I woke up. My head was hurting so badly and I didn’t know where I was. Dad was lying beside me– hidden beneath an endless pile of rubble. His usually radiant complexion was an off grey- caked in dust and debris. I asked him to help. I told him that I was hurt through floods of tears but he didn’t move. I shook him; begging him to hear me .To comfort me.
I needed him to hear me!
But nothing happened.
All my attempts were in vain, his expression stayed dim. Pain etched across his face. Maybe he was still sleeping? –‘Get real Nina’, I thought. How could I be so naive to think that he was still sleeping; amidst so much destruction and desolation? I could hear screams of a macabre quality, a terrible symphony of pain, each note dripping with sadness. A bitter song filled with rage that got softer every now and then.
It was the official announcement that someone, somewhere beneath the rumble was no longer apart of the cacophony of screams. That they had died.
As the hours passed the screams got fainter and fainter until the only scream I could hear was mine. I had never felt so alone in my thirteen years of life. Death is a hard thing to handle for those on the outside. The loss of a family member or friend is unbearable. Constantly being plagued by the reminder that you will never see them again, never delight in their laughter or do anything to make them smile is too much to handle. Some people take it better than others. - Lord knows I wasn’t taking it well. I would give anything just to see my father smile at me or even scowl. Anything to have some remnants of life restored back in him. He taught me so much; he had been the one to tell me that "Nothing good ever came from giving up" whenever I was on the verge of abandoning everything and when I was riddled with illness he would sit on the edge of my bed, stroking my hair whilst humming a lullaby .These are things that I will never get back.
An eerie Emptiness filled the air and at that moment I thought that I was surely going to die. Was there even a point in living now? Just like my father whose putrefying body lay motionless beside me. I would surely be another meaningless number documenting the death toll of the infamous Haitian earthquake? A statistic.
I could taste bits of the cold hard rumble on my cracked lips as I lay faced down my body a mangled mess of broken bones and gashes pinned down beneath a mountain of rubble.
Not too long ago I had been sprawled on the living room’s oak floor in our oddly grand maisonnette (just one of the many advantages of Dads promotion) on la Soleil Street doing my homework. A meagre three roads away was the pristine beach. The air was a perpetual reminder of the ocean’s proximity: its salt leisurely chewed the paint from our car, and days were usually moist and warm.
But not today. It was brutally cold, (very odd for a country celebrated for having temperatures upwards of 20 degrees in any winter).Today was business as usual,...