All Gone

October 22, 2012
By Niamh Kelly-Omollo BRONZE, Addis Ababa, Other
Niamh Kelly-Omollo BRONZE, Addis Ababa, Other
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It all started like this...

Warmth, instant warmth washed over me. I could feel my body utilizing every sun ray converting it to vitamin D. The suns glare had bleached the buildings in a haze of white. Through my squinted eyes burst a cornucopia of green. The intertwining majestic trees played host to a myriad of God’s creatures. The birds thrilled in pleasure; there songs paid homage for the warmth they were enjoying. I could hear the whirl of insect wings as they flew from flower to flower drinking of the nectar that they found there. Others too were enjoying the last days of sunshine before the rains came. Students called to each other seeking updates from their friends, on all the important things happening in their world. Issues of homework, romance, sports and teacher moods, were passed around on an ordinary day, in an ordinary place, at an extraordinary time.
As I sat on the grass my world changed. From the bowels of the earth a rumbling could be felt. My whole body vibrated with intensity. Suddenly there was stillness, darkness; I was in a place beyond. Tranquil dissociation, my soul drifted from my body in a place that surprisingly, although strange, infused my spirit with calmness and serenity.
Consciousness returned. My senses bombarded with pain, my whole body ached but my head screamed in agony. I raised my hand slowly and felt a large swelling just behind my left ear. In apprehension I slowly unglued my eyelids to a scene of utter devastation. The sun bleached buildings has collapsed, their rubble creating dust clouds everywhere. I slowly observed the scene around me. When people say you can never un-see something they speak the truth. Forever imprinted in my mind is the vision of death and desolation. Students and friends who moments before who were caught up with the normal concerns of daily life, would no longer have to worry. Their sightless eyes and broken bodies would no longer suffer the concerns of the living.
As I gazed around I saw how the mighty can be humbled as I looked at the majestic trees, shattered and fallen. Their bark stripped and the trunk broken and exposed the leafy branches scattered on the broken earth. Buildings which had housed classrooms, libraries and bathrooms now lay as rubble sprawled on the pathways where youthful feet had walked in innocence.
My brain slowly recovering (can it ever fully recover?), began to identify the sounds of silence. The bird’s song had ceased. The insects had escaped to a place of perceived safety, long departed from this place of destruction. Even the earth had exhausted its mutterings and was still. Slowly the realisation came to me that I was utterly alone.
Alone, how I had often wished to be left alone, reality did not live up to my expectations. The dead bodies surrounded me. The hand with the pink nail polish which had been carefully applied, the exercise book, filled with hours of work solving mathematical problems, the foot in flip flops heels in need of a pedicure that will never be given. All gone, at peace, death is forever, why did I escape their journey. I was lonely, in pain, and afraid. I must have drifted in and out of consciousness, no safe retreat for me anymore, only darkness.

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