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.
Full moon. Clouds have deserted the sky, allowing stars to reveal themselves. A sweet breeze lifted the heaviness of the night, making tourists and locals forget their worries. Lamp-posts were dimed, giving directors the perfect setting to play with lights. Music bounced from wall to wall, voices and applause echoed in the air. Glasses broke every now and then. In the midst of all that, a young man wandered in vain, his own sound in his ears. His steps were slow. Unstable. He held his head, massaging his temples in hope that the swords piercing his brain will go away. Images of strangers appeared and disappeared, the ground shifted from concrete to a large forest in a second. A warm pressure suddenly appeared on his right arm.
The weather changed: rain fell abundantly, dark clouds hung above Toai City, cars created an unnatural smoke, blocking the view from fifty miles away. The foggy mood of the streets reminded him of a dark fictif world. Simo found himself in the middle of an intersection. In front of him, two teenagers were sitting at the window table of a coffee shop. The girl seemed to have fun while the guy was lost in his thoughts. He walked in the shop to hear their conversation.
– ‘Hé! Look alive! Am i that boring, today?’ Thea affirmed.
– ‘Ha, sorry! I was thinking about something.’ Ezekhiel said.
– ‘I know. He’s in my mind too, but for now, there’s nothing we can really do.’ She paused. ‘Besides…’
– ‘Waiting, i know.’
– ‘In the mean time, please, look like you’re enjoying this moment.’
They exchanged smiles before the scenery swithed back to his present. His wet clothes dried instantly. Interesting. He looked back at his friend, his pain intensifying.
– ‘A bit intrusive what you just did, isn’t it?’ Ezekhiel said.
– ‘My bad. I wanted to know…’
– ‘Yeah, it’s what i’m saying: intrusive. You’re alright?’ Simo held his head a little tighter.
– ‘You found him! Dang! You’re fast when you want.’ Megan yelled as she joined them.
– ‘Maybe, listenning to music in a loud place isn’t a good idea while having a major headache. Let’s go somewhere more quiet.’
– ‘I know a spot with a nice view.. and very calm.’
After few minutes of walks, they arrived at the top of a small hill. Below them, the population of Toai invested the beach to the edge, where waves crashed. Laid in front of them, endless water. ‘Nice view, indeed.’ Thea said. Megan and Simo shared a glanced: their thoughts went to their common memory, their mind were connected for that split second. ‘You’re feeling better?’ Ezekhiel asked him. He turned to him, nodded then laid down on the grass. ‘When does it start?’ Their voices faded to reduce into silence. He felt his heart pounding in his head, slowed his breathing, relaxed his body and tried to focus on the dark sky. As the pain started to leave, an explosion reverberated in the air, followed by others. Detonations shut everyone up. Simo sat then froze. Colors have painted the sky: green, blue, purple, pink, red, orange and yellow appeared and disappeared on the black background. A symphony. His focus swang from his breathing to his sight: his pain vanished. A smile appeared on his face. The salty wind blew on his face like a bowl of fresh air. It took a deep inspiration, closed his eyes then exhaled. ‘It feels good, right?…Sy? Simo? Si…’
When he opened his eyes again, Simo found himself in a room, laying in a bed that wasn’t his. Walls were white and light blue at the same time. Cold. A tone beated to his respiration. Hospital…
To be continued
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.
Days passed. In the first week of the new year, Simo tried to wrap his head around his new ability: he realized many experiences to acknowledge the extant of his capacity. He touched each of his arms with each hands: nothing happened. Then tried the same experience on strangers: he purposely walked into customers in a coffee shop. Beside the weird look people gave him, Simo learned that his right hand was the one holding the keys to others’ past. He then proceeded to study the length of the flashbacks and for that he needed a volunteer. He called his best friend to be his victim, later in the evening, but the latter made a good point: ‘You know, you’re like a brother to me, but dude, I can’t just.. let you go through my memories like that. That’s… That’s… That’s just weird.’ Simo had a moment of reflection. ‘Mmmh. Then who will be our experiment?’ Ezekhiel felt tired of the scientist side of his best friend. ‘Alright… What am i supposed to do?’ Simo didn’t hesitate and reached for Ezekhiel’s arm who dodged just as quickly. They froze for a second. ‘Wait. How does this work?’ – ‘That’s what we’re trying to figure out.’ Simo replied. ‘I know, but how… What’s going to happen?’ – ‘Just…’ Simo let his sentence hang in the air and acted on it.
