Learning poetry

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Unexpected Journey by asi007

Life … My mother” This is the two first words Farah uttered mournfully when I asked her to recount hh er story. Farah a young beautiful Moroccan lady in her thirties who illegally made it to Belgium at the age of nineteenth .In the present day, Farah has made up her mind to relate all of her heartbreaking recollections of the severe past that keeps chasing after her existence. In smooth nighttimes, Farah and I were sitting in our large wooden armchairs in the balcony of my house having fruit juice, chatting, gossiping and laughing together. Out of the blue, she hushed and smiled at the twinkling stars in the dark blue sky then she looked at me and said: “feel relieved each time I behold that sparkly star”. She hauled me close to her and whispered in my right ear:  “she was my only companion throughout my ordeal and I named her Diyae. Whenever I felt forlorn, cheerless and sad I just needed to look at the sky through the window and seek for Diyae which in her own sweet way knows how to free me from all the sorrows more than that I was sure that Allah sent it to accompany my loneliness so that I no more feel lonesome”.
      Afterwards, she looked at my eyes and said to: “Now you know who is my dear friend and I would allow myself to share all the secrets Diyae and I endured”.
I looked at my watch; it was about three o’clock in the morning ,Farah was somehow sleepy yet she was forcibly trying to keep her eyes opened .I told her let us go “tomorrow will be a new day for us to sit down under the dark shiny sky and meet our star friend for a new chat”
      ” “ The following day, I invited Farah to the cinema. We watched a very touching film about a romantic love story between two lovers who tragically ended up their immense love. Farah was someway hurt but I chose not to be curious. After the movie, we were very hungry. We planned to go to the restaurant to have something to eat. We stayed there till nine o clock then we came back home to continue our Shiraz ad’s the one thousand and one nights.
     I went to the kitchen to make some coffee to keep us awake all nightlong. We sat in the balcony as the earlier night; she put her head on my lap and asked me to caress her hair and penetrate her long dark strands tenderly and she commenced:
“My life was somehow rough, my dad died when I was nine years old, my mother and I   lived in a small room in a big house with a lot of neighbours. Each family occupied a room. The only thing we shared is the bathroom. My mother used to work for a rich family as a maid. She spent the whole day in their mansion as the way was too far to come back home at her free time. The habitual pace I went through is as follows: When I return from school, I eat something; I go to play with some girls outdoors, and then go home to do my homework. I don’t deny the fact that I was the first in my class I read a lot even the teacher did not ask us to do so. All my free times I used to go to the library to bring home some books and finish reading them so quickly to go back and bring some others. The time passed through, I finished my secondary school straight to high school and because of my high grades the administration put me in a classroom considered to be the class of the best hardworking students all over the institution most of them belonged to well -off families, although I could not fit in, I challenged myself to work hard, get my baccalaureate and better my miserable situation which my mother and I bitterly underwent.
        I passed my first year with distinction. They held us in the same class even it was unbearable to me to stay with the same group because all the girls wwere sometimes making fun of me because of my poor condition , my worn out shoes and my old rags that were tattered from frequent use.
         I ignored all about that and I concentrated firmly on my only objective which is to obtain my baccalaureate degree with distinction, while my mother’s concern was to see me having a better situation than hers. She never allowed me to do chores, her famous statement was: “mind your future and let me do it all by myself”.
        One day, I came home and I found my mother lying in the bed sweating of pain, tightening a small scarf around her forehead. I did not know how to control my anxiety and at the same time help her, whether to fetch a doctor or to take her to the hospital. I was really shocked when I saw her in that bad condition. I called one of my neighbors to come and help me. She called the doctor who came up and examined her. He told us that we must take her to the hospital so immediately for her situation was really in danger. After several days of analyses, it showed that my mother was having Hepatitis C affecting her liver, and must be operated so urgently otherwise her life is in danger, I fell down on the floor I couldn’t stand strong after what I heard even I couldn’t imagine how I could get the needed sum of money for her operation, I thought deeply of a way to obtain that money. I called the family with whom my mother was working and I explained to them all what happened with her. The household apologized then he promised he would help me and give some; I had nothing to do but to accept his offer. The time was running and the operation could not be belated and I was still missing the other half of money. The following day, I went to the hospital to make the doctor known that I will be having the whole sum tomorrow for the operation to take place as quick as possible. While we were talking, the nurse entered and informed him that the patient in the chamber eight had died.
