Malala’s best friend: shot in the heart

A short story reflecting on the hidden impact of the shooting of Malala.

Malala-Pakistan-education-for-girls-wikimedia-300x199Malala Yousafzai…everyone knows her name. Everyone knows her story.

I’m trying not to think about her, trying not to hear her name. Fingers in my ears. We were best friends. I called her Lala. Fingers in my ears again, but I still hear it…LALALALALALA…she’s there all the time.

She’s in England now, in hospital. She’s being looked after. She’s safe. And that means I am too. Well, sort of.

That day, she was sitting next to me on the bus. Lala always sits next to me on the bus. That’s because she’s my best friend. When the man came, he stared at me. But it was her name he shouted, and we all looked at her. Sentencing her to death. She stood up, and got off the bus. There were voices outside. Silence inside. Then shouting, shots and screams. Blood, tears and terror.

Lala has always been the brave one. Always been the one to lead the way. She leads and I follow. Only this time I didn’t know where she was taking me. I’m a child. And I wanted to be a child for a bit longer. I wasn’t ready to be brave…not yet. At least, not this brave.

It’s strange. I don’t have nightmares about what happened. I have nightmares about what’s going to happen. I can see it: Malala sitting next to me on the bus again. This time when the bus stops, there’s more of them. Everyone on the bus has to get off. And they shoot us all. One by one. I’m next to Malala. She’s hold

Maggie Steel

About Maggie Steel

Diagnosed recently with late onset feminism. Teacher who thinks the world could do better. Trying to make a difference at the margins. When all else fails I eat cake.