Escaping the fear

These days I don’t do much work, I prefer to pace around town treasuring the time I have left. As I walk down these streets, the gentle sway of the trees blow a cool breeze on my neck, sending shivers down my spine. Everywhere I look green…  green… green. A gentle armor of fresh oven bread lofts through the streets, tingling the senses. The heavenly surroundings allow me to forget my troubles, even if it is for just a minute or two. I end up back at my house, which is covered in spring’s vibrant beauty. Vines stream down the vintage infrastructure only stopping to womb a flower. I enter the house and take my usual seat by the window, form which I can see all the town’s activities. It’s not what it use to look like when I first arrived here, all those years ago.

The door swings open. My grand-daughter runs in from school, arms spread wide open for her daily hug. She wraps me up in her small arms. I catch a glimpse of her open green eyes. Through them I see a sense of hope, a girl with her whole life ahead of her. I too close my eyes. My mind casts back to another life, another world, it was this experience that allowed her to be part of this peaceful world.


I remembered the screams grew louder as they moved from house to house. We sat their cinched together in the back room, brother, mother, father hoping, praying they wouldn’t come. I closed my eyes firmly shut and tried to think of a place I’d rather be. A world of peace. A world of freedom.

I heard the door get broken down. Iraqi soldiers stormed in and took them but my brother and I were spared. It was all over. They were gone, all in the space of a few seconds. The sounds of gun fire gently eased and soon enough it was eerily as quiet and still as a Sunday afternoon. Angered and confused we sat there dazed for hours. It was only in a letter left by father that we formed the urge to continue on. I fondly remember the last words which were taken from his favorite poem.

I am...