Papa has never feared the desert. Regard it with a grudging respect? Curse it for stealing our land? Yes. But he is immune to that terror the great expanse strikes.
“Malik,” he tells me, “We are Toubou, people of the desert, it is our heritage.”
He recounts his trips across the Sahara with pride. Without him, Alhaji’s caravan would never reach Libya. Short journey. Quick money.
A year has passed since we last saw papa, yet I am not afraid. We are people of the desert. I wait patiently.
Who would tell the father in jail? The convicted human trafficker.