Chapter 4 - Alaska

I was turning four the summer I was brought to Alaska. I was reluctant to leave, despite the difficulties I had encountered in France I could only imagine that Alaska could be worse. I was afraid of the cold and the wildlife and the people, concerned that such an isolated place would leave me with less protection from people who might want to hurt me because they thought I was different. I thought I'd miss my friends in France and worried I would never see them again after travelling so far away.

Alaska is a beautiful place. It is cold in the winter, for sure, but the summer weather is much more forgiving. Here was a place I could stand. It was also quite nice being back with my mother Monica, who I stil loved and trusted despite Jerry;s attack. Sadly for me, Jerry and Monica were still together which meant that I tended to see a lot of both of them living in their family. I got along better with the kids in Alaska, possibly because the community was much more tight knit. Everyone lived so close together in such an isolated place that it wasn't even difficult for a kid with broken English to fit in. My English wasn't better than my french by any means at the time.

My favourite part about Alaska was the dogs. People kept teams of sled dogs in order to travel across terrain otherwise not passable or difficult to pass. This meant that yards full of dogs were commonplace. The dogs seemed wise to me, like noble guides in a lost world. Their howls were eerily comforting at night, reminding me that I was part of a community which stuck together, just like the dogs in the team.

I didn't like Alaska very much. I wanted to leave. I asked my foster family in French and English if we could leave but they were working and going to school so they couldn't do anything about it. It wasn't the cold that bothered me, it was quite warm in the summer. Instead, it was the isolation. Being so far away from any big cities meant few people and little connection. I also had trouble to communicating. After a few weeks I felt like I was getting along better. It was just taking some time to adjust and fit in. I hadn't even started school yet.

However, with Jerry there it was difficult to get along. Jerry was deluded. He claimed I had a weapon inside of me somehow. I had never heard of this, and didn't think it was possible. However Jerry thought I did, and proceeded to once again make his mistake of finding out. He did this promptly when he was left alone with me without Monica, much to my protest. He attacked me with his hand, causing bleeding and immense pain inside of my body. He found nothing, and yet I was able to communicate that I had been attacked which called the attention of the town to us. However, being so far away from any police force, there was little to be done quickly. As such I stayed with this family until one day we stopped at a bridge outside of town to watch the wildlife, a common Alaskan passtime.

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