Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photographs and Memories Pt 2/10 (Love in 10 Hurt Comfort)

Author: JD
Fandom: ER
Rating: PG
Character: Luka Kovac
Words: 633
Summary: Luka tries to comes to terms with life after Vukovar
Warnings: Deals with potentially sensitive subject matter related to the War of Independence.
Notes: This ficlet explores more of Luka's time in the displaced person's camp following his escape from Vukovar. I have previously touched on this time in my longer fics Ghosts, Time Heals all Wounds, and For One Life which I co wrote with M. Blais. All three can be found on the journal link on my info page.

If he had hated being in the medical tent it was nothing compared to being here among those who were alone like he was. The small black and white picture of Jasna and Danijela became his escape, and he would retreat for hours into the world it held. The world that was lost to him. Laying on his side he would stare at their faces, their smiles, and if he concentrated hard enough he could forget that they were gone. The voices in the tent would grow more and more distant until he would cease to hear them completely, and then suddenly he would be back among those at the party where it was taken, back among those he loved. If only he could make it last., but it never did.

"Come on son, you have to get something to eat." He felt the man's touch on his shoulder before he fully registered his words and he flinched, the action yanking him violently out of his thoughts. Yanking him back to the crowded olive green tent that was his world.

"There's only another twenty minutes left for you to get lunch, you should go get something to eat." The man who hovered over him was his father's age if not older and Luka instantly felt bound to maintain the code of respect he would give father, but it wasn't easy.

"I'm not hungry, leave me alone." He tried and failed to keep the bitterness of having been interrupted out of his tone.

"You may not be hungry now, but you will be later, and you need to eat to regain your strength." The man persisted, seemingly unfazed by the younger man's refusal.

"I don't care what you think I need to do, I don't want to eat. Just leave me alone, please." He had turned away from the man as he spoke, unable to look at him for fear that he might see his father's face in the mans.

Truth was he hated leaving the small tent for any reason, because going outside only served to remind him of all he had lost. It wasn't just the physical losses, the fact that everything he had, down to the clothes on his back had belonged to someone else. No, it was the other reminders that going outside brought him. The sounds of husbands and wives carrying on conversations he and Danijela would never again have. The sight of fathers and daughters sitting together, of a son calling to his father across a crowded room. No, it was safer to stay here, within the safety of the small tent and go hungry then face those reminders over and over.

It was hard to know how long the man remained behind him, he was sure that he felt his eyes on his back for a least several minutes. How was he supposed to live like this? At least in Vukovar there had been the hospital to distract him, but here there was nothing, no, not nothing. The small photo found it's way into his hands once more and as he laid it on the cot he traced the images with his finger. If he had only known on that day that this would be all he would have left of them. He sniffed back the tears that began to form with the thought. As he closed his eyes, he could bring the picture of his small son into focus, would there ever be a time when he wouldn't feel guilt at not having anything thing physical to connect them? Would he ever not feel that he had loved Marko any less because he wasn't in the photograph with his mother and sister? There was one greater fear though, and that fear was the one which caught his breath in his chest, what would happen if he closed his eyes one day and Marko wasn't there anymore?

To be continued....

No comments: