What did I do to deserve this?
It is a cold winter morning and my alarm is ringing. I am still feeling sleepy and this cold weather is tempting me to wrap around my blanket and sleep more. May be I could skip school today. I have been regular to school all these years and skipping classes for a day won’t make much of a difference. As I am about to put off the alarm and go back to sleep, my mom calls out my name and asks me to wake up. I tell her that I won’t go to school today because I am not feeling well. “Oh that is sad. I was actually planning to cook all your favourite dishes today for dinner. And remember we had planned to go shopping today? Since you are sick we will cancel it. You take rest now. We will go to the doctor later.” Ah! I can’t let that happen. She agreed to take me shopping after a long time and I don’t want all that convincing that I did to go in vain. And school isn’t that bad either. I have both my favourite classes today- Mathematics and English. And I remember my teacher telling me about some activities during the English class that is scheduled for today. I make up my mind to go to school. I tell mom that I am feeling better now and that I will go to school. She smiles! She knows! Mom always knows.It is as if she can read my mind.
I quickly bathe and I get ready for school. I am very hungry today so I decide not to skip my breakfast as I usually do. Mom is happy that I am having breakfast today. Looking at her happy makes me happy too. I enjoy my walk to school. A few rays of the sun on a cold winter morning make it pleasant. I think I can write a poem on this later today. Yes, I love to write and I love to read as well. Today’s shopping is more for books rather than anything else. My teacher tells me that I am a good writer and may be I can be famous some day. But I am good at Math too. I love playing with numbers and sometimes I think I must take up some career which has something to do with Math. And again I am confused! This always happens to me! Good that I have another year to decide what field of study I want to choose. I have my dreams. I want to write a book and also be a great mathematician. I want to make a difference to the society. My country is looked upon for all the wrong reasons today. Thanks to Malala we have something to be proud of. May be some day I will make my country proud. As I think about all this, I reach school.
I greet my friends and my friends ask me for help with yesterday’s Math homework. And then the classes start. The first class is History class and I don’t find it so interesting. I am bored and try to scribble the poem that I was thinking of writing. The bell rings and it is time for the next class of the day- English. I am excited because of the activity that my teacher promised. She always has some interesting games for us and that makes English fun to learn. As we are opening our books, instead of the teacher entering I see a man dressed in black. And we are all scared because he is holding a big gun in his hands. And before we can understand what is happening and why is he here, he begins to fire! And the bullets hit one of my classmates on the front bench and blood splatters around. I am shocked yesterday I was sitting on that same first bench! Today I somehow ended up in the last bench. I am unable to move and my friends pulls me down and we are now hiding beneath our desks. But what is the use? They will find us anyway, won’t they?
The bullets continue to be fired and I hear screams followed by silence. I can see my classmates fall down to the bullets one after the other and I know that it will be my turn soon. The always smiling friend of mine is now lying there lifeless in a pool of blood. The class genius is now in the corner with bullets right through his head. And it scares me! I cannot bear to see them like that. I have never seen death so close. And a chill runs through me when I think that even I will be lying lifeless soon.
My thoughts drift to the early morning when I didn’t want to come to school today. May be it was my intuition telling me not to go to school. I should have stayed back. The shopping and the food shouldn’t have tempted me to come to school today. And I think about mom and dad! Mom must be busy cooking all the dishes that she promised. She looked happy in the morning today. But who will she feed those dishes if these people kill me today! I shudder at that thought. Will Dad also cry? He has always been there for me and has been proud of me. He is strong man but can he control himself if I die? Can he console mom? Who will take care of them in their old age if I am gone? And what about my dreams to do good to the people around me? Will I never get a chance to sign my own book or have some theorem named after me? Will I never get the chance to finish that poem that I was writing today? Will I never get to travel around the world? But amidst all these questions there stands out one question- Why?
Why do I have to die? Why are they killing us so brutally? And most importantly why us? What have we done? We have not done anything so bad that we have to die. I knew that I had to die some day but I never thought that it would be this way and I never thought I would die so young. I don’t deserve to die and even my classmates don’t! What do they want to prove by killing us? What purpose of theirs will be served if they kill us? Will shedding innocent blood help them? And my line of thoughts stops there! My friend- the one beside me has closed her eyes. And it is my turn now. Before I can think of anything, a sharp pain shoots through my chest and as I close my eyes I see a dazzling light. I pray that mom and dad get the strength to live without me….
The brutal attacks on school children in Peshawar, Pakistan made me write this. May the souls of all those little children who lost their lives rest in peace.