We were on the run. My blood pumping, heart racing, mind whirling. I was dizzy with thoughts of the home I knew I would never see again. I would’ve fallen down had it not been for the adrenaline pushing me forward, away from the danger, away from familiarity, away from home.
There was a chill in the air as it started to rain. We’d been running for too long, my feet hit the ground too hard, the icy drops stung my face as they flew past, and my eyes started to well up. I needed to stop, I needed it all to stop. So, I did, mid stride. He turned and saw I had stopped.
“What are you doing?!?! We can’t stop, not now, not ever! Don’t be an idiot! Let’s go!” he tugged at my arm trying to pull me forward. Was he yelling at me?! No way he was yelling at me!
I jerked my arm away. “I’m an idiot? Who’s fault is it we can never go back?! Who turned the only home I’ve ever known into a war zone?!” My eyes still watered but my face and tone had hardened as his softened, but I didn’t back down. I needed someone to blame.
“You did this,” my harsh whisper brought him to his knees. I loomed above him, letting my moral high ground hang around his neck. I could see it mixing with his guilt and tightening like a noose.
“I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry,” he kept repeating the phase over and over.
The sight of his twisting continence brought me to reality, he was right, we couldn’t stop. I reached down in what was intended to be a gesture of compassion. Unfortunately, I was entirely too worked up and yanked about twice as hard as was necessary. Still unwilling to get off my high horse and apologize, I looked him dead in the eyes and said “Run.”