“Shahkam, hurry! We mustn’t be seen! ” My mother said in an undertone.
“Wait, mama! I need my necklace!” I replied.
“You needn’t a necklace, Shahkam. You are a boy!”
“But mama, it is a gift! From the King! And I’m sure people in Canada wear them!” I pleaded.
“No! We must leave! We can’t afford to miss the ship. It’s our only chance to get out of Iran!” She sounded irritated.
“And sit in a refugee camp for a year.” I said testily. Then my tone changed. “Can we at least say goodbye to Grandmamma?” I sobbed.
“We can’t. But she left us a note.” She held out a battered envelope addressed “Farah and Shahkam”, and I began to sob harder.
“Shh…” She said as she raised her finger to her lips, then put her hijab back over her head. She took my hand and pulled me in close, and whispered faintly in my ear; “Let’s just hope this is worth it.”
There were people everywhere, bustling around trying to board the ship. I was tightly clinging to my mother’s arm, so I wouldn’t get separated from her. I was so scared, yet relieved to finally be leaving Iran. Sure, I would miss my extended family and my few close friends, but in the end, I think it’s worth it. I had no idea how long it would take to get there, but I knew it would be a long and hard road. The bustle continued, pushing me harder and further, tripping me up. We were getting closer and closer to the ship, and it really began to sink in that I’m leaving, forever. Only as I reached the ramp to the ship did I see that there were no railings, and so many people pushing. Beginning to panic, I tried to stop, to go back, though I knew I couldn’t. The ramps were only about 2m wide. I could hear the screams as some were pushed off, falling into the deep blue water.
I reached t...
... middle of paper ...
...kindly. I raised my hand in a sign of welcome, and she did the same. “Hello.” She said nervously.
“Hello.” I said. “My name is Shahkam. Who are you?”
“I am Golpari. Do you live here?”
“Well, I do now. I was washed off a ship. My mother and I were seeking refuge in Canada. What is of her now, I don’t know.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” she said sympathetically. I was doing the same a few years ago. I was thrown overboard. I ended up here. There are a few others as well. They are at our base. Will you come join us?”
“I’d love to. There is only one problem. A few guys are planning on searching the island. I know one of them; his name is Amjad. If he finds me, or you, he will kill.”
“Amjad…” Golpari said thoughtfully.
“Yes.” I said, my mind elsewhere.
“I know him too. He gave the meals and punishments to everyone on board the ship when I was trying to migrate to Australia.”
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