I’ve grown costume to the chanting, the screaming, and the yelling. They’ve become the soundtrack of my never ending mornings.
This day was different.
I stood shocked and confused, staring across a short-lived horizon that once brought me hope. I was filled with sorrow when I followed the lifeline of my neighborhood, the street that connected me to the city, and the gateway that once kept me safe. It all happened so quickly. All I remember was screaming, the never answered, very complicated “WHY?”. The chanting grew louder, but all I heard was the whisper of the wind passing by my mile high balcony. I stood there, mouth open with terror, body frozen in shock.
He just lay there. Peaceful. Yet, his image would haunt my memory forever. The hostile bullet invaded his fragile temple; it stole his soul when his body hit the ground. His blood welcomed it’s new home, it seeped slowly out of his body, nurturing the hunger of thirsty rocks. I trembled with anger.
No one approached his limbless body, they just chanted. As if it would bring him back. As if it would take back time. Take him back just moments, when he stood in front of sons of Adam and Eve, his brothers, the men that shared his breath of life. No. He was gone.
I never understood the tears; I didn’t know him. I never understood the heartbreak; we’ve never spoke. I never understood the longing; he was only a stranger.
I searched my memory for his face. The peaceful, angelic face, that lay emotionless in the distance. Surprised, my breath was trapped in my throat. I was wrong. I found him in my mind; he was passing me by last spring, leaving me smiles everywhere we met. I found him helping me gather escaping papers one windy morning before rushing to class. I finally found him, waiting patiently at the bottom of my stairs. It was yesterday. He had a rose in one hand, and a note extended in the other. I never understood the way his face lit-up when I walked passed him that morning. I was too busy to question, or care. Then, I remembered the disappointment in his beautiful brown eyes as I rushed by.
Realization hit, and I ran. I ran passed my crying mother, my sobbing father, and my wooden door, down eight flights of stairs. It took a lifetime to reach the bottom. I slowed down as I approached the familiar scene; I felt the dribble of tears on my worm cheeks. I could still see the outline of his body, standing in the entryway, waiting, longing to see me. I fell to my knees, surrounded by strewing petals, searching for what belonged to me.
I found my note covered with prints of muddy shoes. Unraveling it, I seemed to forget how to breathe. I then realized, I’m not that different from that hostile bullet.
It might have taken his innocent soul, but I shattered his once beating heart.
“Hi, my name is Alexander…”
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