Saving My Heart

May 19, 2009

I am sitting here all alone, surrounded by a world of hurt; trying to remember, trying to remember exactly what it is that has led my heart to such unbearable turmoil. I am nothing but a rag-doll, thrown in the corner, left here to gather dust. There is no more joy and happiness in my life, nothing but darkness and shadows. I feel as though every day is a reoccurring nightmare, I walk around feeling nothing but numbness. However I must walk tall. I cannot let my parents down, not now. I must step up to the plate and put on a brave face for Danny and Aaron, they need me now more than ever before. I will start from the beginning, but be forewarned, this may be one of the most depressing stories that you have ever read.
I remember the cool, brisk evening air lashing at my face as I walked home from the post-office. I had just dropped off a package for dad. I couldn’t wait to see his face again…. After these long four months, I miss the smell of his clothes, the deep soothing voice he carried with him, and the joyous laughter that followed him everywhere like a loyal companion. But most of all I missed seeing him every day. I absolutely hated having nothing but my memories to rely on when thinking about him. I wish they would fly him back already, but at the same time, I don’t. For I know that no sooner will they have brought him back, no sooner will he have wrapped me inside a huge bear hug of love, they are going to tear him away from me once more and I will once again have to rely on nothing but the memories.
I walked through the door dragging the cool air with me. “Claire”, my mother called out to me. “Hurry dear your father will be home any minute.” I could hear the excitement in her voice and the tear she was attempting to restrain at the tips of her eyes. I heard a loud roar outside, the roar of an engine. “Daddy’s home!” I yelled, the sensation of grief finally lifting free of my chest where it had been trapped for so long. “Daddy home, daddy home!” Danny screeched with joy. I was surprised at how loud he was. Danny, despite the fact that he was already two and a half, hardly ever said anything above a whisper.
We opened the door, letting the cold air hit us. It didn’t matter how cold it was we couldn’t feel anything besides overwhelming joy. Dad stepped out of the car his large smile already spread across his face. I passed Aaron, my baby brother, to my mom. Dad stretched out his arms as wide as he could. I knew what he was waiting for. I ran at him as fast as my legs would allow me and at the last minute when it seemed as though I was going to barrel straight through him he grabbed me with his amazingly strong arms and swirled me around in the air. Finally my feet hit the ground once more and his arms caressed me so tightly I couldn’t breathe but it was ok because he was here again with me, by our side where he belonged.
My mother stepped forward to meet his embrace. I grabbed Aaron and Danny and stood a few feet back so that they could have their moment together. I watched as she wept into his shoulder but I knew that this time they were not tears of agony, pain, or worry, but those of pure love and happiness. Danny began to struggle against my hand trying to push his way closer to dad. Mom stepped back and I let him go. We walked inside as a family. A group of people so happy to be together once more that it didn’t matter what happened as long as we had each other.
It stayed that way for a little while, nothing but happiness, however all good things must come to an end and sometimes that ending can be harsh and cruel…We sat at the table eating dinner when my dad’s phone began to ring. He glanced at it once and stood up to leave the room. We heard a loud bang in the other room and dad walked back in, a frowned expression was abnormally strewn across his face.
He took my mom into the next room and they began to talk in hushed tones. I heard my mom let out a gasp and begin to cry. After a minute they walked back into the room. My mom’s face was streaked with tears and for the first time I could remember, so was my dad’s. Dad went and pulled Danny out of his chair. Mom instructed me to grab Aaron from his bassanet. I did not dare disobey. I was so confused I had no clue what was going on. Dad led us into the backyard to a patch of grass next to the big maple tree. He knelt down to the sprinkler and pressed down on the top of it. All of a sudden without warning a patch of grass lifted out of the earth revealing a set of stairs. Dad rushed us down into the dark and pressed some other button. The patch of earth began to lower again and there was nothing but darkness.
Somewhere close a match was struck and mom lit the candles scattered all over the room. As my eyes adjusted to the minimal light I could make out a bed, a rocking chair, a crib, a fridge, and cabinets. I guess that dad could see the questions that were flowing through my head because he came to my side. I laid Aaron in the crib that he would share with Danny and went back to my dad’s side. “Something terrible has happened”, he said. “The terrorists that I was fighting in Iraq have somehow gotten into the country and they blame me for the death of their leader and now they are after me”. “But you can fight them off can’t you daddy?” I asked tears welling at my eyes. “I don’t know” he said, there was no hint of faith in his voice, “but I can’t let them hurt you, I would rather die.” I knew this was true of course it was, but to be honest I would rather be dead then know that he had died trying to save me.
All of a sudden there was a mammoth sound that was like an explosion in those action movies and a huge wave of heat. I screamed and buried my head into my dad’s shirt. This was the most awful thing that has ever happened to me I remember thinking. Now I realize how foolish that was. At least I still had my whole family and we were together. We sat totally still, I didn’t even dare to breathe. “I am going to go check if the coast is clear”, he said. Before he left he looked back at me and said, “No matter what happens always be brave little one”. He pressed the button and walked up the stairs. We heard the shots of a gun and a scream. “NO” my mother screamed tears streaking down her face. “Take care of your brothers Claire and remember that I will always love you”. Tears were streaming down my face. “Mom please don’t go!” I pleaded, but it was too late, she was out of the hatch and I heard another gunshot. I ran to the crib and grabbed Aaron and Danny.
That is where I am right now curled in a ball with them on my lap. Aaron has fallen asleep and Danny is not far behind him. “I wuv wu Cwear” he whispers and his eyes fall shut. I can hear the police outside and the firemen attempting to control the flames but I cannot force myself to stand up. For one I am terrified that mom and Dad’s bodies will still be lying lifeless on the grass, but I think the real reason is that I am scared. I don’t know what will happen if the government gets their hands on us. They could separate us and I refuse to let that happen. I am not going to let anybody tear apart what is left of my broken family. My plan is to stay here until everybody is gone and then we will run. Run away to some where safe. I don’t know how it will happen but I am going to make this work: me and my little family are going to disappear and everything will finally be alright again as long as I save my heart.

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