Seven years afterward


Seven years: now a message waits, still unread.

I recall the warm touch of your hand just before I slipped when soldiers came. I remember how afterwards I searched for you.

Three years of desert walks, of rape and famine; another two to get asylum. The last three years I’ve been building myself another life. A life apart.

I registered on refugees united, and now this answer waiting.

Alone or not?

Inhale, exhale.

With trembling hand I click:

Dear Miss Botende,

   Your mother is searching for you. 
   She lives Stockholm now. 
   Her contact details are attached:

David Bemba  (Refugees United)


I have read recently of what you can do for the refugees around the world, and this sent me to one of the services that existed. Refugees united is a service where refugees can register to find each other. Please have a look, there are some fantastic stories shared there. These days we need some happy news as well.

Friday Fictioneers is a wonderful blogging community run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who publish a new picture each week for us to write a story in 100 words.



September 30, 2015

90 responses to “Seven years afterward

  1. oh it is wonderful when families get united again. they’re about to build a refugee camp five walking minutes from where i live. think i will get involved in the work there a bit – sometimes the little things we do make a big difference for someone

  2. Heart-wrenching to know that people are out there searching for their loved ones after going through such torture and pain. The ending offers hopes…so does the information provided.
    Nicely written story .

  3. a reason to “cry happy tears” (My son Jacob’s way of expressing that emotion of relief, gratitude and happiness)

  4. it is a beautiful thing when families are brought back together especially after the circumstances that tear them apart. wonderful that you are writing to support the cause as well . we should use our art to do that more

  5. Dear Bjorn, I’m glad they have a service to hep reunite refugees. Your story is good and makes me pause to think how lucky I am to live where I do. Best to you! Nan

  6. Such a tender response to the prompt, Björn. You’ve captured so much of what refugees experience. My daughter worked with Palestinian refugees in Syria; it is heartbreaking stuff. Thanks for the link. So true, we all need to be inspired and touched.

  7. That is an awesome story, Bjorn. Very moving and sensitive to what is going on. One can only imagine all the stories those refugees have flooding in and through Europe, and elsewhere, wherever an escape route exists to allow them relocation and new life.

  8. Absolutely superb. Yes it is nice to hear some good news for the refugees and finding long lost relatives must be such a wonderful feeling for them. Sadly I fear a lot also find out sad news. But you’re writing emits a feeling of optimism.

  9. I’ve been researching the International Refugee Committee for my class on human trafficking. Thanks for sharing this heartbreaking story. You know, sometimes we make connections in the most unexpected ways. Who knew a fiction writing group would bring ideas together in such a meaningful way. Well, you did, I suppose.

  10. We do need some good stories, Bjorn, with happy endings. I’m glad that such a service exists for people whose lives are destroyed by war. Great piece.

  11. Fantastic story – the agony of the refugee’s flight, and the joy of reunion at the end. Thank you for sharing the information about Refugees United.

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