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Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.   - — Albert Schweitzer


If anyone ever deserved an award for being the best single parent in the universe it would be Mrs Manyoro my mother. All l ever wanted was to make her proud of me.


My father left when l was only five leaving my mum the house me and a lot of bills. My mother didn’t even blink or stumble. She used her lawyer’s degree and went back to work. Working to the bone she partnered with a friend to start a small boutique and raise me alone sacrificing her own happiness so l could achieve mine. 


My mother was my role model and that’s exactly why l worked hard to be like her. A strong independent woman who could take care of herself no matter the challenges she faced. I wanted to make it in life so l can repay her for all the sacrifices she made.


I don’t remember much about my father except that he was shouted a lot hit me and my mum and always walked and talked funny. I was too young to understand he was drunk. One night my dad came to my room and started beating me for no reason. My mum fought him off with a knife. Never have l been so afraid of my own father. 


By morning my dad was gone and mum never explained. I was a young kid and no matter the fear

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my dad was gone and mum never explained. I was a young kid and no matter the fear he was still my dad. And my dad had abandoned us.


But mum more than made up for the loss and tried her level best to make me forget about my selfish father. She insisted that l take school seriously and never give up. 


Always try to achieve success. 


Seeing how much my mother struggled l only had two goals l wanted to achieve make mum proud and become a famous fashion designer as huge as Dolce and Gabbana.


The first boyfriend l ever had when l was in form five almost derailed that. Sebastian was in our neighbouring boys school and always found opportunities to see me. Imagine this senior and captain of the rugby team desired by all the girls in our school and he wanted little old me. The ego boost was a rush.


Three months later he was my first heartbreak. He broke up with me because he wanted something l wasn’t ready to give my virginity. It messed me up so bad; it affected my grades and my social life.


“Tinotenda Rachel Munyoro what is going on with you?” my mum asked. It’s been months and l still couldn’t get over it. Worse still l knew my mum would never allow me to date so l was afraid to talk to her. She only called my full name when something l did angered or frustrated her.


“Erm..I..” I try to say but nope it wasn’t happening.


“There is a time for boys Tino and that time is not now.” l was shocked. My relationship hadn’t been common knowledge. But l forgot how perceptive my mother was.


“I was young once l can see the signs. Concentrate on your studies first. A’ level is a very important foundation we don’t want it weak do we?” my mum said taking my hands in hers. It amazed me how her hands always felt soft and warm.


She was right though my education was too important to mess up. “No mama l promise. I won’t have anything to do with any more boys.”


If relationships brought this much trouble then l would happily wait.

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