Disclaimer: While this story leans on real-life events, every character is fictional and the tale itself occurred only in the author’s imagination. This story is not intended to offend, and the author apologizes in advance.
Like a thief in the night
If there was a clock in the room, it would have read 3:14am. But no one would have seen it, unless the clock was one of those overcompensating gadgets that came with glow-in-the-dark hands.
It was quite dark in this room, you see…
It would have been inaccurate to say not a soul stirred in this room. Here, with its double-decker eight-bunk beds, many were fast asleep, except for two young girls.
It would also be inaccurate to say both girls had originally been simultaneously awake. The first – and obviously older girl – had tossed restlessly in the last hour about on her bed, then had clambered down and slid – noiselessly – over to the younger girl’s bed at the other end of the room.
She then slipped a hand through the neck of the sleeping one’s blouse and treated her fingers to the joys of nubile breastage, which caused the young lass to wake up.
The hard light of the voyeuristic moon glinted off their eyes. One girl made room in her bed for the other, and soon there was much creaking afoot.
It was exactly at this point the door of the room cracked open, having been crudely persuaded by a boot.
Several men of the brotherhood of the cloth marched into the room and rounded up the drowsy girls.
One of them said something in Hausa about the two girls that shared a bed and it sparked derisive laughter from the others.
One man stepped forward and slapped them both, and they were too ashamed to cry. Ashamed, and frightened.
It was over before it even started. In that 25-room block, the bunks remained, but their occupants had been harvested.
Several military-type vehicles charged off along the moon-path, a brazen convoy in a lawless part of the North.
The president’s response was syrupy, and his speech equally so.
“They have stolen our children,” the president said, weeks after the fact, even though everyone watching their TV sets knew the president’s daughters were accounted for in London and France.
“This is a very sad day. We have been battling the power of terrorism in this country, but this is a new face of terror. How can young girls be sleeping in their rooms only to be kidnapped by these mad men?”
Nigerians glanced one to another, wondering if they were supposed to answer the question.
“We will bring the girls back,” the president said. Other things were said, then there was a big cut to Flavour being too excited about someone adding Onga to her soup.
While the rest of the Nigeria ruminated against the backdrop of “ees just a perfecti blend of flavor and aroma oh,” the president was taking another flight to another part of the country.
The terms of war had changed overnight.
Agnes was the oldest student. She had always been. Most of the other girls feared her; none had been bold enough to despise her openly.
Being a woman of sorts – she was 24 – she found the girls extremely childish, and not worth her comradeship. She spent most of her time making sketches on the back of her notebooks and seducing the extremely shy Aishat.
Aishat was 15, and her only friend was Agnes. Even though neither knew the word, Agnes was a lesbian. Aishat, on the other hand, had not had enough field experience with both genders to sufficiently decide how she liked her coital brew. She would inaccurately be described as bicurious. Aishat was not curious at all. She just accepted whatever came her way. Like Agnes.
How they met and became discreet lovers is another tale. Right now they were at the back of a vehicle, parched, grimy and dizzy from the heat.
It had been a month since their abduction and their company was thinning. Each time the vehicle stopped, some men came to the back, dragged off a few of the girls and took them away. Then the vehicle started again, and they continued moving.
Although the girls were not to know, they were no longer in Nigeria, and their classmates had already been distributed in several parts of Africa already.
Aishat lay sleeping on the hot floor of the vehicle. Agnes was half-awake. She clasped callused palms over Aishat’s delicate one.
America will Know
The president was furious. How did this get blown out of proportion, he asked his man. His special adviser on media whispered urgently: do not ever say in public that this was blown out of proportion, sir. People are angry.
The president scoffed. They kidnap and kill people in the North every day, he yelled. What else is new? He took a swig at his favorite drink. He was hurtling towards inebriation and no one could – or wanted to – stop him.
His media adviser sighed. I’ll tell you what to say. Do not say anything about this without my advisement.
But the president was talking. Who invited Obama? Who invited fucking Obama?
The media man did not cringe. He had heard the president use cuss words too many times.
The president stood up, swayed a little, then sat down again. “Now there’s a mad woman at my gate, asking me to bring back her girls. Self-righteous Hidden Agendaed bitch,” he sighed. Never you mind that agendaed wasn’t a legit English word.
“APC has crossed the line,” he coughed.
Friendship in Wartime
Three months into their abduction and a pattern had been unwittingly stuck. There was the early morning domestic activities, the mid-day rape, then prayers right afterwards.
They were 20 girls in this forest and none of them knew where on earth they were. That significantly pushed thoughts of an escape down in the recesses of their minds.
Many of them were in bad shape. There was the malnutrition, bleeding private parts, diseased private parts or bleeding and diseased parts and the general depression.
Agnes was a big girl. She often encouraged the men to do their business in her anus, trying as best as she could to keep her vagina as intact as possible for her lover. The men were mostly all too eager, and they degraded her, slapping and spitting on her as they did so. She quickly learned to mentally detach herself from her own body when this happened.
Aishat was no so dexterous. Both her front- and backdoor entrances were violated enthusiastically as she had not bargained with the men as Agnes had done. When she walked, she did so with her legs apart, and she frequently needed to wipe her thighs for the blood that trickled downwards while she worked. She learned not to sit down too often.
She became a shell of herself. Loud noises elicited no response from her, and when people spoke to her, it took a while before she noticed they were there, and even longer before she replied.
As a result she was beaten even more, and the tears ran down her face as she wept without sound.
