Creative Writing

A Letter to Nabil

A Tree

My dear Nabil, what makes you know that you know what it is you say you know? No, I do not ask this in a bid to sound sagely. I have no need for tedium of that sort, of any sort. I ask because you affirm all of these beliefs and I sometimes wonder ​if they are truly yours to affirm.

I do not know that the you I hear is the you that you are, beneath that mask, the one you wear through all of your waking hours. In truth, I hear not one person but four or five or six. I hear the dogmas passed down to you, the ones you adopt so freely and yet without knowing.

Thoughts of mortality, yours and mine, have been a regular companion, these four days since. Two dear ones have passed on in the most recent forthnight, both without fair warning. These events do things to a man, be he twenty or sixty in years lived. These feelings of grief, of loss, they linger, perhaps longer than I care to admit. We are here, in this moment, and we are gone in the next. Temporary highs become memories to the ones we leave behind. This is the Cycle, I think. It is simply as it is.

What can you do? Stop. Stop, for a moment. Stay, in the quietude of a dawn just broken or the calmness of trees, of nature, and try to find your way to the answers. And if that fails, walk. Walk and see. See all around you, the people beneath the masks you encounter, the ones they wear just as closely as you wear yours. Be sure to see, my friend; do not only look. Maybe then you would know — or you would not. And then live just a little bit more, each day, in the knowledge of what you find.

You need to be heard, Nabil. You, not the voices of others through you. Be human, in the distinct sense that the word applies to you. That is the challenge you face; finding your voice in the depths of the cacophony of competing sounds. Yes, I believe this to be true, with you as with all others in your clan. You might resist it, but you know it just as well as I do. I apologise for being the one to let you know, the one to let you down from the horse you ride so gaily.

What more is there to be said? There is just one thing and it is this: It all falls down, you see. All of these. Know this, if this is all that you ever know. What could be worse than walking forwards but leaving life behind?


– This article was  written by Chidozie Akakuru and was first published on Medium.

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