I used to love the hype over New Year’s Day.
But now, I don’t care as much.
I used to enjoy watching the fireworks light up the night sky.
But now, there’s something about them that causes me to flinch.
On the night before the 1st of January 2017, I rested my head on my pillow.
It was getting late. My eyes were giving in to the drowsiness.
Nevertheless, I still wanted to reflect on the changes that had occurred in the previous months and years.
It sometimes happens that you wish to reflect on life whilst the world is fast asleep.
So I closed my eyes and focused on my thoughts. When my eyelids shut, my mind took me to the other side of the globe.
The first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes to this new place were huge clouds of dust. They were a similar colour to the sand beneath my feet. These clouds rose into the air, revealing the disfigured shapes of crumbling buildings. It looked as though a giant hole was punched into one of them and its bricks crashed down onto the street below. More clouds of dust filled the air. What was happening?
I watched as people walked past me, each one with fine lines etched on their faces. Worry and distress were the only emotions I could see in their eyes. But there was definitely something more. Was it resilience?
I saw a women who wore a black hijab and a long coat. She was crying but I did not know why. She put her hands together and raised them to make dua.
This scene seemed all too familiar. Where had I seen this before?
Now, I felt as though I was waiting for something to happen. The people were all hurrying away from the street which was now collapsing on itself. The tension was rising. I looked around, unsure of what to do or where to go.
I saw people scattering like marbles, running for their lives.
BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.
Confusion and fear engulfed me.
I squeezed my eyes shut and wrapped my arms around my head.
Maybe if I stay still, they won’t be able to see me. They won’t be able to hurt me.
I hugged my knees and made myself smaller. My heart was beating fast. My inhales and exhales became shorter.
When would it end?
I quickly opened my eyes, returning to the safe nest of my reality. I could still feel the racing pulse of my heart. Tears began to gather in my eyes. I looked outside of my bedroom window at the fireworks in the sky.
Why did it feel so real?
When I looked up , I no longer saw the brightly coloured sparks that mark the beginning of a New Year.
I saw the bombs that rain down on millions of innocent people everyday, stripping away from them the colours of happiness and life.
Before I went to sleep that night, I could not help but think about the children who go to sleep in the freezing cold with a single blanket to keep their fragile bodies warm.
I thought about the scraps of bread we let them eat whilst we indulge in lavish dinners.
I thought about the families we have that we take for granted and the orphaned children who cry every night for their parents. There are some of us who make our parents cry. But these children would do anything to have their parents look after them and protect them from the harshness of the world.
It could have easily been us in their position.
Our brothers and sisters are fighting for their lives.
When are we going to wake up and understand the reality of life?
I feel guilty for having done so little to help them.
I ask myself, will anything be different this year?