it never really crossed my mind that perhaps, before, I wasn’t really alive

Up until we received this news, it never really crossed my mind that perhaps, before, I wasn’t really alive. I mean, of course I was living, breathing, walking and eating. But, when I realized what I had achieved, it felt like my lungs finally fully expanded for the first time. The sense of relief almost pained me because the rush of joy felt so foreign. I went from a young man merely putting one foot ahead of the other, to a person with real possibilities. Let me tell you son, nothing fills your lungs or makes your heartbeat quite like hope. I saw it in the other kids too – the lucky few who had, like me, been named on that list. We all came alive when we realized the rest of our lives would be lived somewhere far, far away in a place where dreams were not a foolish thing to have because food and safety are not resources as rare as precious metals.

Published by Gabriel Ndayishimiye

Gabriel Ndayishimiye lives in London, Ontario. He is a writer with a passion to contribute to Black history and literature; and the author of “Run Elvin” (forthcoming), a memoir written for youth from marginalized backgrounds. This book tells Gabriel’s academic/life experiences from refugee camps in East and Southern Africa and now from the metropolis of the western world. The story aims to inspire and motivate such demographic of youth to take up given opportunities to be creative, achieve success, and develop resilience to fight the challenges of life.

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