Refugee

Hurry, pack your things, she rushes around the room, there is a window of opportunity, the boat leaves in half an hour, quick Ahmad, what about my football, I will buy you a new one, hurry, she is desperate to get out of the place, a  chance in a lifetime, hopefully, her sister is after saving her, a friend in Paris is after getting her a seat with one of the traffickers, the boat leaves Tripoli in half an hour. Passports, in the trunk, she digs around, there is so much she will have to leave behind, Ahmad looks as his mother, she is in a panic, is there something wrong, his face is covered in a frown, and despair, where are we going, she has him by the hand, you didn’t look the door, she pulls him along, what about my friends, you will have new ones, hurry, it’s a ten minute walk to the beach, be there at nine they won’t wait, her sister knows the people in Paris, this is not a scheduled flight from New York or London, no family holiday, this is the exodus, no time for ceremony or bread making, there is no time, hurry Ahmad, she pulls him along.

the Harbour comes into view, her breathing eases, she pauses, looks around, her walk slower, and you will have a game boy too, his little eyes light up, really, her smile widens, yes, so be good. He dreams the next few steps, he will have his own team, up to now he has to use his friends, I am going to become a man. There is a group on the boarded quay, there is the hum of the engines, a voice shouts from somewhere, hurry up, we have to leave now.

I’m alma De salma, the boarding clerk checks the register, last minute he says, gives her a smile, you have friends, she smiles. The remaining passengers are loaded, an open boat, forty foot, the waters are calm, they will transfer to a bigger boat when out to sea. The engines throb, the boat moves. Ahmad, his first time on a boat, he holds her hands tight. There is silence aboard, they are all taking a great risk, caught, they face detention even worse, to do nothing at all, a life of slavery and death.  Open her up, there is a roar of the engines, the boat is moving fast, the breeze is catching, everyone silent, refugees, hoping for a better life.

The wall has to be built, how else can we keep them out, the head of the company, a white supremacist raises his glass, a toast he says, to the President, long may he live. The dream of authority over all of the earth is getting closer with each waking hour, for the great bread maker. Billions are at stake, the money that can change nations, this is the risk of failure, and the President agrees, we can’t continue with this stream of refugees, they have turned parts of the states into unknown zones, some don’t even speak English, what type of America is this.

The boat is three miles out, there is a light, it is getting brighter, the sister ship is waiting. There is a sigh, the man checking the register, gives out instructions, he tells them what is to happen, does not want them to do anything sudden, doesn’t want them to rock the boat. he pats Ah

mad on the head as he passes, the boy smiles, feels like a pirate in a johnny depp movie. Because we believe he sighs, talking to himself, and they call us traffickers and those who trade in misery, the ivory towers, and those who live in them, what do they know, all they ever do is make bread….

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