The World Through The Eyes Of A Palestinian Boy

Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
Photo by Latrach Med Jamil on Unsplash

As he sat on the rubble of what was once his house, where he would find solace from the horrors of the outside world, he couldn’t help but allow his thoughts to drift back to memories that didn’t cut right through him like shards of broken glass.

He had felt robbed countless times before. The first time when his best friend was dragged away by armed soldiers in mustard uniforms with expressions so blank you wouldn’t possibly be able to guess a human soul resides behind the real-life sculpture of a man. He felt like digging his slim bony fingers through the dirt down to the depths of the earth and tearing the world apart in two. He was enraged beyond words, expressions, and even tears. He didn’t cry anymore, no matter what atrocities took place around him, it wasn’t that they didn’t make his heart bleed, but he felt as though his eyes had run dry of tears.

He had felt robbed countless times before, but this was different.

He couldn’t gather pieces of himself and put them together into the shape of a boy he once used to be. It was almost the end of the world and yet it wasn’t. Somehow, no matter how impossible it seemed or how gravely he wished for the opposite, the sun still rose every day. Couldn’t it tell he didn’t have the strength to see another morning? Was it not obvious enough? He often scolded himself for feeling this helpless, contrary to what his faith taught. ‘There must be a reward bigger than the oceans, far greater than the pain I am going through, and most of all there would be justice, justice in its true meaning” he repeatedly told himself. It was the only thought that kept his heart from climbing up through his throat and out his mouth every time he heard a gunshot.

A gunshot was what took his sister seven skies away from him. Every sound of a bullet leaving its temporary home was a call for a replay of his sister’s death. No matter how hard he tried or how many prayers he recited, he couldn’t shake the feeling that it was happening all over again. That all over again, his baby sister was bleeding in his arms and all over again, the only thing he could do was look up to the sky that was pouring at him and scream his lungs out. What else could he have done? In this world, he would never be able to fulfill the promises he made to his little sister.

Often at night before he fell asleep, under the open sky, he would picture a world in which his sister was still alive. A world where he would pick her up and twirl her around just to be able to see her gleaming smile and glowing eyes. Those alone were enough to dull the constant ache that had made his soul home to itself.

“Hey…boy, where are you going to reside for the night?” a raspy manly voice brought him back to his present reality. He looked around to identify where the voice was coming from. A man around his late father’s age stood a small distance away from him. He remembered this kind man walking around the neighborhood from a few of his blurry yet good memories.

“I think I’m going to stay here, I’ll be fine” he finally said ruffling his hair. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to sleep or that his body wasn’t aching from tiredness, but he couldn’t leave his home…or whatever was left of it. It was the last thing keeping him attached to the ground, to this world, to his sanity. He couldn’t fathom that once again the sun would rise and something would be stolen from him.

Through the eyes of anyone else in the world, he was only a boy sitting on top of what used to be a residential building, but through his eyes, this wreckage of bricks and cement was once his safe haven.

He spent that night gawking at the sky, talking to God, the sole source of love. It was a conversation filled with laughs, tears, and incomplete sentences. The whole night passed in a glimpse and by the end, he didn’t remember most of it except the feeling of sturdiness that ran through his veins.

After what felt like a decade, he felt as though he was ready to take over the day, come what may.



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Asma Irfan

Asma Irfan

I’m in the middle of writing my story.