Dear ru
Hey Ruth
Hi...Assalamu Alaikum…it’s me. I’ve tried to call you a couple of times, but realized you got a new number after I stole and sold your phone…I needed the money. I’m not sure this letter will get to you but I still had to write it and hope that you receive it.

I know you gave up searching for me after the first month or even less. You might think I joined my friends in the stowaway abroad like I always said I would when times were tough with your three thousand cedis I stole, took, stole. I regret to tell you I write this letter from prison.

It’s not your fault that I’m here. You did your best as a big sister to provide me with all I ever needed. You destroyed your body every night to feed and take care of me. Since our parents died, I’ve had only one family; YOU.

I know where I write this letter from breaks your heart but my wilder than careful life already broke your heart. I see people die here everyday than I breathe in here. Poisonous air of decayed bodies waiting to be buried. It could be my turn any day from the dehumanizing conditions in here. I won’t give you details to my arrest now, but I will when I get out of here alive.

You followed me to the mosque to pray last Eid…and I won’t be around to follow you to church as I do every Christmas to listen to the mysterious birth of Christ. Mum and I would tease you and Dad every Christmas about Jesus’ birth and you people couldn’t do same on Eid because our food was the best. I miss you. Know that you’re always in my heart and I hum your favorite Christmas carol every night throughout the season.

Our late parents saw no good in me with my constant failure at all I did, but you saw all my faults and dysfunctions as a stage to discover who I truly am. It breaks my heart I broke my promise of always being there for you when our parents died. Just four years older than I am but you’ve been a big sister, friend, parents…the only family I’ve known. We had a dream to be happier each day and draw strength from each other. I need you to know that memories of you is enough strength to keep me here for the next four months. Forgive me for every tear I made you shed.

I’ve always looked up to Tyler Perry, Steven Spielberg and Kanye West as my inspiration, but I’ve reached a stage in life where all these names mean nothing to me as much as they don’t know I exist. You’re my true and only inspiration. The reason I wake up smiling every morning in this prison.

I can’t justify my wrongs and pain I’ve caused you and myself with the cliché; “no one is perfect”. I’ll strive for perfection when I get out of here. I know I’ve been the black sheep of the family, but this Christmas make my black sheep at the backyard into a fine meal and enjoy with Anima. Tell her I haven’t run away because of the pregnancy and she shouldn’t abort our child. I love her.

In all this, I’ve learnt to be very careful here and I’ve not dropped any soap yet; just a few inmates dropping theirs before me. I know this made you smile. Please forgive me and pray for me. See you sometime in April. I love you. Merry Christmas.

Your brother, Mohammed.

This letter is to tell you your Christmas could be worse. Forgive me for your money I stole, took, stole, well whatever…I truly and verily am sorry. Know that family and love is everything this season. I’m at the gate, come open me if I’m forgiven. I love you. Waiting…