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If you had only looked
by Katerina Charisi
2016-01-17 12:45:36
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She sits still but her eyes are blank. At times she lowers her head to let silent tears drop on the floor. Her mouth is dry and feels numb. For a second a ridiculous thought crosses her mind; can someone dehydrate of crying too much? I can’t do this anymore, she murmurs whispering. Can’t do this anymore, and goes back and forth, swinging with her arms on her knees, looking straight at nowhere. I can’t; I can’t.

lily01_400There is nowhere I can hold her from. I can’t do this anymore either, mother. Have you ever thought about that?

I stand right there at the corner, trying to look at her without her noticing me. I know she knows I’m there. All I want is to go there and embrace her. All I need is to tell me that everything is alright. And I would believe. For one more time, I would believe. But nothing, ever was alright. My fingers start burning from squeezing the bag’s handle. It’s heavier than I thought. But if I try to open it and leave something out, I might change my mind. And then, a new circle of pain will start over. And I can’t. Can’t do this anymore.

All these years, I lived for the moment I would walk out of this door forever. I wouldn’t manage through all this if it hadn’t been for this moment. I can’t go back now. I can’t quail. But I imagined this differently. I always imagined myself stepping out in triumph, exhaling a deep breath of poisonous unhappiness, feeling lighter as I set myself free of this prison. Your prison. I always thought that I would feel so great, that nothing would make me hesitate for a second; nothing would put a single doubt inside me.

I thought as in a special moment of absolute freedom... I could feel happy. Relieved. Free, at last. But all I can feel is a knot in my throat. And tears burning my eyes. Regrets. You always have regrets when time goes by …you used to say. Living with you was regrets for all the things left undone. Now that I am ready to go, all I feel is regrets for not trying harder to fix this. I hate you mother for that. But God, I can’t hate you. No matter how hard I try; No matter how deeply you hurt me. No matter if you deserve it. And I hate myself for still loving you.

I swallow the thorny knot and scratches my throat. I dare look at you for the last time, risking that I might change my mind and forget everything. You look fragile like glass. Lost in this world or yours that you never let anyone in. A world you never managed to escape from. What is going on in there, mother? Will anyone ever know? How does it feel to balance between two worlds? Logic and madness. Sober and paranoid. When did all this started? Where you always like that? Did we make you like that? Is it father? Was it your parents? What? What is it?

Do you know what hurts the most? That I’ll never know you for real. I’ll never know if there was something to be done for you. For all of us. I know very well that behind this creature on the surface, deep inside and trapped, is an amazing woman that would become a great mother. I know. I met her once; just for a while. Do you fight it mother? Or you have just given up? Does it go away on its own will and let you breathe and be yourself? Or... What...? I don’t know. I know nothing anymore.

I am ready to step out of this door and leave you behind forever. All I need is a look... God, if you only looked at me! I would stay. Again, I would stay. Why don’t you look at me? Is it being heartless? Or you want to set me free? I swear to you, that if you looked, if you only give me a sign, I could survive another unbearable burden of pain. I could!

I squeeze tight the bag’s handle and lift it and I walk towards the door. I step on the scattered glass pieces of the broken mirror in the hallway and the sound almost made me jump. I hear nothing; Feel nothing. You are still there. I wish you would turn and I would stay. Deep inside me I thank you for letting me go.


lily02_400I opened my eyes.

As the dizziness fades away and my vision clears, I managed to see for a moment the blurry image in the mirror right before it gets back to normal. Like a cloud of smoke had dazzled it. I only saw his back for a second and a door that closed behind through the glass.

I find myself on my bed. Was I dreaming? Or...? My heart bounces on my chest. I remember nothing about last night. What was all this about? A flash of my weak memory? A dream? The room feels cold as I get back on my feet. I look around lost. The skylight lays open again. Did I forget it? Was it you again Emily? I thought we were done with these games! My eyes catch something indiscernibly different. I can’t say what it is. The room is always the same, but something, something has changed. Then I see. On the wall in my right, where the line of the hanged frames is, there’s an empty nail and a light shadow of a frame that is not there anymore.

Who is missing? Who was the one in the mirror in my dream?

“Don’t you still remember, Jinny?” her voice sounds like coming through the depths of earth. It comes of everywhere. I look around and I can’t see her. Then I catch her reflection on the mirror. She smiles, but her smile is scaring me. I don’t want to go too close, but my feet are moving towards her. Her image flashes behind the glass. Am I still dreaming?

“That was the last time you saw your son”.

Her words slap me on my face. I turn to see the missing picture on the wall. The square stain of the frame on the wall, stands there like a puzzle piece, mocking me. And a name comes out of my mouth.


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