The valley was magnificent, the calm wind caressing my frail face, illuminated by the sun's intense light. I haven't felt this good in a long time. It was over. We had won despite all of the challenges. It's like I'm reborn. This idea made me laugh because it's what I've been trying to run away from almost all my life. Sitting on the tree, I observed the landscape around me. Everything was magnificent. The grass was green, the trees filled with fruit and the sky was as blue as the sea. I was there thinking about what could have been my future. Beside me was a small lake, I saw my reflection there, but I didn't recognize this face which once was young and lovely had become entirely different. I no longer found this innocence that I once had; it was as if I had become another person, a person who sought to repair her soul, a person who sought to pick up the broken pieces of her heart, a person who sought to survive. I was starting to get lost in my thoughts again when I heard a voice in the distance calling me. I turned around and saw my dear sister running to join me.
''Hema! Hema!... the committee is waiting for you," she said breathlessly.
"Okay, I'll be there in a moment, just long enough to get off the tree and finish my apple." The truth is, I had no desire to attend any meetings or even talk to anybody.
I went down the valley, shuffling around, I headed for the great hall, and with a beautiful smile, I opened the door. All eyes were on me, and people started whispering to each other. I didn't need a microphone to know what they were saying about me.
Some people think I'm crazy or dangerous; others think I'm a heartless murderer, bloodthirsty and ready to do anything to get what I want, so they all distrust me like I'm a sick ward. But they don't know that I'm lost but, above all, scared.
If only they knew what I knew, what I had been through, maybe they would understand. But it would be like a dream come true.
I moved slowly and then sat down in my place. The meeting started and lasted an eternity if you ask my opinion.
My name is Nahema Coumba Doukara, princess of the sacred land, and in these pages, I unveil the mystery of my existence.