The red gate, the rusted roof, the many trees and the cake she was making. I remember that day like it was yesterday. The chairs and table being setup outside, the excitement and the stove iron that burned my hand. See it was no ordinary day, it was a day to celebrate. Grandma turned 70 and there was a feast. That’s the oldest memory I have and I was six. I don’t remember much of anything before that day but from that that until now, I remember it all. There were a lot of people who had come to celebrate grandma and it was fun for us kids. That day marked the beginning of this journey called life.
Oh well at least that’s how I remember that day before it happened. It was supposed to be a day to celebrate but then they came. The men in the uniform came and they took her. Or at least they tried to take her before grandma intervened and she was killed. Right there in front of me. Her white now soaked with a lot of red. I didn’t know blood had different shades until that day. first it was light and then it became dark and darker until it was so dark it didn’t look like blood anymore. It looked like death. At six, the concept of death was new to me but at that moment, I knew exactly what it meant.
“Grandma was never going to wake up because her blood came out of her and became death.” There was chaos and then I saw him, stern faced and barking orders. I looked around for mom, my sisters, my brothers and I didn’t find anyone. It seemed like I was invisible to everyone because I went to her, in all that red and she looked at me and said “fight”, I asked grandma “Are you okay?” and she said again “fight” then I asked “Fight who?” She muffled something but all I heard was “Yourself” and then she stopped talking. No matter how many times I shook her head, she just wouldn’t answer and then I wasn’t invisible anymore, someone had seen me. He yanked me off of her and threw me to the ground. I tried to run. I saw my oldest sister running and then she just dropped to the ground. The same thing happened to my other sister and older brother. I couldn’t find my mom. Then a truck came and I was thrown inside. There were others in there. People wailing, they were hurt, blood everywhere but this time it didn’t look as red as the red of death. They wouldn’t die but they were hurt. At this point I didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing. After a while, I don’t know how long but then the truck stopped. Everybody became silent, out of fear I guess or anticipation or maybe it was shock. I will never know. The doors were opened and the same man I saw earlier – stern face, he shouted “Get down!”, “Get down now! or I will shoot you”, He waved his gun at us as we began to make our way out of the truck. We were about 50 in the truck. Some were with their families and like me, some were alone. I didn’t see anyone I knew. I still couldn’t find my mom or my baby brother. I didn’t see them fall so maybe they are on another truck. I hadn’t realized I had lost a shoe until I felt something in my foot. I looked at it and it was a nail right in my foot. I don’t remember feeling it go in. Maybe it was when I ran, maybe it was when we got off the truck, I will never know. I don’t feel any pain but it’s uncomfortable because I can feel it stuck in there. So I try to pull it out while hopping on my other foot because we are not allowed to stop but I wasn’t successful. Then I decide to bend and quickly get it out that’s when I feel pain but it wasn’t from the nail. It was a whip right on my neck. Then I feel everything else- fear and more pain. It wasn’t once, or twice. I was rolling in the red sand and nobody could help and I screamed and in that moment I heard my name “Wah-vi!” “Wah-vi!!”, that’s my baby brother. I try to follow the sound but the whips keep coming and then another voice broke my thought “Get up!”. I tried but I couldn’t and then a hand pulled me up. I couldn’t see properly from rolling in the sand and all my tears. I remember leaning into that hand and then…..