I hurt a little less as time goes by
And now, I have to strain to cry
But don't think that I don't miss you, dear
I'll always love you, never fear
I miss the excitement I used to feel
(more) At the thought of you becoming something real
But that excitement was crushed that horrible day
That horrible, awful, tenth of May
When my parents heard your heart for the very last time
I knew something was wrong, I saw it in their eyes
After they told me I missed school for a week
Any future without my sister seemed just too bleak
Even now, eight years later, I still feel the pain
I feel it in the sun and I feel it in the rain
But the blossoms are blooming on your dogwood tree
And it helps me to think that in heaven you're free
So maybe I'll never get over the loss
But I'll keep on living no matter the cost (less)
"Dear Papa," the girl writes, keeping her hand steady as she writes with her favorite crayon. "Today Mommy and I saw a doggie in the park. He didn't have a collar so we decided to let him come home with us. You can see him when you get home(more) from fighting!"
"Dear Papa," the girl writes, her words flowing as easily as silk across the paper. "Today we heard that the Germans are being pushed back from France. Are you okay?"
"Dear Papa," the girl writes, her tears staining the paper and blurring her vision. "Please be okay. The radio says that no one survived but that can't be true, right? You're okay, right, Papa?"
The girl walks to the smooth white stone, her skirt fluttering in the cold winter wind. She pulls a piece of paper out of her bag and sets it at the foot of the stone. She kneels in front of it, tears threatening to spill out of the corners of her eyes. (less)
"In the event of an emergency, please make your way to the nearest exit."
I roll my eyes as the flight attendant tells the passengers on the plane the safety rules. It's all so pointless. I mean, what are the chances of anything happening? The TSA takes care(more) of security, right? There's no need to frighten anyone with what might happen.
It's the summer after my junior year of college, and I'm heading back home to spend it with my friends and family. And my boyfriend, if he can make it. He's been spending the last few months travelling to other countries. He said he'd be able to set aside at least a month for us to spend together, and I plan to hold him to his word.
The plane taxis to the runway, and I sit up in anticipation of the flight. I love taking off, the feeling of flying up, up, and away from all my troubles on the ground. Then the plane speeds up, finally shooting off the runway, turning to face the east.
We're almost to our destination when I hear the pilot's voice come on the radio. He must have accidentally pushed the button, because I can barely make out what he's saying. He sounds like he's arguing with the co-pilot, and my heart stops when I pick out three very distinct words.
Engine. Failure. Crash.
The few that hear the words, like I do, panic immediately, and the news spreads through the plane like wildfire. We're going to crash. The plane hurtles down towards a field and I find myself wishing this was all a dream. When I can pick out the individual spots on the cows below us, I close my eyes.
The sun rises red as the man rushes towards the town square, where a mob is gathering. They're swarming halfway down the block, like hyenas after the lions have taken their share.
He pushes through the crowd, his heart beating faster than he ever thought possible. He needs(more) to get to the center, the core of the mob.
He's almost there, the cries and jeers of the mob getting louder with every step. He knows he is powerless to stop what is going to happen, but he is determined to be there when it does.
He finally manages to push his way to the very front, and he can see her there, up on the platform. She is putting on a brave face, but he can see it in her eyes; she's terrified.
The man standing on the platform brandishes the torch right in front of her face, and she winces as the wave of heat passes over her. The crowd's shouts grow louder, demanding her blood spilt.
He walks right up to the platform, tears threatening to spill from his eyes as he looks into hers. She sees him then, and her hands clench at her sides, where they're bound to a pole. She looks at him, and mouths the words, "I love you". He mouths them back, and not a second later she is engulfed in a sea of flames, their future together shattered like ashes floating on the wind. (less)
I look up. My friend Katherine is gesturing to me, surrounded by a few classmates of ours. I smaile and say, "Of course! What are we gonna play?"
(more) I follow her and the others to the back of the field and behind the kickball field, where we're blocked from the rest of the world by a slab of wood lying against (less)
She hitches up her skirt as she runs through the decimated city, the thick air making it difficult to breathe. She wishes she didn't have to do this, raid the empty houses and search the dead bodies. But food is running low, and she needs to eat.
(more) She remembers before, when the city was alive with light, and color. When it was never quiet, not even in the wee hours of the morning. Before the bombs hit. Now she shivers at the eerie silence, so quiet she feels like she's being suffocated.
She walks past a pile of rubble, and stops when she sees a small blue flash out of the corner of her eye. She walks over and picks it up, gasping when she realizes what it is.
She is holding her camera, the one she thought she lost when the city went down. It survived the bombs by being buried under several layers of what used to be her home. The girl wipes off the dust-colored lens, revealing only a few scratches. She presses the power button, amazed to find the camera still works. Almost without thinking, she takes a picture of the pile of rubble and immediately turns off her camera to conserve battery life.
She puts the camera in the small bag she carries by her side, and chokes down a sob as she continues to search the rubble for anything left behind. It is always hard to return to her city, but with a view into the world before carried with her, she feels the pain more than ever before. (less)
She dreams of a time when everything was different, when she had everything she could want. She laughs as she plays with her friends in the meadows by her home, full of hope, full of life.
She blushes as she's courted by her first love, the summer turning everything(more) rose colored as she and him dance together in the ecstasy of love.
She smiles as she gives birth to their child, the darling girl laughing as she smiles at her love. They name the child Cosette, and all is well.
But then she wakes up, and she is reminded of her real life, the life outside of her dreams. The life where everything was taken from her. Her love, her daughter, her dignity. She lives for the times when she can sleep again, when she can relive the good days, when life was worth living.
But eventually even her dreams are haunted, are filled with what she lives with every day. She no longer remembers how it felt to play with her friends, what it was like to be in love, the feeling of holding her daughter in her arms. Sometimes she wishes that she would just die, so she would no longer have to deal with her life.
The life that killed the dream she'd dreamed. (less)
She grabs her mother's hand as they wait in line
For another chance at a good life
She clutches her stomach, she's hungry again
Her throat burns, her feet hurt
She just wants to go to sleep, but she can't.
(more) At least the sun still rises every morning
At least she still has her family
She wishes they had money, were better off
But she takes what she can get
Because she knows others worse off than she is.
They walk forward in line, and she thinks of him
Her father who left them years ago
She wonders, what is he doing right now?
Does he ever think of her?
Or has he forgotten his family completely?
They reach the front and are rewarded with food
To last the week, at least
They walk past those yet to receive their share
Those still hungry, those still weak
Waiting for a miracle to come their way.
She thinks once more of the others she's met
Along her darkened path
She wishes for them to have the same luck as she
So they would feel happy too
For their lives are worthwhile, they mean something, too. (less)