I feel the warm bed sheets underneath me making my body buzz with heat. I wake up to sounds of gun shots and glass shattering on the ground.
I reach out for my sister’s arm and, at that moment, claws of horror clutch at my heart. She isn’t there. I sit up quickly, suddenly wide awake.
I slide of the bed and crawl along the polished wooden floor and peep out of our wooden window, only uncovering my eyes.
A disturbing image is shown before me, dead people dispersed across the floor, blood oozing everywhere.
My mouth forms a ‘o’ shape but I crouch back down and start crawling, crawling towards my closet. The only place that is safe. I reach for the brass handle and jump in. Then I see her.
Huddled up in a ball, sitting in the corner of the closet. She looks up and I see tears pouring down her plump cheeks. I lift up my hands to pull her into my warm embrace.
We stay in this position until everything goes silent.
I see light enter the closet. Someone is trying to get in. I pull my sister towards me, cover her head and pull it towards my stomach so she can’t see what is going to happen.
The ribbon of light becomes bigger and bigger. Just before the person enters I realise it is my dad. I help him come in and he sits in-between us so we feel safe.
I always feel safe when I am with him. We both do.
More shots. More shattering. More fear lurked in the air as we sat there in silence so we could not be heard and found in here. In this nut brown closet.
Emotions hidden in my head unravel and I think about my life. How we have to hide every day. How millions of people die and that we are just lucky that we are not dead now. Our life is complicated and unsafe and everything life shouldn't be for someone as young as my sister and me.
My dad seems to read my mind and places his tough hand on mine and my sisters, motionless. His face looks tense and lines emerge above his eyebrows. I know he is angry.
He always is at these times when we have to hide. I usually think it isn’t anger it is him wanting to change how our world is like.
I guess he can’t because he can’t change the world but someday someone will. Someone will.
I look at my dad. Stern and hard-boiled but I see love in his heart. I look at my sister. Her eyes full of fear but I know she will survive. I clench my fists and my eyes begin to water.
I hold back my tears and stay tough. Think about mother. How she died, I have to stay safe for her, I think to myself. I have to stay alive.