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Faith

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I run, picking up my speed until I can't go any faster. I want to scream, want to give in to the pressure that acompanies each day. This is normally the way I end each day, running from the people who want to kill me. I finally reach my family's three-room home in Laos. I can hardly bear the pain and trials of my life anymore. My mother is on a mat on the floor,sleeping. A sudden surge of anger rushes through my vains as I stare at the bruises and cuts, and bullet wounds that are on every part of her battered body. "Why," I thought, "Why do they hate us so much? Just because we're different than them, just because we're Christians, they hurt us and force us into hiding." I don't hate Muslims but I hate how the extremists in our country single us out because of our faith.

I go into the room that my siblings and I share. I see my sister,Joan,and brother,Noah,tossing and turning in their sleep. Such small, idicient children shouldn't have to suffer like this. My vision is suddlenely foggy, but I won't let the tears fall. I had to be strong. I'm the only one that can keep my family together. My mom was in a critical condition, proabably on her death bed from hunger and from infection from the bullet wounds. My siblings were only two. They didn't understand what was going on. As for my father, he was in jail for giving out Bibles to our neighbors. So that left me, a fourteen-year-old girl,to cook, clean, and keep our sorry little family alive. "Fay," Joan calls to me. She can't say Faith so she calls me Fay. "Yes?" "Milky." She wants milk. I once again feel tears on my eyes and once again swipe them away. Poor little girl. She wants milk but she can't have it. None of us can, since our camel died from dehydration a month ago. I get up and fill her little sippy cup with water. She frowns when she tastes it but drinks it anyway.

In the middle of the night I wake to screaming. I bolt out of bed after glancing at the bright orange flames outside the door. I picked up my crying siblings, one in each arm. I am suddenely very thankful for the winow in our room. It's only two feet above the ground. I lowered my sister, than my brother down to the ground, than climb out myself. I run to the next window over, the room where my mother sleeps. I look in. "This can't be happening! Someone wake me up, get me out of here," I screamed to no one one in paticular. My mom continues her screaming as she burns. There's no way to save her. All I can do is listen to the terrifying screams of someone who knows she is about to die.

I had a sleepless night. My brother and sister fell asleep after an hour or two, but I didn't even try to get any sleep. How could I, surrounded by the empty lighter fluid bottles and boxes of matches that were used to burn down my house and kill my mother? I summoned whatever energy I had left and woke my siblings. They were sleeping on the hard ground yards from my house. We had nowhere to go so that's where we spent the night. When they were awake I picked them up and carried them to the remains of our burned house. I walked throught it, avoiding tripping or getting cut by the rubble. I could only make out a few of our old things. Most of it had been burned to ash. I saw a kitchen knife, a burned half of a sleeping mat, and one of my brother's half-melted shoes. All three of us were barefoot because our only pairs of shoes had burned and melted in the fire. I came across a body. My mother's body. my siblings started calling to it, expetinc her to answere back. The started crying when she didn't. I walked as fast as I could with the toddleres on my hips back to the spot where we had spent the night. On the way I saw a Bible. The cover was burnes, but, miraculously , the pages were mostly intact besides some burn marks.

I had no idea what to do. We had nowhere to go, nothing to eat, no clothes to wear,and no soap to wask ourselves. A unknown object,gleaming in the sun, caught my eye. I walked closer. A cell phone! It would be of use if I had someone to call.

Several hours later I sat, slowly dying, in the hot August sun. It was late evening and we still had nothing to eat. My stomach grumbled. My sister and brother sat next to me, crying and screaming. "Wait",I thought. "What if I call Aunt Somchi and tell her our house is burnt and our mother died in the fire? Oh, no. She's a Muslim. If she finds out we're Christians, she might take us in, but she'll hate us. What if she beats us and threatens to send us to jail?" Then the horibble truth struck me .I knew what I had to do. I had to lie. I had to tell her our house burned down due to a kitchen fire, and our mom didn't make it. I despised lying. I couldn't stand it. But I had to do it. I couldn't sit here and die, and let the toddlers die without even trying to get help. My aunt was a rich Muslim. She had a phone and a large house. Slowly I dialed her number. "Hello," she answered. "Hello, Auntie Somchi. This is your niece, Faith. My siblings and I have nowhere to go. Our house burned down due to a kitchen fire next door, and our mother didn't make it out." "Okay," she replied. "Where are you?" "I'm on the same street as my house." "I'll be there in a few minutes."

Tears flooded into my eyes. This time I didn't wipe them away. I let them fall. Tears of relief from having somewhere to go mixed with the tears of grief from my mothers death. I held my siblings close, hoping never to lose them like I did my mother. I had faith now that my family, or what was left of it, would be alright.



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LexiB said...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 6:59 pm
Hey guys, please check out more by this author for a new poem!
 
LexiB said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm
Please rate and comment!
 
bubj98 replied...
Nov. 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm
okay i will.ive read your work and you are really good.i hope you make it to the magazine.please check out my work
 
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