Sitting in the corner of the market, on a dirty abandoned street once so full of life she closed her eyes. She had been walking for many days now, passing by ruins and dilapidated houses always in shambles, mostly unoccupied. Her journey had been long and arduous with no destination in sight. All she saw were reminders of the atrocities committed by other men. Men who claimed to come bearing the name of peace. The reminders were painful, bringing with them memories she had long before tried to forget. They clung to her like a disease, growing in weight as the days slowly dragged on.
She remembered those face. Faces she had tried to erase yet somehow wanted to hold on to and never let go of. With feet tired of walking, a mind plagued by thoughts so troubled and a heart bearing the burden of pain unwilling to cease she had finally sat down in the corner of the alleyway leading on to a once bustling market.
She closed her eyes and felt the light breeze touch her cheeks. It brushed over her like a slight caress and she sighed, allowing the feeling to take her away. Her thoughts became clouded by memories holding within them the smell of spices and the slight tinkling of music, carried through the streets.
Her eyes glazed over and a smile touched her lips. She was in a zone far away. A time and place where happiness knew no bounds. Where she and her little friends gathered around in a corner of the market place and giggled as they ‘ooh-ed and aah-ed’ at passing young boys.When her house was filled with warmth and laughter, as she and her siblings watched the sun set and waited for dusk to settle in for that was the time their father made his way home, walking along the dusty path.
Never had her young mind imagined the barbarity and heinousness of the situation. She remembered with clarity how her fathered had been made to kneel before them as he was brutally murdered by wretched heartless men acting on the name of law and order. How her mother had been unable to stand it and had thrown herself across him, losing her own life in the process. Her little siblings had been sent away to refugee camps, being orphaned at such a young age.
She was jolted from her thoughts by a drop of rain which fell onto her check mixing in with the tears she had somehow failed to feel. Pain and devastation had grown to be a part of her and as she lifted her sorrowful eyes skyward, she knew this was only the beginning of her long path. The only road which led to salvation. Lifting herself off the dusty floor with difficulty she set off once again. For the present, her dreams were her respite. That tiny fragment of hope, a secret paradise where the sun never refused to shine. A place always home bound and a sight which kept her heart alive and beating..
“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”
― J.D. Stroube, Caged by Damnation