I held her close to me, held her tight, nuzzled her neck and kissed her cheek.
“Don't be afraid.” I whispered into her ear. “I'm here, we're together where we belong, where we've always belonged.
The sounds of the rising panic drifted up from the streets eighteen storeys below, and through the open balcony windows.
The sounds of screaming, the occasional muffled thud of traffic accidents as people futilely tried to bulldoze their way to safety, overwhelmed by the all-encompassing desire to flee, to escape.
And above all, the endless, shrieking monotone of the sirens.
I held her even closer to me, breathing in the sweet scent of her.
My thoughts flashed backwards, then forwards, in leaps, bounds, and jerks.
We were born in the same hospital wing, just minutes apart. Our parents were next door neighbours, and the first time we consciously met was across two feet of space from pram to pram, eyeing each other with that wide-eyed curiosity that only infants seem to possess.
As children we were inseparable, playing together, laughing together, and sometimes even fighting together side by side, defending one another from the school bullies.
As we grew older our love hardened into something unbreakable, I recall that beautiful August afternoon when my parents were out, and we lost our virginity together, another treasured milestone in our inseparable lives.
And soon we would die together.
I gently took her hand and led her up the steps and out onto the roof.
We stood together hand in hand and stared up at the white trails of the outgoing missiles as they arced up and out into the night sky.
A few moments later the bright specks of the retaliatory inbound missiles appeared on the horizon.
We watched them come.
©2011 Stephen. J. Green.