I have a reprieve of sorts. Tuesdays, we teach an extra class in the morning before the other classes for about 30 minutes. It is focused on things like sexuality and bullying and that sort of thing. The first one, last year, was on the physical changes of puberty and they told us about this five minutes before the classes were to begin.

I can look at that now and laugh.

Anyway, I am not assigned to one this month. I will get one next month. So I have 30 extra minutes to do something with, and I am going to sort a bit.

Some things seem to have fallen into place again. It has to do with a sense of trust I have been pondering.

The conclusion of it all, and it might not be very clear where it came from without a bit more explanation, is just that I was not that strong. I was not as strong as Natalya. I am still not. I am just not the person she was.

I am thinking about this in terms of her death, and it has nothing to do with the physical parameters of the situation, the four (armed) men and our small girlness. It’s a little more general.

But I don’t deserve the life Natalya risked (and lost) to give me. I mean, if I had to pick between the two of us, I would pick her. She’s just a better person than I am. Or was.

No one asked me though. She didn’t ask whether I thought she ought to save me and Yuri’s men didn’t ask me if I thought they ought to kill her and generally no one was very interested in my opinion about it. And when the moment came I just didn’t have the power to make anything go differently.

However, I am thinking of everything up to that point, and the opportunities I might have had to do something similar for her—the times when I didn’t save her and might have.

Maybe there weren’t any. But what has come to mind is that if the opportunity had been there, I might not have been able to take it, because I was just not strong enough.

And somehow that thought clears up something important. I loved her as much as she loved me, and I wanted to protect her as much as she wanted to protect me, but she was strong enough to carry it off and I was not.

That’s the reality of it.

It helps so much just to see what is sometimes. This is one of them.

Because it makes it okay to surrender to it. In accepting reality, I am not saying this is what I earned—I did have to take it the rest of the way, and I did have to work to be where I am, but the foundation of my strength is so much her doing. I am just saying this is what is.

This was her plan. She conceived it. She carried it out. She suffered for it. And I suppose she knew what she was doing. I mean, I’m alive. I’m functional. I’m finally able to go about heal. Whether it was right or not maybe isn’t the point either though.

The point is about it being reality. The point is maybe only that she always kept me safe. Even when maybe I didn’t want her to. That’s how she was.

Advertisements