An Ocean Away from Immunity

An Ocean away from Immunity
Nafilah Khan

He was born in a small town to eternally grateful parents. An only child, he knew nothing of poverty nor pain, until a ceaseless conflict awakened him from his previously carefree life.

As a toddler, he lingered apprehensively in the doorway of his house. He waited for his father, who had vowed to return home, to enter the doorway and hoist him into the air so that he could fly like Superman. That day never came. His father never came home.

One day, in search of water, his mother kissed him goodbye at their neighbors’ home, promising to return within a few hours. He saw her coming back to the house with a bottle full of water and a smile on her lovely face. He also witnessed her demise when the neighboring building plummeted to the ground after a missile struck it from above, tumbling down to crush his beloved mother.

From that moment on, he felt as little and alone as a single drop of water in an endless ocean. He was exasperated of being given promises that were never fulfilled, he was exhausted of being given false hopes.

His benevolent neighbors insisted he come with them to freedom only an ocean away. He accepted, for he was more destitute than ever; a four-year-old matured far too soon. The ship crawled with disease. The ship’s handling by a drunken captain did not make the situation any better, as turbulence was ever-present.

The ship crashed.

He remembered when his mother used to wrap him in her arms so that the tyrannical air of the harsh winter would become numb and the agony caused by the deep scarlet wounds from this ordeal would fade from his skin, even if only momentarily.

He awoke on the shore of a long beach and found the carcasses of the victims to the crash laid near a huge palm tree. He cautiously approached the bodies only to find his dear neighbors lying lifeless on the sand. He wanted to fade, to evanesce into the vast ocean- this time, all alone.