The past few days have been a whirlwind of tragedy, heroism, and cowardice. It’s almost too much to take in when one thing happens after another. I knew I wanted to write about something related to these events, but I didn’t know where to start, or how I could possibly respond to everything.
Finally, I decided just to address the raw emotion of it all — particularly the role of the protector, in both the ways they succeed as well as fail.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Boston, Newtown, West, and everyone else affected by this week’s events. A special thanks goes to the fine men and women of the Boston Police Department. You truly make your country proud.
Stats: 286 words. Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 25 seconds.
Mom said there was some war in Africa. A genocide. I asked her how far Africa was. “Way far away on the other side of the world.”
“What did the people do to get killed?” I asked.
“They didn’t do anything,” she said.
“Is the war gonna to come here?”
“No. Things like that don’t happen in our country.”
“So why do they happen there?”
“Because they don’t know the value of human life.”
She must have seen the confusion on my face because she said, “Don’t worry about it. Your ride’s almost here.”
I had the feeling she wasn’t telling me everything, but I couldn’t figure out what. Maybe it was one of those “you’ll understand when you’re older” things.
The newscaster in the khaki shirt with the earpiece reminded me of those men in suits who protect the president. “Our troops’ spirits are high,” he said, bracing against the wind. I could have left Mom alone to watch TV and fold laundry, but this time, I wanted an answer:
“But why can’t those things happen here?”
“Because…these people were controlled by a bad man. We have a government that watches out for our best interests.”
The answer made sense. “That’s good,” I said.
“Exactly. They wouldn’t let a group take over like that. Now get going. You’re going to be late for practice.”
I laced my cleats, grabbed my soccer bag, and walked into afternoon sun. But before I closed the front door, my calmness faded when I gave my mom one last look. I still knew she wasn’t telling me everything. Her eyes were glued to the TV, not blinking, as her hands tightly twisted her purple T-shirt.