It was at dawn the sky had a red and dark orange colour. The cricket’s chirping made it easier to stay awake. A year has passed since Kimina and Madka-Kher moved to Buale. Far from Madka-Kher’s family just as he had promised. They had their own two bedrooms, apartment that was made of woods, cement and mud. Kimina was beyond excited to sleep at last in a house with an actual door, that had a lock both on the inside and outside. She would stand inside, lock the door and ask Madka to stand outside and try to open the door. Madka-Kher was amused by her excitement.
Kimina grew up in a house well furnished with her own bedroom. But after her mother was killed in the war of 1977 between Ethiopia and Somalia, Kimina has lived like the orphan she was. From one hut to another. She had forgotten what it was like to sleep in a room that has a secure door.
It took many months for Kimina to be able to trust Madka-Kher again. She didn’t feel like she had much of a choice but to follow Madka to where ever he was heading. She prayed midnight prayers every night since Madka-Kher jumped off a bus while she sat in the burned down hut. The burned down hut that used to be a restaurant. She was wondering what to do next and praying for a miracle.
By a miracle I didn’t mean my husband who betrayed my trust, Kimina had thought to herself. But she knew that destiny had a funny way of getting in one’s way. And she had no choice but to have faith. There was something else that was burning her from the inside. She had a secret the reason she allowed Madka-Kher to think that he had persuaded her to take him back. By pleading and begging her while professing his undying love for her. But the truth was more heart-wrenching for Kimina.
She remembered the day her grandmother found out that her daughter Fatma was killed. She had a heart attack. Fatma, the mother of Kimina. Before the heart attack came back to take her grandmother those were the last words she said to Kimina. ” ah aheh ah Ayeeyoooy“; my grandchild, today you have become the least fortunate little girl.
In this world, a girl without a mother is known to have wider, throat and wider womanhood than other girls. Kimina did not understand her Grandma, but she sat next to her ill Grandma hoping that she wasn’t going to leave her too. Kimina was nine years of age. Her grandma explained to her what she meant.
<Wider throat because from now on, you are considered to be a burden and no one will be keen to feed you. So be careful not to consume everything out of hunger. Wider womanhood because preditors will think you are nobody’s, therefore, everybody’s to rob. Marry young so your honour and virginity are saved. No man will wed unpure girl. And stick by your husband, because a woman returns back to her mother’s house God forbid if she should get a divorced.
But Kimina ayeyo, my child you have no mother to go to if your husband should divorce you. That will put you back to being a target to robbers. May Allah have mercy on you and make life easy for you my child.> her grandmother was sobbing. Kimina was sobbing too, but not for the same reason. “Ayeyo don’t leave me please don’t leave us as mama did” but her grandmother did leave. She didn’t stay for another day let alone watch her grow.
Kimina learned that everything her grandmother had said to her was true. She was called greedy for eating fast by her stepmother. She was hungry from working for hours and hours without a cup of tea to calm her stomach. She was given a meal a day. Until she had to pray for leftovers. Kimina hears her stepmother call her a girl has a whale. It is true that Kimina ate quickly, she didn’t know how to eat slowly on a starving stomach.
One time while Kimina was cooking a rice and meat dish and her baby brother was crying out of hunger, her stepmother called her in to take the dirty dishes out of the hut. While Kimina was away her brother took his hand in the boiling pot he took a hand full of meat and rice. Kimina ran outside by the sound of her brother’s horrifying scream. His hand was blood red but he was dusting sand of meat while he was crying.
Their stepmother beat them both for being greedy and spoiling the meat.
She had also unfortunately been a target for men and boys elder than who tried to rob her of virginity.
She had been lucky to have escaped all the attempts of the robbers. But she knew it was time to marry when things got much scarier as she got older. Right then Madka-Kher came into her life. And all though he proved himself to be a genuine young man with pure intentions. Kimina didn’t trust him fully until they were sitting together and a proper nikkah was done in front of many witnesses and they were legally married.
As Kimina sat outside her apartment she was rubbing her stomach watching the red sky with the dark orange colour. The crickets were still chirping, the grass was moving with the wind.
Kimina was happy and scared. Ya Rabb, God I am scared of the peaceful life we have is going to be disturbed.
Kimina was learning the art of delivering children. The Italian nurse AnjaMaria was making sure of that. She came to Kimina with books that had drawings explaining every step. She took Kimina with her every time there was a woman giving birth in nearby villages.
One time Madka-Kher was too sick with a headache to join the nurse to a remote Village in order to interpret for her, Kimina offered to go instead of Madka. They took a boat to cross the river then they walked by foot for hours to reach a small village. A woman was giving birth but then something had gone wrong. She was not responding. The nurse shouted and asked everyone to get out of the hut. It was too hot inside the hut and all the women standing around didn’t help.
To the nurse’s surprise, Kimina was calm and collected. She did all the nurse asked her to do. While she was calming both the girl who was giving birth and the nurse. AnjaMaria saw that it came naturally to Kimina to take care of people also under a lot of pressure.
AnjaMaria waited and as she expected Kimina came to her and asked her to teach her how to be a midwife. To which AnjaMaria laughed while clapping her hands. “Just like I thought you would, you see I recognized the twinkle in your eyes when you were giving the newborn baby to her mother. You have found you’re calling my dear Kimina and I Will see to it that you will get the education you need in order to answer your calling”
AnjaMaria had kept her promise and Kimina was living a fulfilling life for the first time in a very long time, yet she was anxious she was going to wake up one morning and find out that it was just a dream.
She stood up, the ground moved in circles, she was getting dizzy lately. She had her hands out and walked towards the apartment. She got a hold od the door and stood there for a while. When the dizziness eased she went inside. Her son was sleeping peacefully in his own room. “did you have to pee again?” Madka asked as she laid on her side of the bed. “umhm” she nodded. And turned towards him. He put the blanket on her and fell back asleep.
Qadr Alla wax Kasta ka when God’s will is bigger than everything. She said to herself to calm the ocean of worries that were running through her mind.