About me: I'm 15, I write a lot, read even more, and when I'm free I try to survive. I really hope to accomplish at least something worthwhile in my life.

About the text: I wrote it on February 25, when I came back from the second rally in my life. The first one was the day before. There were four of us “walking”, and I was alone back home. Dad was detained for 30 days, Mom got a fine of 20 000 roubles, and my brother stayed there to figure out where they were taken.

Worrisome February

A dumbstruck soul was walking on Pushkinskaya Street and could only notice pain, mud, and terror.

Freedom felt irresponsible. The powerlessness was making me sick. The feeling of my own feebleness made my heart sink and my jaws clench. Something was turning me inside out. Could it be shame?

Hands are twitching. My heart's drum kit is rumbling a sullen rhythm. TSweat goes down my arm and makes my shirt wet. My knees... They have a life of their own going on. Every step brings a sharp headache.

Why do people even have heads, if they must ache every so often? Why do people have heads, filled with white and gray matter, if they use it to make up even more cruel ways to kill?

Why are there scientists, if everything they discover becomes a weapon? Why do people live? To kill each other? It's better not to be born, so as not to feel a part of this fucked-up insanity.

Were I a believer, I would pray. I'm an atheist. And I'm going to a rally. Going to a rally with my family. To protest the war. This is war? This is in my lifetime? I can't believe it.

The word “war” always meant something horrible, despicable, and it was always far away. Something that was never meant to happen again. It was never meant to happen. But here I am, having only just talked my mom into letting me go, riding on the subway train with my brother. Dad should already be in the city center. Or is he still there? If he's caught, it's a 300 000 roubles fine. The “astronauts” (riot police) caught him before at a pro-Navalny rally, so it would be a second violation. A violation is merely trying to express your opinion.

If the college finds out, I’ll be expelled.

The music in my headphones makes me keep furiously skipping the tracks. Nothing fits, everything’s irrelevant, everything’s alien. The songs stop before they start. Just like lives in a war. Shitty, cheap analogy, why the hell did you come into my head? I’m having enough trouble as it is.

There’s a couple sitting opposite me. Sitting and smiling. Makes me want to shout.

Why the fuck are you happy? Didn’t you read the news?!

Breathe in. Out. $\hspace{18 pt}$In. Out.

I’ve got to stop worrying. Got to care for myself, got to try to live. Tomorrow should be my first psychotherapy session. Better check if it’s still on.

“Hello, are we meeting tomorrow?”

“Alyona, I live in Kyiv. We have connection issues, so we’ll have to reschedule the session. I’ll text you when everything calms down.”

$\hspace{25 pt}$Breathe in. Out. $\hspace{40 pt}$In. Out. $\hspace{33 pt}$Don’t panic. $\hspace{21 pt}$Breathe. In and out.