mother's food, but Zaire had not once questioned how fortunate he had been. He had initially thought twice about taking the opportunity given to him by the visiting Americans. He had felt sad to leave his family behind in their small village, living a life of struggles for their basic needs. But he had realized it was important to follow his dreams, and so Zaire had flown like a river towards the sea of opportunities. He was determined to work hard and make it big. He had vowed to change everything for the better for his family, and for his entire village.
Zaire sat back again with his Mathematics book, pulling the ends of his cardigan and fastening its buttons. The autumn nights were getting chillier for sure, but Zaire knew he could fight it. His worry was about the winter months, when he had to adapt to studying indoors in his dorm. Some habits were hard to break, especially for a kid who grew up studying outside in the moonlight, while his family slept in the darkness of their house.