June 29th, 1947
I am not certain what I am feeling. I suppose I can describe it best by stating ‘numb’ is my current state of being. There were many points in the war that ‘numb’ was what I was forced to be. I had hoped I evolved beyond those times, but I suppose I am still a doctor. Despite not being constantly bombarded by despair, there are still moments of unfairness in this world. Those moments lead to grief and a questioning of the cosmos and self. It is simply the nature of everything, I guess. I do not truly know, it is not as if I am a wise man.
At any rate.
I awoke in the night to find that Cyrus had crawled onto the cot with me. Strong arms held me and he was watching my face as I napped. There was a look on his face that I could not quite understand. It was stoic, somber, but somehow strong. I did not yet understand what it meant. I nuzzled him for a brief moment, taking solace in his nearness, until I watched his eyes trail towards the child in the cot beside us.
I followed his gaze, astonished to see the boy’s eyes fluttering.
Nearly falling out of the cot, I went to work. I pumped more fluids into him, I tried a transfusion with my own blood, in the end the child opened his eyes and actually spoke to me in a hoarse tone. I felt my eyes sting with tears as he asked for his friends to be brought to his bedside.
The children and their dog were awoken and gathered around his bed. He was propped up with pillows and they spoke, laughed, and otherwise seemed like children again. Cyrus stood behind me, keeping an arm around me. Still, I did not understand why he insisted upon staring with such a somber expression and holding me as if I were a porcelain doll about to fall over and break.
After a few hours of romping, the children fell asleep against their friend, and the dog curled up at his feet. Things went quiet and I urged the child to get some rest. That is when he smiled and thanked me for all that I had done. He said he would never forget it, but could I please promise to do something about the sorry state of his mates. I was confused by what he was saying. His tiny hoarse voice sounded so final.
Again, Cyrus squeezed me from behind. I glanced up at him as he answered that he already had something in mind to help the children get along better, and the boy was free to move on. My blood seemed to freeze in my veins as I watched him relax back into the pillows on his cot. He reached out to touch each of his friends upon the head and then he nodded to Cyrus and I before muttering a soft ‘Goodbye.’
I did lose my footing as I watched the life fade from the child’s face. Cyrus dragged me from the examining room and to our bedroom where he shut the door. I’m not sure when I started screaming, but he put a hand over my mouth, I suppose to keep me from waking the children. They had the right to spend one night with their treasured friend, after all.
Why was I screaming?
I’ve seen many people die. More than I would like to remember, really. I cannot put into words what I was feeling in that moment. I do not remember feeling anything if I am honest with myself. It was as if I could not comprehend anything in the world or beyond.
Cyrus rocked me and then drew me into our bed. He laid my head in his lap and started to comb his fingers through my hair. I believe I babbled on wondering why what I did hadn’t work, and we spoke about how it had just been too long, and it was the child’s time. The boy didn’t contact me to save his life, he wanted a last request granted. He wanted to be able to say goodbye to his friends, and I gave him his last wish. Now, the boy could move on to whatever lie beyond.
Cyrus told me that we could take the other children to the brothel where I helped the young prostitute’s son. He assured me that there would be plenty of people that could take care of them, and work that didn’t always involve selling oneself. I was skeptical, but I suppose it is better than leaving them on the street. The woman I aided did seem as if she’d do anything because I helped her little boy. It wasn’t exactly a terrible place; there are probably dishes the children can wash and trash to take out. They will have a roof and food, I suppose.
In a day or so we will get the children onto their new lives. For now we rest. Tomorrow we deal with their grief and somehow laying their friend to rest. I’m not sure how I’m even going to handle it. Cyrus said he would nap with me during the night and then be up during the day as best he could while inside. He won’t be able to go out with me if we move to bury the boy somewhere during the day. Perhaps I can convince the children to wait until night when it’s cool.
Damn it! How am I going to do this? How am I to explain this to them?
I have to try to sleep. Until later, Journal.