Adrian woke up screaming and flailing his hands. The door bust open and an older boy stepped
into the room. He punched the switch and warm light hit the blankets.

         Adrian? Adrian?” the older boy called gently. “Wake up. It’s just a bad dream!”

          But Adrian was beyond control. He jackknifed into a sitting position and looked around him with a dazed expression; sweat glistened his forehead. “They killed him,” he said in a hoarse voice. “They killed my brother!”

          The older boy buckled his knees and placed a comforting hand on Adrian’s shoulder. He could see the look of crazy in the eyes … the vivid disconnect.

          “No Adrian. It’s just a bad dream. Look over there, your brother is safe and asleep. See? It’s just a bad dream.”

          Adrian looked up to where his brother lay. The cloud of fog drifted from his eyes and the pupils moved. “Malik!” he screamed in delight and simultaneously leaped to his feet. The older boy watched with a smile as Adrian cut the distance and slipped into bed next to his brother. It was a privilege to be a witness of such profound love. Here in each other’s arms the boys were safe;
here was where their anchor lay in the not so good times in their lives. Nothing was real in the orphanage; nothing was real until tomorrow.

The lights at the orphanage went out again and all the murmuring ceased. Moonlight streaked in through the window and lifted the evil lurking in the darkness. Inside the room and under a low pressed ceiling, ten boys purred softly in their sleep, the dream of tomorrow uncertain.

The bad dream had started after watching the Pirates of Caribbean movie and had over the days continued to haunt Adrian relentlessly. At the age of twelve, watching a PG 13 movie was probably not a great idea but he had had little choice least the other boys at the orphanage
thought him a coward. The gallows … that’s what they called it… a place of hanging: men, women and children: crying and screams of horror; feet on cold cement, dead bodies piled up on carts. The image had never left
Adrian’s mind, only that this time in his dreams, it was his brother dangling from the ropes, and it scared Adrian that the
nightmare may one day come true.

 

I Love You Tomorrow

 

          The orphanage was small and looked more like an old motel than anything else. Donations came slow or very rarely; management was poor. Inside the building lived approximately two hundred boys, all rescued from the streets of London. Amongst the children were twelve-year-old Adrian and his fourteen year old brother Malik. Their files in the office were thin: father Unknown; mother unknown; date and place of birth uncertain.

The boys at the orphanage were driven to a nearby school on weekdays and kept on lock down
on Saturdays. But Sundays were always special and the director, a religious man desperately wanted the children to get the same religious upbringing that he had.

Sundays were a great day at the Orphanage because it was the one day during the week that the boys were allowed any kind of freedom. Five hours, from 9am to 1pm was a lifetime. The two mile trek to church was a nice stroll through nice residential neighborhoods where the boys would get a glimpse of what normal families looked like: a dad, a mum, a child playing with a bike on the front lawn.

          Every Sunday the director gave the children tithe money and explained to them the meaning of supporting the church. “You give God one tenth of your income to ensure that his work on earth continues,” the director said. “Support your church children and God will bless you.”

Adrian enjoyed having the money every Sunday and in his mind pretended that it was his, right before he walked to the front of the church and dropped it in the basket. He knew that the director and the older boys were watching from somewhere in the congregation and so he always made the sign of the cross for their benefit and
then followed his brother back to their seats. The aura in church was Godly, the sight of Jesus on a cross worrying. But church was the one place where
Adrian felt at peace. He couldn’t explain it but it was as though he was home here. He enjoyed the service: the bible stories and melodious songs. God will make a way where
there seems to be no way.

          After church, the two skinny boys sauntered aimlessly up the winding street, in no
hurry to get back to the orphanage.

          “I’m so hungry,” Adrian said to his older brother. The time was twelve and lunch at the orphanage was served at one.

          “I can buy us some candy,” Malik said and Adrian’s eyes narrowed at him.

          “You have money?”

          Malik dug into his pocket and pulled out some coins.

