He took gentle stares at me, as he nervously flipped the pages to the book he was reading. Minutes later, he walked in my direction and stood tall above my table with a shy smile. He blurred his name shyly into my direction;
“Hi, I’m Nasiib.”
While in school, I fancied books and sugarless coffee while my friends sought love in the dark hours of the night. Dorm rooms were filled with weeping souls, begging to be consumed by love. To me, love was a great pitch to sell books and movie tickets.
Before Nasiib, I hated love.
See, my father left my mother while she was pregnant with me. He married a younger woman, who he met while on a trip to Somalia. My mother found out he paid the wedding with their life savings, after her card declined at the supermarket, while she was shopping for milk and bread.
The next day she cued up for food-stamps. Then moved in a building filled with gangsters and drug dealers. I grew up playing with kids who smelled of piss and weed.
For a long time, I blamed love.
I thought, it was love that shattered the soul of my mother, as she lied awake middle of the night, feeling lonely and unwanted. It was love that dismantled the
spirit of a civil-war survivor as she crippled out of bed in the morning to pack us lunch.
I hated my father. Some days, I hated my mother for loving him.
He refused to divorce her. He claimed there wasn’t any legitimate reasons for a divorce, since Muslim men are permitted to marry four. So, he comes back twice a year to drain the little money she saves up.
I believed love was a curse.
Until love took a different shape; a different form. It started to weigh heavy in my heart.
I fell in love with Nasiib.
Some girls wish to find a man who carries the same characteristic traits as their father; I wished for the opposite.
Nasiib, was raised by his aunt. His mother died after giving birth to him. The doctors informed her of the risks of being pregnant but she chose him over her life. She died holding him, trying to put him to sleep. She was cold and alone. The nurses had to call her closest kin, to come and pick up Nasiib.
His father didn’t even bother attend the funeral. He was a seasonal fisherman, who’s time was absorbed by money-grubbing women and khat. We had that in common. We both had two selfish pricks for a father.
Nasiib and I, decided to get engaged. We both agreed that it was time for us to embark on the next journey together.
What happens next was unpredictable. It was January.
Nasiib took me out to dinner at a luxurious rooftop restaurant we both fancied.
Usually, his emotions are well articulated and organized, but I could tell by the shakes in his voice, he was nervous. His eyes were filled with passion, as he expressed his feelings for me.
“I want to be your husband and your best-friend. I promise to always cater to your needs, and be the husband our fathers should have been to our mothers,” he whispers as he gently holds my hand across the table. Like a blind butterfly, I felt his words lost inside me, tickling. I was scared but I felt protected in those words. I trusted him. I knew deception wouldn’t dare lay on his lips.
It was a Friday night. I remember the open sky, the full moon glaring through the window on our way home.
There was a slight breeze of lustfulness looming in the air, as we quietly sat in the car. It was a moment to be cherished, not with cheap words but through the weight of patience in love; the power in taming desire as it seeps through the vessels of pride. It was painful.
We arrived at my apartment complex. He parked the car, turned the engine off, and accompanied me to the front door, as he held my hand with a nervous grip.
I loved his gentle approach and calm tenor. He kissed me on my cheek, and whispered ‘I love you’ slowly into my ear before letting my hand go. His deep voice tickled my insides, tempting my curiosity to burst. I longed for his body, his manly scent, timidly fused with Hugo Boss.
“Hold me a little longer,” I secretly whisper into the wind but my pride wouldn’t deliver.
We didn’t sleep that night. We talked on the phone until the birds hummed tunes of blues in the early hours of the day. We chatted about our mutual hate for big weddings, our bad habits, and Mehr (engagement/wedding).
Nasiib and I both weren’t really religious individuals, but we wanted our marriage to be a symbol of love for each other and for God. We wanted to keep it small; mostly family, and friends. We both worked as newbies in the profession we graduated, so we barely had the necessary funds to hold a big fancy wedding.
We marked 25th of April, ‘MARIED’, on our calendar.
Obligated by our withering culture, my father had to give me away, so we had to accommodate to his ‘busy’ schedule as we waited for him to return back. In the meantime, we prepared ourselves emotionally and financially.
In March, we found a two-bedroom apartment, in the same building as my mother. I thought it was brilliant, since I wanted to care for my mother as often as possible.
My father arrived the first week of April. We rarely spoke, but for the first time, we sat in the living-room, as he attempted to care and enquire about my life and future goals. He wanted to know if I trusted and loved Nasiib enough to share a life with him.
My mouth curved into an ironic smile, to reflect my fathers’ feigned wisdom. How hypocritical, I thought. “Aabo, he’ll provide what a wife deserves to gain out of a husband,” I replied as I stared at him with a distasteful look. He was not in a position to speak about trust and love. My mothers’ feet were swollen from the heavy burdens, he should have carried as a husband and a father.
My father was hesitant about Nasiib, due to his fatherless past. “No one knows wuxu yahay,” my father expressed his pretentious concerns. How would he know, he never met or spoke to Nasiib? He’s just going through baseless speculations;
judging Nasiib through the actions of his deadbeat father, who disappeared before he was even born.
It was obvious, they needed to meet each other.
Nasiibs uncles from his mother side accompanied him to our house, to meet my father and ask for my hand. I was nervous, and feared disappointment.
And for some odd reason, I had a gut-feeling that something was going to go wrong.
My mother and I prepared food and drinks for the guests, while my father and my two older brothers were sitting in the living-room, chatting about Somali politics.
I finally get a text from Nasiib: “Baby, we’re outside,” it reads.
I was nervous, but I was also excited. I wanted everyone to meet Nasiib, because I was proud of his brilliance and humble spirit. He illuminated light into my heart. He guided me to love, when I only knew to hate.
I asked my brother Saabir to open the door from Nasiib and his uncles as my mother and I hid in the kitchen. There was a door connecting the kitchen and the living-room, which I purposely left open to eavesdrop as the men bargained my womanhood.
For a while, they talked about politics and Somalia’s history.
“Like men before us, we have come to you today to seek for your daughter’s hand,” Nasiib’s uncle intervenes the unnecessary chatter. “Our nephew and your daughter fulfil the Islamic principles of marriage and they have great intentions in leading a sacred life together.”
I see my father’s eyes slowly shift in the direction of Nasiib. I felt bad for Nasiib. Though he was a law-graduate who studied the art of persuasion, he was to protest his love for me to a man who knew nothing about love.
“I want to marry your daughter,” he shyly states. “I want to build a future with her, and become the best husband a man can come to be…if you let me, I will be honored to take responsibility of your daughter,” he sweats.
