The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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The war for acceptance

 The war for acceptance
The war for acceptance

The war for acceptance

I await the messenger. He descends from his vehicle, clutching a bag. He distributes the contents of the bag into the enemy’s hands, the contents of which I must retrieve. The messenger raises the red flag — the signal to move in on the enemy.

It’s been nearly four years since our last encounter. Victory was mine the last time we came face to face. This time, victory is anything but certain.

Camouflaged behind a tree, I watch. The messenger drives off in his war tank. I hone in on my view of the enemy. I know I must act fast. Time is of the essence. Adrenaline, anxiety, hope, fear are together rioting through my veins like mobs running through the streets of Cuba.

I am within close proximity to the enemy’s lines. The temptation to turn back and give into a cowardice end is flooding my mind, but honor tells me I must prevail. I whisper it: “I will prevail.”

I see my target as it is buried underneath a guise of other targets meant to divert my attention. Clever. Real clever. I quickly snatch it from the hands of the enemy and make a run for it. I hold onto it, but it’s slipping through my cold, sweaty fingers.

I race across the green battlefield, trampling over the debris and one of our transport vehicles turned on its side, its wheel still spinning. I sense something is wrong. I can feel it. Suddenly, I hear an explosion behind me, but I don’t look back. I never look back. One by one, they all go off- dihydrogen monoxide bombs rising from the ground and exploding everywhere around me in a domino effect.

It’s an ambush.

Tiny chunks from the chain of blasts cover me as I’m running towards the horizon. Hope is nearly gone. Fear has taken over. Paradise is lost. “Damn you, Milton!” I shout, waving my fist wrathfully in the air. But off in the distance, I spot refuge. I see hope as it takes the shape of our brick encampment. I am mere yards away. Paradise is regained.

The gate to the corridor is closed. But once again, all hope is not lost, and I am not alone. A fellow soldier, my brother, stands on the other side of the door, awaiting my return. I am overcome with a deep sadness for him, for he must lay witness to this war at the young age of 14. His time will come, and when it does, he shall be prepared, for as Nietzsche once said, “What does not kill us only makes us stronger.”

Nietzsche is my hero.

The soldier swings the door open as I approach it, and I dive in, rolling several times before I am able to gain balance. He is scared. I am scared. But I tell myself, “Get it together!” So I must. And so I do. I re-establish my composure. The soldier stands beside me as I behold the message in my trembling hands.

I stand there, looking at a piece of information that is critical to the outcome of the war. The struggle for freedom and liberation from constant fear of rejection is at a near end.

It is but a mere shell game, so I slice open the shell. The outcome of a long and arduous war, the struggle for acceptance, is revealed in the opening lines of this message that I have intercepted.

I read.

The war is over. There is victory, and there is defeat. To which side does each outcome merit remains a mystery. What the message reveals, the world may never know. But I stand there, knowing that the war is over. I am, if nothing else, liberated.

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