A woman in a bed, in a hospital, in a city, in a world.
“I’m so tired of this body.” Her voice is small and raspy. I take her hand. I’m scared senseless but she cannot die, can she?
The ghosts smirk at me. She might, little girl. That’s not for you to decide.
The star meant something, obviously. Two days ago I go the call: my step mum is in hospital.
“I’m so tired of this body,” she keeps whispering.
I hold the shard of the star in my other hand. It glows bright red again. Red stars… that’s communism, isn’t it? What the fuck’s going on?
Alina falls asleep and her hand goes limp in mine. I look out the window at the dark sky.
I call you.
“Hey. It’s going red. What does it mean?”
I’m trying not to panic, trying not to let the sterile environment get to me.
“Calm down, P. Red… I guess… blood and love.”
“I COULD HAVE FIGURED THAT OUT MYSELF. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN? BLOOD AND LOVE. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH BLOOD AND LOVE?”
As I’m saying this, I accidentally squeeze the shard harder, and it cuts into the flesh of my palm. I swear.
“What’s going on?” you say.
“I cut myself. It’s… oh…”
The blood sippers into the star, and it becomes dark red, glowing even brighter. The blood disappears and the star becomes blue again. The pain is gone.
“It went into the star.”
“I cut myself and the blood is… gone. It’s… in the star?”
The ghosts have become silent around me. You’re silent on the phone. Alina breathes loudly.
The hospital buzzes with life around me and a nurse comes in.
“Maybe you should leave. Come back tomorrow, dear?”
She has a maternal look in her eyes which reaches deep into my core. I nod and follow her out of the room.
“I need to sleep, P,” you say on the phone, “I’ve got an early start tomorrow and–”
“Bye.” I hang up on you.
What the fuck’s going on?
The whisper echoes in my head all night, on the metro, as I open the door to our flat, as I lay down in bed, as I reluctantly close my eyes,
“I’m so tired of this body.”
The feeling of sorrow follows him around like a shadow at dusk, softly without edges. It’s neither here nor there. The pain that blinds him could just as well be the one from years ago. Tricky, yes?
He reaches out, tries to touch the wind itself, tries to become the memory itself. In vain.
Miranda dances in the wind of his exhalations but he cannot see her.
His voice cracks as he begins to speak. “Please, just let me be. I think it’s time I was at peace, don’t you, love?”
She has a lovely smile but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She doesn’t reply but instead takes the hand of his father that is standing next to her. Together, they look up at the sky.
He can only watch them in awe. His love and his father, both gone- still, they’re here now, before him, aren’t they?
They both look at him solemnly.
“I don’t know if you can ever recover from the loss of a child, my boy. I don’t…”
“I have to,” he whispers, interrupts the father that went away and then never came back. Or is he back now? Barely a memory, barely a feeling.
Miranda approaches him, softly puts her hand on his head.
“My sweet darling. Feel the rain on your skin. You need to let go of the memories. You need to treat them as the past. You can’t keep walking this line between now and then. The rain on your skin isn’t a memory. It’s here and it’s now.”
He opens his eyes to an empty field, and the rain falls.