A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
A man recounts his experiences as a boy soldier during the Sierra Leone Civil War, the events leading up to it, and his life afterwards.
“Alhaji, Kanei, Saidu, and I were awake and quietly listening to the night. Saidu’s heavy breathing made our silence less unbearable. After a few hours had gone by, Saidu spoke in a very deep voice, as if someone were speaking through him. “How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?” he asked. He waited a few minutes, but the three of us didn’t say anything. He continued: “Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.””