Thereafter – A Fragment

But we, only human, have nothing but a few minutes of joy to travel a world full of sorrow.

When I woke up it was about two o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t prevent myself from turning around and looking at that empty space beside me. Not that I imagined finding her lying there next to me, but still there was this absurd hope that had kept me awake every night.

She had been gone for two weeks at that time. Probably it would be decades before I’d see her again – if there is an afterlife. But, although that meant that I would have to die, I wished that I wouldn’t have to wait tens of years.

I kept lying there for hours, staring at the ceiling. Sometimes as I laid there I thought I could see her. How many nights did I watch her sleep, praying that those moments would never end. And then, in a single moment, it all ceased.

I’d always feared that her smoking would kill her. Those nightmares of seeing her in hospital, losing her fair hair which she had often dyed black and then, slowly but surely closing her eyes and pass away. I’m glad she didn’t die of cancer. I couldn’t have seen her suffer that much. I couldn’t have beared seeing her decease in pain.

I didn’t even see her die. When the phone rang that day I instantely knew that something terrible had happened to Eleina even before the officer could present himself and ask me to come to the morgue. I will never forget the moment I saw her lying there. She had this corpse white colour that up until that moment I had only seen on tv and at the movies. The first moment I didn’t want to recognize her. My heart, my hope, my fear told me that perchance, if I deny that it was Eleina who was lying there, it wouldn’t be true. But there was no escape, that woman was the love of my life. The scenery would have burned itself in my mind with every tiny detail, but there were none. The scrupulous cleanliness of the silver metal plates was only exceeded by the excessively unichrome white coat that hurt my bloodshot eyes. Through my fuzzy view the officer’s weapon began to look like the only thing that could cure me of the cancer.

Then I woke up here, straitjacketed.

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