   I could not turn my face towards the nurse to make sure of what she said even I could not move my tongue to talk. I got the most shocking news in my life and I said to myself: “I lost my mother”.
     My ordeal had started the day I lost my mother. I had no relatives or acquaintances; no one to ask about me. I left the school and I felt sorry for that for it was my only ticket for a bright future, even one day my school’s director had visited me in my humble room and asked me to restart my studies again. But I sadly told him that I hardly found something to eat and I had to work in order to pay the rent, i,if not I would live in the street.
    One day I was sitting home alone, crossing my legs and thinking profoundly of a way to find a work, any kind of work just to better my condition. All of a sudden, someone knocked the door, it was my neighbours’ daughter she came to ask me if I could join them for dinner but I apologized .I was not in a good mood to get together with anyone. She told me that she would finish her dinner and come over and spend the night with me.
    Khadija was my neighbour’s daughter. She was working as a sewer in a lingerie factory that exports clothes outside the country. I was wondering if she could get me a position with her in the same factory. When she came home at night, I told her about my miserable financial situation and that I needed a job to survive. The following day, I was eagerly waiting to hear from her any news about the subject, but in vain I did not receive any.
     I stayed at home for three days, depressed, monotonous and so worried about my life that is accelerating downward. On the spur of the moment, the door knocked, I went through the door with cautious steps and a torn spirit. To my surprise, it was khadija and the news was to change my life forever. She said: “There is this lorry driver who transports ready lingerie to Belgium every six days, and that he helped so many workers to make it to the other side of the sea”. I did not understand her at first; I asked her to be more obvious, for what she was talking about was a little bit puzzling. Her quivering voice and her twinkling eyes were so convincing  She said she wanted me to leave my country, my people, and my land; as I have nothing to stay for and that I should risk my life in order to live a better one .At that particular moment, things started to alter in my head. New imagination mixed with hope and desire started to enlighten my path and uplift my thoughts. I stopped for a while and I asked her “how come he would help me for free without giving him anything in return?” She replied that I did not have to worry as she persuaded him of my bitter circumstances. She also told me to be prepared for the next week. She would take me to the factory at night in order to introduce me to the man and make the departure at that very night.
     We got to the planned spot, a big store behind the factory where big boxes full of clothes were stocked; I was astounded to find two other girls to undergo this adventure.
      I kissed khadija goodbye and embraced her for what she did for me. Then the three of us followed that lorry driver to show us how to hide ourselves in the container as quickly as possible so as not to be noticed. The lorry was like a long and large dark corridor. It contains about five huge boxes and we had to hide in the first box at the deep end of the lorry because the first ones are obviously checked by the guards.
      Leila ,kenza and I ,the three of us inside the container, buried under ladies clothes and three holes in the size of peanuts on each side of four square box through which we could breathe some fresh air .I remained quiet and silent questioning myself how my life would be in a new land which I did not know anything about. The two girls were in high spirit and very excited about the moment when they would mark their feet on the promising land and that all of their dreams will come true. “This is one big step towards the dream.” Kenza said, while I kept thinking until I was imprisoned by sleep. I woke up at a noisy sound outside. It was the driver talking and laughing with the guards. It sounded like they get well along with each other. My heart was about to stop beating, I thought this was the end and that we were about to get caught. The girls lingered in an absolute silence merely trembling and hearing each other’s heartbeat. After a while, the door closed. “Praise is to God, we made it” Leila said with a blissful voice .I stayed speechless for I had nothing to add. I was not feeling at ease, my only concern was how to confront this unknown life. After a couple of hours, we were in the other part of the world, no guards no control over there. The driver pulled over near a forest and there he opened the door and let us do our biological needs. After that, we ate something, hungry but did not feel like eating. I washed my face with cold water from the bottle of mineral water that the driver bought from my homeland. My heart shivered for a while, and I got back into the lorry .the weather was extremely cold and I could not put up with it. We went through the same process the following two days driving in the day and having some rest at night. All the way long I felt discomfort. Something weird was about to happen. It as like the lull that precedes the storm. Exactly after three days. W,,e reached Antwerpen, a city near the capital Brussels and there the surprise was awaiting our arrival.
