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The Dream of Wishes

A young girl clutches her doll while sitting amid the rubble of her bombed-out home
© Hulton Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
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12/September/2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Vanndasambath CHHUON, Voices of Youth Cambodia 2019
It was the silent night, today, the sky seems to be very clear when star wants to hide their bright
with the cool winds that bring me to the deep sleep. This is when I fall into where I dream. The
dream took me to somewhere I could not get noticed but always be sorrow in my heart. I see
myself standing in the middle of warfare under the roof of the house where it seems to make me
invisible and have more chances to survive than the others. It takes my eyes into space; I see
people run so fast just like a marathon for survival, instead of the prize. Along the way, I saw the
youngest one who I heard the old woman called “Halim”.

I saw Halim situated with the dirt face with the red dot spotted on her grey dress like the ketchup
but blood and eyes to the after-play tumbling tower of her neighbor. She smiles, unlike the
smile, cry unlike the cry, and stay wondering why her most hate dream come into her life with
the faultless. I saw her felt afraid with the body shaking like little bird taking ice shower in the
winter, and try to hide somewhere narrow and dark, so it will never happen to her again.
I saw her felt so exhausted, hungry and thirsty like the old camel walking through the great
Sahara to escape from the hunter, and wishing if she could have a break to drink the water and
have some food besides training as the bomb escape runner.

Suddenly, I heard strange terrible noise falling from the sky, like something very loud and fast
purposely into the roof. Later I realize as she kneels to the ground without the push from the
gravity but her own shocked after seeing her parents got shot in front her open-eyes. She
wishing this will not be real, they all are fine and be with her or at least give a short opportunity
just to say goodbye to her loved one and last hug that will miss forever.

But this cannot undo and keep moving.

She hugged the doll tightly as hugged her mom, and speak to it as the only last friend that
would stay near her and wish him not to go away like anyone.

But she was the one who goes first.

I saw her walking down to the street just five to six steps and get exploit into the air like hopping
game but it in mine-land and been mangled her legs a meter apart. She was in bleeding,
between life and death. Wishing for the only last fate to survive, and this nightmare should be
ended so she could go back to her simple innocent life to have family, friends, and childhood.

But the wake-up dream will never wake again, and the nightmare was real, which only left her in
the last breath with her faded voice to the nightmare author that “Is it too much to make these
wishes happen for her?”

This has wake me up as she whispered into my ear. But this always be remembered in my head
because her story is not different from other 100,000 children that lost their wishes every year.
To you, your sweet means bitter. And when you say you will protect us, you pretend to protract
the war. This is not the children’s dream to have, but your dream to power. Remember, these
souls will count your actions.

And who do you support when you destroyed your future generations?