Bashir was asleep on a furesh, with the television blaring, when Mumina, Rashid and Ahmed entered the house in Quartier Six. Dirt streaked the cement floor and the lingering smell of fish and unwashed bodies made her nauseous. Blue paint peeled from the walls in large sheets and there was a stack of dirty plates, food still crusted to them, in the corner near a half-empty water barrel. She saw Bashir laying in his macwiis and began to tremble. She had never been alone with three men before.
A week after dropping out of school, Mumina sat in a small fishing boat and watched the coast of Somaliland and the town of Zeila disappear over the horizon. She gripped the pink plastic bag she’d been allowed to keep and wrapped her arms around her knees. Her mother had packed a suitcase with clothing, tea spices, dates and sorghum flour for laxoox but as soon as the boat was out of sight, the captain forced everyone to throw their belongings overboard.