“I miss my boyfriend Ousmane, but I want better life in Europe so I leave him in Dakar,” Aissatou says. “Ousmane thing big, like fist!” She chuckles, clenching a fist and looking at you knowingly.
But you do not laugh.
The truck is moving quickly across the Sahara now. You are far away from home, on a dangerous, yet necessary journey; for a reason Aissatou might never understand. But when she asks, “So…Nneka, why you want go Europe?”, you decide to tell her.
“I don’t miss my father,” you say.
“His thing was big. Big like my arm…”