“First of all, I want to thank you all for coming. I appreciate your interest in my daughter. Unfortunately, you are a stranger to me unless you declare your name, son. Who is your father?”
That was my father’s polite way of asking what tribe do you stem from.
“In all honesty, Adeer. My tribe didn’t raise me. My tribe didn’t carve me into the man I am today, and it surely didn’t help me obtain my education. And it’s important you must know, my tribe will not be the provider to your daughter, but my strength will,” Nasiib nervously articulates.
“You are a young man, who doesn’t understand the importance ‘name’ carries in the family. If strange men with disreputable forefathers marry our daughters, who will be responsible for their curse? Son, my daughter will not carry karma in her womb. Qabiilkaaga sheeg, otherwise there is nothing to discuss,” my father replies in annoyance.
Nasiib’s uncle tried to intervene the intense conversation, stating that Nasiib was birthed by their younger sister, who died after giving birth to him. “He stems from Xeer-hashiis, a small tribe from the south-west. His fathers name is Abdulkadir Ahmed Isse, known as Belaajiyo and worked mostly at the port in Kismaayo.”
There was an awkward silence. I can sense the disappointment in my fathers face, as if he knew this man Belaajiyo.
“Gentlemen, I will sit down with the mother of my daughter, and I will let you know about the outcome. I thank you for coming and will see you soon.” My father abruptly gets up from his seat to lead Nasiib and his uncles to the door.
Nasiib, the belittlement he must have felt while my father was casting judgment over him.
Our eyes connected, as he was escorted to the door. He forced a smile but I felt the sadness in his eyes pierce through my heart like an apathetic dart. I didn’t know what was appropriate; to remain silent or to scream.
The man of my life was rejected by the same man who rejected mine growing up.
I turned to my father, “Why, why would you want to ruin my life?” I scream in frustration. “You know nothing about Nasiib?” My father just sat there quietly in his couch, as my brothers eyed him in distress. The room was silenced with empathy. My mother stood next to me as she too didn’t understand why my father was being rude. “Why did you have to do that? You could have been more respectful towards the kid,” intercedes my mother in disappointment.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about. I am your father, the defender of your womanhood. That young man is lost. A lost man cannot guide a young woman like yourself,” he shouts in dismissal. I was livid at his accusations and pretentious concerns. “What defender? Since when can you claim to have defended me? You have never existed in my life,” I shout.
Everything I felt for him, were poured into words. I can feel my heart weighing less heavy as each word carried hurt; buried underneath me for far too long.
My brother Saabir stood up and hugged me as I stood in the middle of the living- room in tears. I could feel the rapid beatings of his heart, pulsating underneath his shirt. I know. He wanted to cry too.
He walked me to my room, and begged me to stay there as they talked to father.
I lied awake in my bed, staring at my phone. I must have texted and called Nasiib trillion times, but he wasn’t returning my calls or texting me back. He probably
felt betrayed by me. I peeked through the cracks and watched him being humiliated by my own blood.
I hear the footsteps of my brother, approaching. “What happened?” I question him as he opens the door. “Aabo is stubborn, but he wants to talk to you alone,” he sighs. “But I have to go. It’s getting late. I have a wife and two kids to attend to. And by the way, you know he doesn’t respond well by being yelled at,” My brothers’ last words of wisdom as he exits the house.
I made my way to the living-room. My father was sitting there grudging in his macawis and shawl. It was just the two of us, sitting across from each other. I can hear him whisper ‘Istaqfurililah’ while he fondles with his Tusbax. His face softens, as he looks in my direction. He looked unfamiliar.
“I was young and naive. When I married your mother, I thought love was going to be consistent, effortless, and always on sight. Marriage is difficult, my daughter. It’s complicated, and wearying to the feeble heart. I see myself in Nasiib. The naivety in his words, I have spoken them before, weightlessly,” he pauses.
It felt like a movie. For the first time, my father was utilizing his words to express his emotions but nothing inside me moved. His words were too cheap to be bought, too late to be accepted, and too crippled to withstand my hurt.
“I accompanied her as a fetus, lying inside her womb when you left her for another woman. How selfishly you left us to have more children, as if we weren’t enough for you. You are right, you were selfish and naive, which makes you nothing like Nasiib. He is different from you, trust me” I replied while holding back my tears.
“I know Nasiibs father, Bilaajiyo. He was a well-known thug in Kismaayo,” he reveals to my surprise. “What do you mean, you know his father?” I question him.
“When Nasiib’s mother was giving birth, it was my other wife who was nursing her to deliver Nasiib that day. Before his mother passed away, she told my wife about Bilaajiyo,” he expresses.
I felt mortified. Judging by the expression on my fathers face, he was about to tell me something disheartening
“Bilaajiyo was an arrogant hustler who worked as a fisherman. Tall and light- skinned, with a body armored with muscles. It was hard not to notice him around the neighborhood, walking conceitedly with his chest out. I shared tea with him couple of times, and spoke about politics,” he pauses. “Nasiib is an exact image of his father. In our neighborhood, women drooled over Bilaajiyo, but he wasn’t an easy man to satisfy. He believed that the institution of marriage was a cave that was crafted for lonely and desperate men, who only yearned to belong somewhere,” my father continues to tell me.
“Nasiib’s mother was a beautiful woman, very elegant and kind. She had a distinct smile, that lit up the neighborhood. After she married Bilaajiyo, her beauty withered and her smiles were replaced with furrowed brows; darkness overshadowed her light. Nasiib’s mother was a victim of Bilaajiyo, not his wife,” my father entails as he grabs his cane and gets up from his seat. I never understood why my father walked with a cane, when he was physically fine. “So what did his mother tell your wife in the hospital before she died,” I replied anxiously. “It’s been a long day, and it’s getting late, we’ll talk about this tomorrow,” he mumbles as he walks away.
I was annoyed. What did he mean by ‘she was a victim?’
It was a long night, and I was exhausted. Nasiib still hasn’t returned my calls, which made me anxious. I turned and tossed in my bed, thinking about Nasiib’s mother and father.
I woke up feeling heavy. I felt worrisome weight on my shoulders. I grabbed my phone to check if Nasiib has come to his senses to call or text me back. Two missed calls and a text that reads:
call me when you wake up,
I call him quickly.
“Hey,” he picks up the phone on the first ring. “Are you okay,” “Yeah, just needed some alone time, that’s all. Sorry,” he mumbles in a dry voice. This meant he saw my calls but deliberately ignored me. But can I really blame him, I thought? “We need to talk, I have something to tell you,” I reply. “Can we talk tomorrow, I have to do something today,” he responds frigidly. I knew he was in his own feelings, but he wasn’t making the situation any easier for us. “Listen, I have a dire news, and we need to talk as soon as possible, preferably today,” I demand. “Okay. I’ll come pick you up in three hours.”
