47.2 - Spring 2018

Page 31

“When you’re not with me. What do you know about what’s coming?” He seems not to hear, but this time she won’t let it go. “You can’t continue like this,” she tells him. “You’re going to get hurt. Do you hear me? I don’t want that to happen, because I love you.” “You don’t love me,” he says in his froggy, childish voice. “No one loves me anymore.” “I do,” she insists. “And Joseph does. Run away from the rebels, tonight. Save yourself.” “You don’t understand.” “You’re right,” she says. “I don’t understand.” His small features are set, his expression stubborn. She knows that he does not want to let her see him cry. “Even so, I love you,” Myriam says. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. You still have a choice. Listen to me carefully. You’re going to get hurt if you stay.” She can’t say killed. She must tell him. She can’t. Is it possible to warn someone who’s already dead? “Go back to the camp,” she urges. “Joseph can keep you safe, there.” Then she remembers. Agun and Joseph, climbing the thorn trees together. A body hanging from the lowest branches. What the rebels did to those who disobeyed. Traitors. Deserters. She stretches her hand out to the boy hopelessly, knowing that he is incorporeal, anticipating the way that her fingers will close on thin air, how he will vanish again, but there it is, his forearm firm and real beneath her touch. Agun’s skin is flesh-warm. She can feel the bones, radius and ulna, and the stringy muscles. SPRING 2018

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