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The Silence is to Blame

by Ilona K.


People are ‘getting used to’ the war. Rockets, rushing above heads distinguished by the sound - incoming and outgoing. How many seconds are being measured to save your life? Lethal weapons in the 21st century. The war is scary. Very scary. Wildly scary. People living under shelling for such a long time are losing their minds because of fear. Silence is to blame. This sinister silence between explosions. Explosion number one - a seventeen-floor skyscraper tries to resist with all its strength and save its former view. The brain is deprived of reaction - an effect of surprise. Silence. Explosion number two - fear spreads all over the body, an instinct of self-preservation. Wild, panic stomping of hundreds of people through the long hallways on numerous floors. Then, sinister silence. The brain convulsively searches for a way to safety. Explosion number three - with my whole body, I cover my daughter. I hear the involuntary trembling of her teeth - silence shifts into a terrifying glint. Fear penetrates every cell of the organism, where an impulse has been sent already, “Everything is futile, there’s no escape!” Fear consumes me entirely; I see its face. Explosion number four - the last one. Tightly pressing my daughter to myself I hear a quiet, “Mom, what are you doing?” I discover my limbs are pulsing in terror. It’s impossible to ‘get used to’. The war is scary. Insanely scary. It’s the second one for us. The first war came to Ukraine in 2014 to our hometown, Donetsk. Chaos, tanks, people with weapons. I gathered Zlata, my daughter, a little girl back then, documents and essentials in a moment. Lightning fast. For the first time the way into the unknown was revealed to us. Kyiv welcomed us frostily, but there was a stock of durability, strength, and energy. 24.02.2022. The capital falls into despair, loses its colours, the city becomes lifeless and gloomy, grey, and sullen. People are taking off their masks and exposing their faces full of sorrow and sadness. Desolate streets, closed food stalls and shops stand forlorn.

I drearily observe my friends and neighbours scattering all over the world. I understand there are only three months left until graduation. Receive the diploma and move forward. The whole world, even once ‘closed’ countries, open their doors most hospitably, lend a helping hand, give us the gift of a second breath. If the heavens give us a chance to hold on, survive and get out from the ‘hell of war’ we will be able to open a new chapter in our lives in a country full of wonderful people, a country of fabulous nature - an Emerald Isle - in Ireland!


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