I get up from bed, and run to see if my father is still home. He needed to finish the story. It was important for him to tell me what Nasiib’s mother told his wife.
“Hooyo, is Aabo home?” I greet my mother as she stood in the kitchen, baffled by my unexpected inquiry. This was new to her. “No, he left early to the masjid, and hasn’t returned yet. Is everything okay?” She asked me in a concerning voice. “Yes, Hooyo. I just needed him to finish what he was telling me last night, that’s all. Hooyo, do you know anything about Najiib’s mother?” I ask curiously. She gave me an unsettled look. “Yes and no,” she paused. “Your father didn’t tell me much, and it’s best you wait for him to tell you the complete story,” she replies in dismissal.
I got ready, and sat in the living room, patiently waited for my father to arrive.
Finally, I hear the rumbling of the keys as it rotates inside the door. “Is tea ready, Fadumo?” my father yells across the hall to my mother, who was in the kitchen making pancakes. He walks in the living-room leisurely, and spots me sitting on the couch. “Haye,” he mumbles with a surprising look.
I needed for my father to see his wrongs. “Father, let me ask you this. Say, when you were marrying my mother, her father denied you to marry her? In fact, what if he humiliated you in front of her, and told you that your worth wasn’t on par with his daughter? What would you do?” I questioned him. “I’m not denying or humiliating anyone. I just want to make sure who my daughter is marrying is clean and honest man,” he replies. “Nasiib is CLEAN and HONEST man,” I grumbled in a broken voice. I was too exhausted and hurt to argue with him.
“Nasiib is birthed by a woman who was raped by a thug,” he interjects my emotions. “He was a product of rape, his gene is contaminated and cursed. I don’t want you to face the consequences of his curse,” he raises his voices at me, as he placed his cane behind his seat.
I felt dizzy. My thoughts were overclouded, and words couldn’t carry the weight I was feeling. “The boy is not guilty of his fathers’ actions. You must not blame him for what his father did to his mother. If anything, he is a victim too,” my mother replies, as she places the cup of tea on the table. “He comes from a seed that has done a lot of wrongs. He stems from a man who has done a lot of hurting, Fadumo,” my father replies back to my mother.
I get a text from Nasiib: [I’m outside, baby.]
As I stood up to leave, my father asked me where I was going. “I…have…to go,” I spoke haltingly, feeling lightheaded.
I was hesitant to see Nasiib. His car was parked across the street. With a heavy heart, I walked towards him.
I open the door to the passenger seat. He sat there with a smile. I couldn’t make eye contact with him too long. “Hey,” he mumbles. “You okay, ‘cause you look scared.” I was scared and drowning in questions. “Yeah, I’m okay. How are you?” I lied. “I’m good. I just…need to lay a plan on how to convince your father to accept me. He seems like he made up his mind about me already, you know?” I felt the hurt in his voice. His face was painted with innocence. I didn’t see a curse, I saw love. I didn’t see the seed of a rapist; I saw hurt.
“Do you know anything about your father?” I inquired, to see if he knew anything. “I mean, not much. My family never bothered to speak about him, and I never requested information in regards to his existence, because he had no relations to mine,” he dismissed.
“My father knows about your father…” I voiced nervously. Nasiib looked at me with a quizzing face. “What do you mean, he knows about my father?” I couldn’t hold myself back. I felt the guilt as words poured out. I told him everything. I unveiled the story my father told me. Everything.
I could hear his heart shatter into pieces, as his eyes sunk in water. “So my father raped my mother?” he whispers in a cracking voice. “He raped my mother, and she carried me… died for me …knowing I was planted inside her by …. a rapist?” he consoled. Tears, made way to his cheeks. They dripped on his jeans, as I sat there feeling useless. “I’m sorry,” I replied back. I wanted to hold him, help him carry the pain, and tell him that ‘…it will be okay.’
“I’m sorry baby, but I need to go. Just give me some time to think through this, please,” he snivels under his breath. I knew he felt reluctant to cry in front of me. He needed some space, and I was willing to give him that and more. “Okay baby, but please know, I’m here for you.”
It was a Saturday, 4pm in the evening. The clouds were gray, but it never rained that day. It was the last day I saw Nasiib. He never made it home. His car collided
head-on with an 8-wheeler-truck that was carrying cement. No one knows the cause of the collision, but it might have been a suicide.
After that day, life tasted bitter. Everything seemed too dark. Too cold. Too lone. Too much pain to bare. I’d stay awake at night, going through old messages Nasiib sent me: “I love you. I can’t wait to make you my wife,” it reads. I lay sleepless with my eyes shut; it was the only way to keep the tears from wetting the pillow.
Things I loved, have become disheartening. Flowers carried foul smell. The ray of the sun irritated my eyes. The sound of rain caused more grieve. I preferred tears over laughter. Death over life. I was tired of waking up with a heavy heart in the morning.
I felt cursed. I wish I could have done things differently. I wouldn’t have told him about his father that day in the car.
I needed to leave. I needed to get away from this place.
I went to a travel agency in town. His name was Amir. He greeted me with a grin, as he asked me “…where to?”
“Tell me, is there a destination for a soul in despair?” I asked him. “Book me a one-way ticket to a place where I can loose my thoughts,” I said. He stared at me with a curious mind. “Are you okay?” he inquired. I hated ‘how are you’s and are you okays.’ No one was willing to carry the burden of someone’s pitiful day, because no one truly cared. I hated that it was the norm in society to question ones’ feelings, while they didn’t have an iota of care. “Yes, I’m okay” I lied.
I want to go to a place where I am not the only one hurting. A place where people lost loved once and still managed to carry on.
“Somalia. I want to go to Somalia,” I tell him abruptly. “Are you sure, because Somalia isn’t really …safe,” he voiced his concern. “Only a soul that longs for life, fears death. Book me a ticket to Somalia, please” I reply annoyed.
My mother hated that I was leaving, but deep down she accepted my plea for a different environment. She knew as a mother; it wasn’t safe for me to stay.
She spoke to her cousin in Mogadishu to provide me a place to stay. She hasn’ t spoken to her for a long time, but she managed to get hold of her through her old phone number.
My flight was via Dubai, where I was forced to stay in the airport for five hours, until the plane was set to leave to Mogadishu. We were strained to drag our heavy luggage across the airstrip to the plane.
Somali airplanes weren’t treated as luxurious as the other airlines, I thought.
