April 2, 1915
I tightened my grip on my mom's hand as I buried my face in the crook of her neck.
I could hear footsteps, gunshots, screams and cries, and they were getting louder and louder by the second.
"We're going to be okay" whispered my mom as she wiped away my tears with her thumb, "I promise" she mumbled as she forced a smile to spread across her tear stained face.
We were hiding in our little basement, which we dug a few months ago to have a place to hide in when occasions like this happened.
Our family used to consist of: Me, my little sister Annie, my mom Sona, and my dad Isaac.
It was a little over a month ago when they took my dad away along with all the men from our village to do some army work, they were going to be back soon.... that's what they told us, but we haven't heard or received a letter yet.
So as a 7 year old, I was the only man in our family, and i had a lot of responsibilities, like bringing water from the lake, milking the cow and taking care of my mom and sister.
My heart stopped when I heard knocks on our door, this wasn't the first time we were experiencing something like this, but getting used to it was impossible.
"Open the door" a man shouted from outside.
"Open the freaking door you peasants"
I hugged my sister and motioned her to stay quiet.
"If you don't open this door right now, I'm going to break into the house, and things are going to get pretty ugly...this is your last chance" they threatened.
It didn't take them very long to accomplish what they said.
Finding the basement door wasn't that easy because we had placed a couch over it.
We heard them shattering, ripping, breaking our stuff, and laughing as they destroy our little home.
They couldn't find us, so they left. We waited a for a few more minutes to make sure it was safe to get out.
So the first thing everyone did after these ambushes was to make sure everyone was okay.
I ran out of my house to the square, where all the kids would gather to play, all my friends were there....except one, David.
By now, everything that could possibly happen to him had crossed my mind.
I knew the way to his home by heart, and when I got there, I couldn't find it, David's home was burned down, and all that was left where ashes, i was afraid David was too.
Most of the villagers were gathered around the dirty black ground, that used to be a place full of joy, happiness and memories.
I made my way to the front of the crowd, crawling beneath people's feet, and there he was sitting on top of the only piece of furniture left, which was a wooden chair, with his head hidden in his tiny, dirty, black hands, his body shaking from fear, and sadness.
I felt relieved when i saw that he was safe, I ran to him and hugged him as tight as i could, not saying a word, he was too fragile at the moment.
He wasn't the first to experience a tragedy in our village, and he sure wasn't the last.
We were being attacked at least once every week, and every time, they left huge traces very similar to untreatable wounds, that could be fixed and brought back together, but could never be fully recovered.
My day was going to come, i could sense it, but what could a 10 year old possibly do?
When the sun started setting and the sky was no longer blue, everyone started going home, the night was never safe.
We didn't decide to forget and get on with our lives, but we had to.....
I walked back home after hearing my mom call my name a few times, she was re-arranging the house when i entered, picking up the red tulips my dad gave to her a few days before they took him away.She noticed me coming in when the wooden floor creaked as i took my first steps in.
"Where were you? I was worried sick!... don't you EVER leave house without warning me again, understand?"
"okay mom, i wo.." i tried to reply but she interrupted me.
"Are you okay? are you hurt? did anyone try to harm you?"
"Mom! I'm fine, don't worry"
What a stupid thing to say, "Don't worry".. how could she not? any living, breathing human being would worry under circumstances like this.
"You know i love you, that's why i get scared, i can't afford to lose anyone else right now" she said looking directly into my eyes.
"I know ma, i love you too" i replied, as i wrapped my tiny arms around her thinner than before waist.
"Go to your room, have a good night sleep, you look tired after all"
So i did as i was told, i went to the bedroom were my little sister was already sleeping and crept in bed next to her.
I couldn't really sleep much at nights, i would lay in my bed, staring up through a small hole at the corner of the ceiling, you could see the stars from that hole, and sometimes even bats would fly by.
I would just stare at the hole and think, my mind flooding with questions that A)I couldn't ask. B) No one could answer. Or C)Always got answered with " Don't worry" or "It's going to be okay".
I think the fear also kept me awake, but mostly it was just the questions.
So i just thought, stared, and acted asleep when my mom came to check on us.
But as much as i didn't like the nighttime, i hated mornings even more,.
The idea of going though another day was so nerve wrecking for me, yeah, even to a 10 year old.