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
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. Everything...it 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.