I woke up a couple times wishing reality isn’t quite the way it is.
I need to move on. But how? And what does that mean, actually?
I woke up a couple times wishing reality isn’t quite the way it is.
I need to move on. But how? And what does that mean, actually?
11:08. 20th Thursday, 2017. The sun has finally crossed the horizon to light the other side of the Earth. The asian part of humanity. Asia. That reminds me of last september when i went to Tokyo. Weirdest, in a good way, experience of my life so far. Lonelyness at its finest. No knowledge of the language. Barely scratched the surface of the culture. No bearing none what so ever, and above all, no guide to show me around. Internet was a great help. Although, i got lost a couple of times. I was free, kind of.
Back to my appartment. My thoughts vanished. I stared blanckly at the table settled in front of me. The camera caught my attention. Photography. I want to keep on trying to catch fragments of the world as i see it. Well, i’m not there yet. Again, need to pratice. Then the big TV at the end of the room gets my focus, along with the technology surrounding it. On the right, there’s a small jewelry box in shape of my motherland. My mother’s land. Madagascar. Been there as well, last year. Saw the differences what i recall and what it became. Came across insensitive humans and the other half of my DNA. A different kind of loneliness. Oppression and frustation were predominant at that time. Although, emptiness was king. I felt nothing. I moved like a ghost of the child version of myself. Administration pissed me off. Family members pissed me off. They all acted like nothing was happening. Smiles, laughters and social conversations felt inappropriate. Yet, i couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t control them. Insensitive.
I tear up more easily than before. It’s annoying. The pain is annoying. As i lean my head back, my eyes land on comics and illustrations displayed on the wall. I look around at everything i’ve drawn so far. The meaning behind each of them gradually became deeper. Darker. My only catharsis. I need those ideas out of my head. I’m tired of being… incomplete. My chest hurts. I can’t stand this feeling. Tears again. Fuck you, Death.
The Messenger | This is a long one | If you have a chance to say one last thing to someone you lost: what would you say?
The lasts scenes were something i personnally lived. Seeing an empty appartment – once again – but this time, the goodbye was slightly different. More like a ‘real farewell’. The kind i didn’t expect to say or feel before i would be very old. Or never, actually. But it happened.
This will also be – hopefully – my lasts drawings about it. I’m moving forward. I can’t stay still forever.
I waited five minutes before the only door at the end of the hallway opened. A man appeared behind it. A dark suit on with a white shirt and a red tie. I thought it was a bit too dress up for a psychologist. But whatever. I stood up as he greeted me then suggested i enter in his office. The room was pretty large, allowing a desk surrounded by three chairs, a couch and a library to coexist. It was quiet. The closed door isolated us from any sound coming from the outside world. A bubble. Safe and dangerous at the same time. He offered me a seat on the couch, right away. I waited for him to sit first then mimicked him. I sat at the edge, far away from him. I look at him: he had a notebook he already wrote on. When he was done, he looked up to me, gave me a smile then waited. After a long minute, anxiety grew in me.
– ‘What are we supposed to talk about?’ i asked.
– ‘I don’t know. What do you want to talk about?’ he replied.
– ‘Euhm, i don’t know.’
– ‘I see that you keep on looking around. What’s on your mind?’ The remark surprised me. I thought i was subtile. I shook me head and raised my shoulders as an answer. ‘You must be thinking of something.’ he insisted.
I hated those kind of questions: what do you think about? Do you trust me? Well, before you asked me that, i did trust you. Now, i think you’re suspicious. So, no, i don’t. When the psychologist said i must be thinking about something, my mind went blank: i stayed quiet. He looked at his watch. I checked the clock on the wall. Seven minutes has passed.
– ‘So we just let the hour pass in silence?’ I slightly nodded. ‘Why did you came here for, then?’ He asked.
– ‘I was asked to. My brother… asked me to.’
– ‘And you always do what he ask you to do?’
– ‘Not always.’
– ‘Why did you choose to do this?’ I thought about it: i was about to say that i didn’t know, but, obviously, it would end the conversation short.
– ‘I don’t know.’ I said it anyway. ‘By curiosity… I guess’ He wrote it down.
– ‘Just out of curiosity? Do you know why he asked you to come to therapy?’
– ‘Euhm, i guess because he’s going to therapy himself. Maybe he wants me to experience the same thing. So that i can undersand.’
– ‘Understand what?’
– ‘Why he’s going to therapy.’
– ‘And do you understand it?’
