HajaraBy Hajara Hussaini

Shibli had come out first; he had overtaken me so he could see the world first. Shibli and I are not very good with each other; he loves to think he is better. While we swam in our mother’s womb, he took more space and kicked us to the sides. We, in turn, never complained. And this was how our lives would remain; Shibli kicking us aside and we, obediently following his trail. He was a natural leader, we were unrepentant followers. Our destinies had been written. And he knew we thought he was better. The only fault was that we had never considered that that could be a false assumption, that there were other things we would be good at, things that were seen to be superior and deeper than Shibli’s charisma. Shifa, our darling sister, was just divine. Her soft thoughts moistened my fear and remoulded it to exude a kind of confidence in myself that would translate sometimes into self-love. Sometimes because I would constantly need someone to tell me how good I was, good in every sense of the word and special, unique in an unquantifiable way. Shifa was my true mother, my first mother and in ways I cannot now explain my first lover too. I came out last, very late in fact; three hours and fifty-nine minutes later. And I did not cry, my ass was smacked the fifth time before the pain sang in, before my eyes sprang open causing me to shiver uncontrollably. The looks on the strangers’ faces haunted me. There was a problem I could tell, down below, between my legs; they had found out my secret that I was both male and female. I knew even before them. You see, a bastard is educated after his conception and destiny right from his mother’s womb. Our mother had, in a bid to ensure she married our father, opened her legs and welcomed us in bits. My mother, you see, was from a Shia family and our father from a Sunni. It was abominable, according to mother’s father, for the two of them to be wed. And this was why our existence was crucial for this forbidden love to persist because even without us it would survive for as long as fate would allow. There were four of us, after it was known that we existed, the shame and disgrace we came which could not be ignored. Our grandfather cursed us and I was the first target. Nasreen, the last of us, and I were struck by the curse and made into one person. On our naming, she and I got so mixed up that we were named twice, Nasreen and Nusrin. The difference of which, till this day, I know not. Apparently Nusrin is for the male part of me and Nasreen the female. Such treachery! They should not have let us live, we should have been slaughtered right from the moment of our first cry. But we would go on to live longer than the good-natured Shifa, even

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo