Mom woke me up with a smile today, she said she had made my favourite food. I asked ma, “Ma, why today? It isn’t even my birthday!” She placed her hand on my cheek and said, “Adnan, you take after your father. He loved kebab too…I feel that today something…” She didn’t complete her sentence. Last year, my dad left us – it was exactly one year today, maybe dad had sent the kebab for me from where he was. Mom said that he was in a far away world and he would never come back. Why couldn’t I go to the faraway world too with him? Wouldn’t it be full of baklavas and kebabs? I hate dad for going without me and not saying goodbye. Mom is so alone now – it’s just mom and me. It is so noisy here.
I heartily ate the kebab. Mom said she didn’t want any, she wasn’t hungry. I think mom has a disease in which she never feels hungry. I always have all the food she cooks. Maybe, she should see a doctor. Yesterday, when mom came home from work, I told her to see a doctor for her hunger-disease. She thinks that I shouldn’t be worrying so much because I am just 6 years old. I promised her I will not.
I spent the whole afternoon reading my old school books today because no planes took off from the nearby airbase. I sometimes spend time counting the number of planes that take off and land at the airbase, watching from home. Mom doesn’t allow me to go out anymore – I cannot even go to school. She says that for a few days I cannot even see any of my friends. I have no one to talk to, so mom asked me to write.
The only people I see around are men wearing white helmets. One of them, uncle Abbas, looks just like dad – he always says hi to me. Today when I saw him I asked him that why couldn’t I go play outside anymore? He said that some people had thrown huge bombs from the sky in a place that wasn’t very far away from me and that is why everyone was afraid to go out. He said many people had died. I didn’t know what he meant by die…maybe dying meant Why do people throw bombs on other people? Mom always said that all people are God’s children – I would never drop bombs on my sister. Maybe, monsters were dropping bombs from the sky.
My sister, Amena is my mother’s sister’s daughter. She doesn’t come see me anymore – they live in some other place and no longer with us. Once, Amena had told me that they lived in a tent now and she could see the stars every night. Even I want to live in a tent, it would be so much fun. But mom starts crying whenever I ask her to move to a tent, I don’t know why she never tells me. I miss Amena so much, she never even writes to me anymore. I told mom to tell her that I still have her doll that she forgot the last time she came to see me, it has been two years.
Well, I learnt a new word today from an English book uncle Abbas’s son, Mohammad had given me last week. It is spelt as P-E-A-C-E. Mohammad said ‘peaces’ are very tasty and they come in different flavours like chocolate and vanilla. He said he had a red box that had ‘American Peace’ written on it and inside was a tasty chocolate round shaped peace, given by a golden-haired lady to her father. But when he showed me the box, it peace was spelt differently. It was spelt as ‘pies’. Maybe it was a spelling mistake. But peace sure must be tasty.
I am tired writing now, mom says I have gotten weak and that I needed some sunlight. I thought I would just step outside for sometime in the evening when lots of fair soldiers roam around outside our house. Mom says they are ‘roosians’. She doesn’t know what it means, nor do I. But today, they weren’t there. It is all so empty outside. Mom is also late to return from work. Where did they all go? I feel so alone. I will go try and sleep, that will help pass the time. Mom, come home soon. Good night, mom.
The next morning never came. This child was killed in brutal strike in the wee hours of the morning by a country that wanted to avenge the deaths of children and civilians killed in an attack 48 hours earlier. His mom would have never found his body, or worse died in the same attack that day.
Disclaimer : This is a work of fiction and an attempt to portray a day in the life of a child in Syria.
Preview Photo: ibtimes.co.uk