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Bloody Teddy Bear

Author: 19 years old female, Syria
All that I wished for was a teddy bear... That day held a bunch of enthralling first times for me. It was my first time to have an official dorm sleepover, feel Beirut's sunlight rays caress the strands of my hair, and the first time I felt this scared or attacked in my entire life. It was the first time that I have ever experienced that "run for your life" feeling that forced me to leave my slippers, eyeglasses, and scarf behind so that I don't leave my life instead. It all started with a quake I felt while lying on the bed. I thought my friend is back with her twitch, but little did I know, it was more than that. It sounded as if the dorm cat broke a vase. My heart shakes with the blast and the next thing I know a girl is pulling me by the hand, telling me an explosion took place, I am stepping barefoot on shards of glass; I am amidst everybody downstairs with a yellow t-shirt, black sweatpants, messy hair, and pink smoke is filling the sky to the melody of a deafening fire alarm. I was known for my love for pink, but it was the first time this color traumatized me. It took me some time to learn that it wasn't an attack and a lot more to convince myself that there won't be another blast. I blamed myself for being so unprepared and envied those who had shoes on to protect their feet and something to embrace the mess of their hair, until someone gave me a pair of slippers and another offered me a hoodie to wear. As soon as it started to sink in, I was flooded by phone calls that I had to lie to and say I was fine. As the sun set, we all collected our fears and gathered in the lounge, refusing to believe what has just happened, unable to resume what remained of our lives. That night, I couldn't sleep in the same room alone. Even with my two friends by my side, I longed for something more. That night, every time I tried to close my eyes, I couldn't help but long for a shadow to crawl behind and a figure to burry my memories of that day. That night was cold, ghostly, and gray. That night, all I wished for was a teddy bear....

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