A Girl's Eye View

I awoke to an eerie humming sound that was getting louder by the second. Just as I sat up in my bed our neighborhood exploded. Everything shook as if an earthquake had happened. The windows shattered and a shower of glass poured down on me. I felt sharp pains in my face and chest and realized I'd been cut. The smell of smoke wafted into my room as i began to choke. I could hear my neighbors' screams. In complete terror and confusion I reached for the light. It wouldn't turn on. No lights were on anywhere. I was in complete darkness. I called out for my mother and father. But they didn't answer. I expected them to run through my door any moment to rescue me. But there was no one. I knew I had to make a move. I crawled around my bedroom floor feeling for my clothes that had been on a chair next to my bed. I touched the edge of my abaya(dress) and began to move towards it when I impaled my knee on a large piece of glass. The surprise of the pain made me cry out once again for my mother. The smoke was still coming in and I knew I must get out of there. So I pulled my abaya over my head, feeling small shards of glass scratching at my body. I couldn't find my scarf to put on my head. My abaya had a hood so I pulled it over my head and began to crawl once again, but this time towards my door. As I touched the door, it felt hot and I could see through the cracks that the living room was on fire. My only choice was to climb out of my shattered window. As I threw my blanket over the window frame to keep from getting more cuts I could see the neighbors frantically running, some with children in arms and flashlights in hand, others running blindly while crying out for loved ones. My room was on the first floor so there was just a little drop from my window.

Outside my house I was able to see more of what had happened. I looked upstairs where my parents bedroom was and it was gone. It had collapsed and the rest of our house was inflamed. The horror of this reality stole my legs from under me and my body hit the ground hard. People were running past me with their children and I thought of my little sisters, 2 year old twins who shared my parents bedroom. As the contents of my dinner began to rise in my throat I was hoisted up by a pair of strong arms. He was yelling to me to run. I vomited violently as I tried to scream at the hell that risen and seized my home and family. When he saw the blood that now flowed from my head he called for help and another pair of arms helped carry me away from my old life. The life where my mother would come in tomorrow complaining that I sleep too much and needed to help her in the kitchen. The life where my two sisters would be waiting for me with smiles of admiration on their bright faces when I came through the door. And the life where my Father would be sitting at the table drinking tea and teasing my mother about her cooking. That life died the moment the air strikes began. They died when we became the latest target of hate. My life in Gaza had been changed forever.


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