Bring Back Our Girls

 

It has been twenty-eight days since the bad men came to get us from school.

I do not know where we are right now because we are blindfolded whenever we are on the move, ever since senior Jumai tried to run away the second day after we were taken. She had managed to get past the guards at the entrance of the camp where we settled and started running into the forest, but somehow they found her and brought her back. She was screaming so loudly I was so sure my eardrums would burst.

Please, oga, I will never do it again, please don’t hurt me!” She kept saying, with tears streaming down her face. But her tears did not even seem to register with the man who was dragging her back in to the camp grounds.

The man who brought Jumai back was scary looking. He had an unusual face, with blotchy patches of skin. It looked like his skin was peeling off. I remember Mama saying some people were not content with the way God made them that they tried to make their dark skin go away by using a particular type of cream, so I thought this man had tried to do that. It looked that way anyway. He also had a jagged scar along the right side of his face which stopped right before the corner of his mouth. He made us call him Mister J, but I tried to never get into any sort of trouble to prevent him from even noticing me. He was a very peculiar man, and he seemed so angry all the time. When he brought senior Jumai back from the forest, he was holding her by her hair and shouting “You stupid girl, where did you know you were going that you ran? You think you are smart? I will show you pepper today.” That was the last time I saw her. I often heard other girls whispering that she had been taken to the other side of the camp where we saw the men going off to after their shifts to drink and play with the women, but I try not to think about it or what could be happening to Fatima there.

I sit on a sandy patch of ground just slightly away from the other girls. They are trying to learn the prayer chants we have been forced to recite since the raid. A loud announcement wakes us every morning at five for prayers. We have to dress in our kaftans and hijabs, and then form straight lines of six before we can begin. All I can remember is “Allahu akbar” and parts of the Basmala from memory, so I mumble the parts I don’t know. I should join them in learning the rest, but I just cannot focus on anything.  I start thinking about Mama again, and I cannot stop the tears from falling. The last time I cried, the man in charge of my group told me to shut up or he would give me a real reason to shed tears, so I wipe my face really quickly before anyone notices, and focus intently on drawing circles in the sand to take my mind away from Chibok and Mama.

I wonder if anyone is looking for us. No one here really knows what is going on, just that we are always changing location and that all the men look a little nervous beneath the brave faces and big guns, if you look at them long enough. Most of the time, the men ignore us if we do what they say, but some girls are finding it harder than others to co-operate. Yesterday, one of the men slapped a girl because she said it was too hot to wear her hijab. I could not hear most of what he was saying to her, but whatever he said must have frightened her so because she got up immediately and wrapped her hijab so tightly around her face as if she was bandaging a bleeding wound.

I can hear someone talking loudly a few steps from me. I think it may be time for dinner or evening prayers, because the girls across me get up and look like they are walking towards the little tent where we go to get our food. They mumble something to me but I am not really listening to them. All I can think about is home, and how I would pretend to be asleep whenever I heard Abba coming back home from the farm so he could tickle me till I was out of breath and begging him to stop. I can feel tears threatening to get me into trouble again, so I tilt my head upwards till they are gone, get up, dust the sand off my kaftan and join the other girls. I still do not know where we are going, but I follow them anyway.

I turn around and look at the rest of the girls with empty, blank stares just like mine, and mumble a quick prayer for God to send someone to take us back home.

 

Allow me to introduce myself…

Do not be alarmed, but I am going to interview myself. I imagine this is how a normal conversation between Myself and I would go, if I was you know, actually that odd.

Well, here goes:

You are?

Bond. The name’s James Bond.  The name is Seyi (Shay-ee). Though I’ve been asked if I could be called Sean instead. I didn’t know whether to be offended that I was being inadvertently told I needed a sex change, or just smile and go along with the joke. I guess you could call me Sean if you wanted to as well, except I probably will forget that I said you could and not respond to it. I would definitely respond to James Bond though.

I honestly do not know what else to say about myself other than that I eat an awful lot in the weeks to my lady time and this distresses me very much. Because five slices of toast will do some damage to my finely sculpted one pack, and we cannot have that.

Oh, and I like cats. I think I like them more theoretically than realistically however. They are just too haughty for my liking sometimes.

Okay, great, err.. thanks for that. In….teresting bits of information there… 

Well thanks. I mean, every one has to be warned about the damaging properties of bread, right? I do my bit for the community.

I guess you could say that. SO. The Psychedelic Creative. Big word, ‘psychedelic’. What do we have here?

