Tuesday, 4 August 2009 - 5:38 pm

Hand on my head

We’re leaving tomorrow. One less than we should have been. Everything’s packed and ready and there aren’t any more reasons to delay.

I don’t want to be here any more. I’ve been buried in blankets, as if they might protect me from the world. From the truth. They won’t. They can’t. It seeps in, it grabs me and sucks me down, and plays over and over in my head. I keep thinking of things I could have done better, or differently, but the end is always the same. A perfect circle.

I could have not picked up the gun. I might have lost them both, but it wouldn’t have been my hands that did it. I keep trying for a better solution, but I can’t find one, and that hurts more than anything.


Dillon came to see me today. He struggled all the way up three flights of stairs on his crutches and into the room I had isolated myself in. He asked me how I was, but I had no answer for him. There just aren’t words. I shook my head and returned the question.

He was quite happy to talk. About how he’s getting better on these crutches and the doctor says that his leg is healing all right. He’s been playing soccer with the other two kids, hopping about and using crutches to bat the ball, and they’re not letting him win any more. His grin didn’t mind that, but it didn’t last long. He’s going to miss them when we go; the other youngsters are staying here. Dillon has a family to find.

Before he left, he said that he didn’t blame me for what happened and put his hand on my head. It was the only part of me he could reach from up on his crutches. The gesture brought tears up again, but I held them back until he was gone.


If I’m not to blame, then who is? It’s not Ben’s fault that he became what he did. It’s not Thorpe’s for bringing the gun. It’s not Matt’s for standing up for what he thought was right. He was trying to protect me.

I made the choice. Just me.

I want to write it down but I’m afraid to put it into words. That awful scene, the moment when I knew I had to do something. Each frantic little thought that led to the sharp tang of gunpowder in the air. I can explain it. I can justify it. And that’s the part that frightens me the most.

I don’t want to know that I can do something like that again.