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Someone Else's Tears
A brother and sister survive the onslaught
The deafening roar of explosions reverberated through the crumbling streets of our once vibrant city. As the bombs rained down from the sky, I huddled in the ruins of a building with my family, desperately trying to shield my younger sister, Amina, from the chaos that had engulfed our lives. We were caught in the crossfire of a war that I could barely comprehend.
The war had been raging for weeks now, and every day felt like a lifetime. The city I had grown up in was unrecognizable, its streets littered with the remnants of shattered lives. The buildings that had once reached for the sky now crumbled into piles of rubble.
Amina clung to me, her small frame trembling with fear. Her wide brown eyes, so full of innocence and curiosity, had seen far too much for a child of her age. She was only seven, and I was just sixteen, but in a world where childhood had been stolen from us, I had become her protector.
The conspiracy that had ignited this brutal conflict was as complex as it was sinister. It was said that a barbaric terrorist organization, known for their ruthless tactics and inhuman crimes, had masterminded the whole operation. They had infiltrated the heart of our neighboring empire and committed atrocities so heinous that it was impossible for the empire to ignore. These acts were designed to provoke the empire into a war that would engulf the world.
We had heard whispers in the dark corners of the city, tales of the terror this organization had unleashed. It was rumored that they had orchestrated bombings, mass abductions, and acts of unspeakable violence, all to create a rift that could never be mended. Their goal was to cast the world into chaos, to pit nations against one another in a conflict that would leave no one untouched.
As I watched the explosions in the distance, I couldn't help but wonder what had they hoped to achieve? And what would become of us, the innocent caught in their sinister web?
The sound of the warplanes grew closer, and I knew we had to move. Amina and I slipped away from our hiding place, venturing into the darkened streets. The city was a maze of danger, and we moved cautiously, avoiding open areas and sticking to the shadows.
In the distance, I could see the flames devouring what remained of our home. The place where we had celebrated birthdays, shared meals, and laughed together was now reduced to ashes. My parents had disappeared in the early days of the invasion, leaving Amina and me to fend for ourselves. I had promised them that I would keep her safe, and I intended to keep that promise no matter what.
The night wore on, and we found a dilapidated building to take shelter in. Amina was exhausted, her small body aching from the constant fear and stress. I held her close, reassuring her that we were safe for the moment.
As I watched over my sister, I couldn't help but think of the lives we had left behind. Our home, our friends, and the simple pleasures we had once taken for granted. Those memories felt like distant echoes of a time when the world made sense.
Days turned into weeks, and we began to adapt to our new reality. We learned where to find water, how to identify safe hiding spots, and which parts of the city were more likely to be targeted by the bombings. Every day was a test of our resilience, and every night was a battle to keep Amina's spirits up.
One evening, as we crouched in a dimly lit alley, Amina looked up at me with a questioning gaze. "Samir, why is this happening? Why are they doing this to us?"
I struggled to find the right words to explain a conflict that even the adults could not fully explain. "I don't know, Amina," I began, trying to choose my words carefully.
“Every empire is built on someone else’s tears.”