Written By A.M.
“I feel like I’m barely standing, in the middle of a room full of people, screaming in their faces at the top of my lungs, and yet no one even looks up.” But Stephan did and stared at the big round clock on the wall. The last syllable he mumbled was when he realized how slowly time has passed.
“Long hours seem long,” said to himself and walked past the bed towards this square white machine, to take a closer look at the orange indication. Orange has always been his healing color, there could not have been something wrong. He sat on the edge of the bed and leaned his head towards Vivian’s. “It is my first time here. I know I stayed more days than I was allowed to. But I cannot leave you. I wish I could. I really wish I could. Sometimes I dare to wish that you never existed. I would have always thought that the world is what it is in my mind. Now since you came along, I know it is not real. I live in this balloon you floated with your breath hidden in the closet. I am not made for parties. I’m no fun. So, goodnight.” Stephan moved the lower part of his body abruptly but not his head.
Vivian, although in a hospital bed for months still smelled like the little almond tree in the garden, it was not the best or the most flourished but it was the one she has planted with her bare hands. The orange light reflected on Vivian’s face and lit up a dusty corner in the room. She looked so serene, so calm. Not a single cloud obscuring her rest. The tube in her mouth was creating wrinkles around it but Stephan always saw the 15-year-old girl he met. Even in that dark room. She was the only person he could see; even in the most crowded rooms or busiest of thoughts.
”It’s too much of a Sunday for a coward like me. This is a cruel smile upon the world’s face. I’m tired and worn out from that face. I have to believe. And you, my love, you are a crystal glass on the highest shelf that I cannot reach. I am used to losing what I love. But you have to win. Wake up and prove them wrong. Wake up and walk out of this door. I am poor and craven. I have only my dreams and fantasies. You will be better off without me. I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly out of this place because you tread on my dreams. Love was supposed to be this magic thing that keeps us from pain and we did not even get close to that. If I had taken another road that morning we would have never met.” Stephan kept on talking to the void, kissing Vivian’s forehead. He stretched his arm to cuddle her and bring her blanket closer to her chest.
Silence prevailed as Stephan tried to sketch the elements of Vivian’s face, rubbing his fingers all over it. While confirming to himself she was the prettiest thing he had ever seen the door opened. Stephan had noticed the open window from before but he did not consider it a threat to their closed space. A passing-by nurse from the outside noticed and closed firmly again.
The sound made Stephan hold Vivian more tightly. A spontaneous fear that any possible outside intruders would harm her. Stephan tried to blend in with the air so as not to disturb her and now he was considered a potential enemy.
Time passed. Stephan’s time was over. He had realized it when he looked instinctively at the clock to mark the hour the enemy has appeared. “This enemy has shown up more times than I have,” he said smiling bitterly. His voice echoed but all he could hear were the gasped breaths Vivian’s was taking through the machine. He fixed his eyes on hers and abanding the thought of leaving, although he had to, he said to her:
”I can’t. Let them come and take me. Come on Viv. Come on. Sing our song. Sing it out for me. Give it everything you got. One more last time; for me.” He covered her in the blankets again and tried to find the rhythm through the clock’s ticking.