          Adrian pointed a shaky finger at the coins. “But Malik, that’s tithe money. I thought I saw you
walk to the front of the church?”

“I did,” Malik said without pause. “I put my hand in the basket but didn’t drop anything. Come on Adrian, I know you want some candy.” Malik dashed into a supermarket and Adrian had no
choice but to follow his older brother.

          Shirts and khaki pants; military short hair, the two nicely dressed boys strolled up and down the supermarket aisles looking like normal kids; only that they weren’t. The orphanage was the closest thing they had come to a real home and a
normal life.

Nicely dressed folks from church graced the supermarket aisles and to Adrian, Sundays always felt different. People dressed up and smiled more; there was no traffic and folks looked less stressed as they walked the earth. Adrian liked Sundays; the world was a happy place on Sundays. With M&M candy filling their mouths, the two boys mingled happily with other church goers and
pretended to belong.

“I really like Sundays,” Adrian said as they exited the building and walked down the street.

          They cut away from the main street and entered a ragged neighborhood. Here properties were on the decline and the gas stations looked like ruins. Malik motioned his younger brother forward through a barber shop entrance.

          “No Malik,” Adrian said as he came to an abrupt stop. “We only have fifteen minutes to get back for lunch otherwise we will be in trouble.”

          “This will only take a second,” Malik said in a pleading tone.

          The barber, a man in his mid twenties looked up as the boys walked in. His dreads bobbed up and down to the sound of a Bob Marley song playing in the background.

          “Halo,” he greeted.

          “Hi,” Malik replied. The two boys sat down and watched him work the clippers with the
dexterity of a John Hopkins’ surgeon.

          Five minutes later, the barber walked over and squatted in front of them. He ignored Adrian and looked at Malik. “What you got for me little man? I know you have something.”

          Malik smiled and pulled out something from his pocket. It was an expensive looking twin turbo electric shaver with the cover box missing. Adrian’s jaw dropped and warm blood rushed into his head.

          The Barber held the gadget pensively in his hand then said in a solemn tone. “Good job little man. Pass by tomorrow and I will see what I can do for you.”

          “Okay,” Malik said as he jumped happily to his feet.

          Burning sunlight welcomed the boys as they stepped out of the building.

“You stole the shaver from the supermarket?” Adrian exploded in a shocked voice.

          “No,” Malik said, “it was sitting on a cart in the parking lot. I was going to tell you about it. I swear.”

          They had five minutes to get back for lunch. The punishment for being late was hunger, and with their experience of living on the streets, hunger was the one thing that the boys didn’t joke with. Their feet pounded the ground hard as they sprinted the rest of the way to the orphanage.

At the main door, they stopped to compose themselves and straighten their clothes. “Adrian?” Malik called in a pleading voice. “Please don’t tell anybody about the

shaver.”

 

Adolescence … definition simplified… to grow up. Halo drugs, booze and sex… goodbye childhood innocence.

 

          At 6pm, the boys were playing soccer in
the backyard when
Adrian looked up and saw the director walking towards the playground. His heart sank at the sight of the man beside him; it was the barber holding the electric shaver.

          “Mr. Adrian and Mr. Malik, please come to my office immediately.” The director liked to call the boys sirs and the title made the children feel respected.

          The office was tiny, the barber’s face concerned. Adrian couldn’t meet the director’s eyes. He was ashamed of himself.     

          “Who did it?” the director asked as he opened one drawer after another. “Who stole the shaver?” Silence. “Ah, here it is!” He pulled out the electric code of an iron box from his drawer and stood up.

          “Mr. Gipsy, thank you for your time.” The barber was dismissed. “Mr. Malik, Mr. Adrian, follow me.”

          The boys were taken into a small room and pushed inside. The director followed in, turned off the lights and closed the door behind him.

          “I will ask you one more time, who stole the shaver?’ His voice rang strong in the darkness and Adrian was terrified.

          Silence. The iron box code came flying out like a whip. The first lash landed squarely on Adrian’s back and he screamed out in pain. It hurt so badly.

