HATE BEGETS HATE

My last list of the night. Thinking about 9/11 as I think of Paris and Beirut.
  1. I am seven years old and I wake up to the news that the towers have been hit.
    What towers? What hit them?
  2. In New York.
    I know New York. Everyone knows New York.
  3. By terrorists.
    What are terrorists?
  4. I write about it in my diary.
    Years later I will find this and wonder how I could ever have been so naive to believe this was the first terrible thing to have ever happened to the world.
  5. I cry.
    I don't know why. Maybe because everyone else is. Maybe because I can hear the sirens through the television scratching at my soul.
  6. I go to school.
    Our teachers try to tell us what's going on. Bad people, my teacher tells us, have done a bad thing.
  7. I am told we are safe.
    I believe this. Teachers know all, after all, right?
  8. My best friend is called a terrorist.
    My best friend. A seven year old who was also born in Australia, but is a Muslim of Afghani descent. It is her birthday in five days, and mine in thirteen. We are as close as can be.
  9. My best friend is bullied relentlessly.
    By other seven year olds. She does not wear a hijab, she does not pray in front of us, she plays the same games as us.
  10. My best friend cries.
    She's scared. Teachers try to soothe her. They know better. Do they?
  11. We go home.
    The news is showing the same footage. There will be no afternoon cartoons today.
  12. I ask about my best friend.
    My mother wonders if she is okay.
  13. I wonder if she's okay, too.
    Before I return to whatever seemed to matter more in that moment.
  14. I still wonder.
    On days like today when fingers are pointed before the facts are known. When the peaceful majority are lumped with the violent few.
  15. I hope she's okay.
    Enough people are hurting today.