Tuesday, May 15, 2012


A Warrior of Misery
by Atina Shahida Adnan

      I wish I could go far away from here, far, far away from all this miseries and god-forsaken place. I didn't wish for all this to happen, but what can I say, God hates me. Instead of seeing the sight of red fluids all around me, and stationary lives, I started reminiscing all the memories that suddenly came rushing through my mind at the speed of sound.

      "Mama!" I shouted to my grandmother, whom I called mama after my mother had died of giving birth to me. I'm a bad luck child, as my father claimed. mama came in with a bottle of milk and Suree, carried at her back, with only a piece of cloth supporting her to mama. "I want to hear another story about the warrior of Africa". This was the daily routine, where I hear my grandmother telling magnificent tales about Africa. Then, I would go around and chase my friends; Rajah, Loki and Sami at the backyard, with our barefoot stomping on the eroded soil. That time, I wished we could live our childhood lives forever and enjoy while we can even though we lived in poverty. You see, in Africa, wearing slippers made of plastic bottles is luxurious enough, eating carcasses that was left by the vultures is normal, running naked because all your clothes are torn is normal and dying alone under the heat of the sun with a bloated tummy and no one to bury you is perfectly normal. I've lived this way my whole life and I couldn't imagine of a better way to live. I thought I was strong, but I was wrong. Strength comes a long way in my life and I couldn't see the pains laying ahead of me.

       Suddenly, this one night, my father came home with a drunken attitude, not an unusual sight for me and my family. He came to me and glared at me with his red and swollen eyes, due to excessive crying and lack of sleep. "Go upstairs to your room, now!" he dictated. I followed his orders, without knowing what was going to happen next. He walked behind me and as soon as he got into the room, he threw me on my bed,shut the light,and....................................................

       "Aaaaaaaahhhh!" I shouted in pain, crying for help and begging for mercy from father.He was like a hungry tiger that night and I thought I would die. I cried for mama, but I knew she couldn't do anything. I became restless that I gave up and let everything happen. I knew I was a deer who couldn't fight a hungry tiger. That morning I woke up, naked. I had lost my dignity to my own father, the one thing I took really good care of. I sat at the corner of my room, hugging my knees, and mourned for my own misfortune. I was traumatized by the frightful incident and I remembered fainting own mama's lap. I dreamt I was a warrior of my own destiny and I found a loophole to all the problems in my life. That day onwards, I swore to God, wherever He may be that I'm going to leave this hell, come hell or high water.

      The next full moon, I packed my things and I called Rajah, Loki and Sami to the backyard. They wanted to come along with me but the day before, we were warned by the chief that rebels are on the loose and they might attack the village anytime. No one was to go out without being escorted by guards and children
were to stay inside at all times. I didn't care. I wanted to run away from my father and I knew this was my only chance. At first,my friends were scared because they knew we were putting our lives at stake but I consoled them. I raised their spirits up and all I can remember after that was we were in the forest, running for our lives.

       The truth is, I didn't know where to venture. I've heard of this place where the land is green and fertile, the children go to school, the politics there are stable and there is no such thing as rebels. I wanted to go to that place and I would work for money and come back for mama and Suree. I heard that this place had tonnes of delicious food, food that has not been touched by vultures and they have designer labeled shoes. I wanted to go there but I know this was just a dream. I wanted to make this dream a reality but reality is pain.

       We rested under a tree after getting tired of walking. Suddenly, I heard footsteps, loud footsteps, as if a crowd of buffaloes had just come back from their bath in  the mud. Rajah, Loki and Sami got scared but I told them to relax. I tried to act strong, even though my heart was pounding as hard as ever. Then, we decided to run away from the footsteps. That was a stupid thing to do as the footsteps got even closer to us. "Who's that?" shrieked a male voice. "Come out come out wherever you are" said another voice with a cynical tone.

       Now I'm scared to death. We ran and ran until I heard gunshots. Three gunshots. Then the night got quiet and still. I dare not look behind, so I kept running, just like a coward. I called to my friends, but none answered. Another gunshot was heard. I didn't see a large boulder in front and the next thing I know, I fell to the ground. When I woke up, I saw red fluids all around me, and stationary lives. I saw Rajah, Loki and Sami, lying still with a pale blue expression. This was the moment that I realised I had lost my friends. no tears fell as I was too shocked with the truth and everything happened so abruptly.

       I left this all to God. I was taken to the rebels' campsite and they trained me to be just like them. I was treated like a princess, apart from being a sex slave. And then I remembered the dream that I had had a long time ago, where I saw myself as a warrior. So, this was the warrior that I've become. A rebellious warrior with no mercy and love.   

The end.

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