If humans were allowed to choose their fates before coming into the world, lots of people would be living very different lives. I wouldn’t have asked for much, I just wouldn’t have chosen my present reality, no! I definitely wouldn’t have chosen to be the 12 year old mother of a 6 months old child, a child who birthed a child.
When the war first started, my father left us to fight in the army. He never came back, not even his dead body was brought back for burial. I still imagine him scattered into a million pieces on a bloody battleground, the only thing left whole being his smile. No horrible situation could wipe the smile away from Dada’s face, I’d like to imagine that even death could not kill that part of him.
Mama tried to keep us all safe. We were always hiding, always on the run. We ate with plates she made from coconut husks and even that was rationed. I knew she was breaking, but she tried to stay strong for my brother and I.
They came to recruit my brother. Our country lost a lot of men before the war had even gotten halfway. Mama said it was a baseless war. We didn’t have real soldiers or weapons or medical supplies to treat the injured, innocent men were dying and leaving pregnant wives behind. My brother was 14 at the time. Mama couldn’t bear it. She refused to let them take her son too. She put up a brave fight until one of the men shot her twice, once in the heart and once in the head. I watched her blood paint the walls and the floor a deep crimson. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t blink. I just sat in that corner, my body lost all movement. I heard my brother scream and wail as they dragged him away and I couldn’t do anything to help him. That was the last time I ever saw my brother.
When the enemy soldiers arrived, they found me huddled over mama’s body. They bound my hands and led me outside to join a long line of little girls and boys. They shot all the boys and took us girls. Every single day after that until the war ended, different men touched me and ravaged my body in ways I can’t describe. I don’t know how I ever survived. The war has ended but I cannot forget, it has marked me for life. I’m left with these scars that just won’t fade.
Although this story is entirely fictitious, I got the inspiration for it from research on the world wars, the biafran war and the more recent kidnappings of school girls in Chibok. This is the harsh reality of some people’s lives.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post and Google.