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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
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Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @duchesskk
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
I don’t know if this is normal, but I remember stuff from when i was 3. Not shadowy memories but real vivid pictures of things I’m sure happened. My story begins from about that time.
At that age i was conscious of the fact that my dad lived somewhere else ’cause every time he came we had special outings: we often went to listen to jazz or just play at the amusement park. I knew my family was happy but I didn’t understand why we had to live apart.
My dad eventually changed jobs and we went to live with him in Jos. The coldest, peaceful place I had ever been in.
In secondary school I remember having just the basic things I needed but somehow people envied me on visiting days because my family would come with lunch and we’d eat together and laugh.
My bond with my dad was so strong. The first time I saw my period I came to where my parents were seated and called my dad aside to tell him. This really upset my mum.
I told my dad almost anything.
It was my sister’s birthday and I was mandated to take food to my neighbours. I heard a knock and when I opened the gate, a man said he wanted to buy eggs from my mom’s poultry. I went to call her but my dad chose to go since she was eating. “who is disturbing my wife at this time?” he asked. I followed closely behind still bent on taking food to the neighbours. We got to the gate and realized the men were armed. As we ran inside I had no fear ’cause my dad was there, ‘He would lock the door then call the police and we would be fine‘- I thought to myself.
When I got into the house I ran to lock the alternative entrance while my mum kept asking confused questions. Then I heard the gunshot.
My dad was gone…
…just like that.
I can’t say I know what hell is like but if it’s pain is worse than what I felt that day, then it’s pain is indeed unbearable. That day something died inside me. When I hold up a front and smile it’s ’cause I know the worst thing happened.
My heart still burns for the man who was shot while shielding his family. The same one who gave me life and promised me heaven and earth again and again
I cover it all up, beneath my smile.
• • •
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XII’ by an Anonymous writer.
You can still send in your own true stories to email@example.com
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