– ‘I do.’
– ‘Sounds like you didn’t need this to get it.’ I smiled. ‘And why do you think he’s going to therapy?’ I took a minute.’Do you think you need it too?’ I remained silent. ‘How are you doing?’
– ‘I’m good.’ Another question that i hated.
– ‘That doesn’t sound like an honest answer.’
– ‘It didn’t sound like an honest question.’
– ‘Do you think i’m a dishonest person?’
– ‘No. I just think it’s… not a sincere question.’
– ‘Why do you think that?’ I sighed. ‘Tell me.’
– ‘Usually, when people ask that question, they don’t really want to know how the other person is doing. All they want to hear is ‘yes, i’m doing well’. Whether they are a good person or an asshole.’
– ‘What makes you think that?’
– ‘Just…Observation.’ My lips were sealed. He let go of a smile.
– ‘What if i’m really interested in knowing your state? What would be your answer?’
– ‘I’m good.’
– ‘Same answer. Why?’
– ‘Because i am.’
– ‘You don’t open up to people much, do you?’ I looked at him straight in the eyes.’Why is that?’
– ‘No special reason.’ He smiled again. He let a moment pass.
– ‘Tell me: why now?’ I didn’t understand. ‘I’ve been following your brother for few weeks, now. He told me about you, a few times. He told me he asked you many times to come before. So why now? What changed your mind?’
– ‘…It’s her birthday, soon.’ i whispered.
– ‘Your mother’s?’ I nodded. ‘When is it?’
– ‘And you felt like you needed to talk to someone? How do you feel about it?’ A ghost passed by. ‘What are you going to do that day?’
– ‘I don’t know. Probably nothing.’
– ‘Are you going to meet with your brother?’
– ‘Probably not. I don’t feel like being around people…’
– ‘You feel better on your own?’ I shyly smiled, my look was stuck on the carpet. ‘What are you doing when you’re alone?’
– ‘I stay busy: watching shows, videos, drawing, listening to music…’
– ‘Drawing? What kind of drawing?’
– ‘Euhm, whatever comes to my mind.’
– ‘What was your last drawing?’
– ‘A photography that was taken when i was smaller. I think.’
– ‘You think?’
– ‘I’m not sure that picture truly exists or it’s just a memory i made for myself.’
– ‘You don’t have it?’ I shook my head. ‘What was it?’
– ‘It’s my mom and i in front of our old house. She’s, sort of, leaning on me.’
– ‘So you recreated it?’ I nodded. ‘You think about her often?’
– ‘Every day. Every time i do something, i think about calling her, telling her everything.. But i can’t. Not anymore.’ I paused. Then a laugh slipped as tears blurred my sight.
– ‘What’s funny?’
– ‘Euhm, i…now that she’s gone, i want to talk to her. But, before…I didn’t have anything to tell her. That’s just… that’s just… fucking dumb…I’m an…hyprocrite.’
– ‘Why do you think that?’
– ‘I don’t feel like i have the right to… feel this way.’
– ‘You mean being sad?’ I nodded. ‘You know it’s human. You just lost someone you loved.’ As i satyed quiet, he continued: ‘Why do you feel like you don’t have the rights to be sad?’
– ‘I’ve never… I haven’t shown her my affection. I was cold and mean to her… I rejected her.’ A tear dropped on my hands.
– ‘It’s not your fault, if she’s…’ The psychologist’s sentence faded away.
Dumb sentence. I closed my eyes when that thought immerged in my mind. I took few seconds to recollect myself. Then when i opened them, i found myself at my desk, a dozen of files to work on for the day. Noises from the background gently arrived to my ears: people talking, laughing, greeting each other, sounds of printers, computers starting, keybord being smashed by cafeinated fingers. Suddenly, a closer voice pulled me out of that confusing state between reality and dream: ‘Are you ok?’ I looked at my left and saw my co-worker’s concerned face. I realized that my eyes were filled with salty liquid and my chicks were wet. My heart was pounding and my throat closed on itself. I opened my mouth to answer but words couldn’t get through. I stood up, apologized rudly and walked as fast and as discretly as possible to the bathroom.
