Day 21, Diary of War, Artsakh / Nagorno Karabakh

By Lika Zakaryan, A letter to war.

Undear War,

A girl is writing to you from Karabakh, a place, where you’ve settled recently. I know you are not loved anywhere, but I will be honest with you, I want you to know you’re not welcome here either. We already know each other, don’t we? Aren’t you tired of coming to our doors? I am not writing this just to express my anger, really. What I want is to say – go away, please.

I speak on behalf of mothers – stop taking our sons. Can you imagine how it feels? To share a body with your child for nine months, not to sleep at nights, when his temperature goes up, learn every letter with him, blow on his wounds when he falls off the bike for the first time, get worried when he fights with boys from the yard, be nearby, when he’s having his first ever, unreturned love… And after he turns 18, send him to you…How should we live with it? We aren’t even able to die with it… War, leave our sons to us!

On behalf of many sisters – please, do not take our brothers, they still have to turn from brothers into fathers. They’re our first friends, the most reliable, the dearest. With whom am I going to watch my favorite movies, share chips and other unhealthy things. Who can I laugh with until the morning? Who’s going to show me a new song? Their care can’t be replaced with anything. And moreover, their love and reliability.

I speak on behalf of children – don’t take our fathers. He is my defender, isn’t he? Who is going to teach me how to live in this big and cruel world? Who is going to take my hand, go into the yard and take back my ball from the boys in our yard? Do you have the slightest idea how I would feel at parents’ meetings at school, where there will be all other fathers but not mine? And when I start dating his parents would ask me, “Who’s your father? What does he do? Where does he work?” Who is going to take me to church, down the aisle? Who will I dance the Father and the Bride dance with? Don’t take him, please.

I speak on behalf of girls whose sweethearts are on the frontline. Don’t take them, I am begging. Do you think we can live without them? We have already agreed on children’s names, argued about whether we should take a kitten or a puppy. I’ve almost convinced him. Don’t break our hearts, we won’t be able to love again. It’s not easy to love, not at all, we hardly managed to find what is ours in this world. Don’t leave us without a strong shoulder, we’re looking forward to seeing them…

Who are you leaving us to? How should we keep smiling? Don’t be so merciless, you’ve already got too many.

But if you are, then take me too!”

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