The Journey

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


Refugee boy goes on boat, Flashbacks show his life before.

Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Dark clouds had already been looming in the distance for the past few days. Now their presence was more ominous. It was at first light of the 11th day of our journey when the first raindrop plummeted onto our boat. I thought back to before I was on this crowded boat.

 

“Be safe Mahmoud.” These were the last words I heard before setting off on my journey. I was on the beach. I still had cuts on my feet but the sand tingled them , when they sunk into the billions of golden crystals, just laying there. This was the first time I had seen a real beach although I had heard about them in stories, being here gave me an illusion of safety. Strange, how even in the most terrible situations, you can still find small fractures of joy. It was these moments that kept me going, kept me sane. Even when you leave those moments and they become nothing more than a distant memory, a piece of them always stays with you.

 

The droplet, so small it was almost negligible bore a big significance. It was a small omen from the heavens, an omen of danger. As it hit the boat, the droplet sprayed out in all directions. The spot it had landed on glittered in the sun. The storm had begun. The burning determination in my heart dimmed. I thought back to the one person who used to comfort me when I was feeling low, momma. Momma had always been at my side. I still remember the day I lost her, that fateful day I boarded this boat.

 

“I'll come back for you Momma”

“I promise”

 

My heart ached for her. I promised her I would come back for her, I promised I would come back and I would be rich and I could buy her anything she wanted. I promised I wouldn't let the bad men take her away from me. I couldn’t keep a single one of those promises. When our boat was around 200m from the shore, the bad men came back, they always did. They emerged from the forest, one man pulled out a gun. Momma was waving. Within moments, Momma was lying on that golden beach, unmoving, with the life drained from her body. I wanted to swim back, I wanted to hurt the bad men, no kill them. All of them. But I couldn’t. She had lost her life to extend mine, I wouldn’t let her sacrifice be in vain. I felt a burning determination in my chest.

 

I would survive.

 

Lightning flashed angrily in the distance followed by short bursts of thunder. Slowly, the distance between the flash of the lightning and the roar of the thunder began to lessen until they happened at practically the same time. People were starting to go insane. Tension had been building in the boat ever since they spotted the ominous dark clouds in the distance, plotting to capsize our boat. Right now darkness was everywhere and the last bit of light from the sun was blotted out by the clouds. I remembered what momma always used to tell me. “Go where there is darkness, and bring light. Go where there is suffering, and bring relief.” Back then, I had no idea what that mean, I just thought it was just a stupid saying. Only now, in the most dire of situations I begun to understand what she meant.

 

“...and then Jide snuck up on the lion. With a ferocious roar, the lion grabbed him! Using his might and sheer will, Jide broke free!”

“Momma I want to be just like Jide!”

“One day, when you grow up, you will be as strong and courageous as Jide.”

“Really!”

“Yes Mahmoud, that’s why you’re getting on that boat boat instead of me”

“But Momma, why can’t you come with me?”

“I have to stay here Mahmoud.”

“Why Momma? I’ll miss you!”

“Only one us is allowed on that boat Mahmoud, and that person is you.”

 

A tear rolled down my cheek. I looked around at the other people on the boat, they were all afraid as I was, even the adults. “The storm will clear” I yelled. Some of the other passengers turned to face me, some were too busy saying prayers. “This storm will be the death of us all!” a passenger shouted. “Can’t you see there’s no hope? We will meet our watery grave out here.” yelled another. “How can you accept your fate, there is always hope! We will survive this together!” Suddenly, a huge wave came from the side of the boat. With the power of the wave and the unbalanced weight of the boat, the boat capsized.

 

People fell off the boat in all directions some were praying, I heard one person yell “ I can’t swim!” Most just had a frozen look of terror on their faces. I saw some kids with their heads in the water, their arms limp. I gasped for air as waves kept pushing me under the water, although I couldn’t swim, I couldn’t stop trying. I thrashed around in water, my arms desperately flailing, searching for some source of air. The burning determination in my chest was fading.

 

I was drowning.

 

Surprisingly, being under the ocean is very calming. All around was murky green, stretching on forever. I realised that even though I was never going to see the golden sands on a beach or the lush green leaves of a tree ever again, I would get to see Momma. In heaven everyone is rich, I could get her anything she wanted. There are no bad men in heaven to take Momma away. I smiled.

 

I could keep my promise.




 


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