Have you ever felt like the world was ending? Like everything around you was was falling apart? Its been two years since my mother and father died, when a missile hit our home in Idlib. My little sister, Sarah, cried for weeks and my baby brother , Amir, still had no idea what was happening. Me? I was forced to be a care giver to them, for I am only 12. But this nightmare has only just begun.
“Fahad, I’m Hungry!” Sarah whimpered. “Amir ate the last of the bread!” I looked over at my baby brother, who was wide eyed and sucking his thumb. I reached out my hand and he placed a small piece of bread in my palm. I offered it to Sarah.
"Here, there is still a little more."
”Ewww!” Sarah exclaimed, “There’s slobber all over it!”
"There is nothing wrong with it. He’s just a baby. It’s not like he has cooties or anything." I tried to convince her the piece was okay to eat. "Baby or not! I don’t want to eat spit, Fahad!" I huffed with annoyance and handed the crumbs back to Amir. "I will run to market and see what i can find. Stay here!" I warned them. The market was only across the street and a few shops down. I grabbed my empty back pack, threw it over my shoulder and closed the door behind me. I pushed a large rock against the outside of the door, just in case.
I ran toward the demolished store, while ducking and hiding behind destroyed cars left in the street. I finally reached the market and dove behind the counter. I opened my bad and started filling it with any food I could find.
While piling anything and everything I felt would be necessary into my bookbag, I heard a Thud and footsteps from the back room. I immediately stopped and held my breath. My back was pushed up against the counter. I was silent, and still. My heart was racing about 100 miles per hour and tears filled my eyes. I heard the footsteps gets closer and closer. The closer they got, the faster my heart raced. Suddenly, They stopped. Just on the other side of the counter where I was hiding. I closed my eyes and whispered, “I did my best for you, Baba, and I washed behind their ears like you said, Mama.” I wiped the tears from my eyes and cheeks and i took a deep breath.
"Come Out, and don’t do anything stupid!" A voice demanded. I was caught. I stood up as slow as i could and dropped my bag. "Please, Sir. I am just trying to—" "Be quiet!" he yelled. His gun on me and face covered. He pointed his gun to the corner. "Go." He ordered. I gently stepped over rubble and backed into the corner. His gun still on me. I was terrified and shaken. "Where are you from?" He asked. I looked to my house, but i wasn’t going to give up the only place my siblings were safe at. "Halab." I said. He gave me a blank stare. "How did you get here in Idlib?" I panicked and wasn’t prepared to answer how I got here. " I was separated from my family. We were heading to Jordan." He slowly walked up to me and gazed into my eyes. My breathing got deeper and I turned cold. "You know, I don’t like being lied to." He said frustratedly. He put his gun on my head and loaded it. I closed my eyes and thought about my brother and sister. "Who is your family?" He screamed. "I am the son of Khaled Almasre!" I blurted out. The man relaxed his weapon. "What did you just say?" he looked bewildered. "Khalid?" I didn’t answer. I just looked right into his eyes. The man stepped back and just stared at me. I was still breathing heavy and staring back.
" Rashed!" We heard someone calling from a few shops over. "Rashed! Where are you?" He looked outside and back at me. He slowly started backing out. He looked at the door again and skipped to it. He stopped in the door way and looked back at me again. " I can’t believe you’re still alive." He said thankfully and his breathing deepened like he was in shock. He turned around and ran out of sight.
To Be Continued….
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