Leaving Grace and the kids was the best decision he had ever made. Sometimes, when he woke up to a dark sky, he still felt her voice in his ear with complaints about the butter being too hard and the stray glass that had remained on the couch table overnight.
Those nights he laughed, rolled on his side and fell asleep with a smile on his lips. She was somewhere in the city with her litter and her own mother probably passed out on the couch again. Continue reading →
My chest is calm and my head clear. An excitement that I had forgotten shows its head again. All worries and fears and the waiting work mean nothing anymore; they were washed away with the shower – or before that? Only my tickling legs remind me of the suffering that I avoided for so long: The run.
Usually it’s just a number. I read it. I skip past. Fourteen per cent. Now things are different. Now I think “What if my daughter was one of them?” Seven billion people and fourteen per cent of them hunger. And I sit here, well-fed, stare at a screen and feel a tug inside my throat; a surreal tug, one that’s not there and not true. But one that takes my breath and twists my stomach. A tug that says “What if my daughter was one of them?”
I walked faster and so did he. I turned right and my feet flew full speed. And yet he came closer with every moment. I screamed, turned left, ran against two youth. The three of us fell. They complained, cursed. A laugh from behind me. “I’ll get you next time,” he said. Then he turned and ran back.
A young lady pulled him aside. “What?” he asked. With swift fingers the blonde wiped a cotton cloth along his forehead. “It will smear the makeup,” she said. He glanced at his watch. “There are more important things now,” he said. The lady pulled his shirt straight, then he managed to escape her grip. He stepped into the small room, took a quick glance at the flag and sat down in front of it. He nodded. The man behind the camera held up three fingers. Then two. Then one. A red light. “My fellow citizens,” he said. “Today is a day this nation – even this world – will never forget.” He swallowed. The sweat was running down his forehead. “From this minute on our nation is at war.”
A big smile on his lips. Nice words here and there. Everybody liked the happiest man in the world. The happiest man in the world met a friend in the elevator. “All perfect?” he asked. “Sure,” said the friend. “And you?” “Oh,” said the happiest man in the world. “You know me, I’m always happy!” The happiest man in the world greeted the cashier. She laughed about his joke and he laughed back. The happiest man in the world waved to a neighbor. The happiest man in the world closed the door. The happiest man in the world opened a bottle of beer. “It’s just us again,” he said. Then he drank. Then he cried.