The Price of Freedom: A Short Story.

Brandon Jamil

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Inspired by a true story.

The Canadian Gay advocates arrive at my apartment and rush inside. “Kymani, we don’t have time, but we were able to clear your Canadian vista, and get your passport. We need to be at the airport in one hour, and I don’t know if the Jamaican government knows that we’re here helping a gay man. We must go now.” I quickly go into my bedroom and stuff my clothes into a suitcase. I remember that I must tell Noah I am leaving, so I send a text message letting him know that he needs to stop by immediately. Noah responds, and will arrive shortly. I go back into the living room and advise the advocates that Noah will arrive, and I must say goodbye. “Kymani this isn’t the time. We are playing a game of Russian roulette. Noah will have to hear from you another day. We must go now.”

“He will be here in a couple of minutes, I must say goodbye to him. I refuse to leave him here. He must come with me. They will find him and kill him. He can’t stay here.” The two advocates looked at each other and walked over to me. “We understand this is hard Kymani. We will do everything we can to help Noah. Right now, we must focus on getting you out of here safe.”

Moments later Noah knocked on the door. “Come in” I said. “What is this? What’s going on Kymani?” “Noah, these are the advocates from Canada that I told you about. They are taking me to Quebec today.” Noah looked at the advocates and began screaming at them: “You can’t take him! I love this man. Why would you take him from me? He is the only person here that loves me. You can’t do this.” “We understand that this is hard. You need to keep your voice down. All it takes is one of your neighbors hearing this, and we’re all executed. We’ll be outside waiting Kymani; you have five minutes and then we leave.”

“When were you going to tell me Kymani? You’re just going to leave? This entire time you lead me to believe that you loved me, and now you’re leaving. What am I going to do? How am I going to survive without you? I have no one. I am no one without you. Please stay here. If we must die, we can die together. I don’t want to suffer here alone.” I pull my suitcase next to the door and stand in front of Noah. “I must go. I am doing this for us. I need you to be strong for both of us as I will be strong. We can’t continue to live like this: running from the authority, and mad men that want to kill us. We can’t keep hiding in the shadows. I am tired of having to lie, I am tired of having to live my life like a prisoner. There is nothing here for us Noah. If I stay, I can’t help you get out.”

“Kymani you’re the only man I’ve ever loved. I thought that love was enough for you! I knew you were in contact with the Canadian advocates. I didn’t know they’d come so soon. This isn’t fair. You get to live freely, and I am here stuck suffering. When you make it to the airport don’t look back, and don’t ever reach out for me. I am dead to you.” Noah ran out of the apartment, and I turned off the lights and locked the door; placing the key under the mat. The Canadian advocates directed me towards the taxi that awaited us. “Kymani you must not discuss this while we’re in the taxi.” We entered the taxi, and It was silent the entire ride. Once we made it on the plane I asked one of the advocates: “does this happen a lot? Couples fighting, and yelling.” “Kymani the five years I have done this work, I have found there’s a price for freedom. Sometimes in life we must lose everything comforting, familiar. It’s always painful. I wish I could tell you everything will be okay, and that someday you can look back at this for the positive. Truth is, having your entire life rearranged isn’t liberating. You simply cannot tell your heart to not yearn for the person it’s meant for. Understand that not everyone can come with you. We all must make a choice, and you chose yourself. This is not a crime.” As this woman makes her statement I can’t help but feel lonely, and empty. I know in my heart I will never see or hear from Noah again. I hope he does not end up dead like most of us do. I can’t blame Noah for running away. He knew that I was lying to him. I knew for over a year that the advocates were helping me get out of Jamaica, and I would be forced to leave him behind. I was selfish in my pursuit of him. At the time I loved him because I didn’t have anyone, but I knew that the day would come for us to part. I regret not telling him the entire truth. The advocate is wrong, it’s a crime to betray a heart.

 

©2018 Brandon Jamil All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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