The Girl Who Cried War
Author: coritherien

Chapter 12
Free

May 8th, 2008

“Bucko, what are you thinking about?”

Mahogany hair draped across her face, the sun glinted in her eye.  Her face was now haunting my every conscious, and unconscious, thought.  But, much like my own, her identity was a mystery me.

“Nothing.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Billy grinning mischievously.

“It’s that girl again, ain’t it?”

I rolled my eyes, but he knew.

“I get it, Bucko; she’s your only memory.  Makes sense that you’re clinging to it.”

I rolled on my side to face him.  “Does it, though?”

He cocked a questioning eyebrow.

“I mean, I don’t remember my name.  I don’t recognize my own face, but hers I can’t get out of my head!  What does that mean?”  I let my head roll back until it hit the pillow.

“She must be really important to you,” he said softly.  He really was more emotionally aware than I gave him credit for.

I stared at the ceiling for a long time after that, and Billy let me be.  I’d almost succumbed to yet another nap when I felt my shoulder being jostled purposefully.

I wrenched my eyes open, alarmed, and found a pair of calculating hazel ones not a foot from my face. 

“Erm…yes?” I stuttered.  This was the first time someone other than Billy had tried speaking to me.

A young doctor stood by my bedside, donning white like they always did.  He had a worn, overused stethoscope dangling tiredly from his neck and the buttons on his lab coat were quickly wearing out.  Otherwise, though, the doctor appeared to be immaculately put together.  His dark brown hair, with a touch of curl in it, was cropped fairly short and brushed to lie flat on his head.  His nails were trimmed evenly, and there wasn’t a callous to be found on his large hands. 

“Out,” was all he said.  His accent was heavy.

I glanced at Billy, who just shrugged, as confused as I was. 

“I’m sorry, I…what?”

The doctor looked uneasy, maybe even wary of me.  “I sorry,” he said slowly, his English broken.  “We need the sareer, the bed.  No space left.  You healthy now, you free to go.”

I understood now.  The poor doctor looked so frightened of me that I didn’t want to argue with him.  But what could I do?  I had nowhere to go.

I nodded politely.  Relief flooded over the young man’s face as he handed me a set of what appeared to be white scrubs.  Apparently, he had been expecting a fight. 

“Shukran jazeelan,” he breathed, grinning.  “Thank you.” 

“Hey, doc,” Billy called.  “Can I go, too?”

This time, relief flooded over me.  The prospect of company was exceedingly comforting.

The doctor studied him for a moment.  “Let me have the makhaddah, please.”

Billy’s eyes glazed over, his lips parted slightly.

The doctor motioned at his pillow.  He propped Billy’s injured leg up on it and peeled back some of the bandaging.  His wound was bruised a deep purple now but had yellowed in healing.

The doctor pulled back.  “Can you walk khamsah, five paces?”

Billy scoffed.  “Well shucks, doc, I could run them!”  He hopped off his bed like a kid skipping down the stairs on Christmas morning and shuffled forward.  Quite pleased with himself, he lumbered back toward us.

The doctor nodded his approval.  “Na’am, yes, you go, too.”

Billy was nearly bouncing on his heels.  “Thanks, doc!”

The doctor bowed his head slightly as Billy and I gathered what little we had.

Maa’assalama,” he said.  “May you go in peace.”

 

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