As I entered the plane, I noticed how seats were occupied mostly by elders and men in oversized suits. I sat next to a woman with big sunglasses that covered half of her face. “Is your first time?” she spoke in broken English, assuming I didn’t speak Somali. “Yes,” I respond. I wasn’t in the mood to talk, but I felt rude if I didn’t pretend I cared. “And you? I questioned her back. “No, I come all the time. I am a business woman. I live in Dubai,” she declares unrequested. I pushed my seat back, trying to rest my body on the worn-out cushions. “So why you going to Mogadishu?” she continued to press. I felt annoyed by her curiosity. Why do people go to Mogadishu, I thought? Family! “I’m going to see family.”
Although the journey was short, it felt exhausting trying to accommodate a stranger with million questions.
I got a glimpse of the blue ocean, as the plane descended into Mogadishu’s airport. I felt nauseous from the plane jolting side to side as it prepared to land.
Hawo, my mother’s cousin came to pick me up with her son who was driving an old white sedan. Through the loud Quranic recitation playing in the background, it was hard to hear what she was saying to me. I admit, my Somali wasn’t sharp, but I knew enough to avoid being self-conscious. “See waaye Amerika?” she asked. “Waa caadi,” I replied.
He pulled up to a shabby home in a torn neighborhood. Houses were decorated with bullet holes and the streets were filled with shattered bricks.
“Come, my girl. You must be tired and hungry,” my auntie said as she struggled to get out of the car. I was hungry, but not for food. I wanted to sleep. I longed for silence and a comfortable bed.
Upon entering the house, a beautiful brown-skinned girl, stood at the front door wearing a big smile. She was dressed in baati and a little gabasaar, decorated with bright colored flowers. “That’s my daughter, Amina,” my aunt indicated, pointing at the girl in the flowery gabasaar.
She escorted me to the back of the house, and took me to an empty room with a single mattress and a fan. The walls were painted green, and the windows were made with metal bars, similar to a jail cell. I asked her for the toilet. She pointed at a small door across the hall. I opened the door, only to find a hole in the ground, a sink and a shower head that only a giant person can reach.
After washing up and changing into something comfortable, I made my way to the living room.
Saucepan and plates were set on the dining table, which contained rice and broiled lamb. It smelled delicious but I had no appetite. I lost my desire for food, because my heart was filled with unease, and hurt.
“Sit down and eat!” said my aunt as she pointed at an empty chair at the table. “Amina, bring her some bisbaas.” “No, its okay auntie. This is just fine,” I
protested. Out of mere politeness I tried to eat. It was uncomfortable. They kept staring at me as if I was an alien. “You have to eat the rice too,’ my aunt pointed out the bowl containing the rice. I felt embarrassed. I didn’t know how to scoop the rice up properly with my hands, it felt strange. I never ate with my hands. I just plucked the meat off the bones with my fingers like a little baby, playing with food for the first time.
They probably thought I was a strange, spoilt with the fortunes of life. Both, Amina and Adan haven’t said a word to me yet. Strangely, I liked it. I longed for silence. It was hard to find silence in America.
“We are saddened about what happened to Nasiib,” my aunt breaks into sympathy. “To Allah we belong, and to Him we must return” she continued. I wasn’t in the right mood to talk about this, so I accepted her sympathy with a silent nod.
I excused myself from the table. “Habo, I’m going to sleep. I’m extremely tired,” I spat, excusing myself from the table, after washing my hands.
I was tired, I wanted to lay down.
It’s been two months since I’ve been here in Mogadishu.
My depression subsidized a little. I found out that life had little to no value in Mogadishu. People didn’t dwell much in sorrow and frankly no one had time for sympathy. People died, but life moved on the next day.
In my time here, there were several bombings carried out by a group called Al- Shabab. Their ideology was that ‘everyone’ except them were infidels, especially members of the government. They carried out assassinations and bombings in public places; sometimes even killing innocent people to achieve their targets.
“Soon, the ground we walk, will all be graveyards; burials of souls waiting for trials of life” says Adan, as he sits there smoking a cheap cigarette. He was slim,
tall and dark skinned. He wore cheapish clothes, and a pair of torn sandals. It seemed his priorities were above worldly goods.
Adan and I sat outside the house in the dark hours of the night, and stargazed as we discussed about politics, and philosophy. He was very intelligent for a twenty- five-year old, unschooled young man.
He’d ask me about life in America, and I’d inquire about life in Somalia. We found similarities, but also penetrated each others moral ethics, disclosing our differences. He had a dislike for the west and criticized their political system. “America, likes to play God, when in fact, they are the devil,” he’d usually highlight in his arguments.
To be honest, I was worried for him. With his type of mental attitude, he could easily be recruited by Al-shabab, I thought.
One night, sitting outside the gate of the house, I asked Adan, “what do you think of Al shabab? Do you agree with their ideology?” I was curious about his stance. “You will never understand,” he chuckles as he flicks the cigarette bud on the floor where he was standing. “What is there to understand? It’s a simple question, really,” I interject.
“America. You think you owe them your life, right? They gave you a piece of paper that validates your stay in a land they stole from innocent men, women and children. They hand you a piece of paper that legitimizes your degree of knowledge while teaching you only what they want you to learn. Their history. Their philosophy. Their dubious ways of life. They keenly teach you the history of ‘yahuuda’ along with America’s heroism, in the meanwhile they bargained souls of blacks like a bag of chips, as they lynched them on trees and used their women and men as sex slaves. How heroic?” he questions me in annoyance. “They are excellent in wiping their footprints from the sand? Do they show you the holocaust that is taking place in the middle east now? See, they only depict the wrongs done to them while cowardly hiding the wrongs they do to others. That is YOUR America,” he expresses in anger.
I was boggled by his cognizance of the western history. I haven’t seen any books in the house, and his cell phone was an old Nokia which I doubt had any internet connection. How would he know all this, I wondered? I was curious but fearful. His eyes were filled with rage.
“You didn’t answer my question, Adan,” I reply back, digging for more elaborative answer. He gives me a sadistic smile, and gets up to walk back inside the house, leaving me there with more questions. It scared me a little but my curiosity grew more.
I know, this part of the world, the cost of life was cheap and death was in arms reach. Simple questions can turn into a fatal death.
It was Friday, after sunset. Adan and I sat outside the house again. The wind was calm but persistent. The air smelt like burning timber, and charcoal. Neighbors were cooking supper in their backyards. In Somalia, the main meal was eaten at lunchtime. At night, beans were cooked in a pot on the burning wood for long hours.