          “Who did it!” the director asked as he swung the code again.

          “I did it!” Adrian yelled. “I stole the electric shaver from the supermarket.”

          The lights came on to reveal a crying Adrian. The director put on his glasses and took a closer look at the crying boy. “You did? You stole the shaver?”

          Adrian wiped the tears from his face. “Yes. I did it,” he repeated.

          “And how exactly did you do it?”

          “I pulled the shaver out of the box so as not to trigger the sensors and then walked out with it in my pocket.” Adrian’s sobs cut a gloomy ambiance in the air. In a far corner in the room, Malik sat quietly looking innocent with barely a scratch on his body. He said nothing as his brother confessed to the crime.

          “Okay,” the director said. “I believe you. We should go and discuss this in the office.”

          “Yes sir, thank you sir!” Adrian stepped
out of the room feeling relieved. But as soon as he stepped out, the door slammed shut behind him and he knew that he had been tricked. Inside the dark room, he heard his big brother’s first scream.

          “Nooo!” Adrian yelled. “Don’t hurt him!” He pounded hard on the door as Malik’s screams came louder. Pounding on the door didn’t seem to help and so he leaned against it helplessly and cried.

“Pleas…please don’t hurt him! He didn’t do anything! He didn’t do anything!”

London 8 Years Later

 

          The trees thrashed in the storm, the branches creaked to the weight of snow. On the
ground, a young man ran for his dear life, the snow ankle deep, the sound of pursuit behind him. It was
Adrian and the soaking feeling in his shirt was not from the snow, it was blood.

          Suddenly, Adrian’s ankle gave up and he went down hard. By the time he rose to his feet, five hard looking men had surrounded him.

          “Leave me alone!” he yelled through burning lungs. “I have no money!” He clutched
tightly at the Bible in his hands.

          “Where is Malik?” a voice growled. “Where can we find your brother?”

          “I don’t know,” Adrian replied in a scared voice.

The man stepped forward and punched him in the gut. The lad doubled over and hit the ground knees first. The Bible fell in the snow.

         “I have no money,” Adrian repeated. Laughter, warm spit on his face, the arrogance of fit men.  

          “We don’t want your money preacher boy, we want your brother.” They went to work with their feet, kicking Adrian in every part of his body. He screamed in pain and curled up into a ball. His back ached and his skin began to turn cold in the snow.

          Footsteps nearby. The men turned but it was too late. A fist slammed into a face and a
knee cracked a groin. The silhouette of a man swung with both fist and high kicks. Two men were unconscious in two seconds; a third one was grabbing at a broken nose.

          “You alright Adrian?” A deep voice growled and Adrian felt his heart leap with joy as he recognized his big brother’s voice.

          “I’m okay.”

          It was two against one. The men looked up and recognized their attacker. The fear was distinct in their voices. “What in the…”

Malik launched forward towards them. He leaped on top of a trunk and leveled a flying kick on the first man’s head; the man dropped down cold, face first in the snow. Malik rolled on the ground and rose as the second man roared forward, head aimed at belly. He missed as Malik stepped aside. A fist landed on the man’s face when he turned, another to the rib cage. The man groaned in pain and caught Malik with a surprise left hook. Malik laughed at the taste of blood in
his mouth. “Is that all you’ve got?”

          For the next few seconds, the two men exchanged blows as Adrian watched. The clouds moved and moonlight beamed on Malik’s face. The eyes were hard and narrowed; the thin smile on his face unmistakable. Adrian realized that his brother was toying with the man. He didn’t want the fight to be over. Adrian slowly rose to his feet and walked over to the two bleeding men. Malik saw Adrian from the corner of his eye and moved behind the attacker, grabbing him by the neck. He
pushed the attacker in front of his little brother and said, “come on
Adrian, he’s all yours. Hit him!”

          Adrian looked shocked. “What? No, I can’t do that!”

          Malik yelled in an angry voice. “Put the Bible down Adrian and hit him!”

