Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julie In The Dark

Julie enters her house and leaves the whole world behind the door. Now she can allow herself feel the pain until her soul starts hurting and she can cry until she loses her breath.  She loves her yellow walls, her best friends the past few days, the unique witnesses of her torment. Some people know what she is going through but nobody is aware of the real dimension of her drama.  She can’t develop the subject thoroughly with anybody. Not because she doesn’t want to. She would feel reliefed to put some of her sadness on other shoulders. But she can’t enunciate full sentences about it without starting crying. Some understand her and hold her without asking further questions, letting her deal with it her own way. They are offering her a warm hug, a kind look or few encouraging words and this means the world to Julie. Others rejected her. They needed full information in order to provide comfort. She couldn’t give it so she was sent away. This was a sad natural selection of true friends.  She tries to visualise it as a cleaning of her closet at the end of the season but it is not easy as she never looked at the people in her life as if they were disposable. The fact that she was disposable for some should make things easier. But it doesn’t.  When your motto in life is not “eye for an eye” but “forgive the bad and never forget the good”, broken friendships hurt like hell. She knows that who can’t handle her at her worst doesn’t deserve her at her best. But still….
How often do we think about dying? Almost never, although, in fact, it is the only certainty we have in life. We wake up every morning, we go to work, we get mad at small things like crazy traffic, slow internet, rainy day, bad hair day…We are not aware that we are actually, extremely lucky just because we have the chance to wake up, even on a rainy day, we are lucky to have a bad hair day, or to stay hours in crazy traffic, or to have a failed connection to Facebook. Life is such a wonderful gift and somehow, we are so spoiled that we take it for granted,  we never take a moment to think about it and to be grateful.
Human nature is amazing. We go through life and we lose ourselves in the smallest things as if we are immortals. Although it is enough just to watch TV or read a newspaper to learn about people that die every day. We don’t even blink at it, as if this is something that will never happen to us.
Julie has never seen the ugly face of death so close before. She knew it was out there, having its way both with good and bad people, young and old people, never having a logical criteria when choosing its victims. Cruel and unexpected, this is how she always thought death is. But now, Julie feels like for a few days, she and death are face to face, staring at each other, waiting for the next move.
Julie is fine. But he might die. No one can tell if he will wake up after the surgery. He is Julie’s age. And, just like Julie and all the other people in their 30’s, he never thought about death before. And now he is counting the days until the surgery and he realizes he doesn’t have time. He left things unsaid, things unfinished, things unbegun. He would like to do them all now, in a breath. But he doesn’t know what to begin with. His girlfriend left him. She couldn’t handle the pressure. He didn’t argue. He let her go. He turned to Julie. Julie always knew what to say when the times were hard. He needed her strength and her positive attitude. He is so scared. He can’t die now. He has just started figuring out life.
Julie is overwhelmed by his fear. She has never felt fear at such level in someone. For the first time, she can’t find the right words to bring a bit of optimism to his mind. She can’t tell him that everything is going to be fine because she is not sure it is not a lie. He is practically begging her to tell him that things will get better and he will live. She finds it hard to tell him that, even though she knows how much he needs it. His fear makes her lose her mind little by little. She can’t answer the phone anymore when she sees his number. She feels his terror in every word, in every sigh, in all the long pauses he makes between sentences. She can’t see him because she doesn’t have the power to look him in the eyes. She used to be able to see his entire soul in his eyes: his kindness, his love for her, his happiness, his content, his dreams, his naivety, his simple dreams, his disapproval for her great dreams. Now nothing. His eyes are empty. She knows his soul is also empty. Nothing but an ocean of fear. She is afraid to let her eyes swim in that ocean. She is afraid she will drown, she is affraid she will get lost in there. So she won’t see him. He sends her emails. Julie starts crying before opening them. Every letter is a cry for help. And she can’t help him. He put all his hopes in her and she can’t do anything. And this is killing her slowly on the inside.
Nothing is the same anymore.  From the moment she found out, her life is in slow motion. The bright colours she used to see the world in turned grey. Julie is not sure of anything she believed in the week before.  Everything lost its meaning.  She wakes up every morning, she has her coffee on the terrace, she puts on a nice outfit and nice make up, she flirts with her neighbour in the elevator, she goes to work. She does her job wonderfully, she smiles the entire day, she has lunch with her colleagues, she goes out with the girls after work, she goes to dates, she reads on the sofa in the evenings while drinking a glass of red wine, she watches her favourite sitcoms, she even makes plans for summer holiday. She does all that with a big smile on her face but she lacks her usual glow. The happiness that used to make her eyes glitter is gone. By pretending that life goes on, she hopes not to feel the pain that is tearing up her heart to pieces. The smile on her face prevents the million questions on her lips to come out in the shape of loud words. She doesn’t want to allow the world to see her puzzled, scared, insecure, with no control.
Once, he was her other half. Time has passed since then, lots of words were said, but time or angry words couldn’t kill the memory of a true love. Even if that love doesn’t exist anymore, trust and affection remained behind. Thinking that someone once so close to her heart might die, makes her think about her own death. When will her turn come? Is it near? Is it far? Is it going to hurt, like it hurts him? Who would she turn to, if something like this happened to her? Is she ready to go? Did she say everything? Did she say too much? Was she happy? Did she make enough people in her life happy? Did she forgive too much or too less? Did she try enough? Did she make the best of it?
This is what Julie thinks in the nights when she can’t sleep and she is counting the days to his surgery. She doesn’t have answers anymore. Just questions. Then the morning comes. And she gets out of bed, she has coffee on the terrace, she puts on a nice outfit and nice make up and she goes out the door to face the world with a smile on her face and a great pain in her heart. And she is determined to tell him that everything is going to be fine and that he will have all the time in the world to do everything he ever dreamed of. Because he deserves it, because he has just started figuring out life.  And she goes out there to face the world with a smile on her face and  to make the best of her life today. Because she might not get tomorrow.

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