“Over there” – she nods, lifting her eyes for a second –using them instead of her hands, and then she is back hacking at the soil. Brown lumps of clay, tough and unyielding.
She ignores me. She doesn’t want to know me, she needs me to go and stop reminding her of its presence. She’s fighting with the soil, pouring her anger and grief into it through the fork as she searches for bones.
I don’t want to fight, I just want to know.
She stops digging and sighs, the sound heavy with irritation – yet short and sharp like a slap aimed at me. Only I dodge it and remain.
Her gloved hand wipes the sweat from her cheek leaving a trail of dust that shimmers in the vicious sun. I watch it, beautiful patterns iridescent on the cheek of hatred.
“They won’t shoot you” – the words are spat at me, then she laughs, short burst of hysteria, energised by the anger and absurdity. “Why would they shoot you” she questions?
“I don’t know, that why I’m here “ I reply.
I feel pathetic. I’m sweating. She’s back digging, shaking her head at me. I should go, but I’m stuck, rooted.
I stare at it, a mirage in the distance, the heat rising from the buildings, I can see the waves rolling upwards into the sky and wonder where they crash and land.
If I step over the invisible painted line that divides mine from yours, will I die?