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Summer in Ramallah

Short story By: Naan

I hate Ramallah because I lost a piece of myself there and couldn't find it.

Submitted:Feb 5, 2013    Reads: 56    Comments: 11    Likes: 4   

I wrote this for a narrative essay about an incident where we felt fear. please tell me what you think because I need to turn it in soon

Summer in Ramallah

If anyone has asked me about Ramallah 8 years ago, I would have told them that it's a Palestinian city. I would have said that it's located north of Jerusalem. I would have admitted that Ramallah felt more like home than my actual home, and I would have told them that I spent every year waiting for the first day of summer so that I'd spend it in Ramallah, with everyone that I loved. But if I was asked now, I would say that Ramallah is the city I fear to step foot in. I would tell whoever asked me that what happened in Ramallah was the reason I changed forever.

8 years ago, and as usual, I spent my summer with my relatives in Ramallah. That particular week, my parents were there as well, and everything seemed perfect. I was playing with my cousins, as the adults did whatever it is that they do. Everything was in place, and that is probably why I loved it. One of my cousins, who happened to be my best friend at that time, suggested going out for a walk one night. It was late, and as the sky was pitch-black, our parents didn't allow it. He told me that we must find a way to convince them. Why that was, I still don't know until this day. We started a fight with our parents, and we were sent to our rooms. That did not stop Rami. He escaped from his window and came to help me escape from mine. He was only a year older than me, but I always found myself trusting his every word and feeling safe around him. So I went with him thinking that nothing wrong could possibly occur. On that cool breezy and beautiful summer night, Rami and I started our walk into a new life.

I spent most of my life walking those streets, yet I never felt the need to memorize our way. Rami was always around to guide me and take me places, and so that night, as every other day, I let him guide the way. We started our walk away from home. We walked through a familiar street as I complained about my parents. Then, when we were out of words to describe our family's injustice, we realized we were no longer in that street. As I looked around me, I realized we were now in a dark alley. The walls were narrow, and as my mind always liked to play tricks on me, I saw the walls closing in on us. All lights were out, not a single candle was lit in that whole street. I heard a voice, and that was when I started to freak out. Once again, we hear footsteps, then a snap. My hands started to shake, and my knees felt too weak to hold me. I think Rami noticed for he held my hand and said with an attempt to humor "I'm sure it's just a cat, silly." I wanted so badly to believe him, but I couldn't. He turned around, and stood still as if he saw a ghost. From the look on his face, I was too afraid to turn around and see what he saw. However, my curiosity drove me to. There, two feet away from us, stood a tall and quite chubby man. He looked a lot like death to my 10 year-old eyes. I heard Rami whisper "Run!" but it felt too distanced even though he was right next to me. My feet wouldn't move, almost as if they weren't mine anymore. I felt Rami grab my hand and pull me away as he ran as fast as he could. Apparently, it wasn't fast enough for now I was lying on my back with my eyes closed. I opened them only to see the man's face two inches away from mine. Looking closely, he was just a boy. He had an innocent round baby face, but his wide black eyes emitted evil from them. He even smelled of death. I struggled to free myself from under his body, and when I failed, I looked around me only to find Rami knocked down. Fear moved around through my whole body until no strength to fight was left in me. One long second passed, and I chose to give in to the man. That was when the man was pulled away from me in a split second. Now Rami was on top of him trying to beat the man to unconsciousness as he yelled "Run!" in my direction. When my feet wouldn't move, he yelled "Now!"

As I ran away from Rami, I could hear the man's rough voice yelling at him. He sounded more like an animal with his growling at Rami. Before I turned around a corner, I looked behind me once more; the man was on top of Rami now, but Rami wasn't giving up his fight. I ran to get help as fast as I could as my numb lips were mumbling "Why couldn't I have listened to my parents?". Rami was never the same after that night. He fractured his nose, broke a few bones, and hated me forever. He was alive, but he never walked again, and it was only so that he'd save me. That night he saved me, but also, on that beautiful summer night, I left Rami behind. That night, both of us left a part of Rami behind. I went back that summer to see him, but I don't think he wanted to see me. So, my visits stopped, I wish I could have stopped my fears with them.

It has been 8 years since I have stepped foot in Ramallah. I can still remember the fear I felt that night. Sometimes, I can still smell the man's odor and feel my heart pounding. All of that happened because I should have listened to my parents, but instead I went out to play. We had to change after that night, and nothing was in place anymore. Both of us grew up in one night, and if you ask me, I wish we hadn't.

I have edited the story and added a few sentences. I turned it in and I got my grade back! I wanted to thank all of you who helped me, because I got the highest grade in my whole class. no one has ever gotten such a grade from this teacher! I am so proud and thankful! <3


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