Sonya's Story

August 19, 2008
She never once complained about her life. This is where she lived and how she lived. She came to terms with that statement long ago. There is no changing it. There are no reasons or higher power that can explain it. No facts to back it. It just is what it is. Her life. And this. This, is my feeble attempt to recreate a piece, no, a fragment of it. I can in no way capture what truly occurred. In fact, it may not be truth at all. But it is a story nonetheless. A story, which must be told. It is Sonya’s story.

Sonya’s home was nothing out of the ordinary. It was a small, cramped, brick building nestled right in between two others identical in appearance. The roof leaked, the cold air swept in though the windows at night, and the extreme heat was timely in making its daily appearance. In her hometown, one she knew she’d never escape, there were about 570,000 people. Most of which, Sonya thought were similar to her in almost every way. Yet, unknown to Sonya, she is significantly different than the others. She has something they all lack: God. The reason I may say this is “unknown to Sonya” is simply because Sonya doesn’t think of herself more worthy or more privileged than any other being in her town. She is thankful for what she has and is envious of none. Characteristics you and me could only dream of possessing. Sonya thanks God for what she has and asks for nothing from him. Simply that He watch over the one she loves.

Sonya made her way slowly over and peered out the uncovered window of her small sweltering home to see the street empty, aside from the boys playing soccer. The little boys were laughing and frantically running around shouting excitedly to one another. They kicked around a worn out, dirty, sad excuse of a soccer ball back and forth across the dreary streets. She smiled, and marveled at the pure innocence the children exhibited. She had no doubt these children were plagued with the same terrifying and grisly nightmares that burdened her. The whole town knew for a fact that death was omnipotent and a consistent threat. A threat that could eradicate them all in one fowl swoop. Most of these children had seen death and murder with their very own eyes. Some, perhaps, had even partaken in such activities. So, in fact, these children were no mere paragons of innocence, but quite the contrary. To the naive visitor or foolish mind these children were innocent, as Sonya had believed at first glance. Upon thinking it over, Sonya concludes these “innocent” children are the future murders and rapists of the town. The smile had long departed from her articulate face. Thoughts like this are hard to keep out on one’s head. Especially one in Sonya’s environment. She does well in not dwelling on thoughts like these, but she thinks them nonetheless.

A wail from the corner snaps Sonya back into reality and clears her mind. Her baby had awoken, most likely due to the rising temperatures, and was asking for relief. In response, Sonya rushed over to the heap of blankets that protected her angelic child. She then gently plucked her baby up from the blankets and cradled it in her arms. She rocked her back and forth and simply gazed into her radiant green eyes. Sonya couldn’t help but smile that motherly smile. One could feel the affection flooding out from Sonya. You could see the connection between the two. She was her child, and her child was her.

Sonya couldn’t help but notice her child’s eyes. They were olive green and resembled that of nothing within a one thousand mile radius of her home. No other children in the town possessed green eyes. There was no green grass or trees. All flora was dying or already to the point of no return. Sonya herself had auburn colored eyes, which was quite common throughout the town, but her child had green eyes. How this biological miracle occurred, she didn’t care. She admired it. Her baby’s eyes were unique and full of life! Her baby was the depiction of youthful joy and hope. Hope that something better may come in this world. Something to save them both from this hollow shell of a place. Sonya’s eyes were brimming with tears. She finally noticed and cleared them from her face. There is no room for weakness. She is a single mother, an outcast. No one will help her when she feels down. No one cares. She must stay strong; watch out for herself, but more importantly, her daughter. Sonya controls what little she can. She keeps her home as tidy as possible, considering its depleting condition. She takes the highest of care watching over her daughter and stays out of the way of others. She rarely leaves her home, for if she does, it means carrying her child under the blazing sun and exposing them both to the violence outside their walls of false peace.

Night arrived, accompanied by its partner in crime: the bitter and merciless wind. It sweeps and invades its way through every home in the town. Stealing lives as it goes. Some succumb to its powerful effects and slumber for eternity. Luckily for the child, Sonya takes every precaution in making sure her daughter is not one of these souls. Sonya wraps her baby up in any article of clothing or cloth she can spare, and then presses the child up against her chest to add the needed body warmth. Sonya sleeps all night on her side with her child pressed up against her. This way she is sure no one will take her, not even the wind.

About four hours prior to sunrise Sonya awakens. She senses something foreboding. She glances down at her child blissfully asleep dreaming of a more pleasant reality. A reality in which Sonya can’t fathom. For her mind is not pure and innocent. It has seen the horrors that accompany the wonders of life. Sonya glances around only to see darkness. She knows something is coming. She can sense it. She worries for her daughter. Whatever this something is wants to take both her and her daughter. This frightens Sonya. She closes her eyes tight and starts trembling with fear. Pure, inexplicable terror has dug itself into her. She starts breathing heavily and praying. She prays to God. Not for herself, but for her child. “Please Lord; shelter my baby from this approaching storm. Let it take me, but not my child. Anything but her Lord….anything… but…her.” It’s close. The something is close, it’s about to hit and Sonya knows it. She grabs her baby and sprints over to the corner of her house and uses her body to cover her child. Her one desperate attempt to defy death. Then, it hits.

Two days later a rescue team is searching through the debris of what once was a town. A town that 48 hours ago contained 570,000 people, now contained none. If you walked through this “town” you find nothing but dust and rubble. The dead bodies are obliterated and one cannot even identify them as being bodies. The bomb had served its purpose. It had eradicated the “enemy”. One rescue worker was truly devastated by the sight. His people had done this. His people had killed a half a million civilians in order to hit one terrorist. Why? How was this possible? His mind was racing with thoughts. He stopped at a pile of rubble that had once been Sonya’s house. The other workers moved on and continued to search and joke around. They joked about how the people had it coming. He didn’t understand how his friends could be so heartless. These people were no less deserving of life than them or him. He kneeled down on the ground and placed his hand on it. The dust. Life was in the dust. It was lost in this form, but also existed in it at the same time. He picked up a handful of the dust and gazed blankly at it as it sifted through his fingers. He couldn’t grasp life. No one can. Then, as he was lost in thought, he saw a section of wall that hadn’t been completely obliterated. He slowly regained his footing and cautiously approached the section of wall. What he saw was astounding. There were two olive eyes staring up at him from the debris. It was a baby. He was instantaneously filled with joy and started shouting to his colleges. There was a survivor after all! He squatted down and stroked the child’s face. The baby looked at him and smiled. It then let out a bubbly laugh that filled the air. How had this child survived? It appeared to defy the principles of death. He shakily picked the child up and embraced it. He realized he was shaking with shock. The rest of the team had finally rushed to his side and further inspected the child. There appeared to be no bruises or cuts on the child. How this was possible, no one could explain. Everyone just looked amazed by the tangible proof. The baby was laughing and wiggling its precious little arms. Her olive eyes and joy captivated the rescue workers. No one spoke. Everyone just stared at the miracle child. The child that lived through death.

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