She whispered the word over and over to herself throughout the ritual. She willed the tears that stained her face to pass as evidence of her emotional dedication to her new “position”. It was the only way. Never had she known pain as she experienced now. Not when she felt the sorrow in Tobi’s heart, not when she rocked herself to sleep at night in the barren buildings that had housed her throughout her short life, not when she dreamed of the single image of her mother’s face that had fastened itself to her memory. She understood now that there was no greater pain in being alive than being forced to hurt someone you cherish knowing full well that they would never learn why.
She had examined it from every angle, had gone without sleep and food to dedicate her energy to any other possibility that might exist. Torture would have been a kinder fate. She had spent countless hours wrapped in her own embrace, imagining herself secure in the tall grass of her secret spot with Tobi. Her pleading had amounted to nothing, as weightless as air. Finally, there had been nothing left except defeat, acceptance… resignation. So be it. So be it had been the last words that she had breathed onto the dirt floor before she lifted herself to her feet and stood defiantly tall. Her mother had given her life and she would be damned if she would meet death in vain.
To be continued…