For My Dying Sun

April 18, 2013
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The night is hot as I move through the crowded square, winding past the people as though I am stuck in a maze. Some of my fellow protesters recognize me by sight, they look to me for hope and courage, wondering what will happen when the PLA troops arrive. But I can’t give them any more than false hope and weary courage, because I am already preparing for the worst and I feel that it is no longer in my best interest to remain. But then it’s not exactly my interest that I am concerned with, the only person who really matters is missing. I can only hope to find her in time.
The troops are making their way in from every corner of the city. Protesters blocking the way are loud and raucous. Within the square it is silent. What happened next I heard as clear as the day is bright.
Bang! Bang! The troops have began to shoot. I am thankful I remained within the square. The screams from distant parts of the city, which would have normally been muffled are loud and clear. Fear rolls in waves off those surrounding me; and the people, who not long ago were celebrating and cheering, are now in a somber mood as they wait to see what will happen next.
Signs of the earlier festivities are abandoned around me as people rush to the center of the square, away from the entrances. Flags and litter dance in a slight breeze caused by the rushing of the people.
I am rushing through the crowd, searching, constantly searching. For the one person who matters the world to me. I didn’t want her here, but I’ve never claimed to control her actions. I can only hope that she is within the boundaries of the square, I should never have let her out of my sight.
The silence of the crowd crushes down on my eardrums, as we stand there with no idea of what to do next. Hours pass as we listen to the violence on the outside before dozens of cowed protesters break it rushing in amongst us, trying to find a way to escape the approaching troops. A few minutes later, seeming to take longer than the hours past, the PLA troops enter from all directions.
There seems to be no escape for us, but we are promised an exit. I can only hope that we decide to use it, not that I would leave without the rest of my fellow protesters. To abandon these who put their faith in me would be to rip my heart from my body and crush it underfoot.
It is decide that we will leave the square, no need for further violence. But perhaps this protest was doomed from the start. Funny, I would give up so easily, considering the fact that protesting used to be the most important thing in my life. But then again, that was before my baby sister got involved. Now I spend every moment looking over my shoulder, wondering what smile or laugh will be her last. This, after all, is not the safest of places.
As if merely through thinking of her I called her to me I suddenly hear her voice. But it is becoming faint, and headed the wrong way. Headed back towards the square, repeating the words I’ve told her many times before.
“If we can do something in the best interest of others, we are morally bound to make the difference; even at the cost of our safety.” My own words thrown back in my face, bouncing around in my skull, filling me so full of regret.
I regret, that I have influenced her so very much.
I regret, that my sister was raised such a great person.
I regret, that there is nothing I can do to stop her.
But I have to try, I can’t give up on the only person who has ever understood me. The only person who has ever cared if I come home at night, or if I survive one of my many protests. So I can’t give up on her. I refuse to be the cause of her death.
I run as fast as I can towards her voice, hoping to catch her before she gets back within the boundaries of Tiananmen Square. My lungs begin to burn as I am reminded that I am not in peak physical form. Somehow I knew that it was too late, that I would not arrive i time to save her life.
I reach the entrance to the square moments later, just in time to watch her be shot five times. Bang! The first shot knocked her backwards but she did not fall. She continued her forward journey, I watched on in horror as a second bullet shot forward, bang, and pierced her abdomen. Still she did not fall, but stood strong and proud, not giving the man the satisfaction of fear. Standing strong in defiance the third, fourth , and fifth shoots came in quick succession. Bang! Bang! Bang!
Finally she did fall, but not a shadow of fear crossed her face. As I ran to her side she looked up at me and foreseeing my question once again she repeated my own words. “If we can do something in the best interest of others, we are morally bound to make the difference; even at the cost of our safety.”
Even in her dying breaths I was her hero; and as I cradled her head against me and wept tears so full of pain, confusion, and sorrow I realized the truth in those words. I swore that no longer would my defiance be in the name of Mao, a man who was but a passing comet, but in the name of my sister, my dying sun.

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