      We got out of the lorry to find ourselves inside a big store where a lot of containers were stored. Four well built body men were standing with their eyes sparkling as if they caught a prey; our eyes popped out of fear and puzzlement. Laila proclaimed wondering «What is going on? Where are we?” The men replied in a colossal, strong and thundering tone“You must obey our orders without uttering any word”.
      They bandaged our eyes with a black ribbon, grabbed and drove us viciously inside a vehicle. Afterwards we found ourselves in a dark basement standing in front of two Flemish women and one Algerian man and the other one was Moroccan.
“Your dream was to arrive at Belgium and here you are in Belgium and everything you wish for is going to be realized, cars, villas and money in the bank all of these will be yours but you have to beat yourself out in order to reach your dreams come true.” said the Moroccan guy.
     I held my breath, bewildered by what I heard. Whilst the two girls screamed stridently complaining, cursing and crying, the two women were talking and the Moroccan guy was translating from Flemish to Moroccan Arabic. They said that all what we need to do is to work in a night club to serve and satisfy all the customers’ needs.  “What!”  Kenza cried with a shaking protesting tone.
     “Exactly as you heard miss” answered back the Algerian. “We could not do such things, we belong to honest and conservative families and our religion does not allow us to do so”. We all objected, but one of the women responded: “neither religion nor families do matter in our business. You are here to obey, serve and execute orders; any kind of objection is a one way ticket to your doom”. After that, they took us to the other part of the same basement where there were about sixteen girls from different nationalities all gathered in one enormous room and each one was lying in her bed. I looked around the room, staring resentfully at each corner. Everyone was looking toward us; their eyes were telling too much about what was awaiting us.
     The door was locked behind us and we stayed all inside one room, s,hocked looking at each other. Leila and kenza could not stop crying, all I could do at that particular time was to gaze with my two eyes in wonder and linger soundless and motionless.
     We were given some bread with butter and a bottle of water each during three days. The forth day we were served a very royal dinner and offered some beautiful outfits though naked they were. We subdued to their wishes, put on the dresses, ate and rode to the external world after four days prison.
     It was eight o’clock in the evening. The night club was empty and a blond lady came towards us with a smiling face: “your first night is going to be about observation only. You observe and see how we treat our clients. The more tables you serve the more Euros you get.”
      After one month I was able to mark my name in that night club. I had to sacrifice my morals, my religion, my culture, my education; but never my dignity. “Douae I was the only “virgin prostitute” in that night club. I know that it is somehow difficult to be believed but this is the truth. I never practiced my religious or cultural rituals, but I always believe in Allah and that I am always Moroccan Muslim deep in my heart What I want you to bear in your mind is that no matter how harsh the world is your soul must be crystal pure to resist all types of temptation and destruction”.

     Two years had passed; I was fed up with my slave life where I did nothing but obeying the orders. I lived in a place where the law of the jungle was sovereign and the survival was for the fittest. If you are not cruel enough you will not be able to survive. Each time we would come back to our cave. I used to sit next to the window and look at the stars and pray Allah to send his mercy to rescue me from that desperate state of mind and health, but once I behold my star Diyae shining in the velvet sky I feel contented deep inside. I tried to keep myself positive and expect anything that will occur later on.
     One day, I decided with a firm self-confidence to flee that place. I planned for the whole thing during my lonely nights. And I seized the opportunity once I got it. It was nine o’clock in the evening. I waited until the night club was swarmed with clients. Here I was preparing myself for the first step. On my way to the toilet I observed a white arrow drawn on the reddish wall of an empty corridor whose light was fading the deeper I walked in it. Indicating the way of the exit I followed the arrow till I noticed a gate. My eyes were glistening with joy for that I was about to grasp my freedom again. But, unfortunately,the winds do not blow as the vessels wish». I was caught by a tall, handsome and well-built body guard; I was trembling between his hands. He asked me with a thundering voice: “what are you doing in this place? You did not read this area is restricted” I did not know what to say but to tell him the truth that I was running away from Janette and her followers. He kept silent for a moment and asked me to pursue him to the exit and there he gave me an address and he asked me to go and ask for a woman named Bella, “give her this address and she will understand”. He waved down for a taxi that got me to the exact address.
