There is no electricity. There was for a while. I boiled drinking water. Then the electricity went before I could make rice. There was no electricity all day yesterday—it finally came back around six in the evening. Today might be the same.

I am watching the steam curl up out of my coffee into the cold morning air. I’m in a stare-at-things kind of place today.

I dreamed I was a librarian last night. I dreamed I was leaving a job I left almost a decade ago and working at hiring my replacement. When I did leave that job, I played no part in hiring my replacement. They hired someone insane, who was lazy and only marginally competent, and the staff hated. One-by-one, they left. They ought to have promoted the librarian under me, who was hardworking, loved the kids, and had good relationships with the staff. She was good and she knew what she was doing.

I don’t know why I dreamed about it now, except that there is a sense that some bits of me need to be introduced to where I have been.

The original personality surfaced again yesterday. She says she is chaos inside, that everything is a muddle. I suppose that makes sense. I hogged the brain. Everyone else had life, had emotions, had things happen to them. No one got to use the brain to make sense of things. And so for her everything is jumbled. New things, old things, feelings, thoughts. It’s a mess in there. But I have to feel the messiness to share the brain. I cannot just stand outside and look at the mess and name it for myself. That gives me order, but it keeps the order for me alone. I have to stand inside the mess.

There is a kind of different rhythm to us—me and everyone else. The “normal” of each part feels different, like it’s a different texture or a different colour. Being inside someone else makes me realize what it feels like to be “me.” It feels like the wheels constantly turning. It is, in a way, machine-like. I am “writing” all the time, describing my own experiences as if I am writing about them to someone else. I do this although there are times when I ought to just shut up. I ought to just watch the steam on the coffee curling up into the cold air instead of trying to describe.

Too much making sense of things.

Bedtime is still hard. I suppose it makes sense just to accept this. Bed is hard. Going to sleep is hard. Waking up is hard. That is how it is. There is no magic to make it better. I can do little things to make it easier to cope with, but it still hurts. It is still going to hurt.

Last night, it started to seem like a good idea to address Nata directly about this. Instead of telling myself about how I felt, I told her. I said it out loud. And I said it over and over. What I feel is abandoned. I don’t think I had quite put my finger on that before.

It is hard when you know—when you are convinced—that someone died out of love for you to acknowledge feeling abandoned. She did what she thought was best, and I think it probably really was best, but I am so angry at her for leaving me behind. Last night, I told her, I needed you. I needed you to help me grow up. I still need you.

And I did. I do. I need her so much.

At the same time, the life I am struggling to live is her doing. It is her gift to me. I don’t know that she thought of it as a gift when she made the decisions she did. I think it just seemed to her the most sensible course of action to take. She had a chance. She took it. You don’t get two chances at a lot of things.

I think she had a good idea how things would play out. I wanted to blame police corruption for it. There might have been corruption, but she grew up in an almost criminal state. I doubt corruption would have taken her by surprise. Nonetheless, she would have realized Yuri would be informed by someone who recognized the officer she spoke to as he came or left. By one of the girls trying to win points. By the attaché. By someone inside the department. The odds of this not happening were slim indeed.

She knew they would kill her. She might have hoped somehow Yuri would be snatched up and the whole operation dismantled before they found out what she had done, but I think she knew this probably wouldn’t happen. What she had to have thought is that the information she provided would place enough pressure on Yuri to let me go. And he did.

He let me go.

I stood up to my dad in the end, but she stood up to Yuri for me. And that’s the reason I could just walk away.

There’s another piece of this. It’s not a nice piece. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable.

She was, for nearly everyone, a disposable person. Her papers were false. She had no connections to anyone outside of the Yuri’s trafficking ring. She could be murdered and it could be made to seem as though she had never existed. I went to school. I had friends. I lived in a neighborhood where everyone had seen me grow up from toddler-hood. I couldn’t be disappeared so easily.

She saved me because I could be saved. But I could not have saved her.

I don’t know what would have happened to me if she hadn’t done those things. I really have no idea, but I shudder to imagine it.

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