Where did it all begin, I wonder.
Perhaps it began long before my tiny form was dragged forth from the warmth of my mother's womb, barely breathing.
Perhaps it started centuries before my time, and yet I thought that it had died out much like this breath that is dying on my lips.
It seems I'm suffocating once more, drowning in this sickening feeling and yet I cannot do anything about save for look on in disbelief.
Maybe I had been naive, or maybe it was simply denial, but I couldn't have ever fathomed that this would be the outcome. It hardly seemed possible, and so I hadn't really worried about it.
Surely it was a joke, I had thought, because it couldn't possibly be serious...but that must have been my very first mistake.
The days dragged on and on, seemingly endless...and truly, honestly, it never seemed as if it would end, regardless of how much the desire for it to stop persisted.
Just those grey blue eyes watching the pictures move fluidly across the bright screen of a TV one after another, an assortment of channels all covering the same topic that plagued everyone's mind.
Day after day, accusations flying left and right, the falling faces of strangers and the unfamiliar voices raising with quick retorts, all to eager to sink one another's ship.
And still, somewhere deep inside me, there was a little voice. One that was meek and soft, timid by nature, telling me that this couldn't possibly continue.
But I was wrong, wrong to assume that something is impossible, for anything is possible in this world I was born in.
But I watched on, with fluttering lashes and trembling lips. Watched as the ugly truth began to unfold, spreading it's grotesque wings and tainting the very air with it's wretchedness.
Watched with dampening cheeks, and teary eyes as the words cut deep. Looked upon the peaceful face of my dearest little niece, sleeping so peaceful upon the couch, and thought of all the little girls in the world who would watch this. I thought of what they might feel, what I felt.
Lies and truths, like wildfire they spread, from ear to ear, from the lips of strangers. It'd follow me, as I walked down the streets, those voice all pondering the same question as I was.
It had infected us, it was the topic of every conversation, it was everywhere. It had spread quickly, spiraling out of control before we even knew what was happening, and even still we decided to ignore it...because, against our better judgment, we thought our fears couldn't possibly come true.
How silly of us.
I didn't understand, even now I do not understand. Cannot possibly begin to comprehend the reasons, how anyone could possibly be so ignorant and blind.
I had faith, believed to the very depths of my core, that no one could possibly be that horrid, that stupid.
But I was wrong.
How far it had come, how long it had dragged out, I had not expected it to get this far. And yet it did, but still I held faith, laughed and said "Ridiculous, there's no way!"
But then those words of mine, those thoughts, those arguments that I used to rationalize the idea in my head of this being impossible, it was all forced down my throat. I could hardly breathe, bile rising in the pit of my unsettling stomach and my mind going wild with it's restlessness.
That night, for the first time in many years, I had bowed my head and knelt down to pray.
"Oh god," I'd started with a trembling voice, "I know that I haven't the right to pray to you tonight, but I've never asked for much from you, you see,"
As I steadied my heart and gathered my thoughts, I continued to plead, "But tonight, for you I have bent down on my knees, I beg that you please do something to intervene."
I begged and pleaded, prayed until I thought I could say no more but it seemed that no one really was willing to listen.
So I watched with intensity, my hand on the smooth surface of the keyboard, watching. Like an obsession, as the sky grew dim and the only light to illuminate my face was the blue reflecting from the screen.
I looked upon that little map, a map that was, in reality, not tiny at all. So familiar a sight it was, for I had grown up seeing those same shapes and names painted across pages and boards through out my childhood.
It was lit up in pink and baby blue, the colors of cotton candy and baby showers, and yet I wasn't excited to see this colors at all. Not like this, not under this circumstance.
I watched as that map slowly turn, one agonizing shape at a time, from pink to a deep red until there was barely any blue remaining. And I sunk into my seat, with disbelief setting itself into my features as something unpleasant feeling crept into my being.
I stared at that crimson map, red like the suffering and bloodshed that would soon stain those very same lands. Red like the burning feeling in my eyes which mirrored the fire setting my heart and stomach ablaze.
I stared with broken eyes, words lingering on my lips but my tongue tangled in a mess of things that tasted both bitter and sadly sweet.
And so as it finally drew to a conclusion, I wondered if perhaps, from this day onward, I'd never again be free.