A QUEST FOR WATER: (Based on actual events in the southern Sahara)
Chapter 7: SAYING GOODBYE (6)
Looking at Fada, Alhassan said, “Thank you so much for providing safety to our children, and for bringing them home to us. How can we ever repay you?”
Fada knew the answer he wanted to give, but a single glance at Abdoul reminded him that he had no chance to win Mouheini’s hand. “Please, it’s nothing,” he replied. “It is I who would like to repay you for this opportunity. Look, the cheikh has sent his gift of gratitude, to help you celebrate the Tabaski feast tomorrow.”
Fada was uneasy. He did not want to return home, but he also could not bear seeing Mouheini alongside Abdoul. Hastily, he announced, “I must return home now, so that I too can be with my family for the festivities.”
Mouheini whipped around, facing Fada to protest, “No, you cannot leave now,” she exclaimed indignantly. “It will be dark soon. Come home with us please. Spend the night with our family. You can leave early tomorrow morning!”
Abdoul looked at Mouheini incredulously. What could explain this strange and inappropriate outburst? He decided he did not like the attention she gave to this Fulani boy.
photo: Abdoulaye in the role of Abdoul.