Volume 1, Issue 1 / December 2008
Have you ever experienced something that you thought would never happen to you? Something you have only seen happen to others?
It was a Wednesday night in November when I was sleeping with “Grace,” my roommate, after a long day’s work.
A teenaged Kenyan girl named “Nelly” had joined us after pleading with Grace, claiming that she could not go back home after spending three days with her boyfriend in the camp. As the mattress we sleep on cannot accommodate three people, she opted to sleep on the mat beside us. Nelly’s father had been in our community earlier looking for her, and I knew that if she was found with us we would be in trouble. Furthermore, Grace’s mother was opposed to Nelly spending the night with us. Don’t ask me how we ended up accommodating her, but somehow we managed to sneak her into our room.
I later realized what a huge mistake we had made. At eleven o’clock that night, we heard knocking on our door. We could also hear someone asking whether ours was the house they were looking for. The person knocking called out Grace’s name and asked whether Nelly was with us. Grace, who has never had a nasty experience with the police, immediately responded that Nelly was with us. She was commanded to open the door, which she obediently did. Immediately our room was flooded with light as the police and Nelly’s father questioned Grace. At the time, Nelly was so scared that she came to hide behind me, but I barked at her and she moved away. Grace came back inside and asked Nelly to go out to her father. She did so, although she looked too scared.
After hearing Nelly explain to the police her stupid reasons for running away from home, I went back to sleep. I slept peacefully as though nothing had happened. One thing I don’t think I would ever do is to run away from home because my parents disagree with my wearing pants/trousers or miniskirts.
Meanwhile, Grace slept knowing that she had a lot to explain to her mother the next day, poor friend.