I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.
SYRIA, Douma : A wounded Syrian boy cries at a makeshift hospital
following a reported air strike by government forces in the rebel-held
area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, on November 18, 2015. AFP
PHOTO / ABD DOUMANY
You woke with the empty, restful feeling in your stomach, and the chapped feeling in your face, of someone who had cried themselves to sleep. You were in Alice’s bed. When you sensed that you weren’t alone in the bed, you immediately shot up and turned.
“Emmett, I’m-” You started, but Jasper stopped you.
“Sorry.” He said, with an apologetic smile. “I’ve been trying to keep you calm. Or else you have nightmares.”
“I don’t want to be calm, I want to see him.” You squared your jaw, and hoped he didn’t hear the tremor in your voice.
Jasper nodded. “I’ll go get him.”
When he was gone, you drew your knees up to your chest and hugged them, recalling the events of the night before.
You sensed him before you saw him. The two of you had a way of doing that. He, of course, literally had enhanced senses. He had no way of explaining how could sense him even when he didn’t make a sound.
“Hey.” You said softly, looking up at him.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” He said determinedly.
You gave a half-hearted smile, “I know.”
Still, he was slower than usual to take a seat on the bed, and much farther away from you than he looked like he wanted to be.
“Babe, I-” He started but you cut him off.
“No, I’m sorry.” You said. “I know how nervous you get about me going to the Reservation and I still stayed late and let my phone die. I never should have put myself in that situation.”
He gave a small smile. “I hate Paul. I hate everything about him.”
You let out a small laugh in spite of yourself.
“I hate that he’s so important to you and I hate that he’s dangerous for you … And I hate that I can’t even tell you he’s dangerous for you without sounding like a major hypocrite, because now I know that I scare you too.” He finished quietly and didn’t look up from fiddling with his own hands until you grabbed them, moving closer to him.
“You scared me yesterday.” You said. “Because I knew I’d screwed up, and I don’t like it when you’re angry with me anyway, and I’d never heard you yell before. It doesn’t mean that I think you would ever hurt me on purpose.” You placed you hand on his face and pulled him gently so he was looking at you. “I know who you are, Em.” You kissed his nose–a surefire way to pull a smile out of him. “And I love you.” A kiss on his cheek. “And I trust you.” You said sincerely.
He caved and his arms were snaking around you tiny form, his face buried in your neck. “I missed you. I’m sorry.”
“I missed you too.” You said. “But … maybe we should talk more about Paul.” Emmett made a noise of disdain and you smiled, but pressed on. “What you said yesterday, about him giving me things you can’t … what did you mean?”
Emmett pulled away from you, and this time his smile was sad. “Isn’t it obvious? He’s human, Y/N–at least mostly. He could give you a family. A home you could live in for more than five or six years at a time. A baby, if you wanted one. I can’t give you any of that. I can’t even … keep you warm. Or …” He sighed. “Be with you in all the ways that I want to without risking your life.”
You were silent for a moment. “You don’t think I’ve considered all that stuff? Like where we would go if we got married, or what our house would look like? Or how gorgeous our kids would be?” You smiled and ducked your head to look at him. “Are you getting the point here? All of that stuff is centered around you, dummy. If I want that stuff, I want it with you. And the fact that I won’t even get the option to have a baby with you sucks, I get it. But let’s talk about some other things I want. I want to be a doctor, and have someone to kiss me when I come home from a long day of being a badass career woman.” You smiled, and he did too. “I want a family that cares about me. I want to travel the world and go to college, and own a farm at some point and help people, and maybe even change the world.” You looked at him and laughed, a little teary-eyed. “Emmett, babe. You’ve already given me a family, and an epic romance. The only other thing I want is the opportunity to do all the rest of that stuff. To live a million different lives, with you beside me. And you’re gonna give me that, too.”
He kissed you urgently, and then searched your eyes, touching his forehead to yours. “Do you really mean that?”
Imagine you are a healer’s apprentice and Eir’s niece/nephew. One day after a battle’s end Thor and Loki rush into the room you’re currently working in carrying a gravely wounded warrior. The healers who normally assist you are all elsewhere dealing with other patients, so you start barking orders at both brothers instead. They are surprised but do as you say, knowing it’s a matter of life and death for the warrior. Once the surgery is successfully completed, you turn to them and ask if they’re wounded, ending up having to treat Loki’s leg for an arrow wound, much to his embarrassment as he is more than a little attracted to you and this was certainly not how he pictured undressing before you. At his hesitation, you roll your eyes and remind him that you’re a healer and that he has nothing you haven’t already seen before.
When you’re done with the wound you give him something for the pain he’ll start to feel eventually, and he scoffs and says he doesn’t need it, that he’s had worse. You scold him, telling him that ‘so have I, but only a fool suffers unnecessarily’, causing him to grudgingly accept the medicine if only to avoid further embarrasment. You shoo them both away just as Eir walks into the room, she looks back out the door at them then at you and asks, “Do my ears deceive me, or did you just call Prince Loki a fool?”
It is only then that you realise you flat out conscripted the royal sons to assist you (to say nothing about how you scolded the younger one like a child), much to your mortification and your aunt’s amusement.
Wounded and shocked civilian survivors of Dong Xoai, South Vietnam, crawl out of a fort bunker on June 6, 1965, where they survived the murderous ground fighting and air bombardments of the last two days by Horst Faas.
Be the person you needed when you were younger.“
And so I never give up on anyone and fight for what I believe in. I hold onto the good I see in people and help them believe in themselves. I share a gentle, kind love that, hopefully, helps heal peoples’ wounds.
Because that is what I needed, once upon a time - Jess Amelia