The Aftermath

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,
especially meat.

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
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
you wish…”


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