Photo: Reuters/Jorge Silva

It was Fall, first days of school
In a nice village.
Not much homework
We were playing on a one-way street
In front of a friend’s house
In the shade of trees that changed their clothes
Orange, yellow, red too.

I waited for my best friend, normally
The first one for game and activities
Noticeable from far away, she was so tall
With her short dark brown hair, her smiling face
And patient eyes.
Her absence was odd because
She had promised me she would come.

As we kids played together
We heard a loud noise, sharp
And quick, and
Pressure like a wave
Swept over the whole area

So loud I became a deaf person
And the sky became dark
And everyone froze
Then screamed and

Suicide attack, I knew.
Nooooo, I screamed,
Thinking of which child lost their parent or
Which parents lost their child.

This felt different from other explosions
Because something inside me
Warned that something had happened
To someone who mattered to me
I wanted, I tried to shed that feeling.

Then I saw my mom far away
Running toward me to take me home.
She pulled me because my feet were not helping me walk
Then everyone was moving toward the place of the attack.
No, wait… not everyone.

Some were moving toward my friend’s house
I couldn’t find her through the crowd
But I heard people murmuring about her mom.

My friend lost her mother.

She lost her mom.
So my friend had to become like a mom
To her family
She was the only daughter.
She was only fourteen.
Her family moved away immediately
I never got to say goodbye
She was like a sister to me.

I still wish I could see her again.
Maybe, one day…

By B. Fatima A.