I was trapped behind the barracks, their wires blocking my view of the world outside. Living in persecution for the majority of my life, I knew too little of the green and seemingly happier world outside. All I knew what was within the barracks. The prison guards would torture me, taunt me and throw me to the ground. Why was I here? I didn't do anything that made me deserve this. I have lived this life in agony for far too long. It made me want to die.
Until one day, when I saw a girl wearing a white dress, with a little pink scarf around her shoulders and a big sun hat with a little ribbon tied around it on her head. Her short hair was a golden colour, similar to mine, and she had a beautiful smile.
She was just passing by as I was kneeling on the grass. I quickly got up and just stared at her. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I longed to reach out to her, to touch her fair skin. I wanted to talk to her, but the prison guards were everywhere.
There was no way I could possibly say anything…unless…
I could write her a letter, and fold it into a paper plane, so it could fly away from here and into her world.
It was time to go back into my cell. That's where I would begin my letter. I grabbed a small piece of paper and a pencil and began writing down everything I wanted to tell her. I told her how I felt and asked her questions about how the outside world was like. However, I hid my sorrows. I did not want her to know my pain, she would never understand.
It was time to go back out again and as I ran outside I saw her. She turned as I threw the paper plane, which contained my feelings for her.
Fly away, fly away. I wished as the tiny plane glided across the barracks and fell onto the grass outside. She quickly turned, noticing the paper that had fallen softly onto the ground. The walked over and picked it up, gently unfolding it and reading it. All I could do was smile as she walked away with the letter.
A couple of days later, she returned with a paper plane in her hand, and she threw it up into the air, so it could fly over to my world. As I walked over to pick up the tiny plane, I felt a sudden burst of a feeling I hadn't felt in a long time.
Happiness. It was happiness I was feeling. I no longer wanted to die. The happiness that came from this girl and this plane had seemed to outweigh all of my agony and sorrow. She was like the beautiful flower in a field of weeds.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I had gotten a collection of paper planes from the girl. Every time I'd read them, I'd smile. These tiny planes were the source of my happiness. She was my only connection to the outside world and she was my reason to live.
It was time to go outside for another day. And like always, I saw the girl outside the barracks, cradling another paper plane in her hands and then flying it over the barracks. And then – like always – I would run over to where the paper plane would land, unfold it, and read her writing and the stories she would tell me about her life.
But today was different.
Goodbye, she had written.
Even though it was just a word, it had felt like a knife. It was worse than any pain the prison guards had ever inflicted upon me. It felt like someone had stabbed my heart.
As I looked up, breathing heavily, I saw the girl was leaving. I could feel a lump in my throat and my eyes were getting hot.
"I'll be waiting for you till you come back," I shouted out to her.
She continued walking. Tears started to roll down my cheeks.
"I'll keep and treasure the letters…"
"…then I can see you again, right?" I choked.
A moment of silence passed between us, and then she resumed walking. Every step made the pain in my chest grow worse. Soon, she was nothing more than a white speck in the distance.
I fell to my knees. I couldn't chase after her; I couldn't call her to come back. I couldn't do anything.
I had the letter she had given me in my hand. I was clutching it tightly, and I could see my tears falling. The agony had returned, but this was the first time I had ever cried because of it.
It was time for me to go back to my cell and with every step I took, I tried to remember the happy memories I shared with her. All the little paper planes, flying through the air, carrying our feelings back and forth…
I sat reading the letters over, treasuring every word she had written. But suddenly, I heard footsteps and the sneers of the prison guards. They walked into my cell, and I was frozen with fear. I had been caught.
I felt a sudden blow to my back, and then two pairs of hands hold me down as I watched one of the prison guards pick one of the little paper planes. He had unfolded it and began to read it over. I saw his lips curl into a wicked smile as he read and just as he finished, he grabbed the ends of the paper and tore it in two. All I could do was watch in horror as the pieces of paper that was once one of the girl's precious paper planes fall to the ground.
Just as suddenly as my happiness had first appeared when I read the girl's first letter, a new emotion appeared. It felt like a blaze was burning inside of me. It made me grind my teeth and clench my fists. This new feeling was the opposite of happiness. This new feeling was rage.
I quickly got up, pushing away the guards that had me pinned down and ran up to the one who had torn up the paper plane. I soon felt my hand connect with his face. Before I could lay another hit on him, the guards that I had pushed away grabbed me and pulled me away. I screamed and thrashed about. I didn't want to go where I knew they were taking me. I didn't want to die.
They carried me off to a dark room and closed the doors behind me. I watched as the light that came from outside soon turned into a faint crack and then finally nothing. I didn't scream, I didn't cry, but my mind was doing just that. I wanted to live a little longer, so I could see the girl again.
I want to see you, I want to see you…
Memories of the girl flashed through my mind again. But, this time, even though they brought me some happiness, the brought me pain and sorrow. I could never have those days ever again. My end was near, but I didn't want that end to come.
Her world was so different from mine, and I desperately tried to reach her out. The paper planes were my only way, but it wasn't the same as being next to her, talking to her. I wanted to be in her world, with her.
Soon, I began feeling pains in my chest, it was becoming harder and harder to breath. I started to cough heavily, and I could feel the blood dripping down my chin. I was dying, they had put me in a gas chamber. I knew this was the last moment and all I could do was think about her. I wanted to talk to her desperately.
My screams filled the room as the end drew nearer and nearer. As I looked around, looking at all the people dying with me, I saw a tiny piece of paper with her words written on it. I reached out for it, but I could feel my strength dying away. I felt my tears fall. The end had come.
Then one final thought ran through my dying brain.
All I wanted to know...was your name…