Broken Dreams

“Papa please don’t leave!” my voice pleading as I watch my papa go of for war, not wanting my only parent to disappear and never come back, like my mama.

“I will return, but I need you to keep your sister and grandmother safe for me, okay?” my papa was asking something of me? for the first time in my life I never wanted to let him down, didn’t want to see a frown on his face

“okay papa I will do as you say, but please return.” my voice is try to keep strong, but I even hear the quiver of the tears about to come, I don’t let them fall. He hugs me and says goodbye to my little sister, then kiss his mother, my grandmother on the cheek and walks away. I stand still hoping time has stopped for that short time as I watch him walk down the hill that has kept our home safe for as long as I have been alive and longer. I don’t hear my grandmother, or my sister return to the house after waiting for me to speak or feel the cold as the sun begins to set, I only watch the space my father occupied not too long before. Where I hope that he will return soon and bring the family back to where it was before this revolution. I finally turn to go inside, for I smell grandmas cooking and I yearn for the love and affection I can no longer for the moment can get from my father. As I enter the house, I realize that my body had gone numb. The tingling sensation of my skin soaking up the much needed heat makes me shiver. I look up and my grandmother is still at the stove and my sister is on the floor watching her. A smile comes to my face. My father had given me a task and I wasn’t going to disappoint him. I pick up my sister and swing her around the room, hearing her squeal of delight and grandmas laughter almost brings tears of joy to my eyes. When we sit down to eat, the empty spot in our little group brings quietness, almost like the entire world is quiet. When grandma retires and me and my sister are about to sleep, I hear something outside. At first I think it is my father and I become happy, till I realize it is more than one person, maybe an entire unit. I get up and check. When I see lights, I shake it off and go to sleep believing them to be travelers. Within the time it took for me to fall asleep I woke up again to an abrupt knocking on the door. As I stumble to the door in the dark and answer the door, I get a spooky feeling. When I open the door, I immediately regret the decision when I see that they are soldiers of the el Salvadoran army, not FMLN. They smile cruelly and hold up their guns. I quickly, without thinking slam the door and grab my sister and run out the back door without even grabbing anything else as I hear the soldiers trying to open the door. As I am running down the hill, my sister start to cry, and I quickly hush her. I only turn around once, and find that our house, our home is in flames, and I hear the faint, yet soul scarring cruel laugh of the soldiers as they walk away smiling. I fall to my knees and comfort my sister, as I hold in the tears that fight to come out. I only watch our house burn, knowing grandmother is in there, but not being able to do anything about it. Father, I’m sorry....... as I stumbled across the ruins of my home, hoping, praying my grandmother was safe. Then I tripped, losing my balance over all the debris and charcoal; and the body of my dead grandmother. At first it looked like she was sleeping, her peppered hair all around her, yet she was cold.... so cold. I start ripping away all the debris from all around her, tears falling freely from my face onto hers. My heart is pumping with anger, knowing I had left her behind tore my heart, fore she had been my responsibility. Papa had asked me, for the first time in my life e had asked me to do something, and I failed. My grandmother suffered from my failure, with her life.

“Sissy?” a quiet voice calls from past all the debris and death.

“Yes Rosa?” I say loud enough for her to hear me, but softly enough that I could mourn.

“Is grandmother okay?” her voice carried a softness that could break a heart, but heal it again when she is happy.

“she is no longer in pain, but she is with grandfather now” my voice carried on the wind, and I hear her cry softly

“I miss her already sissy, papa too”

“I do too Rosa, I do too.”





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