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Sunday, 30 September 2018

DIVERGENT CHAPTER 4 PART 2

Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on my scalp, one of them pulled me by the hair dragging me along on my back. I screamed out of pain and tried to wiggle my way to freedom but he was too strong. From no where I saw the barrel of his AK descending, but before I could roll out of the way it crashed into my skull, I let out an agonising scream. Sharp pains shot through my head and my vision went bleak. For those brief seconds before i slipped into unconsciousness, I couldn't make out if I was alive or dead, is this the way death feels like?
*******
I woke up to the sound of call to prayer, face first on a sandy floor, with no idea of where I am or what time it is, slowly I opened my eyes but winced almost immediately when I attempted to sit upright, my throbbing head was absorbed by waves of pain that shot down my spine to the joints. Impulsively I raised my palm to the source of the pain and was surprised to feel a bandage tightly clipped around my head.
I regained some composure a while later and began to scan the very dark room that had no light or windows, only then did I notice two more lanky malnourished looking ladies tucked at the other end of the room who were busy doing something I didn't quite understand. I wasn't able to make out their faces at first glance due to the darkest but they seem to look my age, soon my eyes adjusted to the dark environment.
Tired and exhausted from the previous night's incident, I muttered a 'hi' that was more like a whisper, they turned around, their eyes held surprise, 'she is awake bintu' the slightly shorter one said rushing towards me but the much taller showed no interest. I was now able to make out her full physical features as she came closer. She was very dark in complexion, almost 5 foot and so skinny!
'"hello I'm zuwaira, how are you feeling?" she queried squatting next to me, a feminine smell of burnt firewood and body odour hit my nose, as if she read my thoughts she started "I'm smelly right?.... Oh I know. We only get to bath once a week here because the camp is out of supplies including water and as they said God withheld rain because of 'our blasphemy' don't worry you'll get use to it" "I am jalila" I replied weakly but full of surprise.
She placed her hand on my neck, probably checking my temperature. "you know... you are very lucky" she added. I had a lot of questions on my mind... Where were we? Who where they? How were they captured? How long have they been here? Who treated me? I wanted to ask a lot more but my vocal chords were in total disconnection with my thoughts. Wait... did she just say I was lucky? Lucky! I sighed wondering what her definition of lucky might be because to me am feeling everything but lucky!
A floodgate of memories opened, I thought of how we watched TV on my tecno phone with the girls, I thought of how we danced and played every night during gaďa, I thought of tanko. A painful smile found its way to my lips but soon vanished at the thought of my last hug with Abba, how we ran non stop, with yagana pulling me by the wrist and later her lifeless body falling to the ground along side the little boy she tried to save, the thought of where kaltume and my brothers might be if at all they were alive also synced, I nodded making the pool of tears lining my eye rims to roll freely.
"you're only wasting your time, save yourself the stress it's not worth it" the nonchalant bintu said finally just when I was starting to think she was dumb, "allow her cry we all do that" zuwaira replied, darting her sunken eyes towards bintu while patting my back. "You should get some rest you'll need it" zuwaira said to me with a smile before leaving. That night, I wept bitterly like a baby who's candy was snatched, finally allowing sleep overtake me.
*******
We sat back to back in a straight file waiting to see what faith had for us. A well built man with a long beard appeared, his face that was as dark as night itself held no mercy, my stomach growled at the sight of the 4 feet animal hide whip he was holding. I looked down my self, it was apparently clear I was one of those who'd face the wrath of that mean looking twisted hide whip! I can recall, the highest body contact I ever received were two slaps from umma after I mistakenly tore Abba's contract... That was 12 years ago. Although she consistently threaten to flog me, she never did but here I am today, to be beaten like a donkey.

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