‘Dear, the war has started’: My journey from Ukraine to Japan

I’m at home in bed, blanketed in a thick silence. It’s not a comfortable silence; I have a lot on my mind. It’s Feb. 24, 2022.

I can hear loud bangs in the distance — it could be fireworks. Then, car alarms — one, two, three. I want to sleep but the noises are too loud, too out of the ordinary. I open my eyes and read the clock; it’s 4:30 a.m. I glance out the window, I can see smoke rising from the direction of an airfield.

My mother pokes her head in my room and says, “Dear, the war has started.” Another bang, this time I feel the house tremble.

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