The smell of death saturated the air, assaulting my nose and filling my lungs with its unwelcome stench. With it came the horrible feeling of sickness and the fear of the unknown.
The scenario of dead people surrounding me, and others struggling as they fought for their lives wasn’t new to me, I’d seen it before. The only difference this time was that I wasn’t a scared little girl anymore. No, I was a horrified, fully grown woman.
For the past few days, I trusted that everything would be okay in the end. It was the only thing that kept me going. I refused to let go. I refused to allow anxiety to start stabbing at my heart or hold my brain in its disgusting claws.
But right now, I didn’t know how to be strong anymore. I didn’t know how to keep it together while feeling this agonizing pain in my body, or this unbearable ache in my chest. Being here was much more than I could tolerate.
Screaming my heart out seemed like a pretty good idea. Something in me believed that it would give me some sort of relief. But I couldn’t do that because I didn’t know if it would mean my rescue, or if it would only bring unwanted attention to me. The kind of attention that I didn’t want.
So, I held in my screams, but I couldn’t keep my tears from flowing. They simply escaped, just like the blood that was now seeping out of my body. I had no control over either of them.
I wasn’t mad at myself for crying, no. I was proud of the strength I’d shown since I was brought here. Mazen would be proud of me as well.
Mazen… My heart sank at the memory of the last time I’d seen him. My mind replayed the image of him, his head held high, and he stood tall, his features were colder than ice, and the look in his eyes was harder than stone.
I remembered the tears I’d shed as I watched him spitting orders and shouting commands. I remembered the struggle I felt to keep breathing as I heard him making threats and promising the unthinkable.
I also remembered calling to him, and him never answering me.
I remembered exactly when my heart broke. And I recalled promising myself that I’d never show weakness ever again.
But realizing what was happening now – I knew this was probably the end. There was no point in not showing weakness, no point in being strong; nor there was a point in keeping it together.
At the top of my lungs.
My scream declared all of what I was feeling during the past days – the hurt, the pain, the fear, the worry, the shame, and the broken heart.
All it earned me was a split second of relief. I knew very well that it could be heard beyond those doors. I knew it could be the cry of the prey, which made it easier for attackers to locate it.
It couldn’t be undone, and I didn’t have it in me to regret it. I was ready to meet my fate.