He is nineteen.
Those three words continually ring in my ears, wanting to drip from my lips but hovering in the back of my throat instead. They haunt me. He is nineteen.
I am sad. My brain is on repeat. Those two phrases are correlated in my mind. He is nineteen, and I am sad. I am nineteen. He is nineteen.
Nineteen was an age I didn’t want to turn. Nineteen is odd and prime and in the scheme of things, it’s an insignificant birthday. Nineteen has perhaps been the best four months of my life. Nineteen is living in Boston. Nineteen is being in college. Nineteen is self-discovery.
He is nineteen.
I didn’t want to be sad. I didn’t want to write this. I am only nineteen. And I am sad. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is only nineteen. I am sure he didn’t want to be sad either. He is nineteen.
Nineteen is living, and something about his nineteen doesn’t align with my nineteen. Nineteen is happy. Nineteen is free. I don’t think this is the nineteen Dzhokhar saw.
Nineteen is pain. Nineteen is confusion. These are part of my nineteen, but not on the scale that they were parts of Dzhokar’s nineteen.
Nineteen is dreaming. Nineteen is looking to the future, because nineteen is young. Nineteen is the starting line and something made Dzhokhar run the other way. I wish I knew what it was. I wish I knew what has made Dzhokhar’s nineteen so different from mine. I wish people didn’t do bad things. I wish people didn’t feel the need to do bad things. Nineteen is wishing.
He is nineteen. I am nineteen.
About the Author (Author Profile)Mackenzie is a cake connoisseur, junior, and co-Editor-in-Chief of Culture Shock. She hails from a small snow globe of a town deep in the mountains of Colorado and is ridiculously proud of the fact that she's half Australian. She's working towards molding young minds as she studies History Education and American Studies with a minor in Political Science, but she would also like to be a princess (or maybe a lawyer). Her weaknesses and greatest enemies include mornings, ketchup, and mascots. Mostly Mackenzie likes to tweet about sandwiches (@Kenz_LM), eat soup, look at the moon, and work towards being Hermione Granger.
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