The War Began…
Then in 1970, an unfortunate event happened. The war started. My dad had a car accident while I was going to college. The war dragged until April 1975 before the country was under the Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge regime. To make the story short, another two million innocent civilians were killed included 63 members of my family.
It was a very devastating experience for me. I lost everything overnight. I lost my dad, my mom, my two younger brothers, one younger sister, grand mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. On top of loosing those love ones that can never be replaced, I had lost everything else I had including material, freedom, hope. I was living minute by minute.
My life could have ended by stepping on a land mine, a wrong statement made, because they didn't like whom I looked like. There are many more reasons, too.
Life was so fragile. All I've heard was this person or that one was lost over night because "Ong Ka Ler", The Supreme Committee, wanted to talk to them. First, I thought it was a beautiful word. I later learned that was the way that people got killed. Even until this day, the feeling is still chilling to me.
If he/she were lucky, the victim would have just gotten a bullet in the head. On the other hand, an un-lucky victim would have been forced to dig his or her own grave. Once it is done, they would have just ended the victim's life by the end of a wood stick, like baseball bat. All killing was done while the victim was still digging the grave.
Everybody was in constant fear of losing their life. Sometimes I wished I could have had a magic wand to turn myself into an animal. Why? Animals' lives, especially the dogs, were better than human being.
It was a living hell to every body in that time, including myself. For this reason, the idea of escape came to mind. From day to day, the authority would have announced that so and so had been killed. The reason being he or she was trying to escape.