He seeks refuge (Short Story)
He held a nationality to once be proud of, yet now he had to cower from neighbours that turned to strangers. He didn’t know, if he could bare to bear witness to another bullet that ransacked shacks of the guiltless. To feel a blunt knife poke at his heart like the sharp one that took his father, to be deafened by the sound of martyrs whenever explosions eroded his soul. Staring at his toddler sister begging ‘don’t cry sis’ yet knowing the crisis of everything lifeless that stood by him. All he carries is a small luggage of hope to someplace they could call safe.
What would propel a man to take a pregnant wife or a young child to squeeze in the back of a truck with prayers of luck? To experience palpitations at every potential destination preferring to die in their tracks rather than be tracked and sent back? Where the commotion has left the only choice in the depths of the ocean – to drown or swim – no safety guards to escape the sharks in your soil. All for salvation – that only lives as an etch in the imagination, a footnote on a scrumpled page, loaded with conviction of will. Yet these were not convicts seeking the thrill, or troublesome tourists, these are the poorest, victims of conflict in systems where it’s best to risk death to exist. Tackling each barrier in scope, carriers of hope with nowhere to confide in, tired of hiding performing CPR on their families to resuscitate any chance for advancing, they know now they are to be strangers wherever they reside in.
The mother that said ‘I wont be long’ as her children now have no place to belong – a motherlands orphans whose sanctity was left to be determined at an auction. Birds in a cage treated like mere words on a page, a burden to save. Yet as they board to depart will the borders in hearts accept them? If they arrive in city from coasts, do they garner looks of pity or hostile hosts? How one speaks of refuge with ease, as the televised refugees scatter for safety! Pundits and politicians speaking of space and congestion with no mention to the history that led to his story!
For he is not merely a man. He is one of many of our siblings – who closes his eyes hoping they respawn to unsee what they have seen, whose nostrils…have breathed in the toxic fumes of a war that he never endorsed, whose being has loved and lost with everything torn off, and yet he has not lost love, paying the costs of a tyranny that he was just a pawn of. No man is an island, so this blood, travels further than the water that separated us.
So ignore the ignorant, my friend. Let those who exhibit hatred be those that are alienated. I pray the arms that opened fire, are decapitated, replaced with the extended arms of humanity, to hug and welcome you as the long lost brother that you are.