by Mileva Anastasiadou
The song hasn’t come up yet in his mind, the sun barely seen on the horizon, but he already knows, he knows the moment he opens up his eyes, he knows from the very beginning that music will play nonstop, he only hopes for a happy song. She wakes up beside him, rubs her eyes, her hair tangled, her eyes heavy, her mind caught up in a vague dream, her body stretching, touching his body, and when her hand rests in his hand, that’s when it starts, the song playing in the room, the lyrics pouring in his ears, the melody storming in his brain, he asks do you hear what I hear? and she turns on her side, looks at him, she keeps staring, does not answer back, like she didn’t hear him, he thinks, this sounded like a Christmas tune, so he doesn’t repeat it, it’s so out season it’d spoil the mood, perhaps he didn’t ask the question aloud in the first place, perhaps the music comes from his dream, or her dream.
The song hasn’t stop playing, while he swims by her side, she dives into the waters, disappears, he gets scared, but she appears a few meters away, he is relieved, like playing peek-a-boo, one can never win, but the excitement is overwhelming every time they find each other. He forgets the world, when they meet friends for lunch, when they walk up and down the beach, hand in hand, it’s hot, she mumbles, she wipes the sweat from her forehead, it’s perfect, he says and he means it, he wants to stay here forever, forever beside her, the song still playing loud, only in his head, and he wonders, doubt is eating him from the inside, why, why on earth she doesn’t hear the music too.
When it gets dark they’ll go home, they’ll make love, they won’t talk, that song will come up on the radio, and only then, when the melody sways in the room, only then will they feel complete, only then, when they turn side to side, eyes closed, his left hand will rest on her arm, and the little finger of her other hand will rise from under her cheek to touch the fingertip of his right hand under the pillow, a circle, he’ll think, we’re a circle, and she will nod, as if she can read his mind.
The music will be over when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he’ll have some water, he’ll croon the tune, to make it last, like music before the end, the final scene, the circle already broken, soon they’ll be but parallel lines, lines that once crossed paths but then forgot about it, changed direction, lonely lines, not destined to meet, but all this will feel like a nice dream, and that day will seem perfect, yet not perfect enough to feel perfect until years later, a day they’ll both romanticize with time, the day when they were together, together, like almond trees blossoming in the midst of winter, by mistake, out of season, much too hopeful, much too soon.
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Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, from Athens, Greece. A Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions nominated writer, her work can be found in many journals, such as Litro, Jellyfish Review, HAD, Ruminate, Lost Balloon, X-R-AY, Chestnut Review and others.
Beautifully written. She has a powerful unique voice.