Yola the Yellow Girl
“Yola the Yellow Girl” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Oluwatewalorun Ogunjobi.
Yola the Yellow Girl
There was something about Yola that made people see her differently. I guess it didn't hurt that she had rare physical features. Most people thought she was a freak.
Yola was flaxen; pale greyish yellow with black spots all over her body.
She had bleached-blond hair and wobbly pink eyes. Yola wore darkened lenses to protect her eyes from radiant sunlight or its glare. When she wasn’t putting on lenses, she squints to distinguish human features; identify the people approaching her and up close she could read the intensions and emotions on their faces. Without her lenses her pink irises are just something people would remember her for. She was mostly dressed in hooded clothing.
Like most twelve year-old girls in Havazah, Yola loved hanging out with her friends and playing girly games. But that wasn’t exactly her story. She was most times in the company of her widowed mother. She grew up alone even as an only child. Albinism was a condition in her part of the world that people attached to a curse from God. In Havazah, like most of sub-Saharan Africa, people with the genetic condition are often thought of as having supernatural powers, which made them a target for witch doctors for their body parts. Yola’s condition was more than just being different: It was life threatening.
One day, Yola was walking down a busy street not too far from home to run an errand for her mother. Two middle aged men in the corner; dressed in sweat-stained T-shirt and shorts. Their bare arms and legs were as ashy and pale as their faces. "There goes an Afin, that’s your lucky charm." She heard one of them say. "She is a perfect match for baba Oromo” the other replied. The two men walked swiftly behind her.
Yola ran as fast as she could. She saw a log house ahead. She quickly ran in there thinking she would lose the strange men. Unfortunately they ran straight into her hide out. One of the men raised a gun right at her but never fired; instead he cuffed her arms and legs and bound her mouth. The other man loaded a syringe from a small brown vial and plunged it into Yola's thigh.
After many hours of sleep, Yola woke up at a shrine along with other kidnapped young girls. She asked what was going on and where they were, but the girls wouldn't answer her. She somehow got loose from her rope and started to look for an escape. She found a window and broke it with a chair. She urged the other girls to come with but they were too scared to leave. Yola left them and she ran nonstop to the nearest town, staying off the roads in case they were looking for her. Luckily she found a kind woman who called her mother on the phone to come get her. Her mother was so happy to be reunited with her daughter.