They’ve been teleported to few hours earlier.that day, in the middle of a crowd. Ezekhiel was sitting at a table, pretending to be on his phone. While in reality, he eyed a girl sitting on the other side of the terrace. When she stood up to leave, he mimicked her. On that moment, Simo and Ezekhiel were pulled out of that place to return to Simo’s room.
‘What happp…’ Simo started. ‘WHAT! WAS THAT!?’ Simo stood still, speechless. He didn’t understand. ‘What are you doing?! I wasn’t ready! You can’t…’ Ezekhiel took a deep breathe to contain himself. He began to be worried. ‘What’s up with you?’ Simo asked. ‘Listen. If we… If i’m going down this road, this dark, fuggy and uncertain road, with you, we need to set some limits, boundries.’ From Simo’s eyes, Ezekhiel saw confusion. ‘Alright, first: whatever you’re going to see, it has to stay between us. Second, you can’t judge me for anything you’re seeing. Third, i give myself the right to add other rules, later on.’ Simo didn’t get to reason why he needed to state the obvious but agreed anyway. ‘Alright. Now, what are we doing? Walk me through it like i’m a baby.’ Simo took few seconds to find his words: ‘Let’s start with that. Ok, think of a specific moment of your past.’ He then invited Ezekhiel to hold his hand. After taking a deep breathe, the latter proceeded to the experiment.
Simo’s room changed to become Ezekhiel’s room. The latter was in his bed, under the covers. A ring broke the silence of his sleep. Hardly, Ezekhiel reached out for his phone and checked the message he just received: Meet me at The Coffee Shop, at 10. He grunted, put his phone under his pillow, screen faced down, and went back to sleep. After few seconds, he sat on his bed. He stayed still until a knock on his door pulled him out of his paralysis: ‘Hey, Zee, wake up! Dad’s waiting for you.’ Once the voice disappeared, Ezekhiel put a foot on the floor, then then other one. He stood up and went to the bathroom at a very slow pace.
As the door closed, Simo and Ezekhiel witnessed the change of scenery from a bedroom to another. ‘You didn’t have anything less relevant than that?’ Ezekhiel gave his friend a death stare, before ignoring him. He checked the chronometer he set up earlier: ‘Four minutes.’ Simo took a serious pose. ‘So, the longest you can see is four minutes.’ Ezekhiel confirmed. He nodded. ‘Alright, what no…’ Before Ezekhiel could finish his question, something warm surrounded his elbow, bringing him back to the terrace he kept watch on a girl, from afar. As she walked away from her table, Ezekhiel turned to his unconsiderate friend: ‘What are you doing?’ Simo glanced at the girl and turned his head to his friend. ‘Hold that thought.’ Simo slowly let go of Ezekhiel’s arm. Once they were no longer in contact, Simo stepped back and waited for few seconds to see what happens. Nothing. He then followed the girl to her home, when the background switched again. ‘What happened?’ Ezekhiel asked. ‘You just disappeared, suddenly.’ A silence settled. ‘Bro! Explain!’ Simo said. ‘When you let go of my arm, i came back to your room but you weren’t there. Where were you? Still in the past?’ Simo nodded. He started to pace. to get his thoughts in order.
What do i know? I can travel through memories…It’s insane… I can choose the memory i want to see, but it will last two minutes and a half only. If the victim volunteers and picks a precise moment to show me, i can stay in it longer. Then, i’ve tried this once, but let’s assume it works every time: i can move into that memory, without the owner. I can walk around in the memory…. I can walk through it… His vision became blurry. Think. Say i can move, i can displace objects: will that change anything to the present? Logically, no. It’s a memory. Nothing can be changed… Although, i disappear from the present when i walk in the remembrance. What does that…
Simo gazed around him. The floor replace the roof, again and again. Furnitures encercled him as if they were alive. He looked at Ezekhiel and tried to focus on him to keep a landmark, but the latter spinned like every thing else. Simo began to lose balance: all he could see, now, was shapes. Indistinguible shapes that became lines mixing walls with furnishings, people and hard floor. A sudden change of pace destabilized Simo: his feet weren’t touching the ground anymore. A sweet feeling of free falling traveled through his body. Face to him, a hand appeared in the middle of fuzziness that surrounded him. It approached his face with a certain slowness. He could see the fingers passing at the focus point of his vision. Then a thumping sound quickened the scene: the hand went out of Simo’s sight. Ezekhiel’s face appeared. And: pitch black. Simo blacked out.
