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Coyote Part 20 'Best laid plans'
From the Author
Have to admit, I thought this might be Shakespeare, but it turns out to be 'Robbie Burns' the Great Scottish poet.
Anyway, the saying goes 'The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"
A friend of mine often used to say "If plan A doesn't work, then go to plan B"
My reply was sometimes "That's fine, but I'm already on plan Z subsection 4 paragraph seven!" if you get the picture.
Samir and Sara tried once to get to safety, they got caught, but didn't give up, then all hell broke loose where they were and they had to make plans to get out again, but things turned to custard long before they were ready, then a miracle happened.
The miracle was people being taken to the USA, but it kicked them in the guts as they weren't on the lists to go.
With nowhere to go, and no means of getting out (it seemed) did they give up and accept their fate?
Read on and find out.
For those who didn't get in at the beginning, here's a link that'll take you there
- "Coyote" Part 1
'People smuggling' is one of the most heinous crimes known to man, along with modern day slavery it's totally abhorrent and repulsive. If you think that, then you need to read this true story!
'Khachache' (Kurdish for people smuggler)
At the Office
“But they can't do that!” The anger overflowed, Azeem, Jamila and even Ashraf were letting their feelings be known. “Samir's one of us, after all they've been through, they should be first on the plane!” Azeem was the spokesman, but it was what they all felt, it was what Luka felt, but couldn't say, he had the horrible task of breaking the news.
Thankfully Samir had seemingly taken it without much argument, almost like he'd been expecting it.
At least that's how his silence was being interpreted, he was numb, partly in physical agony at the pain of the rejection, and partly wondering how the heck he was going to break the news to Sara.
“You need to go” his voice was almost a whisper, “ you all need to make that journey”
“But” the cry was almost unanimous, he cut them off before anything else was said.
“NO” he spoke slowly and deliberately, “your lives are in as much danger as ours!” He was slowly gaining confidence, there were a half dozen people there, voices had been raised to the extent the guards outside were looking suspicious, but they were slowly calming down, giving Samir the chance speak. “If Saddam does come back here” he went on, “none of you would live to see the next sunset, you all know that!” he paused and looked at each one of them in turn.
“But” Jamila tried to cut in.
“No buts” he shot back, “you know it's true, you've all got family who'd be in danger, they didn't do anything, yet he wouldn't hesitate, you owe it to them to go” he slowly looked each one in the eye, none held his stare, not even Luka and Azeem.
“It feels like we're betraying you” Azeem finally mumbled, there were noises of agreement, “after all you've been through, you get left behind again? It's not right”
Samir actually smiled, “who said anything about being left behind? I never wanted to go to America, I want to get to Australia!”
Back home, the hardest part
“Is it true?” Sara rushed to kiss him as soon as he walked into the room, “the Americans are taking us?” She was excited, almost bouncing with happiness, she wrapped her arms round him
“Sara, please sit down” he gently unwrapped her arms from round his neck, taking each one he led her to the cushions where they normally sat, confusion spread across her face, then, slowly, gently at first, a feeling of dread came over her, “what?” was all she could ask.
“We are leaving” he replied emphatically, “but not with the others”
“But I heard”
“Yes, they are taking the Op Mercy people” he began, “but only those who worked for them in the last six months, I haven't had any work from them in that long!” she went to reply, but he held up his hand, “ let me finish”
They were sat on the cushions by now, tears were welling up on her eyes, “what does that mean?” she asked.
“If you'll let me finish” he began again, “our names weren't on the list, but we were working on a plan anyway!” he went on, “we're leaving, but not with the others”
Just then there was a knock at their door. By the time Sara had recovered enough to half get to her feet the door was open and Jamila's head popped round the frame. “So sorry for disturbing you” she began, “but we've got something to tell you” she carried on into the room, Azeem and Luka were right on her heels, Luka was holding something.
“I know you're going to tell us we need to be on that helicopter!” Luka held his hand up before Samir could say a word, “and we will be, but listen to what Jamila had to tell you first”
Both were confused, what could she possibly tell them they didn't already know? “Okay” was all he could say.
“I'll make some tea” Sara got up to leave.
“Please, sit a moment” Luka begged, “you both need to hear this” he indicated for Jamila to continue.
“You know Mr James and Mrs Pauline were very thorough don't you?”
'Where’s this going?’ was Samir's first thought, but all he said was “yes”
“They did some things even I thought was strange” she smiled, “but they always believed in being ready for anything”
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” Samir replied, “I heard that a lot, mostly from Tariq”
“Before Pauline left the last time” Jamila carried on, oblivious to Samir's comment, “she let me in on a little secret she and Mr James had, I'm not sure the Arabic, but the english word is a conti”
“A contingency” Luka cut in.
“Yeah< I think that’s what she said” Jamila started again, “anyway they always knew that they might have to leave one day, so they made some preparations for if they had to go out ‘the hard way’” she made the quotation marks in the air, “You knew they were African right, never fully trusted Britain or America, anyway, they had something prepared for if they ever had to” she indicated to Luka, he held the thing he’d been carrying out, it was an envelope, plain white, two words written on it, well two in English, someone had written ‘Samir and Sara’ in Arabic script. The English said simply ‘EMERGENCY FUND’
What they faced
“We’ve talked” Azeem spoke softly, “and we want you to have it, we know your situation, and anything we can do to help, we’d gladly do” Luka placed the envelope on the carpet in front of them, everyone was totally silent.
They both sat there, totally stunned, not sure whether to laugh or cry, they still didn’t have the money they needed for getting across Europe, but, well, who knew what was going to happen, every day brought something new, new challenges, new frustrations, but more importantly new blessings.
“Thank you” was all they could say, and even that was a struggle behind all the tears, smiles, tears and hugs, totally unlike anything you’d normally see in an Iraqi or Kurdish family, but they just couldn’t hold back. “Thank you so much!”
“There’s something else” Azeem broke in after they’d all cried and hugged together, “here’s the latest on the information I have from going to the villages” he went on, “load up with as much petrol as you can carry on the Dodge, when you get to the Turkish side you can sell it for ten times what you’ll pay here, this village here” he pointed to a place on the small map he’d just given Samir, “doesn’t have an official crossing, but the border is only a kilometer away, the Mukhtar told me they don’t fight in that area as the Turkish Kurds use it to send supplies through to their fighters, they also send other things they don’t want the Turks to know about through there” he tapped his nose, as if telling a secret. “You’ll be fairly safe getting through there, though don’t leave the tracks!” There was a word of warning.
“When will you leave?” Luka asked.
“You go tomorrow” Samir replied, “we’ll leave the morning after, before the dawn”
They all stood, “Then may God go with you” each one told them.
“And with you too” they replied.
From the Author
Ask youself this. How hard would it be for you to go home and tell someone you love that their dream isn't going to happen?
Samir couldn't do it, he couldn't face Sara and tell them they couldn't escape, they had to find a way, and they did, but the journey isn't over yet, in many ways it's only just beginning.
Thank you for joining us here, hope you enjoyed the story so far, and don't forget to leave a comment.