Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why does she do it?

...I went to Esther's home several weeks after that. My timing wasn't good, as she was on her way to work. She hugged me, and this time I squeezed back; this made her laugh after we stood apart. She looked me straight in the eyes. "Come and see me next weekend so we can have more time to catch up, okay?" she said. She was wearing her white uniform and was on her way to take on other traumatized children. It must be tough living with so many war stories. I was just living with one, mine, and it was difficult, as the nightmares about what had happened continued to torment me. Why does she do it? Why do they all do it? I thought as we went our separate ways. It was the last time I saw her. I loved her but never told her.

- Ishmael Beah, from A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Esther is a nurse who worked at a rehabilitation center in Sierra Leone for recovering child soldiers.

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