Tag Archives: trigger

Yes, it was me.

[Trigger warning… for all parents]

Kat, why? Just why?

You could have told me. I loved you; I would have understood. At any point – I would have understood it and I would have accepted you, but not like this.

Yes, it was me.

You know how much we wanted her. She was ours; our love, our hope, our everything. After all these years of trying, she would have been our love – but it’s okay. This wasn’t your fault. I forgive you, I know you didn’t want to do it. I know you didn’t mean to. You just loved her too much. It could have been me too; me too.

You were the best mother in the world, and you knew it. No mother can feel as much love as you felt. That’s why it was so hard. And I know how much you wanted her; how much you wanted to protect her. She was too pale and the doctor said she was sick and that she would need constant care and that we had to call if she would cough or have trouble breathing or if she would spasm or something along that line.

Really, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have allowed you to stay alone with her for so long. No one can stay awake for that long. I knew you told me to stay away and that you were okay and that a mother should watch her child and that I would never be able to calm her down like you did, but you could at least have allowed me to try.

Why didn’t you allow me to try?

And why did you not tell me when it happened?

I was hurt, you know? I was hurt that you didn’t allow me to touch her anymore. I understood, because of what the doctor said about her immune system, but I too wanted to touch her. But you could have told me back then, when I knocked on the door on the second day, rather than to just scream at me to go away. Continue reading

Storm

That’s how my memory starts.

Me, shivering and sitting on my hands, clenching my butt cheecks together, and staring past my grandma, who smiles at me, towards the window. There is a storm outside and I’m watching the dark clouds and the lightning and the rain hammering against the window and I would rather be outside.

Grandma smiles. She says „It’s okay, we can call the police soon.“ When she finishes speaking her lips are just flat, dry, gray pancakes pressed on one another and I look away from her, back down to the wet, black, moving mass on the ground.

A heap of dirty laundry, but moving every few seconds.

I was 3 when dad went to the shelter with me. Some of it I remember, some of it he told me afterwards. Dad tried to get me to pick a cat, but I walked right by the cats towards the dogs. Some were pushing against the metal bars, others just sat in the corners of their kennels and then there was that dog, some pitbull breed, and I put my hand through the metal bars and before dad could pull me away the dog had his head pressed against my hand and I must have giggled like rarely before or after.

So we got Vitaliy. Continue reading

Barnam House

TRIGGER WARNING: Child death; violence; abuse.


Let me tell you a story about a place you know.

You know Barnam House.

Everyone I ever talked to about it, they all knew the Barnam House. Most don’t remember where or when, but they heard talk about it or saw the pictures or watched the documentary. And when I describe it, the large white doors, the high walls, the walls with flaking blue paint and the yard outside, always immaculate except for that one, longish patch of dead plants – then they remember. They see the picture again.

I bet right now you can see it. The old trees slowly moving with the wind, the wind whistling and howling past, and of course that one top window shutter that keeps opening and closing, opening and closing, but not in the same pattern as the trees move or the wind whistles.

The Barnam House. There are different stories about it. Some say the Barnams simply left, from one day to the other. There was something they feared and so they left without ever telling anyone. That’s why, if you look through the shutters and you’re lucky enough to have enough light, you can see that there are still plates on the dinner table. Continue reading

The last one in the shower

Trigger warning: This short story contains episodes of graphic sexual violence.



Gray tiles, some already chipped, all with greenish stains. Large sinks, rarely cleaned. Showerheads, large and too high to be reached.

Push the button. Wait for the water to get warm. Jump inside and quickly wash. Make sure that no one else sees too much. At that age it’s scary to be seen. What if the others have more hair or bigger things down there? Just don’t be seen.

Scary age. You grow into it and you when you think back you can’t see when you got into it. Maybe it was that first PE lesson after the summer; the one with the new teacher that said that we are soon men and will start to smell and all have to shower.

I was always one of the first. We all rushed in there, quick in, quick out. Not be seen. Continue reading

Blue Water

Warning: potential trigger



There were three of us. One was from Kinshasa, Congo, like me, but we just met in that city of sand. The other was from Sudan, but don’t ask me whether it was the North or the South, I doubt even he knew which part.

It took me twelve weeks to get enough money to pay for the car – sometimes begging, sometimes selling refilled water bottles to the few tourists. One of them even came back, shouting at me. I think he wanted me to give his money back. Maybe there was some sand in the water or something of that sort. He gave up after a while, when I shrugged and shook my head.

Twelve weeks and I had enough. I suddenly felt as if everything was possible. It took me nearly a year to get to Egypt. I had never even heard that name before I reached the border, all I had been told was to keep going North.

North is safety. North is wealth. You can live there, that’s what we were told. We saw those pictures, in the magazines and on big posters and drawings on the walls. People in pools. We knew they had water, but how did they get their water blue? I never understood. All I knew is that I wanted to go there; that I couldn’t watch anymore while my own mother kept ploughing the hard, red soil with a plough even more broken than her back. Continue reading

He told me to Run

Trigger warning



I was 10. I had just left school and was walking home with the big, square bag on my shoulders.

Suddenly he was there. There was no blinking, no flashes, no anything. He just stood there.

“Run!” he said “Run fast!”

Then he was gone. I threw my bag on the ground and ran.

I was just a minute away from home when I noticed her behind me. A woman, slim, with blond hair. Her face was dirty.

“Stay!” she screamed “I have to tell you something!”

My feet hit the asphalt, then my fists the front door. When my mother opened the door the woman quickly turned around. Continue reading