This night, it felt different. Adan, usually never inquired about my personal life, but he asked me about Nasiib, and what happened. I told him everything, and how I was drained with guilt.
“Your journey with Nasiib was written exactly how it occurred. There is nothing you could have done to change the pages of the book God has planned for you,” he replies. He was absolutely right. “Can I ask you something?” he says. “Yes, of course,” I reply.
“If you saw Nasiib’s father, what would you do or say to him?” That was an odd question, I thought. “Uhm, probably kill him,” I replied without hesitance. He looked at me with a grin on his face. As if he knew something, I didn’t.
“Nasiib’s father, owns a small hotel, five miles from here,” he babbles to my surprise. I couldn’t believe it. “You mean to tell me, that Nasiib’s father is here?” “Yes, five miles from where you are standing. He is a big, tall and light skinned man. His name is very popular in this town.” I felt lightheaded. My heart started pounding out of my chest. I had trouble breathing. I stood up from where I was seated, and started pacing up and down, trying to catch my breath.
“Listen, I can help you,” he whispers. “Help me in what?” I reply stunned. “What if you were amongst the chosen ones, who were given the opportunity to carry the sword to cut the neck of the devil,” he dramatized. “You mean, actually kill him?” I respond confused. “Imagine, the lives he has damaged; the hurt and pain he has caused innocent women? His death will not be mourned but celebrated and your bravery will open the gates of heaven for you.” Blood was rushing to my head.
It was in this moment, I realized Adan was trying to recruit me to kill. He looked at me gravely and said “I will take you somewhere tomorrow.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that.
“Go to sleep tonight, and tomorrow we’ll go together,” he said as he walked away from me.
I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned in my four-squared room. My thoughts were accompanied with fear and coincidence. How did I end up here, five miles away from the man who derailed my future, and was the reasons of my love’s death? Oh God, I missed Nasiib. I missed his smile. My heart never eased at remembering him.
‘Amongst the chosen one?’ I continued to replay in my head. What did Adan mean by that, I thought? I believed Bilaajiyo deserved to die. His spirit was definitely evil, but I’m not a killer.
I dose off.
“Baby, baby,” someone whispers into my ears. I open my eyes. It was Nasiib, standing above me. He looked radiant, heavenly and at peace. “Nasiib,” I sigh, as I try to sit up. “Sshh, it’s okay. I’m here…baby,” he whispers into my ear, as he kisses my forehead. I felt his warm hands on mine. His skin was unblemished. His eyes filled with innocence. “I miss you, baby. My heart is empty without you. I’m now in a better place, a place where you and I, belong together, forever,” he whispers into my heart. “I miss you too, Nasiib. This world is not the same without you. I want to be with you,” I sobbed, as I held onto his hand. I didn’t want him to let go. “Listen baby, don’t be scared to go with Adan. Follow him, and he will guide you to me.” “How, Nasiib?” I questioned confused. He lets my hand go. I suddenly felt cold breeze harbor my insides. Just like that, he was gone. I felt shaken.
“Hey, hey! Wake up!” I hear a voice again. “Nasiib,” I shout as I open my eyes, but it was just Amina hollering above me. “Oh,” I hurl disappointedly. “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you up, but it’s afternoon and Hooyo is worried about you. You haven’t eaten anything yet.” I wasn’t hungry, I was exhausted. “Tell Habo, I’m okay.”
My dream last night felt bizarrely real, and tangible. I felt Nasiib’s presents. His scent still roamed in the air.
It was 6pm in the evening. I can hear the first Azhan, as the local imam calls for prayer. Habo and Amina are sitting in the living-room, hawking the television on loud volume. They loved Turkish, Arabic and Indian soap series. It was their favorite.
“Come here, and watch this with us,” yells my auntie across the living-room. I was sitting on the dining table with my laptop, trying to read the news, but I could barely focus because the television was too loud. I closed my laptop, and sat next to Amina, who was deep into the show.
Amina was kind enough to depict everything that was happening in the scenes, so I wasn’t lost and bored. The actors were too dramatic for my liking, but I pretentiously nodded my head, showing my interest for the sake of respect. “So you speak Arabic?” I asked her. “I can read and comprehend the language, but I can’t articulate myself in Arabic. I’ve learned most of what I know from watching shows and films,” she explains.
I liked Amina, but it was unfortunate that we shared not a single thing in common. She was refined by society to act as expected, and I grew up as a rebel, ignoring every expectation society had of me. I dressed in pants and shirts, as I roamed depressed in the house; she wore baati and gabasaar, as she sang beautifully whilst cleaning. She knew how to blaze wood, and charcoal to cook in perfection and I…was useless. I simply admired her.
I got up and excused myself to my room. It was time to pray.
After Nasiib died, I started to view life from a different perspective. I found the importance of praying, and being connected to Allah was critical in order to avoid more hurt and sorrow in this world. Is it selfish, that I only remembered Allah in my time of despair? Maybe. But what is important is that I remembered God, and it wasn’t too late.
After I was done praying, I heard a knock on my door. I got up from the floor to open, and see who it is. “Hey,” mumbles Adan as he stood there sweating. “Hi,” I reply back. His eyes were piercing through me. He looked worried. “Are you ready?” he stutters. I pretended I didn’t know what he was referring to, so I vaguely replied, “I don’t know, ready for what Adan?” “I want to show you something, come outside,” he demands, as he walks away from my door.
I dressed up quickly. He was standing by himself, next to his white Toyota. Our neighborhood was dark, and scary at night time. “What’s up Adan, why are you sweating and breathing so heavy?” I inquired, as I walked towards him. “I jogged
from the mosque to hurry home, so I can pick you up and take you somewhere.” “Where exactly do you want to take me?” I curiously replied. “I just…want to…show you something, that’s all. I will bring you back home safely, I promise,” he chuckles. “I see that you’re scared, but there is no need, I promise,” he continues. He opens the passenger seat, and indicates for me to go inside the car. For some odd reasons, I trusted his words. I felt comfortable in his promises. There was a force that was telling me to be at ease with myself and relax.
I got in the car.
Adan drove silently for twenty minutes in the dark terrain. There were no souls visible in the direction we were heading. “You will meet someone. He will talk to you briefly, but you just listen, okay?” he pled as he drove blind into the darkness. “Who is this someone?” I questioned. Adan, remained silent. I heard a noise from distance. It was getting closer as we drove straight ahead. Then, I saw a flame that was lit afar. “What is that Adan?” I continued to ask. Adan just ignored me.
