You know those moments when you step outside and brisk air floods your

esophagus and you almost choke on your own breath? When the snow is drifting slow

enough from the murky clouds that time may freeze altogether because the cold

shocked the universe? Or when everything on a snowy day is still and quiet and your

thoughts slow to a settle stop altogether, so in essence time stops. It freezes with our

slow moving breath like it was never their to begin with.

I remember how fiercely I had grasped your hand as everything flared around us.

All I could think about was how this was the end. It was theme end.

There was a light drift of snow floating down blanketing the leftover snow when

before it happened. I remember his lips had gently warmed mine in contrast with the

bitter cold and how little fireworks had brushed around every part of me. In this moment

everything froze. It slowed down then froze all at once. It had been beautiful.

He had pulled away and lightly intertwined his fingers around mine and the world

came back into focus. The snow was falling at a normal pace now and so were the


I wished I could have gone back to that moment of peace and felt it again. Before it

happened. Before the ice seared my skin and before the ringing of death overwhelmed

every other sound I had ever heard. Before our shreaks brutally destroyed the silence

like it was merely a glass that would be shattered to pieces.

Then it happened. It was a loud PHEEEEWWWW sound, like the heavens were

sighing with unimaginable stress. It scared me.

Our faces flashed up to the sky and we ducked as if there was a dodge-ball was

leaping at our faces with pandemonium.

Then there was fire. It blasted at us like a monster from a horror movie and

singed everything it could. It slithered across the trees and wood, climbing over people's

bodies as they turned around, horrified.

The smoked slipped into our lungs deftly threatening to choke us. To take the life

right from our body.

I remember how we leapt to the ground, trying to take cover even though we were

right in the open. I grasped your hand and held on for dear life. I grasped your hand like

I was on the edge of a cliff and was holding on by a loose branch hoping that you

wouldn't let go. If you let go I would fall. I would fall into the fire. The bomb would

succumb me.

Shards of glass blasted towards our faces and I grasped his hand harder. I can't

let go. I'm all he has left. I cannot let go.

The bomb stopped crashing but the flames and smoke continued to do their

death dance around us. We rose from the debris that had ricocheted or fell around us

and began to sprint.

We ran like we were being chased by demons through the modern town we had

grown up in. Sprinting past our crumbling houses, past our favorite ice cream shops,

past our park, past the frozen moment that was now long gone.

I sobbed and fell to a halt. Out of exhaustion. Out of pain. Everything was burning.

They were burning down all those frozen moments she longed to go back to.

She was burning, her heart searing with the cold then the flash of heat that came

on all to fast.

I felt my stomach roll into knots. I was struggling for breath. I can't breath. I can't

move. My chest heaved forward, gasping for breath in time with passing seconds.

"Oakley. You need to get up. We have to keep going." said Mathew kindly but

urgently. He squeezed my hand again. I squeezed back in response and staggered up to

a standing position.

As I stood I looked around once just stood there. I looked at the

destruction. was going down and there was pandemonium everywhere;

people crying, running, being chased by the smoke and fire's death dance in the


We didn't have anything to begin with that was actually ours. It was all gone.

What would we have to live for now? Maybe life has less to do with learning, and more

to do with time.