Escaping the fear
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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 the master of my soul,
I am the captain of my fate.
We concluded that fleeing to nearby Turkey which was our best option, if we were to escape from the ravenous claws of Iraqi authority. The days we spent as kids playing football in the narrow dusty streets encaged by the monstrous apartment blocks and the mornings we??™d wake up to the banter of the fruit seller outside our window was nothing but a distant memory, life would no longer be as we knew it.
Forced into mountainous terrain the rocky shrub-like ground wore our shoes down to paper thinness with only the pressures of my physically deteriorating brother encouraging me to keep going. The days took every last ounce of my strength, thanks to the blistering sun. Contrasted to the days, nights resembled the ice age as we struggled to remain above the temperature of death.
After a week of horrid experiences we finally reached the border. The welcome we had come to long for amounted to nothing. Large crowds of people with documents tried in vain to get through. We had nothing not even a single document. We sat and waited, but for what As the night shadow cast over the camp the sounds reminded me of nights we used to spend on the rooftop of our apartment, we??™d look across the luminous town with the constellations as our backdrop. We couldn??™t see anything but what we heard were the voices of people mingling and enjoying the treats of life the town had to offer. But this was far from that.
A fire meter high steel fence stood in front of our new home, but our urge to reach Turkey burnt within. At night, as the guards changed shifts, my brother ran out and held up the fence and we crawled through. We ran into the distance as peculiarly the heighted spotlight evaded us. We ran till morning, we ran until we reached the place that would come our new home, we ran to freedom.
I opened my eyes. Her arms still wrapped around my crippling old frame. I could still feel the warmth of her body upon my chest. Just as fast, she let go and ran out of the door, to the call of her friends. She ran to her world, just as I had run from mine.