Broken Flame

Serouj Terzian

I opened my eyes to clouds of ash and smoke. I could hear the sound of children running and screaming. I stood up to my homeland crumbling beneath my tears. As I watched those scarlet flames touch the roofs of my hometown, my sanity collapsed.

That Tuesday afternoon will forever remain a scar on my young heart; I still have nightmares remembering that day—the way the clouds ran to my direction, how the wave flew people across rooms.

The past year has been like living in a purgatory. We have been experiencing multiple crises—the economic meltdown, the coronavirus pandemic, the explosion, the corrupted government, which is not helping people reach their goals, all at once, tearing people apart; it's getting worse day by day.

Till this day, I watch people emotionally shut down. Anger reigns over me, and I fall helpless to the ground screaming for help. I turn around looking for someone—a shoulder to cry on— but I realize there is no one. We are all suffering, we have all lost hope, we are all breaking down.

I don't know what it is like to live anymore; the pieces of my heart were lost in the dying bodies of my loved ones. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of honoring their memory because, after all, we are survivors.

Our once evergreen country is now fighting for us to hear the sound of its withering heart. A country so beautiful where we used to live happily; it feels like happiness has faded from this world, and now...we are just trying to survive.