In the grey murky lit-up night, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of gleaming blue as a boot swung past and kicked into my side. Oomph. I curled up trying to protect my soft insides and wished I could disappear down into the earth.
“Are you Estelle Wells?” one of the men asked.
“Yes,” I said. My voice was barely audible. Maybe if he didn’t hear me they would go away. Go away, please. There was dirt in my mouth and my mouth in the dirt. It tasted awful, and I automatically spit it out, but it just mixed with more dirt, creating mud. Now there was mud in my mouth.
The taste was metallic. What is that? I rubbed my hand across my cheek and my eyes caught a glimpse of a dark deep red. Blood, mixing with the dirt of the land. That seemed about right, even kind of eloquent after so many months of hard work. My sweat was all over the place from one end of the fenced in space to another. Sweat and dirt. In all this time though, my blood had stayed on the inside of me, where it was supposed to, until now.
I sobbed a big wrenching, gasping half-breath that twisted my face and made my hand clench into the dirt. Every bit of this was my fault. Because I had to be a troublemaker that asked questions. I had to try and change things. I had to be difficult. Why did I have to be so difficult?
The men pulled my arms behind my back to wrap my wrists in cuffs. There’s no chance of me being difficult now, face down in the dirt.
I should be relieved. I was so worried about us all being arrested. I wanted to protect the people I loved, needed to, because this was—all of it—my bright idea, and I was being arrested. Finally. Just me. It’s all done now.
The men pulled me with a jerk to my feet, and began in turns pulling and shoving me toward my gate and away. Try and have some dignity, I urged myself as I stumbled along trying to stay on my feet. Don’t say anything. Don’t cower or plead. Keep strong, but oh how my heart wordlessly begged, Please, let me stay.