Everything screamed silence.
The bare walls gawked at each other across the hushed atmosphere of the room. The ceiling faced the floor, but seemed to look away, devoid of answers to unasked questions resonating in the room; unlike every time, when it had soundless words of comfort for restless spirits, today it needed consolation itself. Every inch of the desolate room echoed the cold quietness of the moment. A broken glass, neatly fitted in the window pane allowed some light to enter the room and cast pale shadows on the barren walls with melancholy and emptiness, and with a lone girl sitting in one corner of the room. Lone, to a silent observer; but for her, she never felt alone; her shadows and her gloom never let her.
In the instant that followed, a piercing sound pricked the still ambience; it was the telephone. “It must be the doctor,” she muttered, unmoving in her place. “I must go and get it; he surely has some news about mother.”
She tried to stand up, but her hungry body of a week protested. Her tired eyes looked at her limbs, lifeless and unappealing. Bones peeked through every corner of her physique, veins bulging out, trying to break free from the cage.
She had no energy to get up.
Even her heart refused to budge; if there was any left. Her heart, her soul had given up on life, and now she was slowly fading away, becoming a part of the darkness. “He surely has some news about mother,” she reminded herself. Her broken conscience, her shattered spirit, however unwillingly, did manage to radiate some reason for her to try again.
She gave it another try, and rose to her frail feet. She walked outside to the telephone.
Beside the telephone was a window. She looked out. The piercing sound of the phone continued to fall on her ears, but she chose to ignore it; the pain of the world outside was much more than hers.
As she looked through the crippled glass of the window, she saw a place she did not recognise. No. This could not be her town, where she spent her days as a child. That little town had flowers, butterflies, people, families and happiness, but this place only showed destruction and sadness, and the dilapidated buildings, that housed refugees in their own homes. One could listen to chirps of birds, whispering of the wind, and laughter. But all she could hear in the war-torn city now was war-sirens, gunshots and, phone bells, she reminded herself, and picked up the phone.
“Hello. You must have guessed it; it’s me, the doctor. I-I- just wanted to tell you that your mother- er–”
“Oh child! Please don’t cry! I know it’s devastating for you- not just as a daughter, but as person. Just- just be strong, like your mother. She was the bravest person I’d ever seen. She fought the soldiers in the most fearless way possible, till those wild hounds tore her flesh down.”
“You’re not sad?”
“Sad? What’s left of me to be sad? I’m just a piece of flesh left to perish. They took away my heart, my soul, my humanness. Every day I just sit in this run down building- which I can’t call home anymore- with my loneliness, looking it in the eye. The broken pieces of my heart lie on the floor staring at me, demanding an answer. But what do I tell them? Why did I let this happen to them? I avert my gaze, running away from these questions, but I end up stumbling across my hopes and my dreams; they mock at me, yell at me, throw tantrums at me, before I see them fade away into an endless void of despair- like myself.”
“But despite all this, you’ve been brave. Continue to be brave, don’t give up yet.”
“Sure. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me- now, or ever. I can’t thank you enough. Goodbye–”
The door broke open in the middle of her sentence. Three men wearing military uniforms and black masks walked in, guns aimed at her. They had come. And they had shot her.
The bullet went right through her weak chest. She dropped the receiver. She collapsed to the ground. Before closing her eyes, she managed to utter her last word and complete her sentence; “–dad.” Her eyelids shut her eyes close.
Everything screamed silence.