Emptiness. It’s what fills my lungs when I inhale. My ribs constrict me, forcing my lungs to collapse. I’m still alive, but I’m dead on the inside. Pure darkness in my soul. 70 shades darker than dark black.

Silence. It’s what’s fills the air when I call for help. Not a word of encouragement. Deafening negative vibes echoing through space, magnified by hate and conditional love. Words, sharper than a chef’s knife, piercing through my ear canal. I play deaf, but I’m listening. God hears and knows my path.

Shame. It’s what running through my blood as I try to run away from the truth. The truth that I made a mistake. A mistake I can never fix, even if I tried. So, I hang my head low and pray it all comes to pass. Time stands still and it doesn’t pass fast enough. I’m emotionally constipated. Trapped inside the belly of a fish, I can’t run from my destiny.

Regret. It’s what’s left of what was once a heart full of beautiful songs. Feeling low. Listening to blues, but not for too long because there’s beauty in all this mess: lessons to be learned and self-loathing to get rid of. I did 99 things right, and one regrettable thing…and for that I will not crucify myself. I take comfort in knowing that a great multitude still love and embrace me in the good and worse.

An apology. It’s the only thing I have left to offer. No fancy words, no excuses. Apology to the people hurt by my past mistakes. I can promise you, I am far removed from that man. New path, new choices, new directions, renewed faith.

-Patrick Shumba Mutukwa

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