And he wondered...why? Why these mornings, these sunsets, these gloomy afternoons when the sun seems to be in hiding in the middle of February, these branches rising up to the sky, these rainy evenings when the street lamps take on a halo that is almost hazy… Why this heartache? He reached over to his bedside table and picked up a cigarette. In the evening light, all the room seemed to be fading. The room, the monotone wallpaper, the simple bed, the curtains, the desk with a few notebooks on it, the small rug on the linoleum floor…Everything was so familiar, and yet so different and strange at the same time.
Half lying down, he lit his cigarette. The sound of the lighter click almost echoed in the emptiness of the room. Outside, the last of the evening light was dwindling away. He took a deep drag, and exhaled while watching the smoke soften the light of the desk lamp. The black coffee in his cup had turned into a cold, bitter mess. He pushed it away, and lay on his back.
Out of the semi-darkness, a voice comes. A melodious, piano voice. The voice from his dreams. She must be…what, eight now? A red hat on a head of golden hair…A red, button-down coat… A bubbly laughter like concentrated sunshine. A velvety voice, so familiar, so close, he can almost touch it… He takes another deep drag from the cigarette, the smoke fills his lungs and his tired heart, the smoke fills him completely, fills his arms, legs, his head, his eyes, his ears. It trickles from his eyes. His tears are gray. The gray of the February evening. The gray of remorse. The gray of all those mornings, afternoons and evenings, lost in time, irretrievable, forever.
He takes a deep breath. He dumps his cigarette in the black, murky pool of the leftover coffee. He feels the whole room start to shake. The world as he knows it begins to fade away into the crumbling nothingness of the evening. His bed is convulsing, the windows are rattling, the desk lamp slides over to the edge of the desk and is about to fall over. The notebooks open, the pages start flying out of them into the air. A wind starts blowing. His hair is tousled by the wind picking up, his tears float away from his face, his hands try to hold on to the sides of the bed.
The phone starts ringing. The sound of it is almost lost in the wind. The skin of his face feels taut from the force of the hurricane bearing down on him. He staggers to his feet. He stretches his hand out to the phone ringing in the middle of chaos.
He picks up the receiver. The wind howling in his ears drowns out everything. He breathes a barely audible “Hullo?” into the phone.
The wind stops. The curtains fall down. The notebooks close. The bed stops shaking. The lamplight fills the room, more tranquil than ever.
Esra, Feb 11, 2016