“Enemy forces are continuing their attack. The brave men of our national military are doing their best to stop their advance. The Prime Minister urges us to stay strong and united in these times of peril.”
The breaking news on the radio could be barely heard over the sounds of bullets in the distant. The young woman sat in the middle of the room holding her daughter tight. There were some girls crying in a corner. Two old men were praying to God, asking for forgiveness for their sins in this life. The young mother too, started praying, asking God to protect her husband in the frontlines.
“Mama, what is happening?”, her daughter, who would turn five this spring, asked.
“It will be alright.”, she replied, as planes dropped bombs in the distance.
“Mama, where is Papa?”, her daughter asked again, with eyes full of innocence.
She could not reply. He was in the military, and was fighting in the frontlines. It had been over two months since she last got any news of him. She didn’t even know where he was right now, alive or in the afterlife. She didn’t know if he would ever return to sing a lullaby to their little girl like before, who expectantly waited for him to come back. She looked at her daughter who was still waiting for a reply. She would have to answer this question with a lie again.
Her reply was muffled by the sound of an explosion nearby.
“Mama, what was that? Why is everyone running? I am scared. I want to go to Papa.”, the little girl screamed with tears in her eyes.
“Its all right, dear.”, her mother said, holding her close to her chest. “Papa will return soon.”, she said, as enemy aircrafts flew over them.
“You know what? Lets play a game.”, the young mother said, with a broken smile. “Close your eyes and count to three.”
The little girl closed her eyes and started counting.
There was no three.
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