Things are still moving around in my head quite a lot, sort of in bits. They aren’t all coming together, just moving closer.

On the one hand, I’m starting to understand how frightening the world is without Nata. How can I possibly be safe for her? For some parts of me, I am still six years old and Nata is God, blessed with immense power to keep me safe. Of course, I am not six years old, but maybe more importantly, she never had that power. There were some things she could do to help me, but I trusted her to be able to do more than she could ever do.

I’m starting to have a greater understanding for our situation and more compassion for both of us. We were both children, doing our best to help each other and to protect one another and the problems we faced were just always so much bigger than us.

I’m also starting to understand that her choices, when it came to me, weren’t about my worth. It’s not like she had a balance sheet in her head. She wasn’t thinking, “She’s worth this because of x, y, and z.” Her desire to protect me had nothing to do with any kind of calculation of my goodness or my competence or anything else. It was purely an emotion, an instinct. She had a feeling inside, and the feeling made her act. I had the same feeling inside about her, but there weren’t always the same choices. I was younger and less street-smart and I had different opportunities—sometimes I had more opportunities, sometimes I had fewer.

So I don’t need to prove I was worth saving. It was never about that. She saved me because of the feeling we had for each other.

The other thought is that I didn’t choose any of this. Some parts of the present are the result of my own choices, but so much of the fact of my life is the result of other people choices, or it is the result of choices I had to make when all of the choices were shitty. I didn’t choose to live and for her to die. I didn’t choose to leave the girls at the hotel. I mean, I chose to try to escape from Yuri. But that’s hardly a choice: leave and maybe live or stay and probably die. That’s really a choice of how to leave them, alive or dead, but not whether I left them.

I can like being here on this planet with the life I have or I can dislike it, but large chunks of it I never chose.

I don’t know what’s so important that, but it is important. Perhaps it just explains why I might make the best of it now. Maybe it just allows me to grieve for all of them.

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