Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prompt 53.6: Recovery/Writers Muses

Congo collage

I don't remember my rescue, our rescue. The truth is, I remember very little of the time I spent with Chance and her mother in that small window-less shack we were kept in after leaving Matenda. There are times I can remember the oppressive heat as it turned the hut into an oven. I can sometimes remember how it felt when my untreated malaria sent my temperature soaring, leaving me shivering under a blanket that was little more than a rag itself. There is so much though that I don't remember, so much that I know I should.

There are times I think I remember the ride to the clinic. If I try to retreat into the blackness where all of the mysteries of those lost days, those lost weeks hide. If I go there, sometimes I think I can snatch glimpses out again. But, more often then not, the memories that surface are those of what happened at the hands of the Mai Mai, and far too often, they're the memory of Patrique as his life was taken while he was begging them to spare mine. It's then I find myself counting the minutes until they bring the next dose of sleeping pills. The next dose of anything that will let me stop remembering, the next dose that will send me back into the fog of nothingness.

I'm not prepared to talk about what happened to us but, now, with my arrival at County I know it's coming. How many times will I get away with feigning sleep when someone shows up at my room, full of questions and wanting to talk? They thought I was dead, and now, here I am, how can I not expect there to be questions? Even as they have questions for me, I still can't get escape the questions I have for myself and they play through my thoughts like they're on some never-ending loop. What made my life worth more then everyone elses? I'm not just talking about Patrique's, Why would Sakima have risked not just her own life, but that of her daughters as well? How could she know they wouldn't rape her again, or worse, drag Chance into that tent? What could she have done to stop them? How could she have thought my life was worth putting that little girl in anymore danger than she'd already been placed in?

It's hard to know how long my recovery will take, I know it involves more than just how I come back from the malaria. While Gillian hasn't said anything outright, I can see on her face that she'sworried about what will happen once she goes home, and I'm left to do all of this on my own. I haven't said anything to her, I have my own fears, and I know I'll have to deal with those for my recovery to really be complete. I owe that much to those who I've hurt, that I've killed, and far more then that to those who sacrificed their lives for mine. The very things that drove me to the Congo in the first place, now become just one more symptom among all of the others that I have to find a way to conquer before I can honestly say I've recovered. I don't know if I can do all of this on my own, and at the same time I know I have to, but that'll come later, for now, I just need to sleep, 'cause I'm tired, so very tired.

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