The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 35

with deliberate patience. Recognition flashes across Whitman’s eyes. He lifts Deti up and heaves his floppy body over his shoulder. Cav begins the preparations for a Revival Dance and demands help from Whitman.

“No, Cav. He needs a hospital.”

“The Gara do not need hospitals. We need a Revival Dance,” Cav snaps back.

Whitman does not listen and walks as fast as he can toward the dirt road, carrying Deti like a sack. Cav is yelling after him to come back and help with the preparations.

In English, Whitman yells, “He needs a goddamn hospital, Cav. Do you want him to die?”

I watch Whitman disappear with Deti up the dark trail. I am forced to choose. I do not want to participate in the Revival Dance, but I know I must. I remain with Cav to dance and to beg the spirits not to take my brother. I use every inch of my womanhood to plead with them to let Deti stay.

After we finish the ceremony, I stumble up the hill on my tired legs. Whitman is standing next to the hospital, smoking a cigarette. I am thirsty and exhausted. The air enters my lungs in little puffs.

“Did they take Deti?” I ask.

“No, he is still here. He must sleep in the hospital tonight, and tomorrow he can return to you.”