Burned by the Flames

"Knock. Knock. Knock. Each one was tenaciously louder than it’s presiding one. I desperately wanted to stay in bed and bide time but I knew it was futile. Dragging my legs like fifty-tonne weights, I serrated down the steps sceptical I was making a huge mistake. Maybe I was. My hands quivering with dread, the sound was still screaming in my ears. I slowly twisted the key, breathing heavily. Crashing through were two officers in their heavy dominating uniform. One muttered under their breath, clearly very piqued at the task he’d been set. The other pulled out a rather large statement which contained technical information and confusing jargons. To my disbelief, he explained in more colloquial terms that I had to leave because the letter stated my seeking for asylum had been rejected. Although I knew this information, it still shocked me as if I’d never heard it before. I’d just hoped for a second chance like, out of way out of sight. Instead of wasting pointless time avoiding the question, I led them to my room. Tiny as it was, it was like home. This cold, squalid house had become my home. This cold, rainy country had become my home. I laughed in utter dubiety. They had not accepted me yet I was so quick to accept them. Not wanting to spend too much time in the house of shame, the officers quickly started to pack my clothes, ornaments and photos in a small suitcase, roughly put together like I had nothing of value. Rushing so quickly and tossing my stuff away like it was of no use or value, I realised, there was a small, bent and crusty photograph. Like an old lady, I stooped to pick it up. Memories came flushing back. Grasping her small hand, I dragged her to the van. My arms were agonisingly painful. Food has been scarce, so I’d not eaten. I gave it all to her, she deserved to live more than me. My darling daughter, we didn’t deserve this. She didn’t deserve this. Running faster we ran into the van filled with people all sitting cramped. As the English say, there was not enough room to swing a cat or an insect in this case. We sat down, huddled amongst many. After many hours she fell asleep on my lap. Stroking her soft hair, I started whimpering, quietly though. My home was beautiful. Flowers in the garden, a veranda so big it made the horizon look small. I loved my home. Until they came. And destroyed everything. And everyone. I never wanted to leave. Never wanted to say goodbye. Returning back to the real world, I peered at the officers who’d clearly thought I was mad. I collected my suitcase and they hostilely led me out, clearly disliking me. Entering a police car, ashamed I turned away, never in my life would I have thought I’d be a criminal, the one in the back. Where was my home now? "

by Abigail Akinyemi, Age 14

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