He was going to be gone a few hours so I sat down to make a to-do list while I listened to the radio. It’s mostly useless to listen. The situation is the same everywhere but some in the media insist and struggle to report on what they view as tiny sprouts of hope. It has been years since I’ve felt anything resembling hope and it’s interesting to me that a few can still muster it. These stories distract me for a few minutes.
The reporter narrates:
A young girl who’s volunteered to translate asks me the same question the rebels asked in the police station: Why won’t anybody help us?
I tell her my country doesn’t want to get mired in another costly war, especially not now, in an election year. I feel like I’m saying something normal, but it shatters the girl. She starts to cry and can’t stop. She eventually tells the other women in the room what I said.
The women stare at me. We won’t forget this, the sister of the dead man says finally. When we control our country, we won’t forget that you forgot about us.
And the story ends with that.
I didn’t understand the girl’s language, but I sensed what she was feeling because she wasn’t adept at controlling her emotions. Her loneliness was too big and it didn’t fit in that room. I felt an urge to comfort her; to tell her it would never fit anywhere but, if she managed to survive, she wouldn’t be helpless again.
Before he left to run his errands he caught me looking through the pictures in the box. He lectured me and told me he had already been old twice and that he didn’t like it. He said he was not going to do it again. He said all of it was in spite, not because, of me. These statements didn’t seem arbitrary. Nothing ever is random with him. He always speaks in absolutes and I’m certain he has never been aimless for one second of his life. Maybe this is why we can’t get along.
I have an edge because he’s easy to read even though he thinks he’s being deceitful. The temperature of his body against my skin gives his intentions away. In the beginning he was warm like anyone else. Later, the more determined he became, the colder his skin got. One night I felt in love so I decided to give it one more try. I put my hands on him while he slept. He was an ice block. That’s when I knew it was either going to be him or me.
I don’t care for the result. It’s the same to me. If it’s the same to him as well then it’s going to be more difficult. He was either going back into the earth or I was going to die.