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I had always heard the rockets but never seen them until today, each strike was closer and more powerful than the last. These lifeless, ugly contraptions had rained down on us stealing any happiness or life that was unfortunate enough to stand in their path. They took my Mama, Khalto, Sarah, and watching them rain down across our neighborhood I swear they wanted baba and I too.
"Ya Allah give us a week, a week is all I ask for," I hear baba praying under his breath as he hugs me his arms rigid around my body and his chest rising and falling at an alarming rate. I could feel the adrenaline in the air. The rockets stop raining after Babas prayer and as he heard the silence his eyes grew large, he rejoiced and kissed my forehead. I finally felt myself breathe again. Baba had promised us a new home by the end of the week, America.
A week passed in the blink of the eye, the rockets rained down once more, Baba stood by the door and prayed once more, and before I knew it I was packing my entire life into two bags. I stood outside my house and I knew I was leaving the memories of mama and my old life behind. Panic built in my chest. Mama was supposed to be here, How could I possibly handle all of this? Mama was my babas happiness and when she died she silently passed the role to me. However some shoes can simply never be filled, and I could never replace what she meant to Baba. Keeping this in mind Baba and I take care of each other knowing neither of us could ever fill the emptiness she left in our lives. This is also what motivated Baba to find refuge in America.
"We deserve to find happiness in a place that isn't Aleppo, somewhere where the death of all our loved ones won't mark every market square and neighborhood. You deserve a life worth living Hayaati," said Baba noticing I had been staring at the house in silence. I turned my back to the house to look at Baba and his eyes promised to protect me and I believed them. With that Baba and I mounted a taxi, our entire life packed away in four neat bags. "America, may you be good to us."