This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
, hope you like it. THE JEWEL A soft breeze played on the straw- house and awoke Kanene from her sleep. She looked all around her. Aitan had already left for the diamond mines before the sun rose. Every day he made the journey down the mines along with other men in hope of discovering a diamond that would change their lives, yet they had been awaiting that day for years. Kanene looked over to the straw bed where Baako lay sleeping. He was their first born and his name meant just that. She rose and began her daily duties. Outside she could hear the village assuming the daily routine. The women who made the breads began their work and the hunters began to sharpen their knives. Kanene could see then through the walls. As Kanene prepared the food that Baako would surely want when he awakened she let her mind wander over their situation. Kleinzee, the village where they lived in, was literally run by De Beers which was a diamond company. Aitan worked for them and had to work bent over for hours every day, searching every crack in the Earth to be sure that no diamond was overlooked. Still, even if he found a diamond the De Beers people would take it away from him and give him only a small pay for it. If they discovered that you had taken a diamond home they would fire you and no one wanted that since work was hard to find here. However, the work was cruel and Aitan had often come home with back problems and trouble breathing. She worried about him for it was even harder for a woman to find work here than a man. *** Aitan worked with the pick, pushing dirt away in a hurry of hope of discovering a diamond. Earlier there had been an uproar
when a worker had found a diamond the size of a strawberry. That had instilled jealousy but also hope that they would also find a diamond. This was one of the mines that was known for the diamonds that had been found here. There could be seen a great faith within the workers, today was a good day. They would be working this mine the entire week so that any diamond would be sure to be found. Aitan continued to work with the pick but upon discovering that there was no diamond there he became frustrated and moved on to the next spot. Many hours later they were told to go home and Aitan angrily left the mines for he had found nothing. *** Kanene hurried to finish the food she had prepared for Aitan since his arrival was near and she yearned to know if he had found anything in the mines. Aitan opened the door and his face told her he had had no luck today. His face was pale and he only greeted her with heavy coughs which seemed to drain his remaining energy. She quickly gave him water and Baako gazed at him profoundly. “Naeem found a diamond today.” he said after he had calmed down. “Good, he works so hard.” Kanene responded. “I found nothing.” Aitan answered softly. “You have tomorrow and the rest of the week to keep looking.” she said as she tried to console him. After a while when the sun had disappeared and both Baako and Kanene had gone to sleep Aitan remained awake thinking. He knew that the pain in his chest was a sign of sickness but he
hoped it would go away because they could not afford to have him sick. *** Kanene was awakened by Aitan’s Absence. She ran outside and found him on the ground shaking from the coughing. She quickly went to his side and heard that his coughs sounded rough and dry. She helped him inside and laid him down on their bed. It took him a while to calm down but when he did he realized that he needed to tell her the truth. “ I cannot go to work today” he said reluctantly “ every time I go down those mines I feel as if I cannot breathe. I have seen other men fall and I don’t want to leave you alone.” “Then I will go work.” She said firmly and then went to see if she could. Kanene walked for hours asking if anyone would hire her but no one did. For several days there was nothing to eat and she knew that Aitar felt ashamed for a man should not let a woman work instead of him. Finally Kanene had an idea, early the next morning she rose and dressed in Aitans mining clothes. Baako looked at her as one would look at a bird trying on fur. Kanene was sure no one would recognize it was her instead of Aitan since the miners had to wear layers of clothes and were not allowed to talk during work. So she hoped that her idea would work because she did not know what else to do. *** It was her great fortune that no one suspected anything. She spent the day working in the diamond mines and after a few hours
realized how hard the job was. She could not stand the pain in her back but she dared not let it show for she was sure that Aitan never let the pain show during work and she couldn’t either. The days passed and Kanene kept working. One day as she was trying to look for a good spot to carve a hole she noticed that there was an untouched piece of wall on her left. She had a feeling she should go look there. There was nothing to lose right? As she was deepening the hole she had made she noticed something pink on the bottom. Confused she began digging it out and soon had a pink rock the size of a small apple in her hand. It shone beautifully and seemed to beckon her toward it. The carnation pink color of it called to her. Ignorant to the topic of pink diamonds Kanene thought it looked pretty and meant to keep it. Yet, she knew that they were not allowed to take anything from the mines so she hid it in her bread. Little did she know that behind her someone had been watching her and knew that she had taken a pink diamond from the mine. It was Essein, and he had no luck this week in finding anything. Right then and there Essein began to think of a way to steal the diamond from whom he thought was Aitan. Essein followed Kanene home and as the sun set, thought of a way to break in. *** Aitan greeted Kanene when she returned home with a much better color on his cheeks than the past days. "how are you feeling?" she asked him. "It seemed all I needed was a few days away from those awful mines so I could compose myself. I will be returning to work tomorrow. That work is for men I don’t want to see you working like this."