I know! It is rather long isn’t it? I do apologise. Err… I’ve always been drawn to the word. My art teacher in secondary school used to wear the wackiest of clothes (think orange tights, mismatched shoes and funny floral prints), and  I remember learning the word [psychedelic] sometime later in English and immediately thinking of said teacher. She inspired my love for colour and wackiness, I’d say.

So yeah… I was journalling one day, thinking about possible blog themes, names, content and the like, and [The Psychedelic Creative] just came to me. I really cannot say I thought it carefully or whatever. I was just thinking about how my passions and talents are all very scattered and varied, and the word ‘psychedelic’ just explained my creativity, I guess?

(It would have either been that or something silly like ‘The crazy lady’s blog’ which is really what TPC is in more fancy writing. So meeh.)

You’re completely bonkers, I must say. What is to be expected on TPC from now?

Thanks for the compliment. I get that all the time! Basically, the vision for TPC is to spark conversation amongst young adults. To facilitate conversations of topics without providing a definite answer or outlining ‘Ten Ways to Know He’s The One’, but to ask questions and (hopefully) get people talking about topics that are sometimes, not so often spoken about publicly, especially by us ‘Jesus Folk’*(Yes, I am one of those, we can be crazy cat ladies too!).

Additionally, expect DIYs (fingers crossed), fictional writing (i’m trying my hand at everything this time huh?), showcasing cool people and places and much more wacky stuff. Hopefully. By  God’s grace!

Wow. That is a lot of stuff to be getting on with, eh? No full time job?

Lol. I know. But there’s that little ol’ scripture about ALL things being possible with the help from the Big Guy, so I reckon we’re okay. And the full time job is the reason TPC was founded, actually. I was constantly creating scenarios in my head whilst at work and I figured there would be no harm in putting these on the internet!

Fair enough! Well, thank you for your time and good luck with it all! Sounds exciting, and totally rooting for you!

Thank you so much, it means a lot!

(I know this is weird/ creepy, but I had so much fun adopting two personas to write this!)

Until next time guys,

MissCrazyCatLady.


* I know we’re called all sorts of other names. Bible Bashers, Holy People, Happy Clappers?…. Yeah. I be’s one of those.

 

[No longer] a scaredy cat…

 

So I’ve finally done it. I’ve made it onto blogsphere and started (yet another) blog. My hands are shaking as I write this, because this experience is all too familiar to me. I did the whole blog thing at nineteen, writing about nothings and everythings and feeling very Carrie Bradshaw (sans the sexual stuff) about it. I told NO ONE about that blog. People just sort of found out about it. Not a lot of people though, as I made sure NOT to advertise the fact that I was putting words/ramblings/sad emo poetry about love and hurt and heartbreak (WELP!) out there for the world to read. Despite my craziness, I am quite the shy individual, I tell you.*

 

I have, however, decided to change that this time around. I can hear you thinking that something as simple as starting a blog is not ground breaking, not new, not spectacular, so the melodramatic title is overkill. But if, like me, you fall prey to that horrible trait called second guessingthen my melodrama will make sense to you.

 

The phrases I cant’ and what if’ are a regular in my vocabulary. These insecurities have, over the years, become very well refined and masked beneath my apparently aloof and dorky personality, because really, it’s better for you to poke fun at yourself than have others do so. And that arrangement seemed to work until one wintry Monday in February when I decided I wanted to do something other than go to work and watch re runs of Charmed (it was Gilmore Girls at one point, then One Tree Hill… I have a thing for nostalgia, sue me). I wanted to do something that made me happy. To try my hand at something and see how far I could go with it. I wanted to start something- no matter how unimportant or uninteresting, and I wanted to be brave enough to let the world know about it.

 

And thus, The Psychedelic Creative was born! Of course procrastination, more self doubt and over thinking almost made me chicken out of this venture, but something about the hot shower I had this evening made me feel like Batgirl and here I am, writing my first post about valiant cats and insecurities, without even introducing myself. What will this blog be about, you ask? Well, my dear friends, it will be a smorgasbord of everything that makes life go on. From the most banal of topics, to DIYs, to cartoon characters (or maybe movie protagonists as I am apparently no longer sixteen), to conversations about faith, love, and all that good good. This is just a platform for discussion, guys. Nothing too serious (it may be a bit so from time to time though), just an opportunity to find out how the other lives and thinks.

 

I really look forward to having fun with you guys, and hope this resonates with someone somewhere!

Until next time (which is hopefully sooner than later),

MissValiantCat

Sidebar: I would write a mini introduction about my fabulous self and designer lifestyle of envy, but this is already very word heavy, and I tend to go on a wee bit. So you’ll just have to come back!

* Those who know me may beg to differ about the shyness, but I am!!!!