Chapter 3 – 12 Years a Mental Slave #MentalHealthActors

Feb 12, 2021

A show – I felt I was watching from someone else’s basement – was released by John Legend’s camp, including this “Tilorius” who blocked me a long time ago. Perfect transition – after watching the series “Black Mirror”, feeding on all the great possibilities from a world where injustice could be buried under the mental health act. Everyone is feeling lucky in their search for creativity!

Preview: Chapter 3

The praying mantis is my favourite animal, one that has fascinated me from childhood. It started with me pretending to build hospitals, with Lego, for insects living in my mum’s garden. My mum never bought as many fancy Barbie dolls, for her five daughters, as our neighbours’ mum did. Clara, a childhood friend, and neighbour had the most amazing bedroom – full of toys – and the whole Barbie and Ken collection, including their doll house. Visiting her meant happy hours and mango tree climbing. I challenged everyone in the neighbourhood when their mango trees were full. They were conflicted – somewhere between annoyance and pity for my addiction to mangoes.

Louky was the most faithful and protective dog a family could wish for. He was slim like the hunting dog in the movies, and he would not allow anyone – except for our family members – to come through our gate. I am starting this chapter by talking about him because something is weighing on my mind – thoughts about the two dogs we had and with whom I experienced something extraordinary.
We always had to lock our gate due to Louky’s personality. He would bite and attack. He would hunt you down. No false advertising. His reactions and instincts commanded fear and respect. At first, he would not even bark – only stare until he was ready to charge…

One time, I was very close to a fight with another girl who wanted to beat me up. It was around my first year in “College Zéphir”. The girl was eager to shine at my expense, wanting to gain validation in the eyes of her friends. The fight was meant to take place outside the school, in the parking lot, as announced by the girl. She warned me to expect her when classes finished. Being a quiet person, with no drama or beef with anyone, I was shitting my pants when the time was near. No doubt – this girl would win the fight, without any resistance from me. She was thick. I was slim. She was loud. I was shy. She was used to starting fights. I was too invisible to even attract violence. My heart was pounding. I was walking very slowly. My best friend, at the time, laughed at my slow death row walk. She was not about to help. By the time I reached the parking lot, her friends and a few noisy boys had already gathered there, waiting to be entertained. I was trembling and could barely hide it… Guess who popped up out of nowhere, putting an end to all the shenanigans… Louky!

Our house was one football stadium away from the school. Our gate was always locked, and my siblings were not in. Not even my parents were in the house. I still do not quite understand why and how he had gotten out and made his way to the parking lot but seeing him immediately made me feel safe. As far as the bystanders were concerned, he was just another stray dog wandering around. But then, he began walking towards me, with his teeth on full display, barking at anyone who tried to approach me. The girl did not understand what interrupted her fight – me neither. Yet, she still tried to stop me from making my way home until Louky charged towards her, going straight for her neck. I had to grab his collar to save her from a serious injury. He accompanied me to our house, crossing the busy road that had claimed many young friends’ lives and dogs attempting to avoid the traffic. How this dog managed to find me at the school puzzled me for days. More importantly, why did he come to get me? What type of a twilight zone experience was that? He was not allowed anywhere except for our garden or on hunting expeditions with my brother. Either way, I loved him for coming to my rescue. I had loved him before, but that incident made him a superhero in my eyes. A dog who had a genuine connection with me, with us.
After that day, the girl never looked in my direction again. Although, she never publicly acknowledged what had happened either. The “incident” was downgraded to me being too irrelevant and scared to be worth her time. The stray dog saved me from her wrath, according to her rumour.

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BY: Sylvaine FRANCIS 
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