Agnes was kept away from her. Everyone in the camp knew she and Aishat had been doing the bad thing when they had been abducted, and the camp leader was having them watched for a repeat performance so they would be buried to their necks in a pit behind the makeshift cemetery then beheaded.
Agnes had seen it happen before. It chilled her blood. She could only watch helplessly as Aishat slipped farther and farther into the darkness of the mind.
When she found herself without much to do, she plucked choice leaves and hunted for select pieces of rocks. From these she extracted pigment, and soon resumed drawing on whatever surfaces she could find.
The terrorists decided she posed no threat with her art, so they let her get on with it.
That was how she met Isa.
“What are you drawing?” he had asked her in Hausa one afternoon.
“Life,” she said, without looking up.
He came closer and crouched beside her, using his gun for support. He stared at her makeshift canvas for a while.
“Is that a bird looking into heaven?”
“Then that’s a woman holding her dead child?”
“No, that’s a woman sacrificing a dead child.”
“Why is she doing that?”
“She’s trying to purify the land.”
There was another silence.
“The bird is the spirit of the child,” said Isa. “Even though it is the sacrifice, it approves of the intent.”
She turned to look at the face of the man speaking for the first time. She nodded.
Isa walked away without another word, but from that day, whenever she drew something, Isa was there to give his interpretation of it.
Agnes began to find herself missing Isa when the men went out for raids.
Eye of a Stranger
The world was notified that an Australian had taken up the task of negotiating on Nigeria’s behalf. Nobody knew why, but the negotiator, instead of presenting Nigeria – and the American troops who had long arrived the nation in a Jack Bauer-esque fashion – with material to facilitate the extraction of the missing girl, only fuelled propaganda which the media houses sucked up in glee.
Today’s headlines: PDP Behind Boko Haram Abduction – Australian Negotiator
Tomorrow’s rebuttal: ‘They Want to Smear Our Good Image – PDP Debunks Accusation.
The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag flourished still, with new debate springing up as to the original creator of the hashtag.
Everyone jostled for the delicious spotlight. Baba said, “THE GIRLS MAY NEVER RETURN – AND IF THEY DO, THEY’LL ALL BE PREGNANT” and the world proclaimed “Baba is so wise!”
But the girls weren’t any less kidnapped than yesterday.
Best Laid Plan
“I need a color,” Agnes began, delicately, one afternoon.
Isa watched her painting and nodded. “You want to draw something different?”
She nodded. She told him she needed a dark purple gotten from the Matriza plant, a plant which wasn’t native to her current place of captivity.
He promised to bring her the plant when next he went a-raiding.
She touched him for the first time. He had always been the one doing the touching, when he and his comrades gang-raped her. It was a welcome change.
“I heard Al-Mojeeb shouting at you yesterday,” she began.
He told her about how Al-Mojeeb hated their recent friendship and how he thought Isa was losing his head. He laughed afterwards, and called Al-Mojeeb an old fool. Then he was gone.
Agnes sighed and saw Aishat wobble in the distance.
Aishat was two months pregnant.
We will get over it
The bomb blasts became an almost daily affair, and the president’s speech came with the same monotonousness characteristic of speeches knocked together from a limited oratory palette.
“We will get over it.”
Just like a thief in the night
If there was a clock in the room, it would have read 11: 12pm. But no one would have seen it, because it was pitch-black in the room.
Also, there was no clock in the room.
It was quite dark, and there were several dead guerrilla warriors on the floor.
They had unsuspectingly dined on the Matriza stew prepared by Agnes, and now, the first wave of men who kept watch at night were nowhere to be found.
Agnes slid, no, glided noiselessly to the other room. The one she had not been allowed to enter since she arrived here.
She tapped Aishat, and the once-lovely, once bright-eyed teenager didn’t even stir.
She shook her desperately awake, and when Aishatu finally woke, she stared incuriously at Agnes.
“Let’s go,” Agnes whispered and took her by the hand.
The two young women departed through the south side of the building, with the subdued moon for an accomplice.
“It won’t be long before the others wake,” Agnes whispered urgently, but Aishat was still sluggish. “Hurry!”
Aishat’s feet were heavy, and she swayed this way and that as they walked briskly. It was all Agnes could do to steady her.
“Tired,” Aishat breathed in Hausa. “I want to rest.”
Agnes was about to consider this request when she heard the guttural bark of Al-Mojeeb in the distance.
“Oh no,” she cried. “They’ve found me out! Let’s go!”
The two women ran through the forest, with thorns slashing across their bodies. Aishat kept lagging behind and Agnes had to double back to support her.
The voices of the men became sharper and more distinct, and Agnes realized the men were gaining ground, and fast.
“Go,” she said to Aishat. “Just keep going. I talked to Isa – one of the men and he told me if you follow this route, you’ll get to the main road. Find a way to the Cameroonian embassy and you’ll be safe.”
Aishat stared at her, her eyes glazed over, and nodded.
Agnes pulled her close, and kissed her.
Then Agnes broke off in the other direction. She ran for a while, then yelled loudly for the men to hear: “My leg!”
She sat on the floor and cried loudly, and it was in this position the men came to find her.
Isa was one of the men who found her; she had taken care not to serve him the poisoned stew.
He was livid. He slapped her twice and kicked her repeatedly before the others dragged him away and bundled her up before making their way back to camp.
The top story of the next day was: “BREAKING: Pregnant Chibok Girls Escapes Clutches of Boko Haram”
Somewhere in Cameroon, however, another girl was buried up to her neck, and beheaded.
Please follow the blog(on the bottom of your page) to get email notifications. Also follow @zzyzx91