By Sophie Bubrick, TIWP student
Open your eyes now. Don’t be afraid. The harsh, unforgiving world welcomes you into its unpredictable arms. A baby girl’s soft, button nose pokes out of her white blanket. Her dark, emerald eyes absorb the life emanating from all around her. She will grow up as elegantly as her mother did, with ginger hair bouncing just at her shoulders. She will cry a hundred times more than she will laugh. But when the blissful moments do reach her, “it is like holding a woman of untold power and bliss in my arms,” said her second boyfriend, age 17. But she will have her heart broken 100 times over. She will drape herself in rich velvet dresses, and accompany her parents to the epitome of aristocratic dinner parties. She will crash her first car, run away for five days, watch her father pass away by the age of 35. And next thing she knows, whispers will flood the streets of London that “a war is coming,” and “you’ve never seen anything like it.”
The bombs roar beautifully from miles away, a showering of yellows and oranges. People scream from down the hall, near the window where she stands. Her name is called, but she is too entranced by the show set before her eyes—only this time, life is decimating in front of them.
A touch to her shoulder, and she turns around. “Mom!” A second’s pause. As their window shatters, the floor gives way beneath them. Her home becomes a tomb of unknown guests. Their bellies are full and the wine drones slower through their veins as they sleep, this time for good.
But she is not tired. She is alive. She takes her throne among the rubble and bids her mother goodnight. All is still now, except for the crackling fires and the shouts of surgeons. She sits quietly until their lights shine through, shocked. “Why am I alive?” “What is the point of my existence if this is what it amounts to?”
The world chides, “Oh darling, if only you knew, the fact is, you were made for these times.” The sleeping tell the story of sorrow. But you, my love, shall live to write of this war: not the one set before you, but the one within you.