She propped her smooth ebony black face with her right arm which she then placed next to the thick file wherein she had just filed another case record.It was Christmas season and most of the office staff had taken leave to visit their rural homes,in the three years she had worked here she had never taken Christmas leave.
She inhaled deeply then exhaled,puffing her cheeks to ease the tension and tiredness that flowed through every vein in her body like a mighty stream gushing through a miniature orifice.
Momentarily her thoughts converged to her past,in concentration her face was sharply shaped and smooth on the forehead lacking any wrinkles that may have betrayed her age.Her face shone with a tinge of innocence that was streaked with a palpable aura of toughness that was more explicit on studying her clear piercing eyes.
She pushed forward the desk in front of her,stood up then fully stretched.She was a beauty to behold,her hips fully fit in the skirt suit she wore.A silvery necklace hung precariously on her beautiful long slender neck.Her deeply black, shiny, curly hair flowed to lie comfortably at the nape of her neck.
She walked with calculated stoic steps to the farthest window of the office she shared with three other colleagues.Her hands leaning on the windowsill she watched street life ten storeys below.Her eyes wandered to the seemingly dwarf buildings that housed the supreme court,much of her time was spent in those buildings.It had been a little bit more than three years since being admitted to the bar.All her practicing years she had worked with Free Africa, a human rights organisation,as a legal counsel in the litigation department.
Her journey to this office started circumstantially in the vast expanse of samburu land, she was raised by her uncle in a large polygamous family after being orphaned as a child.Her childhood years revolved around tendering goats,collecting firewood and fetching water.When she was about twelve years old she found herself entangled in the practice of nkishoorot ee sayen with an il-murran who also happened to be her cousin. The young warrior beaded her and in doing so she became his unwilling sexual partner.A year down the line she conceived an unwanted child who was a threat to the intergrity of the familial fabric.The pregnancy had to be terminated,the elders ruled,and that lead to the one day that was deeply etched in her memory.
It was an otherwise serene evening,the cool breeze flowed through the grasslands unabated by the sporadic shrubs.The sharply ear piercing legato cricket chirps slithered from the ground to choke the twilight birds songs.
The commotion in the manyatta steadily grew more and more as women congregated around one of the huts,most of them conversed in hushed tones,they had gathered to exorcise the household of an inevitable curse resulting from an uncircumcised girl getting pregnant by a warrior of her own clan.
At one corner of the hut sat the girl with a protruding belly sobbing inconsolably. Her heart was bleeding with desperation.A couple of women entered the hut and and raised her up holding her by the arms,she tried to resist but they overpowered her.She pleaded with them to have mercy on her but no one heard her. They brought her out of the hut,more women surrounded her as she was frog matched out of the manyatta into the expansive wilderness.A mile or so later they got to a huge acacia tree whose canopy seemed to merge with the blanket of darkness that had by now covered the entire land.
A grizzly elderly woman stepped forward,she signaled the women holding her to pin her down,they forced her down,then she proceeded to undress her completely.She tried to fight back but her struggle bore no fruits,with all her energy lost she gave in and all that could be heard were her weakened shrieks.
They spread apart her thighs,then the grisly old woman started to squeeze her stomach with her calloused hands,with time she graduated to kneading her tummy with her fists and knees and elbows as she endeavoured to crush the life in her womb.An avalanche of searing pain tore through her body,she tried to scream but her voice went hoarse,she convulsed and slithered on the ground with pain,the women held her tighter to the ground,the old woman applied more pressure.
The last thing she could recall was the piercing pain that tore through her womb,followed by a gush of warm blood that pooled beneath her,then everything went blank.
When she woke up, the first thing she noticed were the bottles of infusion fluids above her head,she smelled the distinctive hospital scent.She tried to lift herself up but her body was still too weak and a while later she fell back to sleep.
She was to learn later that she had been rescued a couple of days later by a local priest after he learnt that there was a girl in the village who was unconcious and bleeding two days after procuring a forced abortion.
She never went back to the village after that sordid ordeal,initially because she refused to undergo the rite of female circumsicion,and later on because she was declared an L-peret (outcast) after she had a group of elders prosecuted and jailed for propagating the practice.
Today many years later as she stood sedate gazing through the window pane down at street life on the eve of a new year in the city. Mixed emotions of loneliness and achievement rose in her,she wiped off the stream of tears that ran down her cheeks as her soul was overpowered by the silent cry of her unborn child,a child she never begot nor will again for her womb could bear no more
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