MUZAFARABAD No one knows about the nightmares – except maybe the guards who watch the monitors on the cameras in my cell. I don’t have them often, and they’re too hazy to remember, but I find myself sitting bolt upright in bed, shivering, with just a vague sensation of suffocating, or falling, or being chased – it varies. It’s happened twice since I’ve been here. The days are harder. Memories crowd around me like demons in a medieval painting, and at times I can barely keep from screaming. Mediation helps, but it can only do so much. Muzafarabad – Thank God I never hear that name in this country. It probably sounds like a “Star Wars” character to most people here. For me, it’s just another name for hell. As soon as I set foot on Russian soil again, I was arrested and taken to a prison outside of Moscow. I never did learn its name. I wasn’t there long, and I was kept in isolation. Then I was taken to Muzafarabad. It was there that it began – the beatings, the tasers and electrodes touched to every part of my body, being tied in one position for hours at a time – no one, except maybe the Chinese, make such an art of torture as we Russians do. They wanted to know why I had been so reluctant to leave Jack, and why I had borne him a child. I said I had not kept back anything I had learned from him, and that he had never become suspicious of me. They had taken care of that themselves, I told them, by forcing me to leave him. That remark earned me three broken ribs and a trip to a tiny cinder block cell called “the cooler.” It was winter, and I came dangerously close to hypothermia. Soon after that, a new guard came to the prison, a loutish mountain of a man by the name of Grinkov. When I saw him leering openly at me in the exercise yard shortly after his arrival, I knew I was in trouble. He came to my cell for the first time that night, and nearly every night he was on duty after that. At first, I tried to fight him off, but he would have been too much even for Jack himself to handle, and soon I just gave up. I would close my eyes and pretend it was Jack. Except that Jack’s breath didn’t stink of cheap vodka and greasy food – not to mention the fact that Jack, unlike Grinkov, showered regularly. Mercifully, Grinkov was eventually transferred. Years later, I hunted him down and killed him. The look of recognition when he saw me again – this time with a gun in my hand – gave me a sense of grim satisfaction. Jack, of course, has no idea. Would it matter if he did?