"well it seems you may begin to start getting better luck." He looked at her, confused. "What do you mean?" Kanene showed the pink rock to Aitan who stared at it in shock. “It is very nice isn’t it?” Kanene said proudly. “Of course it's nice all diamonds are nice.” “Diamond?” “Yes this is a pink diamond. You have made us rich Kanene!” And Aitan’s face made the first smile in a long time as he told Kanene of the things they could do with the money. Baako stretched his hands out for the diamond but Aitan quickly denied it from him. “Why not? He wants to play with it.” Kanene said. “He will dirty it. “ answered Aitan angrily. Aitan put it in the best cloth they had and hid it in a hole on the ground. Then he slept but Kanene remained awake and when she was sure he was deeply asleep, got up and gave Baako the diamond. *** Essein waited until the moon told him it was the right time then he entered Aitan’s house. He walked the way cats walk when they sneak up to their prey. Then looked around for the diamond. He passed the baby’s bed when something caught his eye. He smiled the smile of evil as he got close to the baby to take it away from him but the baby had the diamond almost underneath him which made Essein worry that he would wake him up if he tried to
take it from him. He could only think of one way take the diamond away from him. Yes there was only one way. Essein got hold of the baby’s neck and Pushed his knife through his windpipe but not before Baako managed to utter a pain filled cry which awoke both Aitan and Kanene. Realizing that he was caught, Essein ran out of the house before Aitan could get out of his bed. Aitan was about to go after him but was stopped by Kanene’s scream. He turned to see her on the floor holding Baako between her arms. It was then he saw the blood running out of Baako’s throat. He knew that his son was going to die. the cut was too deep but he knew Kanene would not accept it. She rocked the baby back and forth crying uncontrollably as she did. “Why? Why would someone hurt him?” she cried. Aitan began to answer but stopped upon seeing the diamond on the floor covered in blood. He felt anger rising in him but didn’t say anything since Kanene had now discovered that Baako was dead. She screamed in agony but Aitan could only stare at the pink diamond. Her screams brought the village people who rushed to see what was wrong. Aitan quickly hid the diamond from view. *** Essein walked home disappointed and angry. He would have to think of another way to get the diamond but he knew that now after this they would take better care of it so he would have to be wise. *** The village people came to Baako’s funeral but no one could console Kanene who would be rich if tears were money.
Everyone offered to help her but she simply wanted to be left alone. Among her tears she saw Aitan in the corner stroking the pink diamond tenderly and it was then that Kanene began to feel hatred growing in her toward the diamond. She didn’t want to believe it but earlier she thought she had seen Aitan smile at the diamond. After a while Baako’s funeral ended and everyone went home. Except Kanene who sat still staring at the overturned dirt. Aitan then convinced her to go home and rest which she unwillingly accepted to. They walked home in silence each one refusing to be the first to speak. Finally Kanene broke the silence. “Where is the house?.” she said quickly. Aitan looked over to the familiar terrain of their land but could only see a pile of dry dirt and broken straw. “Someone has destroyed it!” cried Kanene. Aitan was speechless because the destruction of a house was bad luck for everyone who still lived in it and he began to worry. They looked around for signs that this was not their house but no doubt it was. Their possessions were all over the place and the blankets that Kanene had sowed were ripped. They had to get away from this bad luck as soon as possible. *** As they were walking through the brush deserts trying to go to the next village both of them thought about the way they had lived happy lives before. Aitan thought that their troubles had started the night that he had become sick but Kanene knew better. She knew that the diamond was evil for it had enchanted
her husband with its pink shine and had led others to murder for it. They had not brought much on their journey but Kanene was sure that the one thing Aitan would not leave behind was the diamond and of course she was right. *** The night was cold and still. Aitan and Kanene had slept under a pile of dry grass for warmth. Now they were sound asleep, preparing for their long journey tomorrow but unaware of someone’s eyes on them. Unaware of soft footsteps sneaking up behind them and eyes rapidly searching for a hint of a sparkle. Such deep sleep they had that they did not hear those things. Only when a thin tree branch was broken did Aitan open his eyes in a hurry. It was then that the rays of the sun struggled to be seen among the clouds. It was then that Essein made him move on Aitan. It was then that Aitan saw the knife in his hand somehow knew that he wanted something that Aitan would not give him. Kanene was pushed awake as Aitan hurried to get up and fight Essein. In the darkness the two men struggled with each other. They were helped when the sun made its entrance over the land. Kanene glanced at the two fighting men and knew what they were fighting for. Why else would Essein be willing to travel all this way to find them? She guessed that when Aitan had risen from the ground that he had dropped the pink diamond and she was correct for she saw its glow on the ground. Kanene got hold of it and began to run to a place she knew there would be high cliffs.
Aitan was busy trying to take the knife away from Essein but out of the corner of his eye he had seen Kanene pick something up from the ground and run. Then he realized that she now had the diamond. He quickly pushed Essein from him and rushed after Kanene. He saw her stand on the edge of the cliff and look at the diamond in her hand. She then regretted ever taking it home with her that day. She looked at its pink surface and no longer thought it was beautiful, she still had the image of Baako’s cut throat on her mind. Kanene then heard both men coming behind her. She knew Aitan would not approve but she was determined to get rid of the stone that had changed her husband so dramatically. Before Aitan could even say a word or make an attempt to take the pink diamond from her grasp she extended her arm and threw the diamond with all her might over the edge of the cliff and into the water. Below, the pink diamond fell many feet, then it reached the roaring waves of the ocean and went down into its depths.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.