Boom! There was 5 seconds of dead silence in my classroom. Our teacher yelled for us to get under our desks. As I sat huddled under my desk at my new school, I couldn't believe we were getting bombed. As the bombs got closer, the vibrations got louder. It felt like I was in a blender. The next thing I knew, the teacher was yelling for us to run. I thought “RUN” is she crazy? She wants us to run? But then I found myself being carried away with the crowd of people swarming the hallways like ants.
As I was being thrust down the hallway, all I could think about was my little brother, Zeid. "Where is he? Is he okay? Am I going to find him before the bombs strike the school?” I pushed these thoughts aside and concentrated on finding him. When I entered his English class and didn't find him, I thought about all the times I made fun of him, yelled at him, threatened him and chased him from my room. I left the room feeling hopeless and panicked. As I sprinted across the hall and into a first grade classroom, I found Zeid sitting at his desk staring happily into blank space. At that moment, I got so excited and all I wanted to do was get him home. I yelled his name ten times before he woke up from his daydream. "Zeid" I yelled, "we have to go!"
He gave me his hand and said “Okay.”
As we dashed out of the class, the doors of the school opened and the Assad soldiers came crashing in. They were ordering everyone to stop moving, but nobody listened and the chaos continued. My brother and I ran for the door that was closing, its hungry mouth ready to trap anything in its body. Zeid and I slipped through its jaws and out into the streets of Damascus. As we ran, my hopes began to rise and then immediatly drop like a roller coaster when I heard heavy footsteps behind me. When I glanced back, I saw a bullet zoom past my ear and everything went in slow motion. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would explode and I was ready to sit down and give up. Then, I saw my brother looking up at me and I knew at that moment my brother saw me as a superhero. I knew I had to keep running.
Luckily, the footsteps sounded further away so I glanced back to see where the soldier was and all I could see was his shadow. As I looked past the soldier, I saw our school In flames and the butterfly mural was disappearing into the smoke. My brother and I entered a snack store to catch our breath and to dial home. When we asked the store owner for his phone, he quickly snatched the phone away as he growled, "Go home!" I grabbed Zeid by the hoodie and sprinted out of the store.
When we entered the street, the silence was so deafening that I began to tiptoe hoping to go unnoticed. Then, I heard loud footsteps that broke the dead silence. So, I started to tiptoe faster and the footsteps got louder. As I broke into a sprint thinking it was a soldier chasing me, I heard my brother yell, "Why are you running away from me?" That was when I realized the footsteps were my brother's! I couldn't believe how stupid I was for forgetting my brother was with me when I left the store.
"Where are we? Where Is my backpack? I want food! Why didn't you buy me something from the snack store?" my brother rambled on. Normally, this would have been so annoying, but I realized how close I was to losing Zeid. As we made our way home and he continued to ramble on, I made a promise to myself that from that day on I will always take care of my brother no matter what he does.
As I stand here today in America, I realize how fortunate how I was to escape. How fortunate I am to have a roof over my head. I see a person back and Syria that's smart, kind, and has the same intentions as me. The difference is they are trapped in a war zone while I'm lucky enough to be standing right here.