Day 18, Diary of War, Karabakh | Don’t lose hope, believe in magic

There has been no phone call from my brother since yesterday. Dad was trying to reach him every 10 minutes. “Did he call? No? He did not call me either. I thought, maybe he called you? Ah.. okay. Let me know when he does.” Every 10 minutes! We were terrified to think of possible reasons for his silence. He knows, life stops in this part of the world, when there is no call.

Mom, dad and I went to our home today, for an hour. Mom started cooking french fries, dad was watching the statements by President Harutyunyan and Prime Minister Pashinyan on TV and I went to my room. I looked around and thought – is there anything in this room I won’t be able to live without? If my home disappears tomorrow what will I miss the most? Maybe “Fahrenheit 451,” my favorite book? Or acrylic dye? Or maybe a photo album? Oh, this one – my favorite dress! No, wait.. maybe earrings I bought in Würzburg, my favorite city… or mom’s scarf.. or maybe my sister’s favorite jacket? I could not make up my mind…

Eventually, I decided not to take anything. Because it would have meant that there is a chance (which, in fact is real) that my house might not exist. 

We have been building our house all our lives, have been changing it, improving, adding more and more to make it special. And to lose it within seconds, to end up without your own hearth, without our little corner in a big and strange world –  such thoughts break our hearts. And I am not ready to put up with it! So, I did not take anything from my home. If there is a choice- my choice is to keep it all. 

And you know what? The phone rang. It was him, my brother! Filled with emotions and excitement, I could not help crying, I was talking and laughing and crying. “All is okay”- this is what they usually say to us. A few months ago, I lent him some money for his education. We are very close to each other. And today I told him, “You know what – I remove your debt. You just come back safe as soon as possible. And he said, “Oh, realy? If I only knew, I would have taken more!” We laughed for 7 minutes.

Then I asked my dad to give me a ride to my office at CIVILNET. On September 22, it was our cameraman’s birthday. My cameraman, my best friend, my boyfriend. I had gotten a present for him – fish. I wanted these fish to share our space. When the war broke out, we were still going to the office, to feed them, under the shelling. But after he got drafted, I couldn’t go anymore, (the city had been bombed heavily and I was alone), and I thought our fish had gone. That thought hurt a lot. So, I went into the office, to the aquarium. The fish were there, but they didn’t move. I kept saying in my mind “Be alive, please, be alive!”

They did not move. And I thought- this is it, so many days, without food. How will I live with such a sin in my heart? I mean, they only recently became members of our office, our second home. I sat next to them, almost crying and suddenly, I saw them move. One fish moved, then another… I jumped up, hugged the aquarium and started crying. I hurried to give them their food and was begging them to see the food and eat it. They saw, they ate. I decided not to leave them alone any more and took them. They are in my shelter now, until their owner returns.

I changed the water, added more feed and have been checking on them every five minutes.

This fish story is a true sign for me today, that we should not lose hope. Even when it seems there is no one, life can reward us a surprise and give us strength to live.