War-broken Girl
By Jaclyn // [email protected]
October 2003

A/N: This was an English assignment. The story, like Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl," was supposed to be an interior dialogue between two people (girl/mother, girl/teacher, etc), in which the latter gave the former more advice than she ever wanted. We were supposed to use a distinctive voice, blah blah. (Note: Jamaica Kincaid's story was full of "this is how's," and in this story I went with that. In the other one I did [I'll choose later, or maybe not], I not only went more original, but I also used details from my own life, which I think he wanted.)

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Said, this is the way war feels on your skin as it wears it away. [Once, in a different world: "Life is about adversity." (Mama, how they tease me.) "You need a tougher hide."]

This is how you live. This is how you live among the dying; this is how you live among the already dead. And this is how you die yourself.

(This is how you desert me.)

This is how you go on.

(If you are such on expert at life, why are you no longer living it?)

This is how you find that balance between too-distant and too-near, and this is how you don't dissolve into a mere shell or a raving lunatic. (This is how I waver on the brink of insanity with nothing to hold on to but the memory of you: your body slippery in my hands, your movements stilted, your voice cracking at the seams.)

This is how you put yourself back together when you are broken. This is how you stitch yourself back together when you cannot be fixed. This is how you overcome. This is how you move beyond loss; this is how you leave the past where it belongs. (This is how you fade away.)

This is--

(And...)

how--

(...that is how all of this means nothing when you are dead and I am dying and there is nothing outside but blood and snow.)

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Make me smile :: [email protected]