I went down a million stairs, at least, arm in arm with you.
And now that you are gone, I feel emptiness with each step I take.
Our long journey was so brief, really.
Mine still goes on, but I don’t need
any more connections, reservations,traps, nor the scorn of those who think
reality is just what we see.I went down a million stairs, at least, arm in arm with you,
and not because four eyes see better than two.
I did it because I knew that, among the two of us,
the only true eyes, although really blurred,
The station was packed with people, and it was only 8 am in the morning. Lisa’s train was 18 minutes late. How can a train already be late at 8 am? Ladies and gentlemen, ask Italian railways.
Lisa exhaled loudly in frustration, and looked at her luggage, wondering if there was a way for her to sit on it without breaking it and scatter dozens of Christmas presents and dirty clothes all over the floor. No, it would be impossible. That luggage was stuffed as a turkey. And so damn heavy. Continue reading “Always go south – a Christmas short story”
I saw her for the first time when I was only a child. She had long hair and a sweet face. She was well-mannered and shy, that kind of girl that would look at the ground hoping not to draw anyone’s attention. She was wearing a white, long dress. I thought it suited her.
She was a very special girl. It wasn’t her fault that she was special, but people couldn’t see that. People only see what’s different, and they get scared, to the point that they can’t distinguish justice from cruelty.
She died because of them. But she was special, so a part of her didn’t vanish from this world. Her hate stayed. The hate she felt toward the humans who killed her.
I saw her for the second time shortly after her death. I saw her hate, and it was frightening in its intensity. It was frightening because she was right. It was frightening because it was ruthless, desperate and unstoppable. When I saw her, fear came to me in waves. It crawled toward me, surrounded me and suffocated me. It wasn’t just fear. She was special, and inside that fear, there was her raging soul.
She came to see me in what looked like nightmares. She walked toward me in the dark, slowly and inexorably. She wanted to bring me down into the cold water with her, and experience with her how she died. She wanted to make me taste the desperation of a lonely death and the hate she felt toward humanity. I remember crying and shaking. If I tried not to look at her and I closed my eyes, I could see her anyway. She was in front of me, she was around me, she was inside me. I could feel her touching me with frozen fingers and digging her nails in my skin. I didn’t dare look at her face. I knew that if I did, I would die. Her presence beside me wasn’t a dream. She haunted me even when I was awake, taking advantage of the darkness. She crawled by my side, holding tight to me.
Desperate, I tried to escape from her. I built walls in my mind, and worlds inside the walls. Layers and layers of different realities made for the sole purpose of hiding from her. But no matter how many dreams I could come up with, how many castles and fortresses I could create, she would break any wall and come after me. It went on until one day, when I managed to beat her.
I was tired, so tired of running away and being scared. I knew she was coming, and I waited for her. She came down the stairs, slow and dark and as angry as she had always been. As she walked toward me, I faced her. This time I ran to her and screamed, ordering her to leave me alone. She was in my head, and I was in charge there. It wasn’t easy. Fear woke me up, but as I lay awake in my bed, I knew I had won. For a little while, I thought I had defeated her completely.
With time, I learned that I had only momentarily banished her instead. I locked her somewhere deep inside my mind, but she will never go away completely. I’m an adult now, but she still lives in me. I became better at resisting her, gaining the ability to feel her when she gets out of the cage I created for her. The atmosphere changes, colors get colder. Any escape route shuts down. Her hate crawls toward me. I sense her presence stronger as she approaches. I have limited time to act, to change the set, to hide her away. Sometimes it works. Sometimes the only way to run is to wake up.
I can’t let her catch me. Whatever she was the first time I saw her, she is no longer that. She is hate. She is a beast. And she is no dream. I live my life running. I run because I know. When she catches me, I’ll be dead.