The sun was feeling a little lazy this afternoon and so my hijab was not as much a bother as it usually would be. I was walking in that almost absent-minded distracted way most children do because I was looking at my freshly “henna-d” hands turning them back and forward and moving them toward my face and then away and letting the patterns waft before my eyes.

My parents and I had just passed mama Evelyn’s stand where she roasted corn when we saw them. There were five children about my age, maybe six of them, I really wasn’t paying that much attention until a boy among them started to
shout ;

“Boko Haram! Boko Haram people, all of you!”

Another one of the boys was trying to cover the shouter’s mouth, even as he himself giggled while the lot of them broke out in laughter. My parents pretended not to notice but I saw my father clutch my mother’s hand and then motion for me to walk in front where they could see me.

I could clearly hear the boy who had shouted say;

“My daddy said Hausa people want to rule and that’s why they’re bombing people”.

I pulled my hijab closer to my face, wanting to disappear in apology.