MATAR TAJ Complete Document Written By Queen Marh


A large bus carrying passengers arrived at the Abuja airport. The bus driver abruptly hit the brakes, causing some of the passengers to jolt awake. “Hey, sir, slow down. You’re not driving animals; this reckless driving is uncalled for,” reprimanded one of the women onboard.

As the driver turned around, his face filled with anguish, he explained, “Forgive me, sir. If I hadn’t hurried, you might have missed your flight.” The woman remained silent, sensing that the driver wouldn’t respond kindly, she turned to the person seated next to her. Amidst the commotion, she began scolding the driver, who was now searching for a parking spot.

“Astaghfirullah,” murmured a girl sitting at the back of the bus, as she ducked, her face buried between her knees. The bus had abruptly braked, causing her head to collide with the metal of the seat in front. She wore a green hijab like the others in the bus, her face partially obscured by a face mask.

Her eyes, however, were visible, appearing red and teary, their hazel color shining brightly like clouds. She possessed full eyebrows, a trait suggesting she was one to show affection. The woman beside her observed her, contemplating how much she must have cried since boarding the bus. Only God knew what turmoil was unfolding in the girl’s heart, evident from her inconsolable weeping.

Her heart had turned into a heavy stone, life losing its luster, her emotions numbed by the weight in her heart. Certain memories triggered a torrent of tears, leaving her helpless. Her unwavering faith was the only solace, wiping away every tear streaming down her cheeks.

Numerous questions swirled in her mind, unanswered. Did she have any shortcomings? Even though she was just a young girl, she constantly questioned herself, growing increasingly confused about the events in her life today and the onset of her distressing experiences long ago.

The driver finally parked the bus, opening the doors as the passengers began to disembark. The men alighted first, followed by the women, all wearing green hijabs like a uniform, with backpacks slung over their shoulders. They lined up in a row, their eyes filled with anticipation. Among them were approximately fifteen individuals, including about ten young girls, some of whom appeared to be from rural areas.

As they stood in line, one of the men began to address the group. “Masha Allah, I’ll be distributing your passports now. Remember, your passport is your ticket anywhere. If you run away, don’t assume the agency will bear the consequences. It’s all documented.” He proceeded to call out their names one by one, issuing passports and tickets.

“Sabeeha Dalhatu, who is Sabeeha Dalhatu?” he called out. There was an eerie silence, broken only when the girl timidly raised her hand and softly said, “I…I’m here.” He glanced at her with an air of authority. “You heard me call your name, yet you remained silent. Be mindful; things are moving fast,” he admonished.

She quickly averted her gaze, eyes glistening with fear, and accepted her passport, wiping her sweaty palms in nervousness. He added, “This one’s from a different village, be cautious not to get yourself caught,” his words reducing her to tears, reaffirming her insignificance.

The man led them into the airport, where they underwent security checks before being led into the waiting room, preparing to board their flight. The girl followed closely behind the group.


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