It was going to be like a normal night
It was going to be a chat with my fellow girls until I give-in to sleep
It was going to be a night with Amina, Fatima and Hauwa
Just a normal night… just after I said my little prayer
A night when the moon couldn’t whisper to my innocent heart like every other night
A night when my dreams will be engulfed by the darkest night
Have my innocent heart committed a crime to chase that dream?
If achieving my goals through education is forbidden, would an early marriage be acceptable?
If regrets could turn back the hands of time
If wishes could make the watchman not feel drowsy on duty
Oh! I wished my life never depended on the weak index of that soldier (God bless his efforts)
Or on the frail fence where we even jump over sometimes.
In my sleep I heard strange voices; on my feet was a tap…
‘HE’ touched me… Mama! He touched me!!!
Screams went louder from different sections; I closed my eyes and wished it was a dream
Lo and Behold! The very aspiration and my pursuit for empowerment delivered me unto ‘HIM’.
I reached out to Hauwa to at least be on same four-wheeled truck to share from her courage
Instead my worst fears gripped me as I heard more Horror and masculine voice
Gunshot loudly mellowed our screams for help
Could I have jumped off like Fatima and Amina; I thought of it but I couldn’t dare…
How can this same language they speak become foreign to me?
I called on same Allah as they too scream…
Does a different blood flow through their veins?
My heart beat stopped severally yet my thoughts were wide.
The sounds of Crickets and strong wind; cries and prayers proved we were going deep
Deep into Isolation; deep into a cave we talked dreadfully of in our little girl’s gossip
The plague I once feared has come upon me
What is forbidden? Is it my aspirations, HIS Hellish ideology or what I have been subjected into right now?
Father! I need now more than ever your love to rescue me from this hate
It’s the 7th day so far and for the first time in my tender life I have seen my period in the forest
Mama! Oh! Mama… they wouldn’t let me do what you have taught me.
Mama you have no idea what HE has done me…
I heard some of us have died… some of starvation and some from deep wounds
Mama, it’s going to be my turn tomorrow…
I contemplate suicide, would HE do this to me?
Mama it’s cold out here, I feel pains on my chest am I going to die?
You will not be wrong if you think we have taken oaths…
The heights of all imaginations have been done to me Mama…
I will be 13years tomorrow and I have seen it all
Mama, my tender eyes have seen the other side of Life
Be strong Mama, I have tried not to give-up…
Be brave as you have taught me to be
If I see you again, please don’t ask me what has happened to me.
If not mama, know that the worse is yet to happen because I choose not to give-up.
The stars will never shine bright again…
The moon will set at noon…
The cock will crow at Midnight…
It will never be the same again….
But I love you Mama!!!
Written by: Nwazuosa Nkem Kennedy
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