Peer Pressure by Ayouba Toure

Joyce and Toure were best of friends; when they were toddlers you could say that they were so close to the point where people took them for siblings, such was the strength of their bond, they were the children of the slum.

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Joyce was very shy. In school she was not very bright but focused on her studies. She didn’t care for luxuries; she was humble like Mother Teresa. She was sad at times, cries in the rain, seeing her friends with lovely clothes, yet, she stayed humble and kept praying that maybe one day life would show its smiling face to her. She looked lovely wearing simple colorful saris.

Her friend Toure, was the opposite, always ready to trade her life or even her parents’ life for the material things of this world. Running through hell for whatever her heart wanted, Toure was very audacious. If you didn’t know her, even as she came from the slums, because of her confidence and attitude you could have said that she came from a wealthy family.

At the risk of being ridiculed Toure would beg from girls of wealthy families to lend her clothes for parties. As it is said that: “Flattery is the best persuasion”, and for her love of jewellery and fashionable clothes, she chose to accepted insults, preferring to be humiliated, and she abandoned her childhood friend Joyce.

On campus Toure always hang around the rich girlfriends, the ones who wore the latest fashionable mini skirt. They always had the latest iPhones in their hands like fish and water, and were always very popular with the boys.

The smartest expensive hotels, resorts, nightclubs and restaurants were their second home. Toure tried to persuade Joyce to join in her lifestyle on several occasions but Joyce was too smart for such things; it all seemed trivial to her. Joyce had the strength of a cab-man who has his feet on the brake pedal, the accelerator and the clutch, and yet hands are busy on the wheel and the gear lever, with his eyes and mind very focused on the road ahead. There were times when she stumbled, but she always rose again. She kept pushing till the wall could cry out its last drop of tears and shout, S…T…O…P. Joyce was always contented, she never faulted the direction of her heart.

It was the most talked about event of the year; party lovers were gradually gearing up. Of course this was welcomed by Toure, but her chance of attending the party was slim. She was stressed since the party was announced. She couldn’t wait to be there, but she had no clothes suitable for the party. She begged from one friend to another, yet there was no sign of her being able to go to the party. In less than 24 hours to the party, she was fortunate to borrow several items from her friends. One of the girls give her a blue dress, another give her a pair of black shoes, and another give her a very expensive diamond necklace.

On the night of the party every one invited was there, including Toure. The party lasted for more than 10 hours, and eventually it was over at about 1.45am. The dark sky was heavy with rain. Everyone was leaving, some in pairs, while others walk alone, Toure walk alone also. While running through the heavy rain she was focused in the direction of her house and she didn’t notice that the diamond necklace had slipped from her neck.

When she finally arrived at her house she was hangover from the party and felt dizzy, she managed to get her shoes off and hurriedly dumped herself in the middle of the bed without any further check.

The next morning, as usual, she hurried to return the borrowed items. Unfortunately, the shoes and the clothes were the only available items she found, but the diamond necklace was missing.

Her heart was beating fast with fear. She couldn’t believe her eyes. “This must be a dream,” she said. She searched every corner of her room. She went back to the venue of the party, but she couldn’t find the necklace. Seating alone in her room, she was worried of what her friends would say about her if she could not return the diamond necklace. She could not afford to buy another, she would have to go and apologize. Everyone knew that she was a child from the slum, where would she get the hundreds needed to replace the missing necklace, not even if she moved heaven and earth. She cried for hours, the humiliation was too much for Toure to bear.

Early next morning, her mother knocked at her door many times, but there was no answer, she then opened the door slightly and saw Toure on the bed, her heart stopped when she was faced with her daughter’s corpse.

The floor was littered with all kinds of drugs that Toure had used to commit suicide. The mother cried tiers of blood, yet this wouldn’t bring her daughter back to life. She tried to remain calm, when she found a note Toure had written, a goodbye note before she died.

The mother trembled as tears streamed from her eyes. The pain was intense, she felt as if she was going to die also but she found the courage to read the note, and this is what Toure wrote: “Dear Mom, I’m so sorry for breaking your strong heart, for making you cry. Mom, don’t you blame the drugs for my death, but rather my selfish heart desire. Mom, please never let your desires tempt you. Mom, I hope you will follow only the good message of your heart and mind Mom. I hope you will understand that the brain is wiser than the heart. Mom, please be contented with whatever life sends your way. Mom, my time has come and I have to go. Thank you for the shelter of your maternal love.

With love and respect, your daughter Toure.

Conclusion : Joyce and Toure were best of friends; when they were toddlers you could say that they were so close to the point where people took them for siblings, such was the strength of their bond, they were the children of the slum. They both had the same opportunities in life; Joyce listened to the common sense of her heart and mind, but Toure only listen to the greed in her heart and mind.
Material things don’t bring happiness, only love and friendship will make you happy.

My name is Ayouba Toure, a Pan-Africanist from Liberia. I’m a practical
Muslim with Mandingo being my ethnicity; I was born on February 20,
2003. I’m currently studying civil engineering at the university of
I’m an emerging poet, who writes base on the ills of the society.

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