“What exactly is the point of all this, anyway?”
Anastasia Donald asked herself this question many times. She was exhausted. She was lying on a cot in a daze, picking up one baby and putting the other down. The trailer she was in was so small that she simply fed and changed the babies in the same place. Every once in awhile, she would get up to use the toilet, and then she would return to her cot and usually fall back to sleep. She could see daylight and nightfall through the windows, but they had virtually no meaning to her. Her caregivers coaxed her to get up and take a shower – the whole time of which, she felt guilty for using up their water.
At least her new quarters were larger than her car, for which she decided to be thankful.
“What do you mean?”
She had not realised that she had accidentally asked the question aloud this time.
“I don’t know – I think I’m still babbling nonsense,” she backtracked, nervously looking at the woman who was making tea in the kitchen. “Sorry to have bothered you.”
“You’re no bother,” the woman insisted. “Considering you gave birth to twins ten days ago in the middle of the woods, you’re no bother at all.”
“It’s been ten days?” She was not sure if that seemed like too long or not enough time.
“Yes, you’re doing a great job so far! Here, have some tea. We’re in for a cold spell.”
“The point of this is we’re safe here for now. We’re as free from the invaders as we’re going to get.”
Anastasia smiled weakly at Leanna’s words.
“Thank you for looking after us.”
She realised that both babies were asleep at the same time.
“Of course! We’re neighbours, aren’t we? Friends now. All together in the woods!” Leanna laughed. “Bet you never thought you’d see the day.”
“Everything is new now.”
“Well, we’re going to make the best of it.”
“I just wonder what the point is of fighting anymore, sometimes. I mean, I know that sounds stupid after risking my life…”
Leanna gave her an odd look.
“I mean, I know I’m younger and all, but aren’t we fighting for our future? For our kids? For who we are?”
“But what are we, exactly?” Anastasia asked.
“Well, we’re still who we always were, I guess. All different kinds of people. But we did have a good thing going, didn’t we? We were getting on the right track before the war. We believed in a free and equal country – however badly we failed to achieve it. We’re still fighting for that.”
Tears ran down Anastasia’s face.
“For what? You’re here, aren’t you? You still want that country, don’t you?”
“Well, then here we are!”
“What do you want me to do around here?”
“Get better and take care of the babies! Then maybe you can start babysitting Nicky and Jasmine. After that, who knows? Maybe you’ll singlehandedly take on the army.”
“With a dirty diaper?”
“Well, I’ll be right beside you with another one, okay?”
The two women laughed together.