As we got closer, I noticed people surrounding the flame, rocking their heads back and forth. They were chanting in a language that was unfamiliar to me. “Who the hell are they, Adan?” I shouted in frustration. “They, are the soldiers of Allah. The sword keepers,” he finally replied dramatically. My heart started racing, my anxiety kicked in. I was in the middle of the dark terrain with the most wanted group in the world.
“Adan, is that…who I think…it is?” I emit a long, deep breath. He stops the car, and tells me to wait inside as he walks to the group of people surrounding the fire.
As I sat quietly in the car, the chanting was getting louder, and more intense. I was scared. I felt betrayed by my instinct. Why did I allow myself to be in this situation, I questioned myself? Adan approached one of the man in the circle, and pointed at the car, probably indicating that I was sitting inside.
I rapidly fixed my clothes, as I noticed Adan and the strange man walking in my direction.
“Come out,” demanded Adan, as he opened the door of the passenger seat. It was too dark to clearly see the stranger, but he was dressed in black salwar qamiis, the type that is worn traditionally by Pakistani males. He stood short, and his head was wrapped. He had a long beard, and a lighter complexion.
“Salaam, my sister,” he greeted me calmly, while I was making my way out of the car. “Salaam,” I stuttered, as my knees quivered in fear. I can feel my heart pulsate in my throat. “Brother Adan, told me a lot about you. He also told me about your hardship in this world. That’s why the likes of my kind is here, my sister. To ease all the hardship Iblis brings to this world; to innocent Muslims like yourself,” he says in a heavy accent. I noticed he wasn’t Somali. His accent sounded middle eastern. I didn’t say anything, I just stayed silent and attentive.
“The workers of Iblis and Dijal roam in this world, disguised in the form of a human, dedicated to destroy the name of Islam. It’s our job as the soldiers of Islam, the sword keepers, to define who is the culprit in aiding them …See, people see us as killers, but we are preventers, sister. We halt them from dominating this world. That is our task,” he pauses, as another man approached him, whispering something in his ear. He was wearing similar clothing, but he looked darker, taller, with broader shoulders, and heavier body. “Sorry,” he apologized as he searched for his thoughts.
“We have been targeting Bilaajiyo for a long time. Now, we must close his book. His chapters are filled with sin, and greed. He is a cold-blooded brute. He has done a lot of damages, caused many hurt, therefore his time must end,” he expressed as his voice intensified. “You are the chosen one sister. Your duty in this world, as the server of Allah, is to close his book, sister. Are you ready?”
I felt a sudden attack of fright. His question sustained a substantial weight of power that can instil fear in the heart of an ordinary person. I wanted to say no, but those two simple letters could end my life. “I am not a …killer, brother,” I pled. “You will be trained, sister. We have men who will help you carry out this task. They will teach you how to execute this mission.” My ideology, and views on life were different. My Islam wasn’t about killing or revenge but about survival and forgiveness.
“Did you see Nasiib, last-night?” the strange man interrupts my thoughts. “Excuse me?” I replied surprisingly.
“We’ve sent Nasiib to you, last night. His spirit came to your dream. He was supposed to ease you heart and mind for this meeting.” I was confused. “You see those men,” he pointed at the circle of men who were chanting and rocking their bodies back and forth around the fire. “Yes,” I replied. “They are calling for spirits. Spirits that have been wronged whilst in this world. These spirits help us ease our mission.” “How do they ease your mission,” I asked curiously. “They enter the bodies of the chosen ones, and carryout the execution. This way, you will not feel guilt or pain,” he replies.
I was stumped, but mostly scared stiff. I can’t believe Nasiib’s spirit came to my dream last night. They called upon him to visit me. Was that allowed? Who gave them the authority to disturb the dead, I thought? I had many questions, but this wasn’t the right place nor the right time to ask them. “You go home, we talk tomorrow, sister. Salaam,” he walks away abruptly.
I entered the car, feeling a slight headache. Adan, made his way to the drivers- seat, as he finished saying his byes to the strange man.
“You must stay quiet. You cannot say anything to mother and Amina,” he demanded as we drove back home. “Tomorrow, after Maqrib, you must be ready.” “Ready for what?” I asked him. “For brother Amir. He will introduce you to someone. You must be prepared for the mission,” he continued. “I don’t want
to do it, Adan. I’m not made for this…,” I sobbed. This was getting too serious and too real for me. He slammed on the brakes and suddenly stopped the car middle of nowhere. “Saying no, is refusing to serve Allah. Are you rejecting to serve your Creator?” he shouted, as he looked at me enraged. “No, I’m not,” I answered petrified.
We arrived home.
I didn’t trust Adan. He was just a puppet, who’s loyalty aligned with these men. I didn’t see him as a cousin anymore.
It was hard for me to fall asleep, my heart was still trembling in fear. I laid in bed, and prayed to God to help me in this difficult time. I didn’t understand many things; questions were drowning me. I felt drained.
I fell asleep, but I suddenly woke up, breathing heavy. Staring at the ceiling, seeing my own reflection, peacefully sleeping, …but I was awake; my eyes were open, I was fully aware of my surroundings. Then my body started floating off the bed, I was mid-way in the air. I tried to scream, move side-ways, but I wasn’t able to do anything but stay still. I forced to close my eyes, and begged God to intervene and help me. I suddenly remembered the power of Ayat Al-Kursi. I tried to quickly recite it in my head. As soon as I was done reciting the last verse ‘…wa la ya’uduh xifduhuma wahuwal caliyul cadiim.’ I was dropped to my bed. Whatever force was holding me up, decided to let me go.
Then, I felt a cold breeze hover over my body, as I laid feeble in my bed. It was freezing. I knew I wasn’t alone in this room.
Suddenly, I sense a heavy pressure, pressing down on my chest. I felt an unbearable pain strike me inside, as if my organs were about to explode. I quickly resorted to reading Ayat Al-Kursi again, only this time, I was being strangled around my neck. I couldn’t breathe. Blood rushed to my head, and I was slowly fading away.
I felt a release.
I opened my eyes. It was pitch black. I heard a deep voice echo inside the room. “We, the spirit of Jinn, have come to offer peace with you. As long as you do, as we say,” the voice commands. My body felt strong. I was gaining strength as the voice spoke to me. “You will feel our energy envelop your weak body. We will guide your shadow, as we cast our light on your dark soul,” the voice carried on. “You do as we say, or we will fling your delicate body into the darkness. And oh weak one, not your darkness, but ours. Sleep, and wake up tomorrow morning engulfed in our power. Seek refuged in your kind, and you will regret, for we are inside you and behind you at all times.”
