Look! I’m playing with doggy at the train station. My name is Tatyana. I am four years old and live in a small town. My country is at war with Russia. Mama says Russia is a big country that wants our country too. Papa is in the army to protect me and Mama from Russians.
Today we are going on a train ride to a place called Poland where we will be safe from the Russian Army. Mama talked about the Russians in a bad way. They are bad people, she tells me. Some day I hope this war is over.
“Goodbye doggy,” I tell him. He looks hungry and sad that I am leaving him. I wish I could stay and play longer. Mama holds my hand and leads me inside the station. It is crowded with many people who live around here. There are many children here too. Some are even little babies inside their strollers. I see one baby being bounced up and down by her mama. She is laughing and giggling with glee.
In the distance I hear booms. They are from the war front, Mama told me. We are safe because Papa is there to protect me and Mama. I am still scared though. I often cry in my bed when I hear the booms come nearer to my house. I often climbed into bed with Mama and hug her tight to me. Today though, we will leave here and go to this place called Poland where we will be safe.
Yesterday, a nice police officer and a soldier came to our door and told us the Russians were approaching and we needed to leave. The soldier handed Mama a piece of paper, like a ticket and told us it was to take us to Poland. Then they left.
Today we are at this train station in this town of Kramatorsk. I see a smoke trail behind a long pencil way up in the air. “Look Mama! Look at the smoking pencil up in the air.” I laughed at it. Mama saw what I pointed at but did not laugh. She rushed my away from the door, from the window and pushed me to the tiled floor. I skinned my knees and cried in pain.
KA-BOOM, I heard it explode outside. KA-BOOM erupted another. Screams of pain and cries of fear then came outside along with cursing from the men and women inside the station. Mama tried to shield my eyes from what was happening. I moved her hand away with frustration and saw it all in front of me. I can’t wake from this nightmare as I saw cars in flames, people who once stood in groups waiting to come inside, laid on the ground, not moving. I saw it all so very clearly. It was the Russians! Wasn’t it? But we did not do anything to them. Why did they do this to us?
The little baby being bounced on her mama’s lap isn’t there anymore either. Both Mama and baby are lying on the floor very still. BLOOD! I see blood coming from both! They were sitting by the window when that pencil came and exploded outside. The window glass is gone now. Are they dead?
I look up at Mama, she too is bleeding but she is alive, and holding me tight to her. It suddenly occurred to me the Russians don’t want us to leave. But why? Why can’t we be allowed to leave at our own free will? If we aren’t happy, why can’t we go to this place called Poland where we are safe? I cried and prayed to God to save us from the Russians.