The Color Of Regret

The flickering neon sign outside the rundown cafe cast an unforgiving light on my face, highlighting the worry lines etched around my eyes. The once vibrant melody of my native tongue echoed in my head, a stark contrast to the harsh monologue playing on repeat in my heart.

Do I want to write my wrongs? The question, a prompt in Muwado’s #writeyourwrongs campaign, flickered like the dying neon sign.

Wrongs. The word felt heavy on my tongue, a bitter pill to swallow. My reflection in the chipped coffee mug mocked me – weary eyes mirroring a soul burdened by the weight of unspoken apologies.

My mind drifted back, a mirage of memories swirling into a montage of regret. I was young, naive, fueled by a desperate need to belong. I saw the world through rose-colored glasses, painted by the promises of a society that demanded assimilation, not appreciation.

The school compound echoed with cruel taunts. My name, a melody in my mother tongue, was twisted into a weapon, wielded by children who mirrored the intolerance of adults. Lunchtime was an ordeal, my home food a source of ridicule, not curiosity. I craved invisibility, yearning to shed the vibrant image of my heritage for the bland conformity expected of me.

In my quest to belong, I distanced myself from everything that made me unique. I buried my mother’s tongue deep within, replacing it with the harsh syllables of a language that felt foreign on my lips. I discarded my cultural norms, a vibrant riot of heritage, for the muted tones of conformity.

Years blurred, the sting of rejection a dull ache in my chest. I became a chameleon, blending into the background, eager to avoid the spotlight. But even that wasn’t enough. When societal ills flared, a convenient scapegoat emerged – the boy, the one with the accent, the one who looked different.

The vitriol was deafening. Blaming eyes turned my way, judging not my actions, but the color of my skin, the cadence of my speech. The very society that demanded my assimilation now ostracized me for the very thing they encouraged me to suppress.

The cafe door creaked open, shattering the fragile hold I had on my memories. An elderly man slid into the booth opposite me, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he smiled. He spoke in my native tongue, the forgotten melody washing over me like a warm wave.

Tears welled in my eyes, blurring the world around me. Regret, a deluge of missed moments and unspoken truths, painted my vision with shades of remorse.

Do I want to write my wrongs?

The answer, a tidal wave of emotion, crashed over me. Yes. Yes, I do.

To the younger me, lost in the storm of assimilation, I apologize. For burying the vibrant culture of our heritage, for silencing the melody of our tongue.

To my community, ostracized and blamed, I offer my hand. Together, we will rewrite the narrative, replacing blame with understanding, fear with acceptance.

And to society, I extend an olive branch. Let’s celebrate the vibrant ethnicity of cultures that weave the fabric of our nation. Let’s embrace the colors, the music, the stories that make us unique.

The cafe lights flickered once more, then plunged the room into darkness. But within me, a spark ignited. The color of regret had given way to the hopeful hues of redemption. The journey to write my wrongs had just begun…

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Written by DMT (2)

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