I felt weak upon waking up. It was 6 in the morning, and everyone was still asleep. I felt the urge to eat, and munch on everything that was in the kitchen. I haven’t felt this hungry for a long time. I hear whispers in my head. They weren’t clear enough for me to understand. They were getting louder, and louder as I munched on Samosas that were lying on the kitchen counter.
‘Stop,’ I suddenly shout. I can hear my ears ringing, as the voices disappeared. Then, there was a sudden silence. “You’re awake early,” mumbles Amina, as she stood behind me. Her voice startled me, but I felt a sense of relieve once I noticed it was her. “You look like as if you seen the devil. Are you okay?” I wanted to tell her everything, but I knew that would endanger her. “Yes,” I bluntly lied to her, but she could sense the fear painted on my face. ‘Seek refuge in your kind, and you will regret…’ I hear a voice inside me. The bass of the voice, trembled my eardrums. It was the same voice that came to me last night. ‘We are inside you, and behind you at all times, remember’ the voice continued. ‘Why me? Why did you choose me?’ I replied. “Choose you for what?” Amina retorted. “Nothing, I’m just…never-mind,” I replied back.
My body felt strange. I was feeling weak and overpowered by strange forces. I laid in bed, holding onto the words of my Creator. But every time I read the verses of the Quran, my insides burned, my stomach ached, and my headache intensified. I had a strong feeling that if I allowed them to take control, there were going to kill me.
My senses were on high alert.
I can hear footsteps approach my door, followed by a subtle knock.
As soon as I got up to open the door, I felt light headed. I quickly held on to the door handle, to find my balance.
“Hey!” Adan, whispers as I opened the door. “Yes,” I sighed back. “You ready to go?” “I’m not feeling well, Adan. Can we not go tonight, please?” I pled. “You’ll feel better…trust me.” I was tired of his deceptive assurances. “Just meet me outside,” he says, as he walks away.
I closed my door. I threw my ailing body back on the bed.
I hear that strong baritone voice again, shaking my eardrums. “You must find the strength we’ve buried inside you, dig deep, beneath the ordinary soil, lies the gift of powers we’ve given you. FIND IT NOW!” it shouts inside me. I felt the hair on my skin rise. The power of his voice galvanized inside me, I rose and made my way out of the house. I wasn’t controlling my body anymore. I felt like I was being driven, as I observed myself from the inside.
Adan was already waiting for me inside the car. I opened the passenger door, and quietly sat down. “The more you fight this, the worse it’ll get,” Adan moans, as he begins to drive. “This is evil. They are utilizing sorcery, Adan. This is against Islam. They’re employing Jinn’s,” I sobbed.
“Not all Jinn’s are evil. They too were created to worship God; they agreed to
assist us in this war against Iblis and Dijal. The Jinn’s have more power then us. They have the ability to recognize the devil, and see what we cannot see with the naked eye,” he explains eagerly. They were using spirits to fight the devil, but how could they trust these spirits. They don’t fit right inside the heart of a believer. “Then why can’t they fight the battles without taking innocent souls hostage?” I asked. “You won’t understand,” he brushes me off. “Please, make me understand,” I pled. “Ok. Say you’re the physical element of an object, like a car, the Jinn is the engine that enables the functionality of your elements. Jinn’s help us find powers within us. They ignite your inner ability to function to a fuller capacity.” I believed whatever was inside me, was there to hurt me. I was in a battle to save myself.
The road looked familiar. We were heading in the same direction as we did last time. “When did you join them?” I asked Adan, curiously. “At fourteen. I wasn’t going to school, so they recruited me and taught me everything I know about the evilness of this world.” “How did they find you?” “I was watching a football match at the beach. And brother Amir was playing for one of the teams. He approached me and my friends, and asked us to go with him to his home for dinner.” “Where is Amir from?” “He was born in London, but his parents took him back to Afghanistan when he was five. He learned everything from his father. He is a brave man; a warrior to be admired in todays era,” he continued.
I suddenly felt the burning inside me again. My lungs were on fire, my heart started pounding out of my chest. “You’ll be fine,” whispers Adan, as he notices me sweating profusely while breathing heavy. “Why, why am I feeling this way,” I asserted. “Usually this happens, when the individual is too strong and refuses to be overpowered. You need to let him in…, ” he expresses. Who is him, I wondered.
He stops the car. We arrived at our destination. This time, the fire was ignited but there was no chanting, and no men around.
I saw Amir, standing near where the fire was lit. He was standing with another person. Adan instructed me to get out of the car, and to walk with him. I was scared, but not as much as the last time.
As we walked closer, I smelt blood. The scent of death lingering in the air like roses in summer time. It felt strange. “Salaam,” they greeted us.
“Adan, you can go back to the car now,” ordered Amir.
The man standing next to Amir was dark, tall, and didn’t have a friendly face. His eyes were red, like the blazing fire behind him. “You, will be rewarded for your bravery,” he spoke. He sounded exactly like the man who visited me in my sleep last night. It was the same deep voice that ploughs on intervening my thoughts. “You are…” “Yes, I am.” He finished my thought. “…but how,” I stuttered. “Like the devil, we are shape-shifters. We have the ability to veer into the wind, metamorphose into a physical human form, sometimes even into an animal. That’s why the devil fears us the most,” he voiced.
“Why am I feeling hot inside?” I enquired. “Our kind is created from smokeless fire, whereas God created you from clay. So, when we enter your body, we burn your soul.”
He grabbed my hand, and blew cold air onto my palms. I suddenly felt a relieve.
He instructed me to close my eyes. “Don’t be scared,” he whispers. “When you open your eyes, you’ll see a woman in a hospital bed, laying next to her new born baby. You’ll feel a sudden increase of weight; that’s her burden leaning on your shoulders. You’ll feel a sudden worry intervene your mind; that’s her sins seeking comfort in your heart,” he spoke.
She lied there alone, holding onto her baby. She had so much fear in her eyes. I felt death lurking in the corners of the room, it felt cold and bitter. “You’ll feel her grieve, as she stares into your soul.” “Who are they,” I whispered. “Nasiib and
his mother,” he replies. A tear escaped my eye. “I can feel her,” I whispered into the wind. She felt heavy, and hurt. He instructs me to close my eyes again.
This time I was standing outside, in the outskirts, away from residential area. I can see the sun setting from where I was standing. The howling gales of the wind raved through the empty land, as I stood still. Suddenly, I heard a cry echoing through the mountains. “Help me! Somebody, help me!” screamed a voice from behind me. I turned around.
It was her again. Nasiib’s mother. A man was lying on top of her. He held her body down, as he tore her baati in half. “Why are you doing this, please stop…” she cried to him. He ignored her pleas. His eyes had no sympathy, his heart felt cold and rugged. She screamed in pain, as he pierced through her skin, wounding her innocence for his own self-indulgence.
