Fallen Leaf

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of girl's jouerny from Iraq to Syria and Australia. She talks about her experience in Syria and the hardship she went through.

Submitted: March 12, 2014

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Submitted: March 12, 2014



Fallen Leaf

She sat beneath the peach tree, remembering the sweet, ripe aromas that used to drown her senses in the bright and shiny sun of Sydney, drawing in her diary, going through the white pages. Wandering around the wispy green grass, her feet pressed on the grass marking her footsteps; she wondered if this was what life was about while feeling the chilly air brushing through her hair and face.

She remembered the day she discovered the meaning of fun … or was it? The scent of the freshly brewed coffee blew in Damascus’ alley. Her memories flooded back for the need of heed when she noticed a young boy about seven years old; his face looked familiar although he was a stranger to her. The memory of her brother came back, flashing before her.

“Wait for me!” she pressed while drying her hair with a white towel. The memory of her brother came back to life, his cheekiness and playfulness that made her angry also brought a smile to her face, and was echoed his warm grimace. His small bag and shorts made him look like a petite person, his innocence was beyond imagination, and she was frustrated that his innocence never matched this vicious world. “No, I am going, see you at church” he said promptly while putting on his red shoes.

 “But... it’s early!” she clearly knew that what would she say did not matter to him but she had some hope that he would stop and wait for her.

She waited for the day she would ever meet him again. Six years of nothing but waiting. Every day she imagined how her brother looked, after seamless years of anticipation. Would his hair be black like a starry night? Would his skin be smooth like the touch of silk? Would his eyes be round and full of joy he ever comes back…

The thought of him brought a river of tears, her face turning red as she became breathless. Her eyes were engulfed in sadness.

It was time for her to accept the reality that altered her perception of life. She thought life was not a place that zealous wicked people, inhabited she trusted life thought if she fall backward someone would catch her. Her world seemed safe, balmy and innocuous. That all changed when war in Iraq started, she stood on the rooftop of her house overlooking the city of Mousel seeing the smoke coming from afar she stopped twirling her skin clenched unable to comprehend the situation. She looked at the city’s skyline; she could no longer see the twinkling stars that lulled her to sleep. She did not belong to what she called home. Even her family seemed strange as she could no longer say anything, she had to go where they told her to go, she was a soccer ball kicked back and forth. She did not want to let go and leave but it was not her decision, and they left to go to Syria to find freedom.

“How come you came back?” she inquired as she tied her shoes. He stood there eating chips with his mouth so full that he couldn’t answer quickly and he chewed as fast to let the food pass through his esophagus “Who bought you the chips?” she asked as she realised he was eating.

“Someone” he answered while hiding the chips from her.

“You always take things from people!! When will you stop doing that?  I’ll tell mum as soon as we come back” her voice got louder as she commanded but she tried to keep it low as her mother was sleeping and it was in the afternoon. Her mum never liked anyone to interrupt her sleep.

“I don’t care!” he shouted in whispering voice and stuck his tongue out, acting as rude as he could be. She took this opportunity to run after him and race as they were almost late to the church school. They did everything together, although she had three sisters and another brother, she loved her younger brother more because he reminded her how she was full of spirit before coming to Syria. He was the only one that understood her. When she did not want to grow up, and yearned to play in their own imaginary world, with stray cats, not letting time swallow their happiness, he made it possible.

 She did not know that this day was the last day that she would see him. Destiny played cruel game in her life. She was the last person to see him and she was the only person to blame. Everyone blamed her. She felt guilty. She was trapped in this nightmare her agony filled her throat as she felt the bitterness of her soul denying the cruel reality. They shouted at her, asking her, blaming her as if she was someone that committed a crime. Their faces, their eyes were filled with repulsion they wanted to eat her soul, but she was already lifeless.

She was hopeless, futile and found herself inadequate, like a gun without the trigger. She wanted to do something. She had to find her precious brother. Her family put his pictures all over Damascus, in newspapers but the police hardly helped.  They even approached TV stations asking people for anything.

The hardest thing was being with her mother and seeing her mother asking people, showing her brother’s picture to anyone that she would come across, which made her heart ache as if thousands of nails pierced through her heart. The desperate sadness in her mother’s woeful eyes, her voice pleading for help berated her. She prayed to her God, why him but not her?  Why her family? She prayed to be dead and instead God could exchange her with her brother. She cursed the day she let go of her brother’s hand. Every time she opened her eyes from a dream and realised he wasn’t going back home was a mere dream, she would realise that her real world was the actual nightmare she’d been hiding from.

There is an old proverb “An evil may sometimes turn out to be a blessing in disguise.” Tragedy could bring a reversal at the end, there are always ups and downs in life and everything just goes by.

She got up and noticed a leaf falling slowly; she then took the leaf and put it between her white pages…



© Copyright 2019 Park Oh Tah. All rights reserved.

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