I am lying on my bed in a university hostel, all alone. My roommate travelled home for Easter. It is well into midnight. I have been in bed for about three hours now, but I haven’t managed even 10 minutes of sleep.
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Each time I close my eyes, I see bodies, dead bodies lying in pools of blood.
I hear cries of terror, begging for life.
I hear a harsh voice commanding comrades to recite shahada (a prayer of converts), a voice telling Muslims to go.
I see a soul gasping for life as a bullet tears through the flesh of a sister.
I see a brother seated still, clenching his teeth as the knife slices through his flesh.
I see a distressed daughter of this country, trembling as she watches life leaving a friend, waiting for her turn to die.
I see injured comrades, blood gushing through their wounds.
I see them dying slowly, their feet becoming cold with the passage of time and their bodies transforming slowly into a state, the state of rigor mortis.
The old are scared; they are crying behind closed doors. The churches have gathered to pray. The leaders; they are assuring us as usual. The little ones, however, do not understand, they are still playing their usual games, singing those songs that are sang in peace, drawing faces of happy people.
They do not understand why they cannot go to the malls with their parents. Those who live in Tana River, Garissa and Lamu counties do not understand why they cannot go out before 6:30 a.m. or after 6:30 p.m.
How do you explain to a 4 year old the meaning of a curfew?
How I wish this curfew would have come before this terrible tragedy, then maybe, just maybe, this would have never happened.
Mothers are tearing up their clothes as they receive news, the news that their children are dead, that the very children they worked so hard to put in university are no more.
Villages are mourning; their heroes are gone.
There are tears all over as people receive the sad news, as they decipher the meaning of all of this.
Parents are seated at their homes; they cannot believe that they will have to bury their children, children who should have lived to bury them instead.
For most, their hope is gone with their dead children.
Al-Shabab really hit us below the belt this time.
We are feeling this pain.
Burying 147 people is no joke.
Living without these people is going to be no easy task. How are the rest of the students who were “lucky” to survive going to live?
Have you thought about the pain of going back to Garissa University College after all this is over?
How is life going to be in the future?
Who will ever feel safe to go back to that university and lie there again?
How can one go back to that university to study while the very soil that they will tread is the soil unto which the blood of their comrades soaked?
How will they feel safe being enclosed within walls unto which the blood of their friend splashed?
How will they use cabinets that housed the bodies of their dead friends?
To the survivors, sorry that this happened that way: you watched helplessly as your friends lost their lives. To the injured, may you recover soon. Sorry about the scars that those wounds are going to leave in your bodies, you will forever remember that day, 2nd of April 2015, just days before Easter.
You will never forget the day that those people decided to slaughter young people because they were not courageous enough to go fight the defense forces.
It is not fair that you died for the rest of us. It is not fair that you had to die for the government to recruit more officers.
It is not fair that we are all going to forget this incident too soon.
It is not fair that the sun continues to rise since you lost your lives.
It is not fair that our government continues to run, that our president is not having sleepless nights.
It is not fair that you are dead, gone at the prime of your lives, gone with your dreams, your talents and your energy.
It is very painful that we cannot change what has happened.
We pray that you may rest well.
We pray that through your death someone learns that life is more precious than riches.
We hope that the officers at the borders are seeing.
We hope that they will be disturbed by your deaths, that they will remember they are sacrificing lives every time they take a bribe and let those enemies in to our country.
We pray that next time they will be able to prevent weapons from getting to our soil, weapons that the enemy will use to finish us.
We pray that someone learns to act on intelligence instead of dismissing it.
We pray that someone learns this time round.