As soon as i locked myself, i broke down. Fucking imagination…
‘Pfff….Pfhahahahahahahahahahaha!! You’re kidding, right? Right? Oh no, you’re serious?’ Simo stared at his friend, his face as serious as it could get. Ezekhiel stayed quiet for seconds, he tried to contain his laugther. ‘I don’t care if you don’t believe me.’ Simo said as he turned his back and left the room. Those last words resonated in Ezekhiel’s ears. He reacted as fast as he could and grabbed Simo’s arm before he disappeared. Time froze. Ezekhiel’s mind was transported to his eighth year of life. He was standing in the middle of a baseball field, surrounded by other kids his age. Bats were thrown on the ground, particules of sand flew in the air. Ezekhiel looked upset: he gesticulated violently towards the group that kept its smile. Despite the fact that kid Ezekhiel was screaming his lungs out, no sound resonated. Ezekhiel had a spam and felt something between his fingers. He turned his head and saw Simo looking at him straight in the eyes. A strange feeling spread in Ezekhiel’s body, when a wave of dioxygen disturbed the atmosphere, followed by another one. And another one. Until the frequencies aligned perfectly: ‘BACK OFF!’ Kid Simo shouted. All of the other kids shut up. They stepped backward as Simo walked in between Ezekhiel and them. ‘Pff, it’s not funny anymore.’ one of them said before leaving. ‘They said…my…my father’s dead…’ Kid Ezekhiel confessed, tears flowing on his chicks. ‘They’re…they’re lying! He’s… He just left. He said he’ll be back! He said he’ll be back!’ Sobs didn’t allow silence to settle in. ‘He said: he’ll come back.’ The calm gained the boy’s mind and body. A urge to scream grew in him, but more tears came out instead. Ezekhiel remembered that feeling: being at the edge of facing the hard truth of reality. ‘I know.’ Kid Simo’s voice pierced Kid Ezekhiel’s thoughts. Simo turned around: ‘. I believe you. He’s gonna come back.’
As he let go of his friend’s arm, Ezekhiel found himslef back in his room. He gazed around then put his eyes on Simo’s. They stood in silence for a couple of minutes. Simo looked astonished and yet excited. Ezekhiel understood then: ‘I believe you.’
To be continued
7 billions. We are 7 billions souls on this big piece of rock. When you think about it. When you think about yourself amongst those 7 billions people, you are small. You are no one. Until you meet those that make you important. Those who prioritize you. Those who love you. Truly.
Amongs those several millions minds, I only had two members of this community that are by my side. At all cost. They are my priorities, my world, my anchors. My everything. Without them and because of them, I became who I am today.
I haven’t always been this way. Others would describe me as an introvert. Shy. A man of few words. But my friends know who I am. And why I became who I am now. A certain event appeared in my biography. Sad event where randomness, gun, panic, fear, misunderstanding, bullet and blood meet. That event changed me. I’m not afraid of admitting it: the loss is unbearable. It all went from white to black in one night. Since that moment, I shut myself in. My world stopped moving. My mind went into a deep coma. My body entered an automatic mode. The 6,999,999,997 other human beings kept on moving. Most of them don’t know. It feels unfair and inconsiderate of them to live their lives like nothing happened. But they don’t know. So it’s hard to blame them. On the other hand, few of them know. A very few. They also keep on living normally, but every time they are around me, they have that weird energy where they need to show their compassion, their understanding of my feelings. When it’s unnecessary. In the end, no matter who I am around with, I will never be true to them. I created a fake smile, a fake state of happiness so that I won’t see those pity eyes anymore. As time goes by, the fake became true but fragile. Every now and then, it cracks to fall apart. I try to keep myself together. Thinking that I have to. I need to.
After a while, I fing myself laughing. With my heart. Some random objects, sentences or behaviours remind me memories. Memories that used to be painful are now nostalgic. I understand now what the feeling of missing someone means.
The world keeps on gravitating around the sun. Days keep on passing. Then weeks turn into months. Soon I will experience holidays without them. Soon I will overcome this feeling. Soon I will feel undepressed. I’m fighting this darkness inside of me every single day, at every single hour, minute and every single second. I don’t want to become a negative person. I don’t want to project a negative energy into this world. There’s already enough of that. I need light back in my life. And I feel like I can’t have it from anyone else. No one has experienced what i’m living now. Even those who lost a member of their family. I will never understand their loss because I don’t know their relationship with the lost ones. I don’t know how much important they were to each other. I will never understand their loss. And they will never understand mine. So instead of waiting for someone to enlighten my mind, I decided to do it myself. Slowly but surely, brightness will overcome darkness. Slowly but surely, I will be better.
