I find myself in a foreign land, with people speaking a different language that I can’t make out. The marketplace reminds me of Morroco. As I walk through the market trying to find my way and answer what am I doing here? I keep passing alleyways that all look the same. The market stands and people change as I walked down this road, but the alleyways are the same. I pass an elderly man wearing a shemagh, he grabs me, to get me to try what he is selling. I shake my head no, and he let’s go and says, “la próxima vez entonces,” I’m taken away by the fact that he spoke Spanish. I look back and he grabs someone else tries to get them to try what he is selling. I shake it off and keep walking.
I pass another alleyway and this one is different, its covered with a dome-shaped roof, at the end of the alleyway a woman stands alone. She has wavy dark hair which appears dry, wearing a white Spanish style summer dress. Her shoulder was exposed then it dawned on me all the women I had seen we covered some even wearing hijabs. I failed to realize I was back in the middle east it didn’t feel like it, and the old man spoke Spanish. The questions now starts pouring in. I look back at her she is smiling with an inviting look. A loud bang is heard, her face turns dire and sends me a piercing look. I turn around to look behind me; nothing just people shopping, then the crowd starts to move to away from where I came from. I look down the road and see a group militant men coming. I turned to look at her she mouths the words “run,” and she turns to run, I follow up the alleyway behind her.
I following the turns in the alleyway I can now see the rooftops of the building. People closing their doors and windows. Kids pounding on the door for their parents to let them in. I try to keep up but she takes off like an animal evading a slow predator; she is gone around a corner. I turned the corner and she turns another corner down the street. I make it to the corner; I turn and she is gone. I look around and can’t find her… then I hear an all too a familiar sound, the sucking of air that a mortar collects before it explodes. Now all hell has broken loose. I hear gunshots, screams, and more explosions. The once almost empty street is packed with people running in every direction. I find myself on my knees covering my head and body. I get up and look around, the street looks different than the one I was just standing in, more questions pop up. I hear gunshots getting closer. I continue to run in the direction I was going, looking for the girl and looking for answers.
Day #17 SJD
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