Oh God I saw it all. I saw people rushing to the hospital in the aftermath of the bombings, covered in blood, dirt, and ash. I saw their faces, frozen in shock from the horrors they witnessed, as if the trauma of it all had left them uncomprehending of what had just happened. I saw their bodies as they stopped breathing, the smoke from the fires having seeped into their throats, or because the steel and shrapnel had cruelly torn into the flesh of their chests.
I saw bodies coming in, exhaling dust as if they were sponges dipped in ashes. I saw children bleeding, and drowning in comas because heavy stones had fallen on their fragile little heads. I saw people whose colors, shapes, and names had changed in an instant, where some of the injured would suddenly become unrecognizable; they would say, "Clean his face from the dust and dirt; maybe then we'll be able to recognize him." They would do so, only to discover it was that kind, simple man who remained in his house, because he had no other place to go to.
I saw mothers running through the corridors, tears streaming down their faces, their frantic gasps punctuated with desperate questions and anguished cries, "Are they alive? Who was left alive? Where are my children? Oh God please they're all I have"
I saw mothers running through the corridors, tears streaming down their faces as if the world had ended before their very eyes, their frantic gasps punctuated with desperate questions and anguished cries, "Are they alive? Who among them was left alive? Where are my children? Oh God they are all I have.."
I saw people struggling to count the number of casualties due to their overwhelming number: "How many dead have we counted today? Did we make a mistake in the tally? I told you, in the last hour, two little girls arrived as martyrs, two boys with head wounds, ten young men came in without a single pulse – probably all gone in a single strike – pieces of flesh and limbs held together in a small bag, and open skulls revealing the brain matter."
I heard the voices of the bereaved screaming as loud as they could until their throats hurt, and their voices tore through the air. They'd shout in the ears of the martyrs, "Where did you go and leave me? Who will I have left now that you're gone?", "You didn't tell me that you were going; you could have told me so I could say goodbye."
I heard the voices of the bereaved screaming until their throats hurt and their voices tore through the air. They'd ask the martyrs, "Where did you go and leave me? Who will I have left now that you're gone?", "You didn't tell me.. I couldn't say goodbye"
You could feel that their voices were torn from the depths of their souls, from the very core of their broken souls. I heard one of them saying, "We are good, simple people, so why is all this happening to us?"
I've seen people who'd discuss the news, politics, and the fate of the war, sharing thoughts with the people in the room, and then becoming the news themselves. I've seen colleagues you'd greet in the morning and then offer your condolences for their family in the evening. I sat with someone wondering out loud to himself, "All these wounded and martyrs were like us just an hour ago, they were with us just a little while ago, alive and breathing. When, I wonder, when will our turn come?"
* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Raseef22
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