She kissed her mother’s head passionately until the smell of her hair filled her to her toes.
In what had become an evening routine, she walked back down the narrow tiled hall, counting the steps it took her to arrive to her own room where she gracefully wrapped her black cloak around her slender frame. With a quick glance to the mirror, she tucked the few stray raven hairs beneath the satin fabric of her scarf and said a quick prayer before getting into bed.
She took the folded paper from the table at her side and put it in her pocket, as she did night after night. It was a letter to her best friend, just in case.
Tonight was the night, my dear Salma, it began. They took my life, but not my dignity.
When morning came, the dust had just settled. As the area was cleared, there she was: the girl in the black cloak lying among the rocks and wreckage of her former home; her eyes wide open, but far, far away.