The World Watched While We Died.

King Ohonsi By King Ohonsi, 2nd May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2zg25oot/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Narrative

A short fictional retell of the infamous abduction of the 'Chibok Girls' by Islamic Jihadists, as seen by 16 year old Zainab.

#BringBackOurGirls

As she was bundled into the waiting lorry, her thoughts were not of her safety but only with one person. Her sick mother.
It was only this morning, but it felt like a lifetime ago, that she had crouched beside her mother and whispered.
“I am leaving for school now. Teacher said we should come early today. I will come back early insh’allah”. She could see her mother nod slightly and smile.

Wiping tears from her eyes, she picked her satchel, adjusted her hijab and left the hut. It was a sunny morning, and she was momentarily tempted to let her spirit soar, but the thought of her mother prostrate on a mat in that poorly lit room with one small window, slowly dying from an unknown disease, promptly brought her spirit back down to earth.

Ever since her father had migrated to the South to look for work, it had been just her, Yusuf her brother and her mother. It was 10 years ago father had made that trip. There had been no word of or from him, apart from the money he occasionally sent through people who were coming from the south. Until 4 months ago, when she had returned from school to meet a man in their hut, carrying on a conversation with mother.

She respectfully waited outside, trying to figure out why that face looked vaguely familiar. When the visitor finally emerged, she could see pain in his eyes. He looked like a man who had just concluded an unsavoury task, which he could not avoid. He placed a hand on her head. “Allah is the father to the fatherless”..then he was off, his long strides taking him farther and farther away from her and the million questions she had.
She met her mother sobbing in the hut.
“Mother, why are you crying? Who was that man?”
“Your father is dead Zainab. He was guarding a house, bad people killed him. That is all Ibrahim would tell me”

Ibrahim. That is why his face had looked so familiar. He was her favourite uncle as a little girl and had made that trip with father to the south, all those years ago. It seemed fitting that he would be the one to come deliver news of his death.

She didnt break down, father had become almost a phantom of her imagination. She was a little girl when he left, and the only thing she could remember about him was his full beard. She could understand her mother’s sorrow though, because unlike most men his age her father had steadfastly refused to marry another wife and clung to just the one he married as a very young man.
Mother had already contracted a type of fever that had defied all known herbal treatment.This news would do them no favours.

She fed mother and put her to sleep, before going to sit outside to wait for Yusuf’s return. As is wont with most young men who begin to feel that restlessness in the pit of their stomachs as they grow older, Yusuf had steadily drifted from his family and only came back late in the night to sleep and have a meal, if there was any left for him. Zainab understood the changes that were occurring in her little brother and could appreciate how much more difficult it was for him with no father to show him the ropes and a mother too weak to control him. So she tried to stay out of his way and let him live. He on his part was tender with her and always treated her like she was younger. He was not condescending but rather very protective. She was fine with it. She knew he loved her.

She patiently waited as dusk fell and one by one, the lamps in the huts of her neighbours, were put out. Still no Yusuf. She felt no apprehension as she knew it was normal for him to return quite late. She had never asked what it was he did all day as she knew he would probably not tell her. He had bluntly refused going to school, as he nonchalantly explained “School is for the weak and women”. She had known better than to bring up the issue again.

” You!..what is your name?”

She was snapped out of her reverie, as she stared at one of her abductors. He was holding a sheet of paper and seemed like he was taking down their names.
“Zainab sir.”
“Get up..take off your hijab, turn around”

She did as she was told.

She may have been young but she wasn’t stupid.

As he leered at her, and run his blackened tongue over his upper lip, she knew then why she and all her classmates, had been forcefully loaded into this lorry, and were now being driven away.

Tags

Abduction, Abuse, Abused Children, Kidnapped Children

Meet the author

author avatar King Ohonsi
I am a Petroleum Engineer with a penchant for writing fictional short stories and occasionally, self help articles.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
2nd May 2015 (#)

Poignant narrative - to imagine what people do in the name of religion. It is still primordial instincts that drive us - siva

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author avatar King Ohonsi
2nd May 2015 (#)

Very true Siva. However, I believe this infamous action of the Jihadists, was driven by pure lust and nothing else.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
2nd May 2015 (#)

Thank you for sharing your work. My heart goes out to the young girl. Great writing I must say.

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author avatar King Ohonsi
2nd May 2015 (#)

Thank you for reading Nancy. :)

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