Entry 37: 23 Poråkol 1865

Today, I don’t have much to write. Kati and I spent breakfast at my family’s satellite home. Aneti and I went to the Necropolis again to make offerings to ler sister — against the grain of any religious calendar. I have a message from Kitesrati on my comm band that must be answered. It’s flirtatious — “Hello, cutie. I want to see your worried face, how about a kuaićo again? We could go to your apartment after.”

I think that I should say yes and have sex with Kitesrati, but I haven’t changed the bedsheets since Aneti and I last fucked. Do people do that at all, leave the same sheets on?

Kelis and I met so early and never dated other women simultaneously before the marriage negotiation was settled. I mean, other people did. I was so focused on Kelis that I tuned all of those conversations out — but you’d want them to be clean, wouldn’t you? I don’t know what to do.

After seeing Aneti, I went to visit a small, out-of-the-way Temple of Likhera, and I made incense offerings. It cleared my head a lot. There’s just something about the murals of statecraft goddesses, filled with their stories, that calms me down. I spent two-thirds of an hour walking around and just looking at things after I prayed.

Gods are not like tesekhaira. They do not have flesh and blood. They find shape in our stories and our myths, emanating through like beams of light peeking through cloud banks. Beyond all of this strife, there is something greater than me in the cold darkness of space and time.

Liga has not attempted to contact me, thankfully. I think that le knows I will not stand down. Maybe tomorrow, I will tell Suka to have lim call me. Tomorrow will give me more time to think about where this conversation belongs and what needs to happen. I’m embarrassed when I read over my earlier entries on smart paper, how naïve I was, how trusting. There are so many things I would have asked up front, and I think that all of that — but of course, I was also writing knowing that le was reading. I never voiced the true extent of my doubts. I’m afraid to voice those even now, even here. Someone will read this after I die.

I am the granddaughter of one of the women who brought Heaven to its knees and drove back the Taritit. My ancestors joined a princess in ler efforts to send back the Shēdakla from our shores and restore balance. My mother named me after the eye of the hurricane, the salị, where everything is calm.

So many of the women in my family have been exiled into mercenary work, so many men have been married to the God of War, and so many of the women and men and ozkyev and yadzakma of my family have gone into politics and the respectable art of taking back what belongs to us. We are the Canyons made visible. We are Tehjen come home.

This is Galasu. Here, I did not find Kelis dead in a first-floor room, blood pooling into the mortar between floor mosaic tiles, with a slashed-open neck, lacerated arms, and half-eaten belly. My younger brother is the one who hunted down the animal that killed lim and strung it up from a pole in the center of our street. I am the one who touched the torch to the pyre we lit when we burned that thing. That was Kobsarga. That was Kobsarga. That was Kobsarga. This is Galasu.

When I was fourteen and Kelis was thirteen, I told lim that we would marry, and le said, “Okay, that is for the best.” Lers was the only name I provided to my matriarch. I said, “No other.”

And then le died.

I mourned.

I grew up.

There will always be others.

Maybe used sheets are not so bad?

I will text Kitesrati. Then, I will contact Suka, who will know everything. Suka and I did not bind our hands together in a Shiji temple, but in a Narahji one, to solidify our friendship. Narahji friendships are genuine and eternal. Shiji friendships are convenient and political.

Galasu is a new start. It is the Chrysalis Interlude of Impermanence, where I can make of myself what I can. It is not a place for those old wounds to reopen. It is the place where I can be freed of all of the baser pieces of myself and come out on the other side, new and unscathed. It is the place where I can spread wings.

I must remember who I am and where I have come from. As Suka said, I am Salus Kobsarka-Nitañi Niksubvya, and I will be remembered long after I am gone.