A lingering silhouette of a dying world… that is where I am from.
It hasn’t been very long, maybe two years since the first attack.
We never saw them coming.
I was only fifteen years old, walking home from school with my brother when the sirens began blaring and the first wave began.
Bombs rained down from the sky, obliterating nearly everything in the city, killing thousands.
My brother and I had managed to sprint home to our tiny farmhouse on the outskirts of the city where our panicked parents awaited our arrival.
I was crying.
Everyone was crying.
Fortunately our house was one of the few buildings left undestroyed, due to its location, but we couldn’t stay long
We had to leave.
We packed what we could and left. Our mother helped us secure our masks as our father loaded our bags into our old pickup truck.
There were nearly no roads still intact, so we had to improvise our route out of the city. Our father tried his best to avoid subjecting us to the horrible sight of our destroyed city. Our former home.
Bodies were in the street, buildings destroyed. Cars lay upside down everywhere you looked.
Everything seemed dark and ominous.
The sight of the bodies was too much for my brother Masen and he vomited into his lap. My mother, with tears sliding down her red cheeks, couldn’t compose herself any longer and began sobbing. I remember thinking how brave she was to be able to show her emotions like that. My father didn’t seem phased by anything, until I looked up and caught a glimpse of tears glittering on the brink of his eyes. Ready to make their way down his face to be caught up by his scraggly black beard.
I tried my hardest not to think.
I felt like the walls of my mind were ready to collapse, like a dam filled with too much water, thoughts piling up against the outside, trying to make their way in. I wouldn’t allow myself to feel. Feeling took too much work, and I didn’t realize how much it was hurting me, piling up thoughts and emotions like that.
Faces of my friends, neighbors, people I passed in the street everyday on my walk home. They all took their turn sneaking through the walls I had tried so hard to build in my mind. Each face, like a ghost, haunted me, and I pushed them back through the cracks in the walls, wondering if they were dead or alive.
Wondering if I would be joining them on the other side.
Life is such a funny thing. One minute it wants you, and another minute it doesn’t. So it gets rid of you to make room for the people it still has use for. It’s so temperamental. I feel like sometimes, life gets a little mixed up and gets rid of the wrong people.
It only makes sense.
What is it, to exist?
A sea of paper-thin souls waiting in line to be ripped up by the jaws of reality.
Standing by as beautiful things turn to dust, and carried away by the sighs of life’s next victim.
Or is it something else?
I don’t know.
So I will remain silent
Like I said, it’s been two years. Things have changed.
The military has reinforced itself. Young boys are being taken from their homes every day to be drafted. Boys as young as fifteen years old.
It’s only in times like these that I’m glad to be a girl.
Not many people survived the attack two years ago. The only ones I know of are my old school teacher, Ms. Whithers, who is now a widow, and Len Heystone. Len was left an orphan after the attack, although he was seventeen and old enough to take care of himself.
I oftentimes find myself cursing the attack. I had big plans for my life, and now I am being forced to rethink everything. I try my hardest to keep from letting these thoughts get the best of me, but its all been for nothing.
I wake up in the middle of the night screaming, covered in a cold sweat.
Thoughts of that last drive through the city fading as I become more conscious.
The only thing I can do is cry. Sitting in my room alone. Crying and cursing the night.