We sailed in silence, everybody, clutching unto what mattered most. For me it was a brown duffel bag, wrapped and wrapped again for safety, some held the limbs of their last surviving children and others held their lives or what was left of it because each time the boat trembled we thought we would go like the last, drowning, even when it didn’t turn we still said our last prayers because if the water did not kill you, the cold will. Yet, with each stroke we sailed farther and farther away. Better to die free than in chains, we thought.

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