          But Adrian only shook his head. “Malik,” he said in a soft voice, “the Bible is all I know. The Bible is what protects me. God sent you to help me. I can’t hit the man. I can’t be someone am not.”

          Malik groaned and rolled his eyes. He spun the man and knocked him out cold with a right. A roar escaped Malik’s throat and he raised his hands towards the sky. The lean muscles were visible; the broad shoulders, the knife wound scars…cold rage. He was like an animal.

The two brothers locked eyes and breathed heavily. The whole rescue thing had only taken sixty seconds. Malik bent down and went through the man’s pockets. He pulled out a wallet and flipped the pages.

“Who are these men?” Adrian asked in a
soft voice.

“Contract players,” Malik replied, “amateurs.”

The screeching sound of a car suddenly cut into the air. “Get down Adrian!” Malik yelled and dived for his brother. The two boys rolled on cold snow as the sound of a semi automatic thundered through the darkness. Wood splinter flew as
bullets ricocheted from the buildings and trees. Malik was on his feet in seconds. Gun in hand, his feet pounded the pavement on a dead run as he headed towards the car.

          “No Malik!” Adrian yelled.

          The barrel of a gun came up and Malik fired nine rounds in four seconds. From where he lay on the snow, Adrian saw the muzzle flash bright in the night. Car window shattered and tires squealed again. The black car sped off just as fast as it had appeared. The city became dark and still.

With the arrival of the railway line in London came rapid growth in terms of population and industrialization. More docks were constructed and trade blossomed. The suburbs grew in all directions to accommodate the immigrants and large work force required.

At the age of 20, Adrian was hired by an auction company at the docks where he acquired his first experience at making a living. As the youngest employee in the company, he ran errands for his colleagues and carried files from one desk to another in the office. But when he wasn’t carrying files, he would sit at the counter and receive checks from the various dealership companies and individuals buying cars from the
auction in the backyard.

          At 12.30pm, Adrian looked up from the counter and saw a pink dress amongst the business suits in the hall. His face lit up and he quickly jumped down from his high chair. Kate his
girlfriend had paid him a surprise visit.

          “Can I go to lunch ma’am?” He turned and asked his boss.

          The boss laughed. “What time is lunch on the schedule?”

         12.30 pm ma’am.”

          “Well, there you go. You don’t have to ask me. Just follow your schedule.”

          “Okay. Thank you ma’am”

          Mrs. Margareta turned to her colleague. “He’s adorable. Watch him ask me again
tomorrow.”

          Adrian scampered into the hallway and grabbed Kate’s hand and together they dashed out of the building giggling. The men turned to stare at her rear.

          The restaurant they went to was nothing fancy as they both didn’t make a lot of money. And Kate was only 18 years old, without a job.

          “Nice surprise Kate,” Adrian said and
watched her face light up.

          “I missed you Adrian. Just wanted to see you.” She tucked her hair behind her ear.

          “I’m glad you came.”

          She was very pretty: beautiful teeth and lush lips. Adrian tipped his head back and laughed when he saw her new shoes.

          “Don’t laugh at me,” she protested. “I was trying to dress up like a working class girl. Do you like it?” She stood up so he could see the way her pink dress matched with the black shoes.

          “I love it Kate. And I love you!”

          He pecked her cheek and she blushed. He liked the fact that she delighted in small things: the taste of food, sunlight in the sky, flowers in the fields.

          They chatted for a while aimlessly and halfway through lunch Adrian pulled out a new Bible.

          “What’s that Adrian?” she asked.

          “It’s a present for my brother Malik. He says that he also wants to learn about the Lord. Do you think he will like it?”

          Kate rolled her eyes. “Adrian, I like your brother, but he’s never going to change.”

          “He told me that he wanted to change,” Adrian said, eyes down on the ground.

          She raised his chin and softened her voice. “Your brother does not have a religious bone in his body. Why Adrian? Why are you still holding on to him? Every other family would have disowned him by now.”

          “You wouldn’t understand Kate.”

