Reading what I have just written, I now believe that I’m a coward.
‘Let them shoot me,’ I thought as they marched me in, ‘I will not talk.’ But as soon as they showed me the knives, I crumbled. All my bravery evaporated like the breath of winter. One piece of paper, five names: the price of freedom. For the rest of my life, I’ll have to live with what I’ve done. With what I’ve done to them.
Coward or not, as I walk beyond the compound walls, I know exactly where I’m headed. The border guards shoot to kill: an easy out. I will not have to risk their knives attempting to cross over. And if I make it, though it will not save the friends I’ve just betrayed, I’ll make damn sure the whole world knows our story.
Written for dVerse poetry, where Lillian is hosting and has given us the challenge of writing a short prose piece (not more than 144 words) incorporating the following lines from Louise Gluck’s poem ‘Afterword:’
“Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” I didn’t read the poem until after I’d written this, as I wanted to give free rein to my imagination. This story was inspired by a nightmare I had last night!