I try treating the ugly blisters with a plantain poultice. Later in the night, Sa develops a fever and alternates between burning up and sleeping fitfully. By morning, Sa wakes with dark rings around sar eyes. We do not speak of what had happened, though Sa’s eyes accuse me for my rash deed. We are both mute, both angry and both upset. The room has a heat that has nothing to do with keeping us warm from the cold chill. It roils, this heat, beneath the surface, like my uncontrollable fire.
Like the fire, I have caused it and it is my fault.
While Sa sleeps, I find myself crying and trying not to. Heart touches my face with her hands, as if she knows what I am going through. Her palms pat my cheeks lightly. Pat pat pat. I smell her hair and feel slightly better.
Sa is right: I am dangerous.
I will get trained. But not here, definitely not here.
I am a heretic. Heretics do not fit anywhere.
I do not fit anywhere.
For a moment, I remember Shu and how happy she looks. She has found her place.
I have not.
Will I find my place? That happiness.
What will Shu say about the new me?
The bed is cold and I am lonely. Sa sleeps on a different couch now, because of the burns. Heart keeps me company, but that is different. Sa is right to accuse me, to hate me.
I am a dangerous heretic…
… And why do I like the taste of these words?