Monday, May 7, 2007

Write about a time when you truly struggled./Talking Muses

Vukovar 1991

"Luka, are you awake?" Had it not been for the sound of Danijela's voice, Luka was sure he could have slept for much longer, but as her question roused him, he groaned and cracked an eye open.

"I am now."  It took him a moment more to realize that the reason he couldn't feel his arm was because his daughter was laying on it as she slept and a closer look at Danijela revealed that she similarly held their son in her arms.

"What time did the shelling stop?" His voice grew quieter as he attempted to avoid waking either of the children.

"I'm not sure, I fell asleep not long after you did." From where they lay on the floor she reached out to touch his hand, then followed it with a smile as he laced his fingers with hers.

"You're going to have to go out today aren't you?" The fear at what that meant was in her voice even as she tried to hold it back.

"I'm afraid so, the water is almost gone, and I should see what's in the market, maybe we'll luck out and get some cheese." He dropped his eyes to their daughter as she snuggled closer in her sleep.

"Jasna would love you forever, she's been complaining about the fact that all we've had this week is vegetables and bread." As much as she knew that Luka had no control over the hardships the family was suffering, she still found the blame reflecting in her voice.

"And Marko needs some milk. Luka, where are we doing to find any with as bad as things have been this week?" Despite her efforts to maintain her composure the hold began to slip.

"I'll find something, it'll likely be canned, but, if I need to do the water run too I had better get started. I'll do the market queue's first, that way I'll have those covered before they start running out of things."  Biting his lip, he eased his pinned arm out from under the sleeping five year old as he finished talking.

"Why don't you see if you can get a little more sleep before they wake up, as rough as things were last night you could use it." After brushing a kiss on Jasna's forehead he moved over to do the same to their infant son Marko.

"You'll be careful?" The moment the words left her mouth she regretted them, not so much for what they were but for the fear that she might be tempting the danger they knew was already too real, to come even closer.

"Danijela, don't'll be all right." After moving over and giving her a lingering kiss he got to his feet, you know I know the risks, I see the results everyday, but I have to go, and it doesn't help to worry about it every time I go out." He hated the harshness that seemed to carry through in his words, and he forced a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes as he finished.

"I'll keep my eyes open, I can't do anymore then that. Okay?" He remained standing over her until he received her nod of acceptance.

"All right, I'd better get going, I love you, kiss the kids for me when they wake up." If she had more to say she would have to save them for later, for as soon as he finished he started for the kitchen to gather up the various containers that would hold their water over the next several days. Already she could feel the tightening in her chest and she knew there it would stay until the moment he came back through the apartment door. Fear was a fact of war, fear was a constant part of her life, of their lives, for each other, for their children, for their future. 

When would it all end?


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