          “Try me.”

          He sighed. “When we were kids, a lot of things happened. They caught us one day
stealing… my brother and I. They said that we couldn’t be together again and that my brother was a bad influence on me. They gave me up for adoption.” Tears burned
Adrian’s eyes and
he looked away.

          “I’m sorry,” Kate said as she lay a hand on his shoulder. “What happened to your brother?”

        “They send him to juvenile Kate. They send him to a prison for kids. Why would they do that? They should have locked me up too!” The tears finally dropped. “Why would they do that to a little boy?”

          “Don’t say that,” Kate said firmly. “They had a reason.”

          “But who was supposed to look out for my brother?” Adrian said. “Who else was supposed to love him? Everybody rejected him and I wasn’t there at a time when he needed me most.” He remembered their times together: the cold streets, the loneliness and fear they had shared… the moments trapped in time. Hope for tomorrow was the only thing that had kept them alive.

         Kate couldn’t take it any more. She pulled him into her arms and held firmly. She waited while he got a grip of his emotions. And when he had, she put her arms around his neck and looked into his eyes.

         Adrian,” she said. “Your brother is going to love the present. Take the Bible to him.”

          “You think so?” His eyes lit up expectantly.

          “Yes. Give it to him. He’s lucky to have you as a brother.”

          “No,” Adrian corrected. “I’m lucky to have him as my brother. The Lord doesn’t make mistakes.”

          The clock at the square suddenly struck 1pm and Adrian looked up in surprise. Where had the time gone? It was time to go back to work.

          “Kate?” he said solemnly.

          “Yes Adrian.”

         “I’m leaving for Africa with the church.”

          “What?”

          The air was sucked out of the restaurant and he felt her body stiffen. His dream of
joining the church had always been a rough spot in their relationship. He wanted to dedicate his life to serving all living things and she didn’t approve
of it.

          Kate bowed her head dejectedly. “Can I convince you to change your mind?”

          “No. I have to go.” Pause. “I want to go.”

          She nodded. “You have always talked about it Adrian, since the first time I met you. I just thought that maybe now that you have a good job… maybe you would change your mind and be with me.”

          Adrian pursed his lips and suddenly felt afraid. He wanted to leave the mainstream society and live a life of prayer, but he didn’t want to loose her.

          “I love you Kate. London is the best place to live in the whole world. You are the best girlfriend I could ever have dreamed off. But if I don’t do this thing, then I will live the rest of my
life wondering whether I made a mistake.” Pause. He grabbed her shoulders and looked gently into her eyes. “Let me go Kate. Let me go to
Africa and help the people there. I want to build dams where there is no water: I want to preach the gospel to the natives; I want to learn their language and give them access to medicine… I want to hunt gazelles in the golden savanna. And when am
done and my heart is at peace, I will come back home and find you.”

          She was crying. “I’m afraid Adrian. I’m
scared that am going to loose you.”

          “Don’t say that Kate. God has a plan for us. You have to believe that. You have to trust in God.”

          Adrian kissed her on the forehead and started walking away, but Kate’s voice stopped him dead on his tracks. “I want to come with you Adrian. I’m coming with you to Africa!”

          He turned around slowly; a dazed expression on his face. Their eyes met and they
held the gaze for a while. It had never occurred to him that she would want to leave the comforts of
London. It had never occurred to him to ask her. But here she was, standing in front of him,
sacrificing the comforts of a city life to be with him.

          He took an uncertain step forward. “Kate… Kate…” He saw the girly muscles bunched up in determination.

          The wind pushed her forward and she wrapped her hands around his waist. “I will go
anywhere for you Adrian, anywhere. I don’t want to live a day without you.”

          He wrapped his arms around her and raised his face to the heavens. It was true, God worked in mysterious ways.

          “There are no hot showers where am going Kate,” he said with a chuckle.

          “Its okay honey, hot showers are overrated.”

