This article is part of the 2023 September International Student Perspectives Collection.
My family member died in my arms. Someone I know had a heart attack. I have a family legacy. It’s been a passion since I was a kid. I imagine myself listening to stories of like-passioned individuals and shivering at the thought of the reaction following my non-traditional story. The question of why a person would want something has always been the toughest in my world. Let me tell you my story of how I see myself answering the ever-so-great question of WHY.
In the year of newness, for the simple reason that I walked into the doors of earth, and the days after, my mother introduced me to a woman. In the beginning, I didn’t mind her. I accepted her as a part of me for the sake of obedience and trust in my original landlady. Like the curiosity of her first love, I studied her. I learned her ways and marveled at what I found. Still, the main aim of being with her was always the same—obedience and respect for the one who brought her to me. She followed me everywhere, courtesy of my mother.
On the journey to find myself and purpose, she was there. For her sake, I persevered, for we had become more than acquaintances; we were friends, best friends even. Someone hurt her one day. I will never forget it for as long as I live. Someone let her child die when her head was turned the other way. Rage boiled in me; Rage so potent I couldn’t walk my path with it still weighing on me. I couldn’t believe they would hurt her. She was so kind, loving, and caring, but they did it regardless.
The nature of the perpetrator shocked me to the core. I walked by her then. Just as she did for me. I stayed quiet when she was, I talked when she did, and when she cried, I cried with her. Slowly, she walked less, talked less, and wept no more. The pain was still alive; it wasn’t strong enough to keep her down. I will miss you, my child, she would say. I didn’t know how it happened, and I will not be able to explain why, but a day unlike others came. She glowed. She was different. Come to think of it, she was always different. She was never like the others. She was not even like me.
For one, no one else aside from me saw or talked to her; no one could understand me when I spoke of her, and they sure didn’t hear her when she talked about me. I understood then. I saw it then, what it was, what the name of the feeling eating me from the inside was. I feared it; we do always fear what we don’t understand. She knew it, too; she probably knew it before I did. She waited for me, the torment she must have gone through when I stayed out longer than I should or ignored her; oh! what a foolish man I have been. To have her cherish you is a feeling unlike any other, a love stronger than distraction, though the heart’s road is tough and many attempt it, for her to choose me before I choose her.
So, I learned more about her. I met her family, and oh, what a family she had. The more I saw, the deeper the feeling and the stronger the bond. I had gotten so close to her that I refused to acknowledge the origin of our friendship; I wasn’t wrong in that either, for I had made it mine; I had made her mine. Time passed, and we had our first fight. I would have preferred a brawl with another over that fight. I failed her, even after all she had done for me. I was not able to start the road to her heart. I hurt her, albeit not like she’s been hurt before, but it was the same for her. I woke up to find a letter, words that weighed heavier than the parchment it was written on. She had left.
The one who had always stayed by me had left, and she wanted me to find her. I was broken, torn, and desperate. I hated my reality. Is heaven playing a joke on me? I said, for I had started noticing other women only after she left. They seemed like they wanted to be like her to fill the gap she had left behind, but none could, for there was none like her in my world. I laughed at the universe’s joke even though it had no humor. There was always something wrong with the “replacements.” They were too neat or too friendly or too fair or too kind. There was always something at least in my eyes; little did I know that I was so full of longing that I had metamorphosed.
So, I left all that was mine to find her in a land I did not know, in a place I did not recognize among people I had never seen. On a journey deadly to others, I became the exception to the rule, for my longing had far exceeded what was called difficult. I chose not to just walk the road to finding her but excel in it. I chose to be EXCEPTIONAL for when I finally met her. To be a man worthy of her noble self. Not a knight in shining armor but incomparable to my peers and my competitors. This is the road of the past and the present for the future. The future of the present and past. The ongoing story to be told at the congregation of doctors.
Andy Antwi Boasiako is a freshman health science major at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts. Originally from Kumasi, Ghana, Andy wants to pursue medical school after graduating with the goal of becoming a Cardiac Surgeon. Andy serves as an Admissions Ambassador, Peer Mentor, and Resident Assistant on campus. As an International student, Andy serves as the general secretary for the International Student Association. Andy likes writing and has his “own” style of writing. He is a member of the Church of Pentecost International.