The sixth day started out the same. The unnatural silence was what
woke her – her mind being more aware of her surroundings than she
realized while in sleep. Azar underwent the same first few seconds of
no recollection, and of bliss, before remembrance dawned on her.
With it, the automatic fear – she jerked upright. Omid. Where was
Omid? Her eyes darted from side to side until, through the dim
surroundings, they zeroed in on Omid, nestled between their friend
Arash and another woman they didnot know. She sawOmidmumble
something in her sleep, and knew what it was all too well –
Azar allowed herself to relax. With the desired calm, however, came
fresh awareness of the omnipresent feelings of hunger and thirst.
Azar closed her eyes. This is why sleeping is the best part of the day.
Her eyelids shielding her from the other breathing masses in the
hull, Azar thought of her parents. They did not come with her and
Omid. They said goodbye to them at home in Nikshahr, where they
had organized for a man to take Azar and Omid to the coast. Azar
remembered Omid crying. Her sister was young enough to
understand the separation, but not yet old enough to understand
that they must listen to their parents without question. Azar was
suspicious of the man they were going with, Massoud. Azar’s mother
had turned to her.
. Trust him as you trust me.”
Azar had no choice. She and Omid had gone inMassoud’s truck to
the coast. Their parents said they would meet them in Australia, and
said goodbye –Azar missed them somuch her chest ached. In the hull
of the boat, she raised a hand to her heart, and thought of her mother
and father. She remembered the conversation she overheard between
Massoud and her parents – she didn’t understand at the time, what he
meant by not drawing as much attention as Chãbahãr would have, but
when the truck reached the smaller town of Konãrak, she knew her
mother was right. Massoud was the only person they could trust. And
for Omid’s sake as well as her own, Azar must trust him to get them to
Australia safely. Nobody else was invested in their arrival. Nobody else
cared about the refugees.
It had taken them three days to reach Konãrak. After that, they
had to wait another four for their boat to be ready to leave. Massoud
told them they were lucky –
“Not many people on this one, more room.”
Then he told them the next part of their journey. Azar and Omid