 

 

          It took Adrian five minutes to run back to work and he was scared for being late. But when he got back and saw the worried look on Mrs. Margareta’s face, he instantly knew that
something bad had happened.

          “They called,” Mrs. Margareta said. “It’s your brother Malik. He’s dead!”

          Adrian stopped walking and stood very still. Everybody in the office was watching him closely.
The women dabbed at their eyes, the men flanked him just in case.
Adrian looked at his boss and then at the faces of the others. Dead? They were wrong. There was no way his big brother was dead.

         Adrian?” Mrs. Margareta
called.

          Her voice sounded distant. Adrian’s dream
had finally come true. The gallows had returned to claim his brother. He closed his eyes and saw him there…up there… his brother Malik… hanging from a rope. His worst childhood fear had just come to life.

          He reached out to a desk and steadied himself. “How did he die?” he asked.

          “Mob justice,” Mrs. Margareta said softly. “He was caught stealing on the streets and they stoned him to death.”

          A sob chocked on Adrian’s throat and his legs buckled. The men rushed in and helped his limp body to the floor.

He woke up a few seconds later and looked at the worried faces around him. “Move back!”
Someone was yelling. “Give him some room to breath!”

          Adrian sat up very slowly and a glass of cold water miraculously appeared next to his lips.
He ignored his unbuttoned shirt and took a small sip. Color returned to his face and his jaws hardened defiantly. “He’s not dead,” he whispered.

          “They said he died,” Mrs. Margareta said softly. She could see the young man grappling
with the news, and searching for an anchor.

          Adrian rose slowly to his feet. “He’s not dead!” He repeated in a stronger voice.

          The front door blew open as he flung himself through it. He ran like a mad man, the
voices behind him calling for caution. His brother was not dead! He knew it at the very bottom of his gut.

          He had grown up on these streets. London to many was heaven on earth, but to a street kid the story was different: the alleys were dark and cold.

          He knew exactly where to find him. There was only one place. If Malik was still alive then there was only one place to find him.

 

          The time was 3pm as Adrian ran through the dark alleys. He kicked the empty cans out of the way and jumped over an old couch. A black cat scurried away as he ran by.

          He hadn’t been here in eleven years. The place looked smaller than he remembered; the building older with mildew and mulch on the walls. He climbed up the fire escape and entered through the back door… through the kitchen and into the
living room. The smell of cheap cigarette hit his face and the dirty faces in the room turned to stare at him. The last time he had seen them, they had been boys. Now they were gaunt and mean looking men: dirty beard and yellow teeth. The cuteness was gone. The purse snatching kids had become thugs.

         Adrian?” One of them exclaimed in surprise.

          They moved aside and he saw his brother… lying there on the carpet, face covered in dry
blood. “Malik!” Relief flowed through
Adrian’s body and he felt a lightness in his heart. His brother was alive! Wounded yes, but alive. Adrian ran over
and knelt beside him. “Malik? Malik? Can you hear me?”

          One bloody eye popped open and Adrian sighed. The mouth moved and red teeth grinned at him. “Hey little brother, did you come to rescue me?”

          “You are hurt Malik. I will take you to a hospital.”

          “I’m okay. I just need to rest.”

          But Malik was not okay. His ribs and hands were broken; the look of a possible concussion in his eyes. Adrian tried to help him to his feet.

          “Not so fast Adrian,” a deep voice cut through the air. Adrian whirled at the sound. It was a voice from the past, something that had haunted his dreams over the years.  A big man stepped into the room and Adrian stared in
disbelieve. It was Quin, the man who had looked after them on the streets. He had been strong then, in his mid forties. Now, the white hair made him look old and tired.

“We dragged your brother from the streets,” Quin said. “He could have been dead if it wasn’t for us.”

          Adrian understood and reached into his pockets. He pulled out his wallet and counted out all the money. Quin studied him quietly as he accepted the cash. “This is nothing Adrian. I hear that you have a job now. You don’t steal no more like you used to.”

          “I’m a man of God Quin,” Adrian said tensely.

