the girl in the red beret


At night I put myself to sleep imagining how I would load a car up with TNT and drive down to the border where the enemy stood leering, waiting for women and children they could disembowel and torture. I would wait for them to stand all in one place, and then I would press down on the gas pedal, hard, and plow right into them. The car would explode and I would die, but I would kill enough of them with me that the war would end. I lay in bed and cried, imagining my parents and brother crying, missing me, but then I imagined them walking in a parade with the rest of the country. Everyone would be there: my aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbors, my classmates and teachers. And they would all walk hand in hand down to the south, and they would tear out the roadblocks and checkpoints and barbed wire with their bare hands. They would cry with joy, and dance, and feast until the stars wheeled to the other side of the night sky. The long war would be over. And I would watch them from posters, my eyes remote and full of grace, focused on a future I would never know, a future made possible through my sacrifice. In thick calligraphy, it would say my name, and above it, my title: The Hero of Lebanon, the Girl Who Ended the War.

more from Bidoun here.