     I knocked the door and the woman answered “who are you?” and who are you asking for”?  “Mr. Khalid who works in the nightclub sent me here and asked me to give you this piece of paper” I responded. “Khalid the handsome young bodyguard” the woman answered back. “yes it is him” I replied. Later on, she took me to a bedroom and gave me a pillow and new sheet then left and closed the door gently on her way out. I wondered “how can a woman host a stranger in her home?
     The following day, Khalid came and we had breakfast together and I told them the entire ordeal I went through and how I was tricked by the lorry driver and the things I was forced to undergo with that mafia. And that I become a homeless illegal migrant.
      Khalid, a Moroccan man who lives in Belgium, Antwerpen, was married to an old Mark a stop the old women’s eyes; but, as a means to get legal documents and nationality. Khalid promised that no matter what it would cost him, he would never let me down. The old woman, aware of my illegal situation in her country, she incubated me in her house. She used to have a boarding house where Khalid was residing the first time he arrived to Belgium. But since long time ago, she was living alone with her cat in a small house.
      Time passed on. Our feelings started to grow towards each other. He comes and visits me every morning before he goes to sleep to be ready for a new night. Sometimes at the weekend, we enjoy a barbecue with the old lady for I could not go out with him anywhere. He was kind to me and very tender. In a particular day, he surprised me when he came and asked to marry me. It was like another unbelievable shock, but in a positive way. Frankly, I do not deny the fact that I was so hopeless that one day I would get married.
      Khalid had contacts with important acquaintances that helped him finish all my documents of residence rapidly so that we could get married as soon as possible.
      A few months later, Khalid and I got married; I moved to live with him in his house. After, I enrolled in the university and I majored in Law. After I got my Master degree, I could not go for Doctoral degree for the reason that I was pregnant with my first daughter Diyae. I was a caring housewife during pregnancy, later on; Khalid had quit his job from that sordid night club. We moved on Brussels, the capital where he started his own new business “a small supermarket” close to our neighborhood. Khalid is one of a kind. The grace with which he talks and walks is just unrivaled. He treats me affectionately and substitutes all the torment past I endured with absolute love and care.
      In our first holiday, we went to Morocco, after an absence of eleven years, away from my land, my people, and my identity. I set my first foot on land, intimidated, so touched. I hardly stood on my feet and tears wet my eyelashes. “Oh my God, here I am again in my home country where I missed to smell the dust of my mother’s grave” Farah said. Straight forwards, I went to the graveyard to recite some verses of the Holy Quran at my mother s grave.  Afterward, we went to visit Khalid s family, they were very warm and caring. They treated me like their daughter. I felt like I am a new born Farah. I regained my feeling of a loving family with whom I started to taste the beauty of my existence.
     “Morocco has changed. I used to go out and walk in the street as a stranger in my own home. Women dressed up in western-like vogue. Men so busy doing nothing in the coffees, watching football matches or chatting and following the passing by women with popped out eyes. I was stunned by the metamorphosed Morocco. Also, I was so glad to observe that people still attached to their cultural and religious morals. Khalid decided to stay in Morocco and start his own business at home land, next to his family and friends. I agreed with him because I always think of my daughter Diyae, I was so happy because she will live in her home country and I will do the best I could to make of her a great Moroccan female.”

Story writing by asi007
special thanks to asi007 

Best words:
  1. night (14)
  2. first (12)
  3. khalid (11)
  4. asked (10)
  5. other (9)
  6. farah (9)
  7. moroccan (8)
  8. mother (8)
  9. three (7)
  10. lorry (7)
  11. girls (7)
  12. house (6)
  13. started (6)
  14. belgium (6)
  15. family (6)
  16. diyae (6)
  17. driver (6)
  18. situation (5)
  19. daughter (5)
  20. women (5)
  21. having (5)
  22. country (5)
  23. woman (5)
  24. small (4)
  25. passed (4)
  26. stayed (4)
  27. looked (4)
  28. school (4)
  29. money (4)
  30. order (4)
  31. factory (4)
  32. place (4)
  33. married (4)
  34. moment (4)
  35. talking (4)
  36. kenza (4)
  37. guards (3)
  38. things (3)
  39. world (3)
  40. needed (3)
  41. water (3)
  42. o’clock (3)
  43. particular (3)
  44. clothes (3)
  45. years (3)
  46. morocco (3)
  47. possible (3)
  48. replied (3)
  49. heart (3)
  50. allah (3)

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