Tom Adam, Ninth grade, Sderot
Just a normal Sderot day – another rocket alarm. You might say that we automatically run to the shelter. Quiet. This is the only time in which I manage to listen to the quiet. Absolute quiet – stillness so perfect I hardly notice even the birds. Only my heart is about to explode while I wait through those quiet seconds for the inevitable boom – the boom that ends the silence and represents our return to normal life, as if nothing happened.
Time does not move as we wait for that boom, though. As if somebody ruined all the watches so that they will prevent time from moving as it should. “It should come! It should be over! It should fall!” I know that this time it fell on my house, but I refuse to believe it. The broken glass, the light that went out suddenly, the acrid smoke, the dust that fills the air and therefore the lungs. I still hear the words my mother spoke at that moment: “This time it was in our home.” Those words both kept and lost their usual meanings. I kept trying to believe it had not happened to us, but I knew it had. My mother ran to open a window; my sister simply stood still. We ran out doors to breathe the air.
And today, when I remember that day, half a year ago, a perfectly normal day in Sderot, I try to think: Why do I need this? Why not simply move to another city, where these rockets do not blow people’s houses up? Why must I live in this constant terror? And I think I would have a more pleasant and a quieter life if only I lived elsewhere. But in spite of all these thoughts and all the worry, I know that Sderot is the place for me to be. I think about all the small things I know here, my family, the unimportant details that give life to my home even as they clutter it up – and I know that my life is here. I have nowhere else.