The last part of the Journey

As fast as they can, they slip into the back of the container. With one look back at France, Raji lowers the door back down as carefully as he can.

They now sit in the dark, in silence, in hope.

Raji closes his eyes and leans back against  a pile of boxes, imaging a life he could have in England: No guns, no bombs, no terrorists. No fleeing for fear of attack from a madman. He could have a house, a job. He will be able to send Alliah to a good school.

He finds her hand in the dark, clutching it tight. She squeezes back in response.

At the end of this drive in the back of a lorry, they could begin their life again. Leave the past where it belongs - behind them. Carry the souls of those they loved and lost in their heavy hearts. Begin their future in a land ruled by peace and prosperity. Give Alliah a good life, a safe life. A happy life. 

One which they have been so cruelly denied of so far.

As Alliah falls asleep against her father's side, he prays she is dreaming of sweet and happy things. No nightmares tonight. No waking up crying because of the recurring memories of her mother. 

No, Raji prays, no sadness, not anymore. 

The contents of the lorry rattle and he can feel Alliah begin to stir next to him. 

"Shhh..." he whispers and rubs smoothing circles on the back of her hand, still clutched in his own. She stills back into slumber.

Raji leans his head back on the boxes and stares up into the darkness.

"I swear to you, my darling," he mummurs, "I will give her a future. And it will be a good one."

As the lorry tumbles along through the dark to the roads of England, Raji prays that he is able to fulfil his promise.

Lily Larkin
May 7 2020

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