Bombs rained down around the village, now a target in a tyrant’s senseless war. Heorhiy thumb the cracked screens on the electronic gadgets in his hands hoping the screens and circuitry survived the concussive force of nearby explosions.
He was a farmer, not a fighter but she knew he would defend his homeland to the end. First worked to secure safe passage for his family. Lesya did not want to leave him but he insisted. She understood and accepted his need to see them safe. She watched him frantic, harried, as he searched for a signal from anywhere. Seeking information on the safest corridor, ensuring they safely fled to refugee centers across the border.
As they joined the convoy of millions moving north she could see he was torn, tempted to stay. She begged him to abandon this foolish fight and stay with them. The losses inflicted were enormous. She knew staying was a death sentence.
She tracked his phone for as long as she could. The signal was weak but as long it sent live updates he was alive. As they crossed the border to safety she received one last ping. She would not receive another message from him.
News and images of the dead began to trickle across the border some weeks after the fighting had ended. Every day staff in the camp would show images of the dead. He was unrecognizable except for the photograph of his family clasped in over his heart.
She began to weep…