After the morning’s exam, I talk to C. Or I stand there, sort of gazing out at other things. It’s odd that I’ve done that. I’ve come to talk to her, and yet I don’t talk to her. Anyway, I don’t think it really seems odd to anyone but me. Or not odder than anything else I do.

After a minute, she makes a comment about the school captain. She says he is acting smart in front of other people—”acting smart” meaning something we don’t really mean in English. She means he is putting on a show. She says, “Outside hero, inside zero.”

In between that, while she is talking to her friend in the National Language, I look at the hedge in front of me and I feel hopeless, because I really don’t feel real at all. It seems to me that nothing is real. It seems to me I am not getting better. I cannot seem to work through things, and that is why nothing feels real.

Anyway, she says that about the captain and then a minute later her friend wants to leave so she says, “Goodbye, Ma’am,” and bows slightly and while she bows, her eyes are shining. So I’m there a little. I can see her expression as she does that and it sticks in my mind and that at least feels real. I mean, I can see it. I remember it later, and I know I kind of came back for that. I’m not totally lost and disconnected. That’s something.

I know what the problem is though. It’s that what lies between between me and being able to trust—which is what would happen if I were not pushing the trust away—is a colossal amount of grief.

Holding me back is a part of me who wishes I could wait for the girls I loved to return for me and tell what to do and who is safe and who isn’t. But they aren’t going to come back. They are dead. I have to make those decisions of who and when to trust on my own not just because I am grown now, but because the people who always helped me do this are dead and can’t help me anymore. It is up to me now.

So there’s that.

Later, I’m walking around campus—there are various small problems to solve and they involve walking around—and it crosses my mind how angry I am. I am not just angry that the girls I needed to love me, that I miss terribly, that I don’t know how to live without are dead. I am angry because they were good, decent human beings and someone murdered them. They were not just living creatures which ought to be allowed to try to live simply because they are alive. They were good.

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