Monday, December 29, 2008

My Journey with Shadow

I turned the TV on this morning, holding my bowl of cereal. I saw smoke, debris and bodies on the ground! But I had blurry eyes because I still haven’t washed them! I put my breakfast down without taking a bite and went to the bathroom to wash my eyes. On my way I saw a shadow in front of me! I thought I was going insane but it put its hand into my hand. We then flew.

We are fighting the cold air, the flames, smoke, and a horrible smell. I coughed until my stomach started bleeding. I saw my own blood fly in front of me. I was trying to show the shadow so we can stop for a minute until I regain strength. ‘We have no time’, the shadow said to me. We flew faster and lower. My stomach groans and squeaks from hunger.

Suddenly, I see myself standing on top of a demolished burnt building. I look around and see people crying, screaming, running. I can’t exactly see what else because the black smoke is covering my vision and a strong smell takes over my thought.

I felt my body shake; at first I thought it was an earthquake. I begged and cried to Shadow to take me back home. I told him I have seen enough. He then asked me if I knew where I am. I was so embarrassed and told him that I haven’t got a clue. I was too scared and confused to even ask that question. I just wanted to go home.

Someone grabbed my foot from underneath the debris. I screamed so loud I can hear my echo. I yelled to Shadow and asked him if this is a scene from a horror film. I told Shadow I hate horror films and commanded him to take me home.

‘GAZA, this is GAZA it is no horror film, it is reality’. Shadow said.

I can feel my body no more. I am numbed. Tears are trapped in my eyes. I unconsciously bend down and see who is holding my foot. I can’t see a face, but I can hear his voice. It is a young teenager’s voice.

This is what he said to me:

‘I saw a flicker of light in the sky…Now all I can see is darkness…I can’t even remember if I heard the blast... I was just passing by this morning…I remember my friend and I were together…I can’t see him now…I wonder if anyone of you saw him…I can give clues of what he looks like…

I do remember he only has one leg…I remember him telling me how he lost it sometime ago to a situation almost like this…

I also remember the marks he had around his body from prison torture…

I remember his hand without fingers; he lost them when he found a buried ambush …

I don’t know what he has lost now! But I do know he won’t lose his heart because it is soft no more…I recall his lecture about the heart… ‘It has many doors, all are soft, but the door of fear in my heart turned into stone’

When that young boy said that, I wondered why my heart can’t turn into stone…

I want to be as strong as him and his friend…

Here I am trying to take off burnt debris off the boy, but he insisted I find his friend first.

Shadow first said he wanted to show me something else. We flew a few minutes away into a house. The TV was open. I can hear people in power from different Arab countries saying something like ‘…and we should stop this… we should be… we will … we support…’

At that moment I just wanted to smash the TV. I can’t understand why people talk and never do… those in power show their sympathy, as if we need it…

I can tell them what we need… ‘we need you to get off your fat lazy asses and start doing something… start fighting with us… start showing concern… and stop talking…

‘We understand the necessity of this; Israel is only trying to protect themselves!’

I can never understand when I hear this on TV from foreign countries WHHHHHHHAAAT the HELL

Don’t fool me!

I am sure whoever thinks like that was born without a heart! Where is Mercy!!!

I wouldn’t wish that for any nation! That is just a sign of weakness. You just don’t want to get yourselves involved you fear everything … you fear you’ll lose that nice comfy chair and bed of yours…is that the reason!

Shadow grabs my hand and we fly back into the black smoky air with the smell of cooked bodies with fresh blood. I tell him to take me back down. But he wouldn’t he told me his time with me is coming to an end. My tears finally drop and mingle with other tears and I see my blood mingle with theirs.

I look at my stomach and the bleeding stops. I felt a part of my heart turn into stone. Suddenly, I became fearless.

But still what can I do? What have I done! Why did shadow come and take me to that journey? What is he trying to tell me? Why did I meet that teenage boy under the debris? Why did he want me to find his friend?

I wonder if you all went through that journey, will you still be sitting on your chairs and eating popcorn and watching TV?

Lema Salem / Palestine

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