No matter how much he exerted effort to halt, he found himself on the bridge, watching cars pass by. Confusion overwhelmed him as he extended his hand out of the window, signaling people to move, indicating there was a problem. Some understood his gesture, while others remained oblivious to its meaning. Amidst the chaos, he noticed a young boy attempting to cross the road, unaware of the impending danger. The blaring horn caught the child’s attention, but being so young, he lost his sense of direction. The car plunged off the bridge, prompting a gathering of people attempting to find a way to reach it, but the vehicle had already sunk to the bottom of the ravine. Miraculously, he managed to exit through the open window, only to collide with an unidentified object, causing confusion and leading to his unconsciousness.

_**In Tattered Garments**_

Nafi gazed up at her father, who sat before her, speaking of their troubles in their Fulani dialect. She apologized, “Father, I’m sorry, I don’t know if the chickens ate the rice.”

Baffa, her father, distressed, exclaimed, “This girl lacks dignity! She has lost the food and humiliated me. Am I the one struggling to find my belongings, while your mother, your elder brother, sells our cow and goes off to Saudi Arabia? It’s all because I married that woman, my stepmother, whom I never trusted.”

Nafi wiped away her tears and responded, “I’m sorry, Father. I know Mom always does her best…”

“Sorry won’t change a thing. I was a fool to stay silent. I should have known she’d run away. Why did she allow you to have contact with a man? Now it all makes sense,” he sighed heavily. “Enough of this nonsense chatter. I can’t bear to listen to you.”

Enraged, he stormed outside, wiping away his tears. Nafi rose to her feet and headed towards the herd of cows, finding solace in her daily chores. As she tended to the cattle, her heart ached, both for her absent mother and her younger brother, Gaddafi. Her father’s misfortunes seemed never-ending. He had left their village, opting to build his own house across the river, known as Datt’s Shirt.

Dattin, Nafi’s father, endured much suffering. And when I say suffering, I mean it was catastrophic. This led him to distance himself from their community and settle on the other side of the river, where he established his own home, Datt’s Shirt.

No matter how many cows and chickens they owned, even if they played with them, they couldn’t enjoy a proper meal. Datt preferred to sell a healthy animal rather than consuming millet, sorghum, or rice, even in times of illness. Nafi’s mother, patient as she was, contemplated selling one of their cows and fleeing with their young son, Nafi, to Saudi Arabia, where her sister resided and conducted business.

Nafi was well-known among the local youngsters when she visited Talla, the nearby town, to fetch water for bathing. Though she didn’t possess many clothes, her attire was always clean and presentable. Despite the attention from numerous suitors, none dared to approach her, fearing the wrath of Datt. They believed that marrying her would result in personal inconvenience, as Datt would undoubtedly cause trouble at their homes.

Her life revolved around her father, and every interaction with him brought about turmoil and disaster.

Heartbroken, Nafi finished cleaning and entered the house, carrying the bucket inside. She grabbed a smaller one to collect water from the tied container she left out overnight.

After a short walk

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