          Quin reached out and touched Adrian’s clothes. “I will take the coat and the shoes, if you don’t mind.”

Adrian undressed quickly and helped his brother to his feet. Malik groaned in pain and leaned heavily against his brother’s body as the two boys stepped into the streets.

He had to get him to the church hospital as soon as he could. Father Benson would know
what to do; the nurses would help him with the wounds.



LondonHeathrowAirport was a beehive of activities: tears were shed and hugs exchanged. Adrian stood on his toes and looked anxiously over the group of people that had come to see him off. Mrs. Margareta his boss was there and so were some other members of the church and their families.

          “Still no sign of your brother?” Kate asked as she straightened the big safari hat on her head.

          “No.”

          Mrs. Margareta hugged him warmly. “You take care of yourself Adrian. Africa is beautiful but don’t stray too far from civilization. We need you back in one piece.”

          “Thank you Mrs. Margareta for giving me my first job and being the best boss.”

          “You are welcome.”

          There was a tap on his shoulder and
Adrian turned. It was Father Benson.

          “We are going inside. The plane will be leaving soon. You should come,” the cloaked
man said.

         “I’ll be right there Father.” Adrian searched
the parking lot and terminal for the hundredth time.

          “He’s not coming,” Kate said.

          “He will be here.” Adrian’s voice
was strong. “He’s coming.”

 

A white Limousine appeared around a bend and pulled into the passenger drop-off area. The
shiny rims and tinted windows were eye catching. The left back door swung open dramatically and a man stepped out: shiny black shoes; white designer suit. The man took off his dark sunglasses and searched the crowds. Black jell glistened from his hair. It was Malik and
Adrian’s face broke into a wide smile as he made his way towards the car.

          “Where did he get the car?” Kate asked from a step behind. “He doesn’t even have a
job!”

          But Adrian wasn’t listening. He walked up to Malik and the two brothers stopped and looked warmly into each other’s eyes.

          “So,” Malik said as he pocketed the glasses. “This thing about Africa, how long are you going to be gone?”

          Adrian shifted nervously on his feet. “I don’t know brother, maybe five years. Africa is a large continent and we intent to hit as many countries as possible. We start in Sudan.”

          “I see,” Malik said. He didn’t look his usual self and Adrian realized that his brother was struggling to control his emotions. Malik would have been more comfortable fighting in Iraq than
saying goodbye at an airport.

          “I got you a present,” Adrian said and
handed over a small package.

          “What is it?”

          “Open it.”

          The big brother opened the package slowly and smiled at the content. It was a New Version International Bible.

          “I can’t read this Adrian. I’m not a
religious man.”

          “I know brother, I know.” Adrian took a
step forward.

          “So why give it to me?”

          “I want you to remember me Malik,” Adrian said in a firm voice. The two brother’s faces were close, the air between crackled with charge. “I want you to remember us.”

          Malik took an uncomfortable step back and Adrian followed. “Take it Malik. When the times are tough here in London, I want you to remember that there is someone who loves you more than anything else in the world.”

          Malik took the bible with a shaky hand but didn’t know what to say. Adrian pulled him into a hug and held him for a second.

          “We have to go.” Kate’s voice sounded urgent and Adrian released his brother.

“Goodbye Malik. I love you.”

          But Malik didn’t reply. He stood there looking uncomfortable and restless. Adrian took a
step back and Malik finally found his voice.

          “Take care of yourself little brother.” Pause. “And stay away … from the lions … in Africa I mean.”

          Adrian smiled and understood. It was Malik’s way of saying I love you too. Hand in hand with Kate, they walked through the airport entrance. Underneath the glass door, the breeze of rich perfume on their faces, Adrian turned and
locked eyes with his brother one last time… and then … he was gone.

News

Off to AFRICA

 

My book A Whisper in the Jungle has been picked by a publishing company and approved by the board. It has been scheduled for release soon.

 

The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen

 

Contact

 

mrobertto@yahoo.com

Without God, what are we? What do we have? What is life...