Suddenly, she stopped crying. “I can’t take this,” I cried to the dark man. I felt her sorrow, as she lied there alone and feeble. After he was done, he stood above her and instructed her to clean herself, as he lit up a cigarette. Trails of blood leaked to her ankles, while she tried to fix her baati. “Nasiib, was conceived on this day,” the dark man revealed to me. “She will go home, cook for the family, and pretend she is fine while deep down, she is broken and forever ruined by this man. She will not speak a word of this day, until she’s on her deathbed.”
I felt hatred inside. My emotions were demented. He deserved a horrible death, I thought to myself. He wasn’t worthy to breathe another second on this planet. “I will do it,” I said. “Take me to him, I will seek vengeance for her and her son,” I wailed. I felt enraged. Anger overcrowded my perception to think rationally.
“Close your eyes, and breathe” instructed the dark man. Suddenly, I was standing in the middle of my bedroom. “Rest your body,” he whispers calmly. My eyes felt heavy, as I dropped my weary body onto the mattress. “Sleep,” he whispered.
I kept seeing images of Nasiib’s mother. Her eyes piercing through my soul, soring my heart while I was asleep.
Morning came. The sun gushed through the gaps of the metaled window as it hit my eyes. I was awakened by the crowing of the rooster, and the footsteps of goats tramping through the piles of discarded matters chucked by neighbors on the street.
“When you wake up in the morning, time will come to a halt. You will feel emboldened. Dark smoke will linger above you, as death accompanies you to Bilaajiyo’s restaurant. You must not fear death, nor feel any remorse when you see him,” uttered the voice of the dark man.
“At noon time, a tuk-tuk will wait for you outside the house. He will drive you to the restaurant and give you a backpack. When you find a seat in the back of the restaurant, ask for Bilaajiyo. He will be working at the cashier around that time. Make sure not to reveal any sense of fear.” Strangely, I didn’t fear death. I was willing to carry that sword, for love, for Nasiib, for his mother, and cut the head of the devil.
I called my mother. I needed her to know that I loved her and I didn’t want her to feel sad when I’m gone. I startled her from her sleep, as she answered the phone in a worrisome tone. “Hooyo, I’m okay. I just …wanted to say that I love you,” I spoke softly, holding back tears. These words sounded unfamiliar to her. “What is wrong?” she asked. “Nothing, Hooyo. Go back to sleep.” “No, I can tell something is wrong. Tell me, what is it?” she pled. “Just know that I love you Hooyo. I have to go,” I rushed off the phone.
I had few minutes until the tuk-tuk showed up. I took a shower, and purified myself for Wudu. I prayed long and hard, and begged Allah to guide me in this confusing stage. As I was done with my prayer, I felt a gentle wind launch into my space. A load of worry elevated off of my chest. I felt a sense of relieve. ‘Alhamdulillah,” I sighed, as I felt light on my feet.
I made my way to the living room. I quickly noticed that the house was empty. Everything has been hauled out of the house. It was as if no one has ever lived here. No furniture’s, no television, nothing. Not a single paper or a wire was visible. I ran to my aunties room. Upon opening the door, I noticed, a spider has formed a comfortable web around the handle. The room was empty and filled with piles of dirt and dust. My heart started pacing. I ran outside. I stood middle of the street. There was a boy who was playing footie by himself, across the street. “Hey, hey you?” I shouted upon approaching him. He looked at me with fearful eyes. “Do you know, who lives in that house,” I asked, while pointing in the direction the house was located. “Yeah, you. You live there,” he answered me with a confused look. “No, besides me. There was a family I was staying with…do you know them? Amina, and Adan, the boy who drives a white car…?” I quiz him. “Amina and Adan died two years ago with their mother. They were killed by gunmen,” the boy revealed.
I was scared, and confused. I couldn’t take the little boys words, so I went to the next door neighbor, and knocked on her door. Adan used to tell me that a widow lived next door. Her husband was shot in the head in front of her and her kids by Al-Shabab for snitching on them. I knocked on the door several times, but there was no one there. Then suddenly, I heard a noise. A lady stood at the door. She looked fatigue, and undernourished. Her face appeared unrested and gloomy. “Can I help you,” she whispers. “Yes, I was wondering if you know anything about the people who lived next door?”
She looked at me baffled, and asked me if I wanted to come inside.
I removed my shoes. The house was poorly lit. The curtains were drawn middle of the day. It felt eerie. I sat down on the couch. “Do you want something to drink,” she kindly offered while she hovered above me. “No, I’m fine. Can you please tell me what happened to the family next door?” I hastily inquired. “Are they your family,” she asked me. “Yes, the lady was my auntie. My mother’s cousin,” I answered. She sat down on a stool that was placed right across from
where I was seated. “They were killed by the man who owns the house. Soldiers came middle of the night, and assassinated them all,” she stated impassively. “Why were they assassinated?” “The owner wanted to sell the house, but they refused to get out of the house. So, he sent soldiers to scare them out, but instead the soldiers looted the house, after stealing their belongs and killing them.” I couldn’t help but imagine the fear in Amina’s face, as the neighbor was telling me what happened. I felt hurt. What a tragedy, I thought.
“But…if he wanted to sell it, how come it’s still unoccupied?” I bleated. “No one wants to buy or rent the house. The house is cursed,” she expressed. “You, you seem to last longer then anyone I have ever seen. They must like you,” she exclaimed. “Who,” I yelped. “The spirits. They must like you,” she replied. “The brutal killings of innocent souls, left behind spirits that long for vengeance and blood. Mogadishu will not find solitude with these spirits prowling the streets,” she continued to express. I remember Adan’s words, “Soon, the ground we walk, will all be graveyards; burials of souls waiting for trials of life…”
The tuk-tuk, never showed up. I couldn’t hear the voice of the dark man, anymore. Everything disappeared.
I went outside to call my mother. “Hooyo,” I wept. “What is wrong? Are you okay” my mother worried. “Auntie and her kids died two years ago, Hooyo. She was killed by the man who owned the house they lived in,” I stuttered. “I was staying in a house with Jinn’s. They almost made me kill Nasiib’s father, ” I cried. Suddenly, there was silence. I could hear the breathing of my mother, but she wasn’t saying anything. “Hooyo, hooyo” I blurted out-loud. “Your father,” she replied back, sounding spaced out. As if she wasn’t sure what she wanted to say. “What about father, Hooyo?”
“He is the owner of the house…”my mother gasped.