Have you ever felt so angry you start to cry? You don’t cry because you’re in pain, or cry because you’re ashamed, but you cry because the reason for which you’re angry is so unfair, so painful, and you of all people do not deserve it. Have you? I ask because this is my first time experiencing such emotions. And I’ve set aside all fears of crying in public. Let them see my tears, what do I care anymore?

“Ah? What dey happen am?” A voice queries no one in particular.

The tears have formed an angry stream down my face now. My nose is running. I want to wipe it but my arms feel like lead. Like lead.

“I wish I knew man. I’m just as surprised as you are,” a voice answers.

Like lead. My arms feel like lead. I cannot even lift them. They should feel numb too. But I can feel every inch of my calloused palms ablaze with pain.

“Crying in public…A big boy like himself?!” Yet another voice. There’s a crowd forming I assume. My eyes cannot look round. They just look up into the sky. Every inch of my calloused palms is ablaze with pain. My arms feel like lead.

I use my thumbs to count the blisters.

“I really no know. I tell am say make e weed my yard this morning…” the man who caused all this finally speaks up.

One, two, three, four, five, six…nine newly formed bumps on my palms. Nine. It means I worked hard all day today. It means I don’t deserve this shit. I worked hard today.

“E finish wey e wan charge me GHS10. I tell am say I get GHS5 wey this boy start dey cry…” everyone laughs.

I feel the man press a piece of paper into my palms and my fingers automatically close around it. I still don’t look at them.

“So you go take the money wey you want fool?” he chuckles. They laugh again. Harder.

I worked hard today. I worked hard today and I didn’t get the pay I deserved. My arms feel like lead. And all I have is GHS5 that wouldn’t last me through tomorrow. GHS5 and nine bumps on my already calloused hands to show for it. My arms feel like lead.

But my heart feels heavier.

11 thoughts on “Blisters

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