Chapter 3:

A Voice - III

I Can Hear You

Miguel was sitting on a couch, he took something out of his pocket; I tried to take a glimpse at what it was, but he wouldn’t allow me to, it seemed like something really important for him, meaningful enough to avoid showing it to me even after admitting he had killed his dear friend…

“Let me tell you a story boy” – He said while wiping the last of his tears.

“I used to live in a little village where everyone knew who each other were, especially the kids, that can be quite nice when you’re a child, everyone can be a friend, even some may end being like family, or even more than that. That’s unless you’re no more than a small fry…”

“As you may have noticed, I use a cane; I’ve used things like this for the majority of my life, if not all of it, I don’t really care anymore, but I had an accident when I was younger, I must have been like five years old, if not younger.”

“Nowadays we like to complain about everything we can, that has a lot of flaws on how society acts, but there’s one good thing that I’ll never complain about, people finally started taking children more seriously, bullying isn’t a simple thing to watch and relax, is a serious matter, even if one can joke about it from time to time, but when I was younger… Oh god, when I was younger…”

I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t understand where he was going with this story, but even if I wanted to rush this up and… Who knows, maybe even punching for what he did, for how he had lied with that good guy face, but I quickly understood that it wasn’t just a lie, it was more than that, this wasn’t a mad man or bad person doing bad things, this was a person who may be fucked up, but he had a reason, he must have had one…

“When I was younger every kid had to live on his own, to experience the world for himself, that’s what our fathers loved to say; the kid who managed to come on top would be the beloved one, the one that everyone would look up to with a smile, I always wanted to be that kid, but I couldn’t, I was a weakling, no more than that”

I truly wanted to hate him for what he did, but I just couldn’t stop this sensation, this idea of not liking what I’m going to hear.

“I used to be loved, by my fathers, teachers, siblings, every single one of them loved me, I was the little guy who always had good grades, who was nice to everyone, a bad thing would never come out of my mouth and everyone would like to be my friend, that was the idea that every grown-up had of me, but the kids were another story…”

“The kids in my village were a lot, every family had at least three children, so every day we would go to another child’s birthday, everyone would be somehow related to one another, my sister had a relation with a guy whose little brother ended being my cousin’s classmate, convoluted as it was, no one ever had a problem, even if we only had one school, a little park and almost nothing else, everyone loved that life, or that’s what I’d like to think because I know that I really didn’t”

“The kids can cause more damage than anyone, they hurt you where it hurts, I may have had better grades than anyone, I can’t even say that I looked bad back then, can’t say that I lacked something like nice clothes, like food and every book that I would like to read; even having all of that I wasn’t happy, I would’ve changed almost everything for something as basic as being able to run with them, to avoid being nothing more than the crippled kid who can’t kick the ball back to them, the guy who couldn’t outrun anyone, that dumb kid who needed help to climb a little stair on the way to my classroom, I would’ve changed anything…”

“There was this kid, Harold, or something on that line, bigger than anyone else, fast, strong, he had it all, that was from my perspective, from the “cane kid” perspective, he always called me that, even if I tried to be like him, he always mocked me, he laughed whenever I tried to do something, and then one day they went to a small lake that was out of the village, I insisted on going with them, even if they hated me, I would follow them, I just wanted to be with them, with those who thought that I was nothing but joking material, with who would take my things and leave them on a higher shelf of the classroom, just because I would have to ask them for help”

“They jumped directly into the water, we were nothing but children, “who cares about drying clothes or getting a cold?” was all everyone could think about, even if they could be scolded by their fathers they were there to have fun, to swim with friends and have something nice to remember years later, and once again, I couldn’t blame them, I wanted to be with them, to be like them”

“I had decided what I would do; I took off my shirt, left my shoes and cane on a little beach-like coast, and went directly to the lake, I was free of everything that I could feel on the land, I didn’t feel any remorse for doing something so stupid, I couldn’t feel any pain from this stupid leg, I suddenly… Couldn’t feel my leg, couldn’t feel any movement as I was falling to the deeps of the lake…”

“I was desperate, never had I felt so much fear, my life was in danger, I was screaming as loud as my lungs allowed me; no one would come to my rescued, “I will die here” was the only thing going on inside my mind…”

“Suddenly, I felt a hand smaller than mine, and I couldn’t see anything, anything but what my little brain understood as a red blob floating in the middle of the lake, that was my savior, that was Sara Ravenna, that was the day I fell in love with her”

So he actually loved her, it wasn’t that hard to assume, but then why would you kill someone you love? What do you win after doing it?

