Read Part 1 here…

As Ophelia was diffusing the air, sprinting through the darkness to reach what she longed for what seemed like too long, time was either moving way to fast for her to keep up with its invincible power, or had completely froze right before her eyes. She wasn’t thinking about her destination anymore. She wasn’t thinking about anything. All she knew was that she just had to keep on running, no matter the time frames and geometries. She couldn’t even inspect her surroundings anymore, and her dark brown eyes had become weary of the flashing speed she had reached. But she knew she had to go on-  and so she did, completely disconnecting herself from her memory tank, for it was getting in her way, holding her back.

And the very moment she took off the tube, everything faded to black, dark matter.

They say our eyes are a projection of the universe seeing itself. Or, even better, that our eyes extend to a whole distinct universe on their own. That the iris, located on the top of this three- layer body part, and its colour, create a gate for another world within our own body. And even the slightest possibility that if we don’t make it in this life, our existence might still get a form of justice somewhere else, can not only keeps us up at night; It can keep us alive.

It’s 4 p.m in a metro station, buried somewhere inside the widely accepted universe that inhabits within the Milky Way galaxy. If someone was to exit the station, revealing themselves to the outside world, it’d be almost certain that they’d melt from the cut-throat heat of July, shortly after having become blinded by the many piercing rays of the Sun. If you think about it, it was just an ordinary day, no matter the exhaustion it had brought to the ones who survived through it.  Still, a special kind of relief could be felt when one entered the underground railway station. Yet, even if apart from the hurtful daylight and the busy, fuming streets, many could be seen waving a hand fan, or a leaflet they’d picked up from the way to prevent further, overwhelming sweat running from their foreheads.

You couldn’t tell anyone apart from the large crowd, and how everyone was blending in was even more suffocating than the day’s calidity. But still, if you looked close enough, your gaze wouldn’t be able to not freeze on the most vivid, glowing  pair of eyes one had ever encountered in such a characterless day.

Cecilia was standing at the exact point where the tracks stopped being visible to the eye. She always chose the end of the chutes as her waiting spot, for she liked reflecting on how anything can exist, even if it cannot be seen. For example, we may only get to see a certain part of the chutes, but that doesn’t mean that the chutes don’t have a beginning and an end we’ll never be able to see from the point we’re standing at this very moment.  We see only the things we can see. If something moves out of our vision, although it exists, it feels as if it’s not there anymore. What we actually see, is a processed image. A proof the human eye can definitely be fooled. Same goes for the universe. If you think about it, our entire existence is like in media res narration. The universe was running before you and I were around, and it will continue running after we’re gone.

So, there she was, waiting for her train to take her to the same, ordinary, unchanged destination.  You could tell from her huffing that she couldn’t take the heatwave for one more minute. Blending in with the crowd’s unrehearsed choreography, she was, too, waving a little flier she had pick up from a theatre nearby. However, she was almost certain she’d be at a vantage point opossite the heat when she wrapped her short, fair- yet with dashes of dark brown- hair up in a high bun, leaving only two curly strands to hang at each side of her forehead. Apparently she couldn’t be any more wrong, so she instead keeps on dancing with her left hand, which tightly holds on to the little yellow piece of paper.

Cecilia, as the ones around her would say, was the dream. Almost like a fictional character, like the ones we read about in books, becoming filled with awe. Beautiful, but not too sharp- yet not too ordinary, and filled with a bubbly, joyful personality, but not too moody for the likes of the ones around her. However, she felt so distinct from dreaminess, in a way she’d swear that if someone looked carefully into her pupils, all they’d see would be a blank space. Worst part is, she couldn’t argue that she wasn’t happy, because if she did so, she’d be considered ungrateful. But damn, something was always missing, even if everything was into place. 

Cecilia’s phone angrily rings. She huffs once again, wondering just how she even has reception down here. She reaches in her pocket to grab the device, and smirks when she recognises the caller. It was no other than Axel, probably just to ask her what time they’d meet up in the evening. How she loved seeing that name on her phone screen. But for now, she decided to put it away. After all, her train was about to arrive. She knew he was always with her, even if they hadn’t spoken to each other for a whole day.

She kept whirling the flier, and the strands of her hair waved, as her body temperature slowly cooled down. And as she waved it, she slowly started to become lost in the overwhelming fuss of the station. The sounds suddenly sounded more crisp, and she could distinguish a distant beeping in the background. Her stare doesn’t meet anything for now, and she completely loses focus, at least temporarily.  She couldn’t wait to get on the train and take a glimpse of her reflection on the window. It’s not like Cecilia is bigheaded or anything like that.

It’s what she sees that carries her away.

She has these big, dark, brown eyes, which resemble both the colour and the bitterness of morning coffee. But at times, when the striking, bright fluorescent lights of the train partly lights her face, creating uneven shadows, if she looks at herself on the empty glass, these hollow windows appear light green. She liked the colour of her eyes- a desire for differently coloured irises was not why she looked. The sole reason she’d turn her stare to the window was to catch a glimpse of the light she could have had inside her.  You see, sometimes having the materials for creating a source of light is not enough itself. Sometimes the Sun itself isn’t enough.

She kept hearing the discreet beeping on the background- It had turned into a song after this long. She had started to feel a little better, and her thought became full of her favourite person’s smell. She knew that even if she did everything else wrong, at least she’d done one thing right. She finally becomes submerged in this very own thought. 

What if there’s a parallel universe that they never had each other?  

There are still four minutes left for the train to reach the station.

Cecilia has frozen her stare, and for a moment, she feels as if time is moving either way too fast, or as if it has completely froze. And as her train passes right before her eyes, hitting her absorbed face with sudden waves of air, the moment’s gone.  As if the universe changed on its own.

As Ophelia lays flat on the ground, covered by dirt and parched, yellow leaves, she can hear her once favourite sound.

–  O?

She immediately opens her dark, hollow pupils, only to not believe that she is currently seeing another recognisable pair, which looks exactly like hers. She starts to shake out of disbelief, before an impeccable mix of sadness and anger overtakes her insides. She cannot remember how she got here, hence her leaving the memory tank behind, but she remembers the lips that speak this voice.

She remembers these eyes. She can fully reminisce every detail about the one standing above of her, even if she normally shouldn’t be able to. She opens her mouth to speak, as anger starts to replace all the melancholy.

– What the hell are you doing here?

The voice opposite of hers cracks a bit.

– I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Ophelia picks up herself from the ground, denying the offer of a helping hand that was just made to her. She knows that the words she is about to speak might mean never seeing this person again. As she opens her mouth, tears start to roll on her flushed cheeks;

– You know what I hate the most about you? That you leave all the time, but never stay gone. That every time I even make an attempt to stop loving you, or take a step forward, there you are, dragging me 10 feet back. That every time I convince myself you and I are just not meant to coexist, it’s like I can hear your heavy voice whispering in my ear that I’m a kind of soulmate that will always rip the cortexes of your brain out. That I can’t even look at the Moon on a starry night without thinking how much it looks like your eyes.  That I can’t forget, Holy Hell! 

Ophelia turns her body towards her tiny house, attempting to leave, before a hand grasps her, leaving her to make a decision.

Cecilia enters the train.


To be continued…

Author: Ioanna Vargianiti

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