Murder is a common theme in the world, that much is a sad fact I realized after watching a documentary though I’m aware I should not believe everything I see. Still. In this part of the city, on the edge where everything is usually peace and quiet with very little noise or adventure, we have had to witness a gruesome sight.
It didn’t much get to me, I suppose because of how I was raised, of how many people I saw die out in the cold. Of how often we’d wake up to kids who hasn’t been huddled enough to the pile or whose health had been poor and hadn’t made the night. Of course it’s different, the scenes aren’t the same but I’m jaded to these kind of things.
Yael, with his growing up in the streets, I would have thought that maybe he would have seen a few of those things too but I overestimated the kind of things he’d seen growing up and he’s closed in, he spends most of his time in his room, clinging to a pillow as if it would take away his pain, take away the images he must be seeing. He’s been waking up screaming for the past days, ever since it happened.
He did see more than me, he was up on the second floor, tending to the garden and I heard him scream. He’d never screamed before so I assumed the worst and I guess it was, for him. It’s not much for me, other than a startling sort of sight but for him, I guess it shut something down in the depth of him.
Beyond the window, down at street level, all I saw was the body of a young man, clutching at his throat. He was bleeding out, the puddle was growing and then some. I only had the sense to pull Yael away from that window and down to the living room with me. Sure I could have called the cops, could have called the ambulance but I’m pretty sure someone else had already done it, by the time I got him down to the couch I could hear the sirens, but as it was, sad as it is, I was pretty sure the guy wasn’t going to make it. You don’t survive having your throat sliced open the way his seemed to be, from what I could see at our distance.
That and I was more worried about Yael in the end. He was stiff in my arms, his eyes wide and blank. He was quiet, staring off into the distance as if he was locked on to the scene he’d just seen, a scene I wish I could wipe from his memories. In a way, I think I could do it but that’s digging deeper into what I am than I am comfortable with at this point and without any kind of practice I might just mess up his mind in a really bad way, so I didn’t even let it stay in my mind as more than a very briefly passing thought.
It took nearly half an hour before he finally started to go limp. I never strayed from his side. He rocked slowly side by side, whimpering. His face in his hands. I felt so useless. I still feel useless now as I rock him back to as a relaxed state as I can manage. Another nightmare he woke up screaming from. At this point I might have to see about either trying to get him to open up and talk to me, or I’ll have to find someone for him to talk to and I don’t know that this option is safe at all. He could talk about more than just what he saw and if the doc thinks he’s cuckoo, I’ll lose him more than likely forever.
His head is on my shoulder, I can feel the wetness of his tears and he mumbles softly, a little incoherently. I just hold him closer, I rub his back and I breathe in the scent of his hair. He feels so tense and stressed, it breaks my heart not knowing what to do with him. The air outside is still sticky to a point of discomfort but we might just do that camping thing. It would take his mind away from the streets, I think. The cats have an automatic feeder, a running fountain for their water and there are a couple of large litter-boxes in the house for them to use. I usually clean up two to three times a week depending and even then they’re rarely needing it. So they could be fine on their own for a day or two.
We could just head in towards the wood, have a walk for an hour or so. Settle in a clearing. Just to be surrounded by nature and nothing else. We wouldn’t be too far from civilization but being partly away from it might just help him. I don’t know what else to do. I just want to hold him against me until he stops trembling, until those tears dry away to nothing, until the terror of what he’s seen stops haunting him and I don’t think that holding him would fix that.
I know that when I came back from Siberia, in shock and all the rest, I just wanted to be by myself, to forget the world existed but then I think back to that journal he got for me. It makes sense in my head at this point that maybe I should get him a journal for him to write these fears into. I know he draws, he still hasn’t stopped drawing though he does it a lot less for how exhausted he is during his waking hours, but writing is different, if he can get it out on paper, maybe we can then burn it as a sort of release from the world. I’ll bring it up to him when he’s had more than just an hour or so of restless sleep.
He’s starting to sag a little now, I can hear him sniffle softly and mumble and I know it’s an apology. I just kiss his cheek and tell him there’s nothing to be sorry for. I hug him a little tighter before I shift and move to settle down on his bed. I pull him with me as I go. This is going to be our first night sharing a bed but it’s for his own good and I know it’s not for our personal enjoyment. He just needs comfort and company. I don’t mind doing that for him. It’s like those nights we spent on the couch, nestled and resting, content and asleep. That I’m in his bed doesn’t change the set up, other than there’s more room.
He stiffens a little against me as I tug somewhat to get him to settle down with me but he gives in before too long, settling his head against my shoulder. He sniffles again softly, mumbling another apology and I just brush hair somewhat away from his face, his eyes are still wet and it’s a terrible sight. I wish I could take his pain away.
“It’s okay, you need to rest and I don’t mind being here. I want you to get better and that’s the only important thing. We’ll work on you getting better soon, I promise. For now try to get a bit more sleep, you’re exhausted.”