“Then tell me! Why did you do that to her if you supposedly loved her?” – I was so furious, even I could barely understand what he was going for, I just couldn’t patiently wait for what he was going to say.

“Shut up! I’m going to tell you that Adam, but can’t you just wait a little longer?” – This was the first time I saw him lose his smile, he was mad at me, but even then I wouldn’t lose the perception of him being a good person, even if his face looked crazier than anything I’ve seen in years.

“She saved me, boy, she took me out of the water and saver my life” – His mad face changed in a mere instant, his smile came back, but not as always, it was a smile full of pain and nostalgia, maybe it was the only way for him to contain his tears…

“We went to the coast, I could barely stay awake, my head was spinning and my heart was beating at a rhythm that should be impossible for any normal child, not only because of what had happened but because of her, I almost thought that I was dead and an angel had come to take my soul to heaven…” – See? I couldn’t be the only one feeling like that with her.

“A guy walked towards us, that was Harold, he came close to me, looked a bit worried, I was glad, the boss, the coolest guy was worried about me!... Then he started laughing, mocking me for not being able to get out of the water, for needing a girl to save me; I couldn’t really blame him, we were raised to be strong kids and sympathetic to each other, but no one can take the bad irresponsible side out of a child, the side which doesn’t care about who was talking and about what we’re saying, so I just decided to low my head and… Started crying”

“Suddenly Harold fell to the floor, I was shocked, Sara, who didn’t like people like him, gave the best punch I’ve seen on my life, I’m not going to lie, as much as I understood why he was like that, I was happy, even if I couldn’t stand up for myself, someone always stands up for you”

“We became friends, and some years later, during 1980, we started dating, we were perfectly fine together, almost 18, only one year until we were old enough to do something stupid, we wanted to have a marriage, but then… Her father, her only family, died, he had an accident on the way home, a drunk guy decided to drive that night, Sara’s dad died instantly, she cried with me all the night, I didn’t know what to do, nor what to say, we slept on my room and when I woke up she had banished, she never came back, no one knew what had happened, but that red-headed angel had disappeared from the village, after just two weeks every person stopped caring, at that moment I realized how much I hated the place, I wanted to escape, but once again, I couldn’t run”

“One year ago I received this letter” – He handed me the thing he took out of his pocket before, I was going to open it, but he stopped me.

“You don’t need to read it, It came to me as random as receiving a letter can be on modern days, I thought it could be something like a scam actually, the story of a person talking about how much she had suffered, that was until I saw the name, Sara Ravenna, she wanted to see me, and there she told me why she contacted me, Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, basically a horrible disease, she knew that I was a doctor after going back to the village, she wanted me to help her with a treatment, but there wasn’t anything I could do, I managed to have her next to me for this last year, but some days ago I noticed, she wouldn’t be recovering, she would start using a wheelchair on little more than a month, then she would just go step by step on an eternal road to nothing, I had to avoid it, I couldn’t leave the woman I loved die like that, then I decided what I would do, and I gave enough of her pain-killers to cause an overdose, I poisoned her, I killed her, so she wouldn’t live like me, like nothing more than a crippled idiot…”

I understood him, I wanted to say that to him, but I saw the place and decided to leave; I left the photo that Sara had on her belongings on Miguel’s desk and decided to walk away, he kept crying as a poor child will crouching on his couch, I wanted to help him, but I could see something akin to an angel standing next to him, I can only assume that it really was Sara…

At that last moment I finally understood, she didn’t want me to help her, her cry for help was for Miguel, to give a last moment of tranquility to the man she loved the most during all her life.

N. D. Skordilis