By Jarai Sabally
I screamed and screamed and screamed but not a single sound came out of my throat, my face was twice its normal size, and my once so bright eyes took the color of blood. The hot African sun burned my skin, but I couldn’t feel it; I was paralyzed by fear. I looked around me and saw my fellow peers, once very young and joyful, screaming and begging for their lives. “This is just a nightmare” I told myself, “Soon my mama will come running, wipe my tears, comfort me and single me a song”. I close my eyes, and place my hands on them, I counted till a hundred, telling myself “This is just a nightmare”. Loud screams make me abruptly open my eyes, I saw the large monsters with their weapons threatening my peers. I realized this wasn’t a nightmare, this is real.
They say they will take us away, and make us pious and good women. They will give us away to men who will make us brides, we will become little young wives to old men. I shake my head in disbelieve, just yesterday I was trying out my new dress for the school dance. “How can my life change so drastically in less the 24hours, how?” I ask myself, and then I look up again searching for answers and a savior, but couldn’t find any.
“What have I done to deserve this?” I ask myself, “Is it because I lied to my parents yesterday about my exam, or is it because I peeked at another peer’s exam sheet while she was sharpening her pencil?, If this is the case then, I beg for forgiveness” I looked up in the sky with my bloody eyes searching for answers. “What is going to happen to me? What will they do to me? Will I ever see my parents again?” the thought of never seeing my parents again brings chills of fear in my body.
I spend the whole day trembling in fear, fear the unknown. I roll myself in a little corner and thought about my mother, how is she? She must be going crazy, how about my father, I am his only daughter, how is he dealing with this situation? My family? My family? My family? I need to be strong for my family. I sit up straight and wipe my tears “I need to be strong for my family, I will see them again, even if it takes me forever, we will meet again”. I patiently wait for the monsters to leave, then I whisper to my peers, “Be strong for your family, wipe your tears and let’s come together as one”. We all curled up to each other, said a prayer and closed our eyes. “Tomorrow will be a better day”.