There is a part who says we can call her Maryam, although she can’t remember her name.

Maryam wants to make sure C’s pieces are still together. Every time she sees C, she is relieved to observe that C has her pieces still all together and because of that she will not die.

Maryam is the child who experienced what felt like total genocide. I think it was only five or six girls that died—which is quite enough, but it’s different than 30. It’s just that these were all of her friends. Every last one of her friends died, and although she wants to make friends and be a part of the world again, she is afraid that everyone just dies.

C makes Maryam surface, and she is terribly afraid of this. She is afraid, on the one hand, just because of the terror of seeing a body all in pieces and C very strongly prompts the memory of that experience, but she is also afraid that the loss of everyone she might care about is inevitable and C will somehow die or disappear too.

I did have a friend after all of the Afghani girls died—I had Nata—but Maryam did not have much connection with Nata. Nata was not her friend.

The hard part of C having all her pieces together still and of her not dying every single day is that it highlights the wrongness of the girls who did die—they are about the same age. They look much the same: C has a striking resemblance to one of the Afghani girls. If C is not going to die, then it was not inevitable that all of Maryam’s friends died. They ought to have lived. And it is a very hard realization. The grief it unleashes is stunning.

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