Diary of War

2 March 2022

Day seven

Vesna [Mariupol]

We turn off all heaters, refrigerators, kettles—anything electrical to save resources. From the window of our flat, I can see that the traffic lights are dark, too. Before the water got cut off, we filled up a third of our bathtub. Then, the tap sputtered and gurgled with a heartbreaking sound. Every two hours, we fill a mug to drink.

Yesterday, the sound of shelling went on for 14 hours. Raindrops pound on the windows. Every time I go into our flat, I listen for the telling whistle announcing a new strike.

I am dead tired and I nod off all the time. My brother stays close to Mom and me, watching me intently. I cannot decipher the look in his eyes, but then the corners of his mouth perk up a bit. “Go to sleep,” he says, and offers the nook of his arm.