Four Senses

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I wish so many things, such as spoken words and good memories, were things that could be erased, forgotten. But now I knew what happiness was, even though I wish I didn't, so I would not have anything to compare the dreary days to.
I knew what it was like to hear words travel from someone’s vocal chords and into my ears. I knew what it was like to hear the rattling in my throat escape my mouth and travel into the ears of others. And we all knew that everything about the war- the bombings, the boyfriends taken by the army- would affect us in some way. But we did not realize that we could never go back to being the people that we once were. The recent blast left me with four of my senses, and I would never be able to hear any one else’s voices. Now that I had experienced the beauty of sound and voice, I wish those days could be forgotten, so the present, silent life would not be as painful. My last moments with hearing consisted of shattering photo frames, creaking furniture finally giving up, and my sister Lyla screaming the words that were finally able to escape the secret cabinet of her mind after a long fight. Her words shocked me and I wanted to run away from them. However, it was as if they were forcing my hand down on a hot stove, the hot embers searing and eating away at my skin as I squirmed to get away from the burning.
As my eyes scanned our now tattered and smoking apartment, I looked around the room, but all I saw was burnt furniture and destroyed memories. I felt my mind burst with flames, just how our entire neighborhood had when the bomb fell, as I remembered what Lyla had revealed right before the blast. She finally told me that she was carrying another life inside of her, at the young age of twenty, and the father, I knew, was in the army. I sat up, my spine feeling as if there were metal bars inserted between each plate, protesting each movement. I peaked past the column that had protected me and looked over at Lyla. Her blonde hair was streaked with blood and dirt and burned and the ends. She was blinking rapidly, as if she had something irritating her eye that would not come out.

“Lyla! What are you doing?” I felt my throat say. I was clueless as to whether my voice was still raspy, or if it sounded like the twenty nine year old that I am. Lyla didn’t reply or even look my way. I began to sweat as I looked again at my baby sister, so helpless, reaching for me to come soothe her.
“Lyla,” I crawled over and started shaking her. Could she hear me? She desperately began to move her hands in front of her, groping my wounded head and patting my body down; each action felt like she was clawing off my tender skin. Her eyes blankly stared across the room that was lit by the remaining embers of the blast. I had not seen her face look so desperate since our neighbor had pushed her into the lake many years ago, even though she did not know how to swim. Her eyes had darted everywhere as her feet kicked, longing and reaching for the solid ground that was no where below her, until I dove in to save her. She choked as I had brought her ashore and hugged me and cried. Now, I realized, she was moving her eyes in attempt to retrieve her sight that the explosion had taken. She was drowning in the darkness, and was trying to erase the black curtain that was blocking her view from the real world. To her, even demolished furniture and burning corpses would be a haven compared to her desolate nothing. I saw tears stream out of her useless eyes, the blue eyes that would never capture any new visions, see my face ever again, or even meet her own baby. I wanted to comfort her, bring her back ashore from the water again, but I could not find her sight and give it back to her. There would be no tight hugs of relief or kisses on the head. They said war could change everything, and that people would be lost, but I did not know that I would have to say goodbye to the older sister who always had the solution, or the baby sister who always had hope in her.





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