The December Tragedy
On the early morning of December 17, 2001, six years after former President Aristide who was in exile in the United States had returned to Haiti, I sat down in front of my mother's restaurant expecting my ex-girlfriend to come to the city to spend Christmas.
On my left was my younger brother, Gregory. He sat down in front of his cabinet fixing necklaces and broken watches for some of our neighbor.
To my right was customers who made small talk and waited for my mother to serve them. Customers never mind waiting because political's chats were one of the best me on the menu. People used to come to the restaurant not only for the delicious lunch, but also to talk politics. And the best place to hear about the government's harsh action was in front of my mother's restaurant.
I jetted a look at the kitchen restaurant, I saw my mother looking as beautiful as a flower filling up plate after plate to serve her hungry customers.
There were always a plethora of great and horrible day in front the restaurant. But December 17 was not a great one.
It was eight days before Christmas. December was one of the best months for the business's profits. Customers meandered in to buy groceries to prepare for Christmas.
As usual, the country favorite Christmas song, a beautiful tune by Lionel Benjamin was playing on the radio. Children were singing, dancing and playing. Santa Claus will soon come; he will bring gift for them. I looked across the street from the restaurant and saw the everyday line of people, waiting to get water from the only pump the whole village used to have.
Many were dancing, singing along with the Christmas song. Suddenly, the music stopped for breaking news.
"Can I have your attention, please? " a journalist say over the speakers. "Fifteen minutes ago, over two hundred men well armed in military uniforms, ambushed the Palais with the intention to kill the President. Fortunately, the President was not yet in office, but a lot of guards, government officials, pedestrians, civilians have been shot."
I looked at my mother. I saw tears down her eyes. She couldn't take it anymore.
"When these things are going to stop." She shouted.
The journalist continued over the speaker, "After shooting many civilians in the capital, those rebels are now fleeing the country to the Dominican Republic with powerful guns, firing at everybody. Please, everybody, evacuate route national number four."
My mother's restaurant was only twenty-five feet away from the sidewalk of route national four. And I sat no more than three feet from the route.
I almost lost my life that day. But God has saved me.
Get a copy of my latest book, "God Has Saved Me" to read the full story.
I Wish You And Your Family A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year!