Anna Denisova

My name is Denisova Anna Oleksandrivna. I have always been a fantasist and a dreamer, I wanted to become a famous writer. I have been writing poems about love since childhood. And my optimism was boundless. Every person has a dream – from the hope of achieving something to the desire to create something and turn it into reality. I think I was always the one with rather ordinary dreams. My dream was for my family members to be well, for harmony and understanding in everything. My whole life I wanted to make things better, kinder and more positive. I was born in Kyiv, and moved to Irpin 8 years ago. The concepts of family and parents were always key for me. I studied and worked all my life, I have two higher educations. My husband and I bought our car in 2018. We waited for it for a long time, then did a complete repair of the car, and spent all the funds accumulated over the course of a lifetime on it. While some people could allow themselves vacations and relaxation, for me it was important to earn money and achieve something even if it meant refusing myself a vacation. To achieve something, you need to make an effort – at least this was my life’s motto.

I really wanted to become a driver, but I never thought I would love it as much, until I actually mastered it. And then it was just me and the road, I felt myself being one whole with my car, and the feeling of happiness when I was driving was overwhelming. When we moved to Irpin, we bought a garage, which we filled with my husband’s tools – everything was in its own place. We saved more money and improved and strengthened the garage, made it more cozy. Then, with time, we built a second garage, completely “from scratch”, equipped with everything nicely in it so that the car could be safely located in its own separate “car house“.

And then another reality hit. The days before departure were very difficult… On March 5, we were traveling from Irpin to another part of Ukraine. I immediately decided I will not leave Ukraine. The road was very difficult, I had such a heavy feeling inside that we should have taken the car with us, but it was not possible. A shiny silver-colored car, a Jeep, a pretty one, the Russians can deliberately hit it on the road, aim at it, and shoot whoever would be inside it. Especially since such situations both that day and the day before were a very frequent case. But I didn’t want to leave anything! Everything that was achieved during our life, the house, the garages… It was so difficult to leave all our life behind! But the hope inside was that everything would be good – if you radiate good and kindness all your life, then there should be good in return, right? Well, that’s not how it works in real life…

We returned to Irpin in the middle of April. When we approached the gate, I hoped that everything would be fine there. But those holes everywhere hinted that everything was far from fine. And also light: why is there light through the closed gate? Why is it there? We opened the gate as best we could, for it was also burnt, besides being shot through. Light… For some reason there were no walls and no roof. How can this be? Why is there ash everywhere? Why is everything rusty? All these questions were tearing my heart and my mind. You see it, but you don’t understand how it could happen. But it was only the first garage with all the tools and stuff. And after that, with full confidence that it couldn’t be worse, we approached the door of the second garage. And again, this light pierced through the holes. At that moment I stopped liking the light. Before the door opened, I saw a mutilated, burned-out car through the hole in the door. And again there are ashes, and again there is no ceiling and walls. How could it be? Error? Joke? Impossible!!! To say that I started to cry? No. I roared, yelled, screamed… At that moment, I simply passed out. I completely abandoned my feelings and my being. Everything you achieved was destroyed and debased. I still haven’t recovered from this completely, I’m just existing somehow.

Memory exists, but reality is empty. Many people said a banal phrase: “Everything can be restored, earned again etc, the main thing is that you are alive.” It breaks my heart to hear such ‘kind’ words. I know these people mean well, but they have no idea how it feels to spend so many resources through your life to achieve this and now have it all destroyed. Some people have the ability and money to restore anything, and that is why they will not understand your pain, and will only give advice after blurting out something like “everything will be fine”. And they will never understand that I will not be able to afford such a car again. It was a fairly new, albeit refurbished 2015 Jeep Cherokee KL, and it was a dream in which money was invested which cannot be returned. And that the tools that burnt down were my husband’s means to earn money. A lifetime of hoping, working, building, and then losing it all in one moment. It’s tough when there is a war in your country, and you dream of waking up and saying “What a fucking terrible dream I just had. Thank God it was just a dream!”