Saturday, 21st September 2013 marks the darkest and most terrifying weekend of my life. The rest of the week was blurred, just filled with confusion, fear, anger, tears, questions and thankfulness that we are alive.
It is suppose to be one of the weekends, which we will hang out at Westgate Mall for our breakfast and shopping. We love to sit in the alfresco area at Artcaffe, sipping our coffee, watching cars and people passing by, talking about anything under the sun… It was our weekly routine to walk around the mall after breakfast and do our grocery shopping and checking out anything new.
That faithful Saturday morning, it was one of the rare moment (first time since we arrived in Nairobi) that Rob was not feeling well hence we stayed home. Some when in the mid-morning, I received a text from a friend asking if we were both ok, something happened in the Westgall Mall. We quickly turn on the TV, to the local news channel, and to our horror and disbelieved, we saw what had just happened in the mall, which we suppose to be at. Tears start rolling down, heart pumping so fast, body shivers and I just turn to Rob and said “We could have been there, it could be us there”.
Minutes later, all we can hear were sirens from either ambulance or police cars dashing through the roads outside our apartment, helicopter roaming above our rooftop. Staying at Westland, which is very near to Westgate Mall is not that ideal at this point of time. We did nothing the rest of the day but keep staring at the news trying to figure out what is actually happening. Nobody knows, we are at a standstill and at lost.
The rest of the weeks, I just know that I have been crying myself to sleep every night and cant stop crying when I think of it. I am obsessed to check on the news trying to get the latest update and figuring out what happened. I can’t stop myself from checking and crying. I cried because this is my first time coming so close to a terrorist attack, I cried because I cant understand why people are so cruel and heartless, I cried because so many innocent people had lost their lives including children, I cried because there is still a lot of uncertainty, I cried because I no longer feel safe here, and I cried because I cant believe we are so lucky that we are not there…
I passed by Westgall Mall yesterday, which is now cordon off. Just by passing by the area gives me a shiver down my spine. The place, which used to be buzzing with people, is a dead place now.
I am still living in fear everyday… too many unanswered questions in my mind and I believe in a lot of people’s mind here too… What actually happened in the mall? Who carried out the attack? Where are the terrorists’ bodies that had been killed? What about the White Widow which was mentioned? How many was really killed in the attacked? What happened to the hostages? Who looted the mall? What will happen next? And will we ever know what really happened? Which I honestly doubt it…
Till today, I fear of hearing loud bangs, sirens from ambulance or police cars… I cant stop thinking and fearing. I fear because of the uncertainty and the terrorist mentioned this is only “act 1″. Will something happen again? Are we safe? Can I protect my baby who is growing inside me right now?
This terrible act had left a scar deep in me… a wound which will take a long time to heal and a scar which will constantly reminds me of the nightmare… but a scar which also reminds me how Thankful I am to escape this terrible incident, how Thankful I am that we are all alive, both of us including the new life that is growing in my body right now, Thankful for the chance for us to build our family.
We are very grateful and thankful for the blessing.
p/s: Have a blessed mid-week.