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C1 Zainab

Somewhere around the world...

And here I was, Alhamdulillah, about going to the Republic City to further my education. It was actually a joyful moment for me. I sighed, smiling at my mother. "Mum, I'm going to miss you" I said in what seemed like a whisper as I quickly embraced her one more time.

She patted me gently and gave me a peck. "I'm... I'm going to miss you too, Zainabu" She stammered as we averted, thus shook a little as she tried so hard to control her tears but it came streaming down effortlessly. They were tears of joy, for the broad smile that accompanied it could not be mistaken.

"Mum, I will be coming back to see you from time to time by the grace of God. Republic City is not far from here, It's only a two hour trip - remember?" I took my hand to her face and wiped off the tears that were still wet on her face. "And I promise not to disappoint you"

She sniffed as she nodded and shook her head... She knew it wasn't far and I could make it back from time to time but then, I was in no place to make promises. Not when I do not have a control over my life. "You do not need to make any promise, Zainabu. I know the kind of child I raised. I know the kind of person you are" She sighed and continued. "To add up to the nasiha I gave you throughout the night, always remember your basic objective. You are going there to study, not to fall in love or make male friends. You should know that men are wolves in sheep's clothing. Don't befriend them. Stay away from them by all means necessary!" Her voice was stern. Every word she uttered stood distinct from one another, yet, I could sense her nervousness. She wasn't being strict, she was urging, begging me to uphold what she taught me. In a motherly way.

"Trust me mum, I won't dare do that. After all dad did to you, do I really need to be reminded how evil men are? All of them are beasts!" I reassured her, warmly taking her hands into mine.

"I'm saying that just incase you end up falling for somebody, Zainabu. A woman's heart is practically fragile you know, she can do anything once she finds herself deeply in love..."

"Mum, trust me on this" I gulped and continued. "Please always pray for me"

"I will never seize to pray for you, my daughter. Never, In Shaa Allah" She assured me with our hands still intertwined. We stood there in silence for some minutes. A silence more precious to me than all the words of this world if combined. I did not want to leave but my options were minimal.

The cab driver horned, reminding us it was time to set for the journey. He and the other passengers had been waiting for us to round up and finish our mother-child farewell which I have no idea how long it took. Immediately I turned around and was about moving towards the cab, the early morning trade wind jolted my fragile body.

"Easy, Zainabu" Said Mum.

I turned to her with a smile and nodded. "Take care, Mum".

"You too, my daughter. I love you" The words left her lips reluctantly.

"I love you too, Mum" I waved at her as I got into the cab.

She bursted into another spree of tears, waving back at me. Before I could lower the glass down and say some words to her, the cab's engine had already been ignited into action. Thus, we began moving slowly. I wasn't the only one in the cab, I would've asked the cabman to stop. "Mum, I love you!" I squealed quickly lowering the glass.

"I love you too, Zainabu. Take care of yourself!" She said from a distant.

I blinked away the tears pricking my eyes. I knew I had to be strong, for her, for us! If only I could take her along with me, but that wasn't possible. I had to go alone. I had to study in order to make her proud. I also had to pursue my dream. My long and undying dream of becoming a big business tycoon.

My mum was all I had. She played both the role of a mother and a father in my life. She was everything to me because I didn't even know who my father was, nor had I known any of his relatives. I had no relatives perhaps. My world was empty and had been empty, despite My mum's efforts to full it with her love. Initially, I thought babies were bought from the market, but I eventually grew to learn that babies were conceived through sexual intercourse involving a male and a female. Then I started asking my Mum series of question as to where my father was, but she'd always find excuses. Until one day, after so much persuasion from me, she decided to tell me how she came about me. It was a very sad story. I cried for almost a week. I never knew I was born a love child, I never knew my dad was an exploiter. All those years, I never knew I came to this cruel world through the most sinful part. I was cheated, but Allah knows best why that happened!

While the cab was moving, a muslim brother offered to pray for the safety of our journey. And as soon as he was done, a christian lady did the same thing. I watched as we passed through the Paul James bridge which separated our area, KimKim with Police Barracks. It was the oldest bridge in the country. It was erected by Paul James, a white man from the West who ruled the country during its colonial era.

I huffed leaning my head on the seat's head rest. The other passengers where busy swiping through their smartphones, while the christian lady held her bible firmly while chanting.

I closed my eyes thinking about my Mum. I know she's missing me right now. I know she's still crying. I exaggerated in my mind before quickly fetching my phone from my bag and typing an SMS to her.

"Mum, please don't cry. I know you are still crying"

And before I knew it, she replied.

"I didn't recall telling you I'm still crying. Now, concentrate on your journey, pray for Allah's protection, and take care of yourself, Zainabu. And also, don't forget to give Abrar the letter I gave you. I love you!"

I smiled while reading her text.

"Okey Mum. I love you too"

"I love you too, Zainabu"

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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