KHARTOUM (Sudanow) — Harsh treatment of children can sometimes lead to catastrophic consequences, like what happened to the girl Esra’a in this story.
As told to Sudanow by Zahra’a Mohammad Alarabi, the girl Esra’a was one day brought to her family’s home by son of her sister Fatima who worked as a policeman. He said the girl was found stray and was brought to the police station by a bus driver.
He said they at the police station saw it improper to keep the girl all night at the place. So he volunteered to take the girl, who identified herself with the name Esra’a, to spend the night with his mother, Fatima. The next morning he took the girl back to the police station, in the hope that her family may show up. Days passed on, but nobody came to ask for the girl at the police station. The policeman continued to take the girl to his home every night and bring her back to the police station in the morning, the next day. The family got used to the girl who also loved their company.
The girl told them she had fled her family home because her aunt had threatened to kill her because she had broken some dishes during the wedding party of that aunt’s son. “Wait until this party is over and I will kill you,” the aunt had threatened.
She said she thought her aunt was really going to kill her, so she fled the house. She boarded a bus carrying people in a wedding procession and when the bus reached its destination everybody descended, leaving her behind. The bus driver could do nothing other than take her to the police station.
So, After three months Fatima decided to keep the girl with her family, because she loved her and also because she had no baby daughter of her own beside her three male offspring.
Fatima continued to look after the girl until she grew up, graduated from college and found an office job in a government institution.
One day a work mate of Esra’a approached the family asking for her hand. A date was fixed for the engagement and the would-be fiancé brought some of his family members for the event.
While everybody was busy celebrating, a certain woman among the guests kept looking fixedly at Esra’a until the girl was annoyed by what was going on. Here Fatima approached the woman asking her what was up. The woman said the girl Esra’a looked very much like a girl with the name of Ala’a in her neighborhood who had a twin sister who was missing for a long time.
Here Fatima asked the woman to keep silent until the event was over.
Towards the end of the party Fatima, approached the woman and took her home address in Omdurman.
Before dawn the next day Fatima, her son (the policeman) and Esra’a took the bus and headed to the address in Omdurman. There the woman took them to the home of the twin girl Ala’a she told them about the night before.
Knocking on the door, the house owner came out and ushered them in. He told them that his wife and his daughter Ala’a were out for some reason and would be back soon. He did not notice anything strange about the girl Esra’a. But two little daughters of his kept looking fixedly at Esra’a.
A few moments later the mother and her daughter Ala’a came in. At the first sight of Esra’a the two of them fell unconscious. The two little girls also fell down. Esra’a did the same, followed by the man, the father, himself.
Fatima’s son very quickly called the police emergency unit that evacuated all the group to the Omdurman Teaching Hospital where they received first aid and regained consciousness.
For Esra’a it was a blessing to be reunited with her real family and her identical twin sister Ala’a after all those long years. She also got the blessing of having two mothers and two families. But there was some bad news for her: her aunt who threatened to kill her because she broke the dishes was traumatized when the girl got missing and died of grief for what she had caused.
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