Her Heart

“‘They killed my son…this is his shoe,’ she wailed.”—Mirwais Harooni “Blast Across Afghanistan Target Shi’ites, 59 Dead” Reuters .


She stood outside the hospital, along with other mourners, in a daze. Her surroundings were chaotic. Emotions were chaotic. She was chaotic. She squeezed onto the bloodstain shoe, her hands becoming wet by its ink. It was sustaining her—keeping her alive.

“They killed my son…they killed my son,” she heard mourning mothers cry out. It seemed like they were all mourning mothers—waiting outside of the hospital doors.

She felt their pain. She lost her heart. Her son. Her son, who had a very bright future, was gone—just like that. All that was left was his shoe, which she held onto for dear life.

Bodies and blood were scattered in the heart of the city. Blood lay upon the streets. Blood lay upon her hands. Blood lay upon his shoe.

“This is his shoe…this is his shoe.”

He had worn a brown blazer with a white tee shirt and blue jeans. His round frame glasses made him look like a professor. He topped his outfit off with his favorite pair of tennis shoes. All white tennis shoes.

They were tainted now. Tainted by his blood. And she was tainted now. Tainted by his shoe. Tainted by this war—this world, this life.

He was her only pride and joy—her only child. And she had outlived him—a parent’s nightmare.

“My son…my son.”

People wailed. People cried. People mourned. And she felt empty inside. She tried to get a grip on reality, but a part of her hoped that he would walk out of those hospital doors—fine and alive. So she stood there, listening to the cries of a mother mourning. Her son would come out of those hospital doors—she knew it. And he would be looking for his shoe. So she clung to it tightly.

“They killed my son…this is his shoe.” This was her heart.


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