To Be Continued
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
Bright. Yellow. And blinding. The sun was high in the sky when Simo opened his eyes. He sat down and looked ahead of him. The impact of the white dwarf created a crater in the middle of the park. The dirt has settled down on the ground, covering the green grass. Simo felt a pain coming from his brain. A strong ache. As he tried to control his misery, he heard a branch crack. He scanned the area when someone suddenly grabbed him by the collar then dragged him behind a tree and covered his mouth. They stood still for few seconds when a group of armed men, dressed all in black, invaded the field. ‘All clear.’ each one of them yelled to their partners. Simo felt less pressure around his chest. He turned his head to take a look at who kidnapped him. ‘Zeke…’ he whispered. The latter ordered him to stay quiet. They both glanced behind them: men in orange arrived carrying heavy cases. They started to analyze the object while the men in black secured the place with barriers. Ezekhiel poked Simo on the shoulder then showed him the way. As silently as they could be, they ran away on the opposite direction from the tumult.
Once they were out of any possible reach, they slowed down and mingled with the crowd. ‘What was that?’ Simo asked. Ezekhiel looked back, making sure they weren’t followed. ‘I don’t know. I just found you lying there. What happened?’ Simo tried to recollect his memories but they were fuzzy. ‘I touched it then…’ – ‘You blacked out.’ Ezekhiel finished. Simo nodded. As they made their way in the crowd, Simo was shaken by a passer-by. For a split second, something changed: his left foot sinked into sand before concrete reappeared. He slowed his pace before stopping. His headache amplified and the world spinned around him. His vision became blurry then darker and darker. ‘You’re alright?’ Ezekhiel asked. No respond. Simo lost balance all of a sudden then blacked out. The next thing he knew, he woke up in a room he recognized. Next to him, his friend was sitting in a chair, watching his computer with a particular attention. ‘Mmh, what happened?’ Simo mumbled. Ezekhiel raised his head then turned to his bed. He pointed a glass of water on the nightstand: ‘You fainted.’ As Simo drank few sip, he laid his eyes on the screen. Ezekhiel was watching the news about the white dwarf: journalists discovered its landing point and has surrounded the scientists that were studying the area. ‘It appeared, from the footage we received from one of our reporter on site, that the dead star created a relatively large crater in the middle of Kiho Park. But it seems that there is no object at the bottom of it. Scientists are actually analyzing and researching for the white dwarf….’ Ezekhiel gazed at Simo to have some explainations. The latter noticed a look on him. Thoughts and images of the lasts events ran into his mind. ‘It disappeared…?’ He finally said. His friend nodded. ‘You didn’t see anything when you found me?’ A silence passed, letting Ezekhiel time to think. ‘Mmmh, no. I don’t think there was anything.’ he replied. ‘What happened?’ Simo took a deep breathe and narrated his evening. ‘And what happened before you fainted today?’ Simo thought: ‘I bumped into a woman then… walked on a beach for a second.’ – ‘A…beach…But… we’re in land.’ Ezekhiel said. Simo agreed. He stood up then started to pace, trying to understand what was going on. He let his eyes travel on the room’s walls, his mind went empty until he realized he wasn’t in his room but in Ezekhiel’s: ‘Wait. How did you know i was in Kiho Park?’ The latter stood up and charged his computer: ‘You’re parents called me this morning asking if you were here… I told them you were still sleeping, then i figured you went to the park to see the star.’ – ‘Clever.’ Simo replied before yawning. ‘Well, thanks. I can’t think of anything right now.’ They both understood that it was time for them to go separate ways. As they were starting their handshake, Simo felt strange. The wallpapers faded, leaving room for trees. The bed and all furnitures disappeared, green grass replaced the floor and a gentle wind blew. Simo recognized the place. Kiho Park. He scanned around him and saw Ezekhiel running towards someone sitting on the grass. He grabbed him then dragged him behind a tree right before a swat team got closer to Simo. The latter looked at his feet: he was standing in the crater. He looked for the space stone but there was no trace of it. Zeke was telling the truth. On that thought, he found himself back in his friend’s bedroom. ‘You’re alright?’ He gazed around, trying to find his bearings. ‘What? What happened?’ Ezekhiel insisted. Simo felt lost, he didn’t understand and couldn’t explain it. As he stood still, Ezekhiel poked him on his shoulder sending Simo deeper into paralysis. After a long ten seconds, the latter regained consciousness and looked at his friend with wide eyes. Ezekhiel reached for the shoulder one more time to bring him back to reality, thinking he went on auto-pilot mode again, but Simo dodged him. Ezekhiel felt a bit confuse. He saw a light in his friend’s eyes. ‘I..I think… that when someone touch me…I’m teleported…In the past.’
To be continued
Full. Clear. Bright. Cloudless. The moon is shining upon the city.
May we see another day.