On Thursday, it was Guy Fawkes Day – a day to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt when he tried to kill King James I and to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Last year, for the first time in my life I was terrorized on Guy Fawkes.
I had just finished writing a three-hour History exam and I was walking home with my friend Yaseen. In the back of my mind, I knew what day it was but somehow I had forgotten. As we were walking home, a group of guys were walking towards us and we crossed the road, but they followed us.
They were covered in paint and I tried to mentally prepare myself for what was about to happen. For what felt like an eternity, they were staring at my friend and sizing him while I just stood there frozen. And then, someone cracked an egg on Yaseen’s head, someone else smeared him with nugget and someone slapped him with paint. I was screaming at them to stop because they were about eight boys and it was just me and Yaseen. This one guy found me to particularly annoying as he slapped me with paint for making too much noise. He was rubbing his paint filled hands all over my face while I pushed him away to stop. Yaseen saw what was happening and he punched someone. This worked against us as they pinned him down while I tried to take them off of him. I got thrown with a condom that had paint in it.
They towered over him as they threw him with more paint and eggs. In a desperate attempt to put an end to things, I ran into the streets to stop a motorist, but the streets were deserted. Finally, a motorist pulled up to the pavement where this was happening. They left him alone, but not before slapping me with paint one more time and then they threw a bucket a paint onto us. We walked in silence as people gawked at us.
When we eventually got to my house I realised that they had urinated into the paint because we both smelled like a urinal. As I’m typing this, I’ve realised how lucky we are that that man decided to rescue us, things could have turned out much differently … My friend has scars in his face because someone smeared him with paint while they had razor blades between their fingers.
This year, I was lucky enough to stay at home. But I had a small errand to run and I eventually had to leave my house. I waited to exhale as I walked to the shop, looking behind me every fifteen seconds or so to make sure I would not get ambushed. I breathed a sigh of relief as I spotted a few police vans outside of a nearby primary school. Usually, the police vans signalled trouble, but today they represented a beacon of hope. Parents anxiously awaited the dismissal of their children.
For high school children, they had more police vans and the few children who had to be at school walked in groups.
On Guy Fawkes, nobody’s the enemy unless they’re covered in paint.
‘Fear is a place to live
Rip off the mask from your head
Show me the real face that you hide
I see you from a mile away
Keep staring, acting like you gotta say’
Korn – Fear is a place to live
Featured image by Henk Kruger
What was your Guy Fawkes Day or Night like?
Let your minds wander at the possibility of tomorrow
– Christine Diampovisa