As a young girl, I lived in a desert town, which to be honest with you was quite abnormal. Most young families favour the forest towns, or meadow towns, even the ones in the coldness of the mountains. Life in a desert town can be tough, particularly for families with many mouths to feed. I was the youngest, alongside my twin sister, of six children.
But struggles aside, we were happy, and we were not the only family in town. I attended school when I was young; I played with classmates, and ran through the busy streets with my best friend, Percy. I laughed, and I smiled. I was happy.
But all good things must come to an end.
My memory of the night is blurry, filled with terror and tears. I can’t remember the reason for the chaos, I don’t even remember if the event happened only in our house, or if it occurred across the whole town. What I do remember, however, is my brothers, only teenagers, carrying my sister and I from town, fleeing some assailant I would not recognize should we cross paths again. I remember calling for my mother. I remember waiting, terrified, for what felt like years, but was likely hours at most. I remember the way my heart leapt when Father came for us, bloodied and bruised. And I remember the way it broke when he told us we would not see our mother again.
I was twelve years old at the time. Six years have passed since that day, and my life still feels emptier for her absence.
Our lives changed irreversibly that day. We lost our mother, for reasons our Father will not disclose, we lost our home, we lost our lives. Since that day we have lived on our own, a small farm in the middle of the desert. Just my family and I, separate from the world, and blind to the war brewing all around us.
Our old life became a dream, a time we do not discuss, as though it only ever happened in our heads. I believe Father, and even my brothers, found peace in pretending nothing happened before this place, that the world beyond our farm barely existed. I did not. And while my family lives on, happy, I find my heart filled with longing.
But all things must come to an end, and had I known what life beyond the farm held, I probably would have appreciated the secluded life far more.