Everything Is Far from Here

Cristina Henríquez

Read time: about 2 minutes

This story is again about immigrants but of a different kind. It is not over-qualified Pakistanis looking for their American Dreams Read: Foreign Returned. This story is about immigrants who cross borders to save their lives and then wonder if they could have had a better life had they stayed.

A woman walks across the border to save herself and her son from the sure death they would have faced had they not left. On the course of the journey the man leading the troop of 14 splits them up to avoid any suspicious glances. The group is uncomfortable. But the lead has his way with them.

“Do you want to get there or not?” They did. “Trust me,” he said.

During the journey the child gets left behind. The woman goes around searching the camp but she never finds him.

“The same thing happened to me. The kids just take longer. They don’t walk as fast. Mine got here a whole week after I did. Everyone makes it eventually.”

She can do nothing now but wait for him to arrive, hoping against all hopes that he is alive. She starts marking the days she spends in the camp on the wrist but soon loses track of it.

She marks the days on her arm. A small dot on the inside of her wrist becomes a trail, then a winding chain.

There are some psychologist therapies too. But they completely fail to understand her. There is a hint of victim blaming also in the conversations.

“Why do you think they targeted you?” the lawyer asks. “I was alone.” “You’re not married?” “Not anymore.” “And you’re pretty.” She narrows her eyes. “And men—” “They were boys.” “Even more so. We have an expression here: Boys will be boys.”

The plight of immigrants is thoughtfully described in the story here. There is a lot spoken in crisp sentences and short dialogues.

Read the story on The New Yorker for free.

We are reading only female story tellers this month! Yes there are those many!

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com