Open the gates!!

12:50 pm

My eyes fly open. I sit up. I'm in bed in my four man room. It's in a female hostel in my school. As I get aware of my surroundings, I realize my sleep was disturbed by something.
  "Wake up! They said everyone should leave the hostels today!! There are policemen everywhere and they are going to use tear gas on students!! I got this from a reliable source!" My mind started racing. Hearts do that too, I think. I hear her but I don't really believe her or I just really want to sleep. I wait for the light to go off.
   I wake up almost two hours later, it's around 7am. There is tension in air. Something is about to happen. Someone bursts into my room. "You guys are not ready?? I'm going o!"
It's the girl from earlier. I feel like a car that has just been started although not with a key, with anxiety and a little bit of fear. My body comes alive and I spring up and move swiftly out of the room and down the corridors. I enter the room on my mind. One of the targets of my informational onslaught is asleep, the other is no where to be found. She's downstairs, her bucket on a queue, waiting to be filled with water. I pass the information and hurry to my room to pack.
Clothes, books, sandals, power bank, charger... I stuff what I can into my bag.
Brush. Bath.
Clothes. Dress up.
Go down.
   It's past 9am. The fear of the unknown permeates the air. People, girls have run back and forth, in and out of the hostels. Apparently, we've been asked to leave the hostels and the university by the School Management but the Student Union Government doesn't want us to. The SUG has stated it's grievances against the SM but no one comes out to address us. The power supply is epileptic, we struggle for water everyday.. our major complaints among others. It's a tug of war. We are like refugees and we are not. Bags and boxes of all shapes and sizes; students sitting on the pavement at the side of the road and then restaurants making money out of us. People are scared. Of the police patrolling the length and breadth of the university; Of the threat of tear gas and bullets; Of the SUG supporters wielding canes and brandishing sticks. A number of students were actually flogged. I heard and almost saw. We watch some students March around under the glare of the artistic sun. I wonder how much SPF their sunscreen has and where they get their energy from.
  "Open the gates!" A chant in our hearts. We long for safety, security. We long for home. I don't really want to protest although I understand why I should. I just want to go home.
    It's 3pm. Several hours have passed.. I'm on my way home. I feel several shades darker. The sun has perfected it's art. My bag weighs heavy on my shoulder. I'm about to enter one of the two buses that will get me home. It feels great to be free. I smile at my friends and we begin a new journey..
               -Dee M

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