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Saturday, 3 November 2018


Ameera's curiosity was answered shortly as a rickety gate flung open after the men exchanged greetings with their fellow comrades standing guard at the gate. Soon the the trucks were on the move again, going past a huge wall ameera had missed in which did a good job dissolving in the darkness. This camp was nothing like where she had left. It looked somewhat like a forward operation base in an Afghanistan movie, it was bigger and had more men.
As soon as the trunks grinded to a halt one last time, the men alighted and welcomed by their fellow comrades disappearing into the camp. New tuareg looking men began unloading the girls from the trucks
The ladies marched past a group of men seated by a small camp fire brewing the local tea somewhere to right a small camp. The men stared at them intently as they walk past them as though they were a pack of antelopes marching through a lion's den, or so it felt for ameera.
The howling wind wasn't as strong anymore but it felt much more colder. Ameera rapped her hands around her trying to defend herself from the bone sipping cold, her little clothing on the other hand did little to protect her from the cold.
They went on walking in the company of stern looking armed men wading through with bright flashlights, way past all the tents which made ameera wonder where they were being taken to. Finally they reached an opening at the foot of a mountain. Something that looked like a cave.
No! It can't be , they can't possibly be serious, we're not sheeps why would they cram us up in
that place.
Those were the words on ameera's lips which she dare not say out loud. Ameera is claustrophobic. But faced with a situation like this should phobia really matter? In no time, they were shoved into the dead-end cave one after the other it was really spacious on the inside, so big enough everyone had their own patch of earth to sleep on without hurdling on one another but that did little to calm ameera who seemed to be having a panic attack.
As the armed men receded taking the only source of light with them darkness loomed swallowing everything in the cave worsening ameera's fear. A shudder went down her back, Ameera wanted to scream but how funny a fear of one thing could stop you from actualizing the other.
Ameera wiggled her way in the dark admist some of girls, finally get a spot she sat there curled up with her hands rapped around her in a bid to keep herself warm but cold was the least of her problems. Although it was dark and she couldn't see a thing Ameera knew most of the ladies had slept off due to exhaustion because a couple of snores could be heard from various angles but there she sat all alone having one of her worst nights. It couldn't compare to the first night she got abducted but today was different —she was in a cave! As the night stretched the thoughts of getting bitten by a snake or stung by a scorpion clouded her, those thoughts don't seem to take a nap and so does Ameera.
At the break of dawn, crickets began their morning routine chirping loudly. A few rays of light gradually began to seep into the cave, to the worried and tired Ameera that was a very good sign at least one of her problems is about to leave —the darkness.
The morning breakfast wasn't anything to write home about, pap and bean-cake were served to the girls, the jubilation in their eyes wasn't the least hidden because it was the closest thing to a decent meal they have had in a while. Soon after breakfast was over the girls were bundled up again in trucks to set out for another journey. The trip began again on the same rough patchy roads carved out by the insurgents, it was still as bumpy as last night but unlike last night ameera didn't have the urge to jump over and run deep into the forest, it was visibly clear she stood no chance.
It was noon when they finally arrived the Boko Haram main camp. Whispers rose among the girls waking the sleepy ameera. Shielding her eyes from the sun she leaned forward cranning her neck to the side to catch a better glimpse of their destination. It was bigger that all the previous camps put together. In fact here they had solid structures instead of a tent, structures that looked like military bunkers!
She knew little about bunkers but this was surely a military grade bunker built to invade aerial attack, but who would build such a structure in the middle of nowhere because she was sure it wasn't the Boko Haram, where would they get the capital to build such.
Ameera was surprised to see ladies going about their normal activities as though they weren't abducted. The surrounding that greeted her gaze was all she needed to know, the place was a hidden fortress leaving them with no option than to act like everything was normal.
The day went in a blur, ameera got to find out that this was where most of the shot callers in the Boko Haram resided hence all the security. Ameera was assigned to jalila's cell, she was received by Jalila warmly but Bintu wasn't so welcoming.
"Don't worry you'll get to like Bintu, under that facade she is actually a nice person. Oh sorry I didn't get the name, I'm Jalila and you are?" Jalila inquired with a sincere smile.
I'm Ameera was all she managed to say.
"I'm sure it'd have been nice to...." jalila's was cut off mid sentence as Kunniru and two more men barged into the room. They grabbed all three girls by the hair, taking them along.

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