It could be one of the winters that comes with lights and Christmas, with the smell of mandarin and Glühwein, the white, snowy winter with harmony, peace.
It was the winter that came with fire, with soldiers and control, with the smell of tears and blood, the red, dead winter with mess and war.
The days that passed like the snow of that winter, melted from the eyes of the people. The tears were also dirty, as the air was smokey and black. The snow was melting and leaving with no sense of sympathy.
I was walking on the streets, trying to kill the pain in my heart, the hatred in my brain. The smell of the air had become the smell of me, I got used to it and that was the hardest, getting used to tragedy. I became the last cynic and mad. Sometimes I was hysterically laughing hearing the bombs. Once on the way back home, I met a girl with big blue eyes, she looked at me and cried. “stop the war, stop the war”. She was looking at me with anger, she was demanding something. She appeared on my way like a rebellion and complaint, as a signal to my numb soul. Feeling lost and powerless, in total shock, I started shouting at the girl with all the power I had.
- I hear, stop crying. I was shouting and my anger, my fear was growing, I was afraid of myself. The girl had left long ago all in tears and trembling. I hadn’t done anything to help her, just made her afraid and now with all the awareness of the tragedy of my madness, I was standing next to the destroyed school and I was laughing.
Many times I was walking to the direction of the old, destroyed school with my favorite book in hand and with a fading hope to meet the girl again. The book that I wanted to give to the girl was losing its pages gradually and my hope to meet her was transforming into habit. The image of the girl, her wet eyes, the expression of her pure belief in me was not leaving, though the time was as fast as it is in history books, where you can read that the First World War lasted from 1914-1918. Four years of pain, suffering pass in a second for a person reading a history book and it seems far away past , the past that is not far at all and can easily become future , the future about which someone will write in 2 or more lines and which will make another girl stand and shout << stop the war >> . And who will care what happened with the girl who was running in the streets to tell that the war ended, the war ended for the history books, for the future readers, but for us, for survivors it could not end.
The day when the news about the end of the war arrived was unforgettable. The people were taking their heads out from the windows for seconds and then hiding again. Most of them were telling that the news about peace was a lie told to make people go out from their homes to be killed. Most of the men were in hospitals, some for medical help, some forever. In couple of years the whole city became full of mad people, war drew unhealthy laughters on faces, war broke love, war humiliated happiness, war raped human psychology, war fucked the lives of a whole generation. Though years had passed from the days with fire everywhere, with soldiers and control, with the smell of burnt iron, tears and blood, the red, dead winter with mess and war, but the life for me was still unbearable, I had seen so much in my life, but a horrible emptiness was all that I was feeling, not anger, fear, pain, but emptiness and sense of guilt. I had lost my mom two years ago, I buried her myself. everyone had someone to bury. On the day of her death it was raining, that was a big help to me, the tears of the sky were hiding the dumbness of my emotionless face giving the impression that I was also crying.
Last year going back home from the cemetery, I noticed a big paper on the school wall. The school was renovated by the funds coming from different countries or individuals that wanted to help us. The paper was stating. “ 6 years have passed from the war, time to speak, time to hear, time to prevent “ , on the top of the paper it was written “ Volunteers needed “. The next day I went to the school to become a volunteer. A smiling woman with “ I love Berlin” T-shirt met me in the reception, she guided me to a room where hundreds of women were sitting.
An elegant lady opened the meeting with a speech.” We all have a story to tell and we all are here to stand for each other. We should do everything to stop, stop wars, it is your responsibility , yours, yours and yours “. I don’t know if it seemed to me or not but I felt that saying yours, the lady pointed to me. At the moment her blue, nice eyes reminded me something, but the moment was too tense to remember what exactly.
- Today I want you all to share your stories, our friends from all around Europe are here to support us, to hear us. Together we are stronger ’’.
The next hours I discovered that the war wasn’t the cruelest towards me. I heard how a woman was raped by soldiers, how she gave birth to a child afterwards, how she had managed not to hate her own child, how another mother had buried her twins, I heard and I believed because I had also felt it and even though our pain was not the same, our stories were different, we were united and none of us was alone. Maybe, because of that I also asked to tell my story.
- It was the winter that came with the fire, with soldiers and control, with the smell of burnt iron, tears and blood, the red, dead winter with mess and war. This winter I lost my mother, my brother, I lost the ability to cry. One day I met a girl with big blue eyes, who pointed to me and said “Stop the war ”, I shouted at her, because I couldn’t understand what I had to do with stopping the war. I wasn’t part of anything by then, I was alone, vulnerable.
I couldn’t continue speaking. It was raining outside, but we were inside the newly renovated school. Standing in front of all these people, who were there also for me, after really long time, I felt some wet warmth on my face.