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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9


By Rhianna Trump, year 9, Grammar School

In all her 13 years of life, Amena had never felt desperation like this. Pure, all-consuming, unbearable desperation, that tortured her heart, her stomach, her very soul. It suffocated her, like the noxious gas that killed her parents. She was at breaking point. The persecution, the pain… the panic the panic the panic.

In this sickening moment, Amena realised she was no longer a child, naive and sweet and carefree. She was Amena ‘The Alone’, the ‘One who Must Not Cry’, the one who had seen evil with her own eyes. All she wanted, all her aching heart needed, was to go back. She longed to go back to the innocent days of sleepovers with her BFF Najia. A melancholy laugh inadvertently escaped her cracked and bleeding lips when she suddenly remembered that Najia’s name meant ‘the one who is saved’. It was ironic, given that Najia’s lifeless corpse now lay in tatters before her.

She was silenced by a somewhat familiar, yet blood-soaked face, appearing amongst the rubble.

“Amena!” her brother cried, overjoyed, but disbelieving, to see her standing there. He embraced her.

“Please, Taimur, you’re all I have left.”

Her brother replied by pulling away, hands still anchored to her shoulders. He gave her a sad and defeated smile.

“I have to fight, Amena. I can’t stand around letting innocent people die.”

“I know...but...” Amena was too tearful to even properly say goodbye to her brother.

“I know. Goodbye, Amena.”

He limped away, with the sound of gunfire echoing all around, scrambling over debris and the mutilated bodies of what was once his class. Amena looked on helplessly, numb with worry, not knowing if she’d ever see her brother again. An inescapable sense of loneliness suddenly overwhelmed her.

“Goodbye, Taimur,” Amena whispered.

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