There was a thunderous bang, then a deafening silence. My ears rang with a screeching noise. I could just make out my brother’s deep muffled breath. I slowly tilted my head but, too scared to look at the damage, I kept my eyes tightly shut as a tear fell down my face. I swallowed nervously. I could feel a lump move deeper into my chest. Still hugging myself tightly in a ball, I jumped at the sudden touch of my mother’s warm hand on my back. Her hand remained resting there, and I began to relax and ease myself out of the ball. Still terrified, I gradually moved out of the shelter and stared at the damage. As I saw what had happened to my home, my heart jumped, and I collapsed to the ground in horror. My heart was in my mouth. I was gasping for breath. The home I had been born in, the home where all my memories were, the home that I loved, had been destroyed in one breath. My brother, who tried his best to stay strong for me, was screaming, punching the ground, bawling his eyes out. I knew that this time I had to stay strong for him. I steadied my breath and got to my feet, then cautiously walked over to my brother and laid my hand on his back, just like my mother had done for me. I could feel his breath slowing. He fell into my arms and whispered, “It’s not fair. Why us?” I didn’t say anything and instead just hugged him tighter to let him know it would be okay.
My brother got to his feet and walked over to our mother. You could tell she was heart-broken; she wasn’t crying or screaming, just silent and lifeless. We sat on the ground for half an hour or so trying to come to terms with what had happened. Starting to shiver, we went to look at what was left of our home. I looked around the side and could make out what a few things were. Nothing was salvageable though. It was gone, all ruined.
I felt like I was living in a new world; a place where fear and horror controlled me. I couldn’t tell what was real anymore. I saw something amongst the pile of rubble. I picked it up and immediately knew what it was. As I was holding the picture, it felt like my father was there with me. I knew he wasn’t, but the comfort I felt from the presence of him brought a slight smile to my face. I thought back to the countless times that my father had picked me up when I was hurt, made me laugh when I was sad, and played with me when I was lonely. I wanted to cry but instead I went limp. I was standing on the spot rocking myself side to side. I knew then that nothing would be the same.