Snowflakes slowly trickled down onto the window glass as I stared blankly out of it, a wool blanket draped around me. The eerie vacancy of the house sends chills me throughout my body. Where was my family? What were they doing to them? I wanted to dash out of my room and go out looking for them, but somehow, something was holding me back; was it my being a coward? I could easily get killed with their machine guns, or their tanks surrounding my house. I rubbed my eyes. What could I do, without risking my own life?
I slowly, hesitantly, threw my legs over the side of my bed and got up, reaching for my jacket draped on the back of my desk chair. One more look out the window made me uneasy, but I knew nothing was going to happen unless I actually do something. I began to pack necessary items into a sturdy backpack. I had to think ahead of the game. Was the place I was going going to be cold? Was I going to need my passport? I counted my money before stuffing my wallet securely inside. Once I had everything necessary inside, I made my move. Slinging my bag onto my back, I slowly opened my door and peeked outside. Through my living room window, I saw the street empty. With relief bubbling up inside me, I made a mad dash towards the front door, nearly tripping over a leather foot rest at the edge of a center table. I quickly recovered and ran out the door, yanking my keys out of the hook before slamming the door shut. The black metal of my Corvette was glazed over with ice and snow, preventing me from opening the door. Distressed, I ran to my garage and found a crowbar leaning against a wooden slab. Yes! I ran quickly back to my car and began stabbing the tip of the bar on the ice, chipping j off bits and pieces until nearly all of it was gone and that I was able to open the door.
I threw myself inside, shoving my key into the ignition and twisting it. The car immediately roared to life. I didn’t realize that I was shivering when I heard something clicking. What was it? It wasn’t long until I found out that it was my teeth chattering in the frigid weather. I pressed a button and then warm car began to fill the car as I pulled out of my garage and into the driveway. I didn’t know exactly where I was going to go, but I knew I had to get as far away from this house as possible, putting some distance away from me and the Battalion, people who were out looking for civilians who were of Christian and Jewish faith. It reminded me much of the Holocaust; of the extermination of 1.5 million Jews in Auschwitz. History had repeated itself once again.
Driving down the empty street gave me a sense of ease. At least I knew I wasn’t being followed. I turned on the radio so that I had some company. I anticipated that I might have have to stop for the night soon. The sky was slowly turning to a darker shade, shadows slowly lengthening.
It was around six at night when I decided to stop for the night at a motel. It was nice and decent. There was a bed with gray sheets, a mahogany nightstand, and a television resting on a dresser. On the bed, there was a tray of food already waiting for me. I plopped down onto the bed and lifted the metal dome to reveal a plate of smoked salmon, mashed potatoes, and with a side of macaroni and cheese. A pitcher of water sat on the nightstand with a cloth over the rim to keep the flies away. I kicked off my shoes and curled up in bed, placing the tray and resting it on my lap. I devoured the meal, having not really eaten for the rest of the day. I felt around for the television remote and clicked on the TV. I flipped through some channels only to stop when I saw my best friend’s face appear on the screen. Sebastian. His face was all bruised and withered; his gray eyes cloudy. His dark brown hair was matted with, what looks to be, mud and something else I couldn’t place my mind on. The reporter said that a bus was tilted over by a tank, and then army men from a distant country began to drag out survivors, Sebastian being one of them. I stared desperately on the screen to see for any signs of my family, but the screen suddenly went black. The sound of my cell phone ringing made me jump. With shaking fingers, I dug around my purse until I felt my Blackberry. I checked the screen. It was Sebastian.
“Ian, are you alright?” I demanded, my hand shaking. My eyes strayed back to the television screen, which turned back on showing the army men rounding up the survivors, tying back their wrists with wire. It was sickening, seeing all those people, wounded, and being loaded into the back of trucks like a herd of cows.
“Ian, what’s going on? Why are they putting you guys at the back of a truck?”
“Wait, how do you know they’re placing us there?”
"I’m watching it on TV.” One of the Battalions was now jabbing at a young boy with the butt of his rifle as the boy tripped onto the ground after being shoved. Part of his face was now covered in blood. The mere sight of innocent people being abused, churned my stomach, threatening that my meal will make a special appearance again.
As the procession continued, more and more people were tripped and knocked down, their beaten bodies falling on hard dirt ground. Eventually the back of the truck were now filled with blood-covered civilians. A Battalion in a dark navy suit pulled down the door and shut it securely, before smacking the metal and making his way up front cabin. The truck slowly moved forward toward a crowd that formed as the civilians were being loaded. I was right; it was the Holocaust all over again.
I had lost the interest to sleep after everything that I have seen. The frightened expressions on both child and adult will forever be embedded in my mind forever. I have never seen such terror in my life. I stayed on the phone with Ian for the rest of the night, each speaking in hushed voices, wary of being overheard. I was curled under my blanket with my phone pressed against my ear. Ian’s voice was quiet with a slight tremor. He had told me that they were now headed towards a safe house somewhere outside New York. I had so much more to ask of him, but he quickly had to hang up, saying that the Battalions were walking around confiscating valuables.I sat there on the warm bed, holding my phone now turned off due to a shortage of battery. There were two things I was sure about: one, Sebastian and my family were in great danger; and two, I was the only one who could save them.