"We're going to die," the little girl declared calmly as another blast of machine-gun fire echoed through the house, hurting their ears.
The teenage boy hugged the girl strongly, protectively. "Don't think that way," he insisted. "You can't think like that."
The girl pulled away, then hugged her friend again, as she heard the screams of a dying man. "Everyone I've cared about is dead! My family..."
"Mine too," the boy whispered. "But we're healthy, we've eaten today, and we have each other. We'll get through this together, I promise you."
The girl pulled away again. The boy knew that her mind was much too old for her seven years, and felt sad for her. He wanted to help; he couldn't stand to see a little girl so sad. So he took it upon himself to keep her safe, and help her through all this.
"We'll be okay," he said, tousling her hair gently. "I'll protect you, and we'll get out of this awful country. We'll go to America or France or something. and you'll be a...a famous ice skater or something."
"Marathon runner," the girl corrected.
"You're right," smiled the teenager, remembering that all the girl wanted to do was to run away. He wasn't sure if the two of them would even live through the night. Yet, somehow, to him, that was all the more reason to try to be happy. If you'd be dead soon, it seemed wrong to be sad.
His smile somehow comforted the girl, and she sighed a little. The boy touched the girl's arm for a moment, then pulled out a deck of cards from his tattered jacket's pocket.
"Wanna play Go Fish?" he asked, smiling. He was rather happy that he had someone to play Go Fish with; Solitare got pretty old.
The boy's crazy optimism rubbed off a bit on the girl, and the two of
them spent a good half-hour buried in a simple card game, oblivious to the
carnage that was taking place so near to the wounded house.
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