How dare you call me beautiful? Here I am, pregnant with a child I will only ever hate. His eyes will always remind me of his father's, of the man who shot my husband in the back as I watched, then pinned me to the floor, gun to my head. I hoped he'd pull the trigger once he'd taken his pleasure from me. Instead, he stood, zipped up his trousers and laughed, then howled and whooped as I screamed on the floor.
How dare you speak of lessons in suffering? Suffering has only one lesson: Those, like you, who speak of the "redemptive potential" of pain are morons. Did you hear that? Morons. Heartless, soulless, shallow morons.
How dare you say that God is on my side? What did God do for me? I, the vanquished foe, have no honour. Yes, I am vanquished. Yes, I am disgraced. You can keep your God of the oppressed.
How dare you say it was barbarous, what he did? Did you see his eyes? Did you? You do not know barbarity. How dare you speak of what you do not know.
How dare you take my voice? I have my own voice. I am not voiceless. Can you not hear me? I can speak for myself.
How dare you speak of making peace, as though you have a special calling? Let me tell you this: Without me, without my dead husband, without my bastard child, you would have no peace to make. We are the conflict, the raw materials you use to create peace. We do not want your peace. I will spit it in your face. It is too late for me, for us, for all of us that you pity, for all of us that inspire you.
Yes, you look at me with pity. You see me on your TV screen, and you look at me with pity. You philosophise with your friends as to how you might help. You feel bad for me. "That's terrible," you say. You, whose colleagues are researching how to improve upon the gun that killed my husband. "Mechanical Engineering," they call it. You, whose elected officials ensure the guns are sold. "Diplomacy" and "ensuring economic stability", they call it. You, who do not speak to judge.
How dare you speak of me? How dare you speak?