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The Conflicts

I woke up to a morning that was deceptively ordinary, the day the world as I knew it crumbled. I saw the chaos unfold on the news: war had erupted between Russia and Ukraine. I felt a cold dread seep through me. My boyfriend, my love, who always stood for bravery and honor, was soon to don his uniform and join his fellow soldiers. I watched him leave, his promise to return echoing in my ears.

the conflicts

I stayed behind, the war a distant rumble until the day it reached our doorstep. I heard the sirens, saw the fear in my neighbors' eyes, and knew I had to leave. I packed my life into a single suitcase and crossed the border to Poland, each step away from home felt like a betrayal. But I hoped for safety, a hope that carried me all the way to Canada, to the doorstep of my grandfather-in-law’s home.

I tried to create a semblance of life in this new country. I woke each day to the uncertainty of my boyfriend's fate. I clung to my phone, yearning for his messages. They were sporadic, brief windows into his world of conflict. I cherished each word, each sign of life from him, holding them close like a talisman.

I struggled to find my footing in a foreign job market. I sent out resumes, faced rejections, and sometimes, I just stared at the walls of my borrowed room, feeling the weight of the distance between my love and me. I juggled menial jobs, from stacking shelves to waiting tables, earning just enough to keep the light of hope flickering.

I spent evenings gazing at the stars, wondering if he saw the same sky from the battlefield. I whispered conversations to the night, telling him about my day, my fears, my longing. I imagined his voice replying to me, a soothing balm to my frayed nerves.

I sometimes ventured out to the busy streets, watching life go on as if the world hadn't turned upside down. I observed couples holding hands, their ease and laughter a sharp contrast to my clenched hands and silent prayers. I returned home to the silence, wishing for the end of the day when perhaps I would receive a message from him.

I held tight to the dream of his return. I envisioned our reunion, a moment I played over in my mind, a salve for the loneliness. I pictured the end of the war, the joyous tears, the promises we’d never spend a moment apart again. But the reality of the ongoing conflict always snapped me back to the present.

I received updates from back home, the war continued, the separations endured, the losses mounted. I attended community meetings with other expatriates, their stories mirroring my own. I found solace in our shared experiences, but it was a comfort lined with sorrow.

I watched the seasons change from my window, the Canadian landscape a stark contrast to my homeland's. I admired the resilience of nature, how it recovered and blossomed anew. I drew parallels to my own life, hoping for personal spring, for renewal, for peace to take root once again.

I sometimes questioned my decision to wait. I pondered the potential of laying down permanent roots in this new soil. But I knew my heart remained tethered to Ukraine, to the love fighting far from me, to the life I had been forced to leave behind.

I still stand by my window, gazing out with a mix of yearning and resolve. I know the war is not over. I understand that my vigil is not yet complete. I accept that I am still waiting for him, for an end that must surely be on the horizon. When will it end? I don’t have the answer, but I hold onto the belief that it will, and I will be ready to rebuild from these conflicts that have both torn us apart and brought us together in spirit.


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