Not A Normal Saturday, A Refugee Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 05, 2017

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Submitted: November 05, 2017

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If it were any other Saturday I would probably be helping mom out with the chores while dad would be watching TV while helping out Ava, my younger sister, with her homework. Today however, was not your average Saturday.

 

The sun has been blazing down on us for the past week. You could see plants withering away if they haven't already and the cats and dogs lying down on their side submitting to the heat as if it was their master. This also meant that we used a lot more water than usual. Mom and I would usually go together and collect water from the well while Ava and Dad would cook lunch. Today though, mom decided to bring Ava with us to teach her how to help collect water. The well isn't too far away from the village however it is tiring bringing buckets back and forth.

 

After arriving at the well and after Ava's’ countless attempts at bringing up water, we finally got a bucket of water.

“Great, only like a million more to go…” I said sarcastically under my breath.

Suddenly, as mom was lifting her third bucket of water there was a loud bang, similar to the sound of an exploding firecracker preceded by a crash that sounded like a cabinet full of glass fell over and shattered. As we turned around there was another loud bang followed by smoke emerging behind of a row of houses in the distance.

“Isn’t that where our house is?” Ava asked mom

Mom and I, however, were in too much shock to respond to her.

 

Mom then grabbed Ava by the arm and began to hurry back home but by the time we had reached, we were too late. We were greeted by debris, burning furniture, pieces of what used to be our house scattered across the ground and the sound of gunfire echoing all around us. That’s when I saw him, what was left of him. An arm, lying motionless, sticking out from a pile of rubble, wearing a golden ring with a square diamond with round edges.

“D-Dad?” I said as my eyes immediately filled with tears.

I saw mom, frozen, gaze fixated on dad's hand while Ava was crying a river.

 

Out of nowhere, another explosion collapsed a house behind us. My ears ringing and my vision blurry as I tried to keep my balance. Mom grabbed me by the shoulder and said we had to get going.

“What’s going on? What about Dad?” I asked mom, everything still dizzy and tears still in my eyes.

“I don’t know! There’s nothing we can do! Come quickly the neighbours are helping us get out.” Mom said.

We followed our neighbours around the back of their house which revealed a small hatch that led to a small room underground filled with supplies. We grabbed some of the food and water and then followed our neighbour through a small tunnel. It was dark and cold with a small lamp being our only source of light. The sound of gunfire and screams above us echoed in the tunnel.

 

Stepping out of the tunnel onto the sand and staring into the vast emptiness of the desert was like stepping into an oven. Our neighbour told us to head straight until we reach the beach and wait with the others from the village until he comes with the last few people from the village. He then stepped back into the tunnel and I watched as the light from the candle slowly faded away. We each drank some water before setting out on our journey towards the beach.

 

Walking for three days in search of the beach our neighbour spoke of, our clothes now torn and dirty covered in sand and sweat, made worse by the deteriorating state of my shoes which were now worn out, filled with sand and half torn.

 

While we walk towards the beach, Ava and I can hear Mom softly crying behind us, we can tell she’s still mourning the loss of Dad no matter how hard she tries to hide it.

 

The sky begins to darken but off in the distance I see a small light and a few figures in front of the ocean. We made it! We’ve reached the beach! A wave of intense satisfaction flowed throughout my body. Having set up camp and introduced ourselves to the 2 other people from my village, we finally got a good night's rest.

 

Waiting for days, our neighbour still yet to arrive, the food supply quickly becoming lesser and lesser. Most of the other villagers began losing hope, they would talk about how the soldiers got him. During the night however, a noise had woken me up, I get off Mom’s lap and peep outside the tent, it was our neighbour! He was talking over the phone and while doing do gave me a quick nod telling me to go back to sleep.

 

The next morning, I step out of the tent to see two small boats that look as if they could fit 4 to 5 people. Our neighbour tells us to gather our things as we are going to a better place, or so he says. As we are packing our things we hear indistinct chatter off in the distance, I check to see who it is only to see 3 soldiers moving in on the beach, the same soldiers from our village. Mom gets on a boat with 2 other refugees while Ava and I get on the boat with our neighbour. We let the boats loose and drift off into the ocean, the soldiers on the beach fading from vision.

 

The sky growing darker and darker as we rowed the boat. Rain falling from the sky and drenching us in the process, the lightning crackling like a whip and the waves, furious and overpowering. The boat swaying uncontrollably, rocking vigorously side to side knocking us around the boat. With one final monster of a wave crashing down, the boat flipped, and everything went black.

 

Waking up to a cold hand tapping my shoulder. My vision coming back to focus and the sound of ringing slowly going away. I look up to see the cold hands are none other than Ava’s. I look around to see soldiers surrounding us with guns pointed at Ava and I with our neighbour nowhere in sight. The soldiers, however, looked different. A soldier lowered and set aside his weapon and the rest followed.

“It’s alright, we’ll take you somewhere safe” he said.

We followed the men into a big black car and drove for what felt like hours. We finally arrived at a big white building with a sign that read “Commission of Refugee Help”. We walked inside, following behind the soldier, and were greeted by a woman who had offered us water and some food. The man told us to wait in a room full of other people, but in the corner of the room crying on a chair was Mom! We rushed towards her , she saw us and got out of her chair and immediately wrapped her arms tightly around us. She said she was worried sick and that she had lost dad and that she couldn’t lose us as well.

 

It was then, a man came out from a room and called for Ana Amari, our mom. We had walked into the room clueless as to what was going on, however, it seemed that mom had known what she was doing. As he began to speak we sat down on the three white chairs in front of us.

“Mrs Amari, it seems that you are applying for Asylum?” He said.

Mom nodded and began to tell him our story and journey from our village over to this place. He told us he was deeply sorry for our loss and told us he will be back in a minute. We glanced around the room awkwardly and Mom and I made eye contact, it was that moment where we laughed, or smiled for that matter, for the first time since we left the village.

“Okay! So, we’ve looked over your case and have made our decision regarding granting you Asylum and we think that... “

My heart started beating rapidly with my palms beginning to overflow with sweat.

“...you should be granted Asylum! Welcome to the UK Mrs Amari!”

Mom was overjoyed and I too was happy as after all the hardship that we had endured during our journey, we can finally make a fresh start.

 


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