L'Enfer

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viii

The last week of December, year nineteen hundred and fourteen

Armand.

He is so handsome.

If only I could reach out and touch him, tell him that everything will be alright, and that he needn’t worry.

I do not know the date. Only that it is after Christmas. The days are so short now that they all seem to blend into one another.

Armand.

Can he not save me? If he is still alive, it must mean that he has some sort of magic in him. I have seen so much death, so, so much death.

There is blood on my hands. I know I am not innocent. There is blood in these very pages, can you not see it? It is everywhere; it is over my trousers, mixed with the mud on my boots, smudged on my face and in all my belongings. My husband will never take me back, not like this.

But he is brave, Armand.

He is so brave and he has not the slightest clue.

Armand went out on to the battlefield, on Christmas morning, with several British soldiers, and they called for a truce. He could have gotten killed, but he survived. He is very lucky, and I know I would give my life for him, so that he could live until the end of this war. He needs to remember what it is like to be loved. I hope he re-marries. I hope his new wife is pretty.

I hope they have children.

What good is hope? It is too cold out here, for hope. God must not like the cold, which is a real shame!

When I close my eyes, I can see Armand. He fights bravely. He fights like a man who has something to live for. Is there a beautiful woman, waiting for him at home? Does she make him breakfast, clean the house, hug him and tell him he is important?

Or perhaps it is a man. I see the way he looks at Sébastien, and there is something between them that is sinful. It is sinful, but it is for God alone to judge. Alain is telling me to stop writing, because he needs to get me to a doctor.

He is foolish, because I am fine.

I do not need a doctor.

There is blood on my hands.

Later

I do not know what day it is. I have stopped keeping track. Alain says it is still December. He wants to make sure that I am alright. What a ridiculous thing to ask, as I have never been more ‘fine’ in my entire life! He said I would only be allowed to get my diary and quill back if I told him I was fine, however.

There are gashes on my hands from barbed wire. How did they get there? I do not remember.

Alain told me it looks like I did it to myself. He said sometimes soldiers injure themselves to escape the war. A novel idea, but if they are found out, they get sent home. So, I must not ask to go home. However, he needn’t worry about me.

I already know that I am not going home.

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