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January 15, 1991 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   A girl my age, with dark brown hair and wide eyes, is on the evening news. She is standing in front of a crowd of other girls who look like her, holding posters of Saddam Hussein. She is pleading to the camera, "I am afraid, very afraid." The girls behind her yell at her to stop. "I am afraid for my family and my homeland."

The girls tug at her and yell, "No! Stop!" The girl in front is almost in tears.

"I love Saddam Hussein," she chokes out.

I walk outside into the slushy snow. There is a snowball fight on the hill. I walk past, confused. Walking back in the dark, I hear someone yelling, "Go, Go, GO!" like in those clips on the news of the Army preparing for war. I look at these boys, or should I say men. They are of draft age. They could be going to war. On the news they talk about how soon it will begin, but more important, how soon will it end?

"Don't stress, Wiem."

"Me? Stress? Never."

"Don't stress, Wiem."

I look at the picture of my brother and his friends. They are all nineteen now. They have these beaming smiles. It is a picture taken on their graduation day. They graduated from this same place where on this day we are hearing that war could start any day and that all of the predictions of a short war are thrown to the wind. A snowball fight breaks out between the north and south sides of campus.

I walk through the battlefield, trying to avoid being hit. I do not want to fight against either side. I just want to walk through without getting hit. I do not start to run. I do not try to determine who threw the snowball. I do not want my life to be disrupted.

I walk into the Common Room. The news is still on, saying the same things that it has said for hours now. The President is wearing black. The ministers are praying for the leaders of our country. The parents are praying for their sons. I am praying that I can make it through this without being touched. Ignorance is insolence, but ignorance is bliss.

I walk away from the news to my room. I shut the door and turn on the smallest lights. I can hear the yelling of the boys in the snow. I look out my window to see a group of them running down the hill pelting people with snowballs and being pelted. I pull down my shade. I can still hear them yelling. I cry. I am scared that too soon these boys playing war with snowballs will become soldiers waging war with guns and missiles and bombs. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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