As well as running a Dailydo 7-day programme this week, I’m also participating. My Dailydo is to write a 500 word story every day. I thought I’d share with you what I wrote today. It takes about 3 minutes to read
The boy who disappeared
The doctors would never agree what had happened to Farhan Besalel.
In his short life Farhan had been many things, a child, a victim, a refugee, a medical curiosity, a media phenomenon and an unsolved puzzle.
I’m sure you’ve read all the stories of how he came here and his subsequent disappearance. It seemed like back then you couldn’t go online, open a newspaper or watch the news without the main story being about Farhan. Everybody knew his name and we all took comfort in his cheeky smile and how he never seemed worried about anything.
Child psychologists, trauma experts and doctors of all sorts were always showing up on tv giving some new angle to the situation. Though as time went by, it became clear that they didn’t have a clue what was happening. Then there were less medical people giving comment and more scientists and near the end, religious commentators of all persuasions and beliefs declared in their own ways, “it’s a miracle, an unexplainable act by an unknowable force”
It started in late March and by mid June he was gone, never to be seen again. But we all know the timeline, you must have read about it in the Sunday supplements.
You might wonder why I’m writing this. What good can more words do? Can’t we just remember him and forget. Well I can’t forget, I was there the day it started, but nobody ever asked me about it. I guess with everything that happened they forgot about me, I faded away too.
I worked nights then, with refugee children and every night was a challenge. They screamed, they cried, they wet their beds. Sometimes they scratched and punched and bit me. Some just lay there, not looking, not talking, in another world. Somewhere I would never want to go to. I changed their sheets, mopped the floor, made their breakfast and if they let me, I held their hand and tried to let them know they were safe.
Farhan was only with us for ten nights and I remember every one of them. He was the happiest kid I ever saw, not just there, but anywhere. He would talk to everybody whether they spoke his language or not, and I didn’t. I may not have understood what he said, but I knew what he meant, we were friends. I liked him and he liked me.
The last day he was with us, I was sitting on his bed, holding his hand and when I looked down, I saw my wedding ring visible through his skin and bones. I don’t know why, but I didn’t jump, I should have been freaked out, but it somehow seemed normal. I looked at Farhen and we smiled at each other. Over the next hour I watched as his hand faded even more. Eventually I went and told the doctor.
I didn’t see Farhen again, he was taken away. But anyway, you know the rest of the story.