Mike had a determined look on his face as he said those last words. A silent followed. Then a female voice came from his right: ‘Thank you for sharing, Mike.’ The latter nodded as everyone repeated shyly those words. Few minutes later, after someone else spoke, the meeting ended. Everyone stood up: some of them took a cup of coffee to slowly get back to reality, others helped putting the chairs away and cleaning the room. As for Mike, he immediately left without a word. The fragile state of happiness seemed to have been shattered. He went straight to his appartment, ignoring few of his neighboors. As he locked his door, tears came up. His heart beat faster and faster, skipping a beat every now and then. He could barely breathe. He managed to put himself together for a split second then fell down on his knees.
An urge of rage and anger needed to come out. He stayed still for a moment, tears flowing on his chicks. His body let itself fall on the side, defeated by grief. Slowly, tears became rare, thoughts left his mind and his muscles relaxed. He fell asleep.
I loved you. Truly.
P.S.: I hope you knew it.
Saturday afternoon. The sun was high up, heating the population after weeks of raining days. Few clouds persisted on clothing the blue sky. Windows of buildings blinded pigeons and other birds that flew low. A constant flow of voice resonated in between walls. Streets were filled with old couples, parents with kids , teenagers and tourists. Cars broke the crowd in two some time to times. Amongst all of this crazyness of a sunny day, there were two young adults walking side by side. They laughed, talked and smiled to each other. A strong bound tied them together. Their complicity could be felt miles away. As they made their way in the crowd, they came across few couples, young couples showing their love to the entire world. They both felt a strange vibe starting to flow around them. They shared a look: ‘You’re not girlfriend material to me.’ he said, suddenly. The girl was surprised by the raw statement. It came out of nowhere. She paused then said: ‘Euhm, i’m gonna head home. I’m about to sleep standing.’ The guy looked confused as she turned her back and started to walk away.
As she said those words, they walked side by side again. A new mood was created around them. Another kind of awkwardness appeared. They glanced at each other: ‘Off to a great start.‘ she mumbled. ‘I know!’ He replied.
‘I beg your pardon?’ The man put the gun on a table and pushed it slightly towards me. I stared at the metallic object. The light reflected on it, enlightened my thoughts. ‘Wait. I was under the impression that I was… Well, important.’ I claimed. The man looked surprised that I knew something.
‘You are, indeed. We can’t kill you. It will be a blasphema. But if you end your own life, then it’ll be different.’ He looked me deep in the eyes.
‘There won’t be any negative butterfly effect if you commit suicide. The world will keep on going in the course it chose.’
‘What makes you think i’m going to obey you blindly?”
‘Well, if you don’t, i’m going to hurt one of your guides then, eventually, kill them.’ I flinched. I felt a urge of anger coming out of my chest. My fist closed by itself. He smiled. ‘You were a med’student, right? That means you value life more than anything else.’ He paused in his pace and pointed Ethan. ‘This boy. You took him under your wings without any questions. Knowing pretty much nothing about him. That means you care about others more than yourself.’
A silence passed. I heard a movement behind me. The man’s eyes looked beyond my shoulder before slowly grabbing the gun. He stepped cloesr to me, took my right hand and placed the gun. He nodded then a rattle resonated in the background.
‘Why? Why do you want me to commit suicide?’ I asked.
‘Ha! Excellent question. As you might know, now: Ethan is our saviour. And in order for him to fulfill his destiny, there’s a need for a specific event to happen right in front of his eyes.’
‘And that event would be my death. Specifically.’
‘Well, not specifically. Any death would do the trick, actually. But I figured, if it’s someone he knew and cared about, it would be more:::impactful.’ He paced again, like a scientist explaining his process to solve a complicated equation. His words kept on repeat in my head. Any death would do the trick. Joshua Aikon. He’s not aware
‘How a death can make him fulfill his destiny?”
‘It will trigger a certain state of mind that will lead him to become the savior that we will know. ‘
‘It doesn’t explain me how he will become “the savior”.’
‘He willl create the machine that will change the face of humanity.’ I stayed perplex on every words that came out of the man’s mouth. ‘He can corroborate this himself.’ I held the gun tighter.
‘Himself?’ I wondered.
‘Yes, himself.’ he replied while pointing someone behind me. Himself? I turned around and stared at Eden. I had a flashback of the moment I research his name on Google. I remembered pictures of him younger. He looked like…. Out of the blue, as my brain focused on Eden, a thought struck me.
‘You’re saying Ethan is going to save the world…’ The man nodded, a proud smile on his face. ‘Then how do you explain their presence.’ I pointed the gun behind me. ‘Aren’t they, somehow, a proof that the world will not be safe?’ The man looked surprised by the question. He remained silent, speechless. ‘If it was safe and sound, why would they come back in the past to change it?’
