Her deep red hair is silently waving in the strong cold wind. Her pale skin is in such contrast to her dark emerald green eyes. Her chest is rising rapidly. Her fast breath is making large clouds in the cold autumn air.
I remember watching her playing. I was fascinated by the way her dark red hair were always flowing so beautifully along her body. Her gracious moving sometimes made me wonder if she was real. Our house was right next door which gave me a lot of time to watch her. In the summer she’d sit by herself in the garden and braid flower garlands. She’d always mix the bright yellow dandelions with the delicate white daisies.
One warm summer morning I sat alone in my garden. I was underneath our large apple tree, between the tall grass. I can still recall the feeling of the sun burning against my pale white skin. My dark mahogany brown hair was bleached by the strong summer sun. I started thinking about her. The girl with the hair on fire. My parents didn’t want me to have any kind of contact with her, they used to tell me that she was the enemy.
From behind the grass rattled as I heard steps coming closer. I turned around, facing a smile filled with kindness. It was the face of an angel. Her face was slightly touched by the bright sun who’d given her a light tan. Now that she was so close I could see her emaciated body. I assumed it had to do with the lack of food these days. Sometimes in the night I heard my parents complaining about what they’d called the Blight.
She sat down next to me and there she stayed. Every day she’d meet me in our garden. Sometimes we’d sit silently and braid our flower garlands. Other times we’d talk for hours.
The sun is shining brightly in the horizon lighting up the snowflakes who’s slowly falling to the ground. The sun is right behind her, it’s making her shine. An aura has lit up around her. Her hair is now moving more violently as she is looking around.
The autumn was cold. The breeze carried winter in it’s hands. The cobwebs were empty, only filled with autumn rain and the birds were no longer singing. Sadness was in the air. We were sitting by the lake, it was like we could see the green leaves slowly turn flaming red. She was playing her guitar. Gently she finger picked the strings playing the sweetest melody. The wind took hold of the song carrying it across the water. The further it flew the less of it I heard. From time to time a fish came to the water surface, the fish came to get its last glimpse of daylight. The cold Irish winter was on its way, tearing up the lovely summer. Depriving us the hope. Along with the winter came decisions none of us wanted to make. Decisions that would change our lives forever.
Uncertain of what might come next, we sat next to each other. We sat from dawn until the stars twinkled at night. Then we went home, to worried to sleep we waited till the next day. Again we’d sit in silence. We’d think of what was going to happen. At one point the lovely melody stopped. She looked up at me. “Have you decided?” she asked with a fearful voice. I bent my head towards the ground, letting the slightly orange grass flow between my fingers. Then I looked up again, staring straight into her eyes. No words were needed to understand my decision. I was going. I was joining IRA.
After another while in silence we slowly moved toward our homes. At one point we were going to have to face the reality. I followed her home as I always would do. I’d follow her to the front porch, then I’d hug her goodnight. This time was different. We both knew that this time it would be goodbye. If not forever, then it would be for a very long time. As I leaned in to hug her one last time tears started running down my cheeks. She whispered in my ear to stay safe. She asked me to please be careful.
This night I couldn’t sleep. I sat in a rocking chair by the window, watching the stars glimmering like diamonds in the deep blue night sky. I thought of tomorrow. The next day a car came and picked me up. It drove me to a camp. A camp for people like me. People who believed in the same things I believed in.
Her eyes are swiping fast across the scene. She sees me and raises her gun at me. Her eyes meet mine and for a second the warrior inside of her is wiped away. It’s like the moment is on pause. Her eyes are locked to mine, her eyebrows are wrinkling as she’s thinking.
The first days were lonely, but after a little while I made new friends. Yet none of these friends were like her. We shared the same opinions, but not much more. Now there was spring in the air. The birds were now again singing and wild flowers blossomed. This just made me think of her even more. What was she doing? Was she moving on with her new friends?
For a long time we had planned a demonstration in the city Londonderry. This was my first time so I was quite nervous. Republicans from all over Northern Ireland had showed up. We carried large signs with slogans like “Free us from the British Empire.” That day I especially thought of her. The girl with the hair on fire. I knew she’d joined the British forces. As well she was a member of the loyalist group UDA. The police would probably be there in less than five minutes once we started protesting.
I don’t know why, but for some reason I really hoped she’d come and stop us. It was less than half a year since I last saw her, but still the time we used to be friends seemed so distant. I realized how much I had missed her.
My hands were shaking as we moved towards the town. Never had I ever been a part of something like this. There were drops of rain in the air, the clouds had gathered in big groups giving the sky a deep grey color. As we got closer to the city the clouds got heavier and heavier, and by the time we arrived it was falling huge drops of rain from the sky. The car stopped and my fellow men got outside. Within few seconds they were wet from head to toe. I was left in the car alone.
Her blood red lips are moving. It’s like she’s trying to speak to me, like she’s whispering. She is whispering. On her lips I read the word “sorry”. The furiousness in her eyes reappears.
The plan was to hold a peaceful demonstration. We were going to tell the people around us how we felt. We weren’t going to scream. We just wanted people to see our side of the story. We formed a long line. I was in the back, a little too scared to be in the center. I walked together with someone I remembered from the camp. Their familiar faces calmed me down. I didn’t really know why I was so scared, but figured it had to be because of the fact that this was all so new to me.
I followed the rest of the people around me. Once in a while I shouted a sentence asking for Great Britain to let us free. All we wanted was an independent Ireland. I knew that if this didn’t help, the group would turn to violence.
A gunshot tore up the many voices in the streets. I saw people running. Running for their lives. It took time for me to realize what was really happening, but once I understood I couldn’t move. Right in front of me was a girl. Her hair was flaming red. On her body was a uniform telling me that she belonged to the British army. She was heavily armed. My feet were frozen to the ground.
Her deep red hair is silently waving in the strong cold wind. Her pale skin is in such contrast to her dark emerald green eyes. Her chest is rising rapidly. Her fast breath is making large clouds in the cold autumn air. The sun is shining brightly in the horizon lighting up the drops of rain who’s falling to the ground. The sun is right behind her, it’s making her shine. An aura has lit up around her body. Her hair is now moving more violently as she is looking around. Her eyes are swiping fast across the scene. She sees me and raises her machine gun at me. Her eyes meet mine and for a second the warrior inside of her is wiped away. It’s like the moment is on pause. Her eyes are locked to mine, her eyebrows are wrinkling as she’s thinking. Her blood red lips are moving. It’s like she’s trying to speak to me, like she’s whispering. She is whispering. On her lips I read the word “sorry”. The furiousness in her eyes reappears. I pray fast. For my country. For my family. I pray for myself. I pray to God, beg him to let me join him in paradise. And then at last I pray her. For my friend. And as she pull the trigger I somehow forgive her.