At the stroke of midnight, as I wake up with a tear running down my cheek, I realize that I had had a terrifying nightmare. I had just shifted into my hostel room, and this was the first night I spent in the hostel. Very aware of my new surroundings, I drifted off, thinking about my family back at home. Like every elder sibling in a single-parent household, I was constantly perturbed by the thought of my home without me, what a chaos it would be.
As I slowly fell into a deep sleep, I saw images of my apartment collapsing. I saw the foundation of the building plummeting into the ground. I saw my neighbor, a nice old lady having palpitations. I heard the sound of plates breaking, the glass smashing, and the innocent cries of children. I felt the pain in the air, smelled the blood around. However, persistent in the search for my family, I ignored everyone and everything else.
An awful earthquake had occurred. My building was quite old, no surprise that it had collapsed. Even so, the newer ones weren’t in any better shape. I understand that panic is taking over me. I need to take a breath and look for them calmly. I can’t seem to find them. I try to ask around, but no one seems to have anything other than their sob for an answer. Minutes passed, I physically cried, not even realizing that it’s a dream. I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to believe that I could find them, that they are safe and sound, but logical reasoning told me otherwise.
I continue my search with hope. I search and search and search. Suddenly, something trips me. A hand from someone buried under the debris of the fallen building. I recognize the rakhi on their wrist. I feel my heart racing and drooping, as though my heart finally understood the logical reasoning. I don’t feel my body move. I think I’m paralyzed.
At that moment, I woke up, fully aware of my reality. I thank god, for what a shame it would be if the world is that cruel. I call my brother, he says “Hello”. I breathe again.