On that moment, I truly believed Eden’s story. I brought my arm back in front of me and aimed for Eden’s uncle’s head. The uncle’s army reacted but I wasn’t scared for my life anymore, nor for Ethan’s. They can’t kill us. They won’t dare. Suddenly, in front of my back, I heard someone being knocked out and falling on the floor. Another raffe, then a loud noise. Another body hit the ground. Footsteps came closer.
A first gunshot resonated few steps behind me. I moved to my left as I saw Eden’s uncle falling, one hand on his shoulder. I turned to the source of the shooting. For a split second, I saw Eden with a satisfied smile.. Everyone started to shoot him. At the same moment, the later fired his gun and got shot in the shoulder. I fell on the floor, covered my head with my arms, pulled my legs to my chest and glanced at his second target. My eyes and mouth wide-opened. I froze.
Sounds were reduced to silence. People around me slowed down to stand still. Half a second passed but it felt like an eternity. Only one body was in motion. It was falling. Straight. Inanimated. As soon as it hit the ground, a hail of bullets rang brutally.
My eyes couldn’t believe the scene that diplayed few steps away from me. He was lying, immobile. My body crawled automatically towards him. A female voice echoed behind me but i kept on moving forward until my head was next to his. Blood came out of his forehead through a hole. His eyes stared at the ceiling, a last tear dropped on the side of his face. He seemed peaceful. No… I couldn’t get my eyes off of him while fanatics and time-travelers emptied their chargers on each others. I wanted to hold him but my hands were trembling and my body didn’t dare to touch him.
Noises around me suddenly stopped. I gazed around and stood up. Most of fanatics were dead, some of them moaning in pain. Only few were physically unscathed, hiding behind walls. I looked in Eden’s direction. Sanaa pulled him against a pilar. His shoulder was bleeding profusely, turning his black shirt in dark red. As I stared at them, a rush of hate grew inside of me. I closed my fist and walked towards them. Every step put me deeper in the darkness of revenge. Until I noticed it: Sanaa’s face was sad: she was at the edge of tears. Eden tried to calm her down and reassure her. ‘Everything will be good, now.’ he whispered, a smile on his face. Suddenly, he writhed in pain. I scanned his body. Something was off: around his legs, I could see the floor, clearer as the time pass. My eyes went up. The wall became slightly visible. Eden looked at me. ‘The Earth will be safe, now.’ He smiled then closed his eyes, took a deep inspiration and released it. He was feeling the joy. He looked me deep in the eyes again, opened his mouth and said something, but my senses were shut off. Slowly, his hands became transparent, then his chest. Until only his head remained. He gave a last look to Sanaa before completely disappearing.
Few seconds later, as my eyes were stuck on where Eden was sitting, his words came to me:
To be continued
A moment. Few seconds. Only few seconds were needed to take me back to the world of wonder, full of questions and, let’s face it, sadness. Just an image.
I was minding my own business. My focus was at its best. My eyes didn’t leave the screen one bit for the last few hours. My hands were moving faster than my thoughts. I was in the zone. When, suddenly, for a split second, i saw it. The image that made me stumble. Even almost fall. In front of me, a man interrupted a woman. Few words:
‘Allison! This is my daughter. No. I’m not proud!’
Irony could be heard in his voice and seen on his face. She was in his arms, hiding her face against his chest, embarrassed or shy. A little of both. He held her tighter for a millisecond then kissed her on her forehead. A smile was drawn on both of their faces. He let her go. As they walked away, side by side, almost like a reflex, he put his arm around her. And they disappeared behind a wall.
I smiled as I witnessed that love in between a father and his daughter. Then i wondered how could it feel like. Unanswered questions, that i thought i buried once and for all, emerged at the surface. My mind was slowly pulled down. I tried to fight it. Thinking about something else: focus back on work. I managed to keep my head out of the water. My dream helped me. But a little voice kept on talking in my head: Is he proud of me? Can he be proud of me? The need of answers came back like a urge. Then, i remembered a promise i made to myself: confront him face to face before my 25th birthday. I started to plan my journey to that point of my life that i need to reach. Going back to my ‘roots’. But it would be after my 25th birthday. Next year, i’ll go back to that big island i was raised in, relive my childhood through memories and see him in person. Hopefully…
In moments like these, i miss having a father.