The woman had been in it a little longer than him. She knew every thought as they would come. What they would cause inside her. Every sensation. Every memory. The longing for what had long been would haunt her every day, every hour and sometimes, every minute. She smiled to some of the memories, welcoming them as they would embrace her. To some, she frowned and shook her head, as if this would make that cloud of thought vanish away. Memories are a very powerful thing: when we hang onto a feeling or a thought, we tend to remember only the good side of it. They are, therefore, flawless. Again: very dangerous.
He was affected by the solitude a few months afterwards. In order to fight against all those memories that would stubbornly come back, he chose to count innumerable objects: whatever he could lay his eyes on, he would fix them there and count. When the counting was through, he would make up stories about the objects.
“The little sharp object on the left corner was placed there just 3 days ago and now it feels cold since the hands that had brought it were nice and warm. It is for sure a little sad now.”
“My feet have ten nails. I wonder which was the first to appear and which was the last…”
“Her hair is very thin but still every single one seems strong and healthy. Definetely 123000 long, blong and delicate lines falling from the top of her head to the middle of her back.”
Still, no counting would take away the feeling of being alone now. All by himself. After the lights were turned off, he would take a deep sigh, turn his own lights off in his brain and try to sleep.
One of her fondest memories was of the dancing days. The ballroom, the people, the music that filled the whole place and the souls therein with its magnitude. She would spin, smile, bow, smile again, move her hips, place her hand on the perfect shoulders and dance, dance, dance…
His most longed for action was the taking pictures of many moments that would, ironically, be his future nightmares: all these moments would just turn into dry memories.
Both felt a loneliness that wasn’t just heartbreaking: it broke their souls. The life inside them had been stolen by some secret plot planned by forces they could not control. The remainders of their lives were being controlled by a strangeness they had never imagined that would belong to them.
They were two strangers separated by curtains that were sometimes opened by nurses. Those would be the only few moments they would look into each other’s eyes and smile that accomplice smile that only people who share something know its meaning. They were each on their own death beds. They shared solitude. Together. And apart.