To Sirian girls and boys that are walking on inaccessible paths in search for their freedom

by Cristiana Pezzetta

School is over. This year I didn’t make it. It would have been useless anyway. I got maths.
And now I have exams. Immediately.
“The sooner you get it off your chest the better” my granny always says.
As if it was less hurtful. But now it is different. I do not even feel the arrival of my usual attacks of colitis due to anxiety.
I simply stay here motionless enchanting the sunset. It is still there at least, like one year ago. Unlike me.
About the exams, I do not give a damn. Really. Not at all. I won’t certainly fail because of one subject.
And I think there are worse things than a failure.
I have printed more than 150 photographs whose edges are frayed now because I have handled them so much. And her drawing is still there, in its right place, over my bed.
I have been waiting for months, days, hours. I check the mailbox thrice a day. It is always full of the usual waste paper, not even the piece of a letter open and then closed again. Nothing, in the last months, nothing.
The worst things happen like that, day by day, hour by hour, and you can’t divert their path, not even for an instant.
Still I can’t believe that this is true. That somebody’s life may be swept away by a stupid faraway war, one of those wars that don’t make a sound, that people only mention to say that another war was all they needed. As if it happened to them.
A war that seems to exist only for me and for... Aima, my ‘someone’.
Tonight I woke with a start hearing the sound of the Muezzin and the rumbles of the bombs falling near us. I have dreamt of a house, unroofed by an explosion like an ant’s nest, while the people inside it stared at the sky with their eyes wide open for fear.
I have never heard the thud made by the bombs as they fall, the creaking of the tanks or the screech of fear.
But I have heard the chant of the Muezzin long enough, it dug holes of nostalgia inside me, so deep as to hurt me, like a pain that leaves me breathless. The nostalgic pain for Aima, for what we have become during our journey of handwritten pages, through this year that has passed by to the rhythm of our exchanged letters.
I spend hours in front of this stupid computer screen. I am afraid, so afraid of reading her name between the lines. The army has arrived in the region of Idlib. Saraqeb has been destroyed. The place where I had my first rose ice cream. Where Aima’s village is.
And there is nothing I can do, nothing that can change this situation. Nobody tries to do something for those people. It is a ghostly war, transparent for everybody. Except for me.

(Prologue, from Sorelle di carta, Mammeonline, 2014)