Jean pulled up to the house, I paid him and went
inside. Luckily no one was home. I lay down and closed my eyes, but when I did
that the images of that day came back.
I opened my eyes and stared at
the ceiling for a little while, then I opened my book. I got through about fifty pages, absorbing
very little information before I stopped.
So I sat down and began to write about what we had seen that day. Part way through my stomach started to rumble
aggressively. I hadn’t really eaten
since breakfast. Jean and I had shared
some dried apricots in the car ride back but that was about it.
I went inside the main house and fixed myself some
dinner. A piece of chicken, some rice,
and spinach. I sat down at the table and
looked at my food. I decided to start
with the chicken first, but as soon as the knife hit the bone I lost my
appetite. I had cut through the skin and
flesh of the chicken, exposing the bone underneath. Staring at that was far too reminiscent of
what we’d seen that day. I covered the
chicken with a piece of napkin. I sat there twisting the rings on my fingers
and thinking. I was still in shock and
couldn’t quite understand everything that we had seen.
Eventually I ate the rice and spinach, in a mechanical “I
must provide fuel for my body” sort of a way.
I cleared my plate and immediately felt guilt for wasting food,
Back inside my room, I just sort of stood for a second. I wasn’t entirely sure what one was supposed
to do, when you felt yourself breaking.
I called one of my friends from home, who I had visited the
concentration camp with. She picked up
after a few rings, “Corie?!” “Is everything okay? What’s wrong?” She knew if I
was calling long distance it wasn’t just to say hey. I quickly explained that everything was sort
of all right. I was not kidnapped, lost,
or in failing health. I was just
sad. “The babies,” I said, “There skulls
were the size of my fist. They killed
them by throwing them against the walls.
You could still see the blood.” I cried to her for a while, in a way
that is only possible between close friends.
By the end of a ten minute conversation I felt some sort of emotional
release and I was able to hand up.
Later that night my mom called, I had told her of my plans
for the day. I told her what I had seen,
but there wasn’t a lot to say. We talked
for a while as well about our family, our pets, neighborhood gossip, anything
but what I was doing in Rwanda.
After we hung up I got in bed. Usually before traveling I download movies
to tv shows to my various devices to past the time. Before coming here I forgot. By some minor miracle The Princess Bride and Rear
Window were downloaded on my computer.
For the second night in a row I watched The Princess Bride and fell asleep to the grandfather saying “As