My name is El-
My name is E-
I don’t know my name.
Who am I? More importantly, where am I?
I didn’t quite know what I was doing at the ceremonial event. It was not ‘my kind of scene’. But there I was at the opening credits of the play, formal wear on, in one of the best seats. Somehow I was placed next to a man most of the world loved. He was a famous man, and he had enormous executive power in the country. But I didn’t like him. From the calm, stoic expression on his ominous face, you’d think he was a news anchor.
And there I was, sitting right next to the President of the United States.
I do not like this man.
I didn’t talk to him. No, not one word. Not until I started remembering, and boy was that a torrent of memories to fly into my amnesiac head. It started when the opening credits of the play (is it a play?) were interrupted by a moment of silence and dedication for all those who perished in the attack. The ‘extremist totally-non-Sareesemee-lead’ attack on a small Christian community in Wyoming. The slaughter of innocents, the rape and destruction of people whose biggest crime was that they believed in God. The total devastation of a place I once called home.
I’m from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
No, I’m from California.
New York, definitely.
Where do I live?
As all the audience groans and reacts in sympathy, I remember. The memories come rushing in.
The backs of men and women in white outfits, an anti-Judeo-Christian KKK(Sareesemee). There are more than I can count, and as they march through my hometown, I hear screams and cries and see the destruction they bring. How they kicked me down and pinned me to the ground and ... no! That couldn’t have happened! Never!
They threw my mother onto the ground, knocking her out cold.
I’m here for my mother.
This is a production from the hospital.
It’s for the recovery ward.
What am I recovering from?
My father was out, his devotion to Christianity keeping him safe for once, as he had hurried off to the church in Laramie for an evening sermon.
These savages will go there next!
I panic. There is blood on the pristine sheets. My body hurts. The scrapes and cuts and bruises and…there.
The (how could you call them) men left me for dead, a sack of meat that was depleted and useless. A spent whore.
They threw a grenade in my house. I could barely muster the strength to move a finger to throw it away.
But mom. She-
She covered it with her body. I don’t know when she regained consciousness. I don’t want to know.
She might have witnessed my gang-no!
Her eyes tell me that the one thing she wants is my safety.
They say ‘I love you’ as much as kind, hazel eyes can.
They send me off with a kiss.
Is she dead?
Is my mother dead?
At the play, I am angry and scared. I look down at my body. There are cuts on my wrists. I always figured I’d end up getting into that one day, but I never had a great reason to do it. The hospital gown I’d been wearing for months is replaced by an elegant eggshell-white lacy dress. It covers up a lot of the cuts and bruises, but I can still see the ones I caused. Those diagonal slits. I’m crying now, and I turn to my seatmate.
He’s not such a great actor. Same stoic face. Not a single sympathetic groan.
I want to throttle him. I want to punch him until my hands bleed.
“Why won’t you react!? Don’t you give a shit about the people in your country? Sure we may put our religion to a higher standard, but we are all American citizens!”
He doesn’t answer me in my desperation.
He doesn’t care.
He never did.
This was …. this was my fault!
But what happened?
Why are these memories blocked?
He smiles at me.
“Your recovery is going great. Only the best for my new adopted daughter.”
What the actual hell?
Maybe that’s why I slit my wrists.
And more memories flush into me as I press on my scars.
My mother is on a grenade and time seems to have frozen. A sadistic man approaches from the group that’s left me for dead.
He grabs me, and I’m too weak to stop it.
“No” I hoarsely whisper out.
But the hands are stronger than me (hands all over my body).
“You can save her,” He says. He is the leader of the group. (The first to take my-No! No)
“Eh … nee … thing” I choke out. (Hands gagging me, held at my throat.)
“What’s that little girl?”
“I-I I’ll do an-any-thing! Just save her. Pl-please!”
He drags her limp body off the grenade and shows me that it would be set off by a trigger. That he could press it at any time. That there was, at least, an hour before the police could save her. That I was coming with him.