Les grandes douleurs sont muettes. – Sénèque
The Spanish philosopher was right, she thought. The greatest pains were always silent… Her lips trembled as she took the cigarette to her mouth.
The quiet apartment contrasted with the loud hammering going on, on the balcony of her downstair neighbour. She softly blew the smoke out, staring at the kids playing in the park, just across the street. Life going on, just under her nose. Life going on, as always. Seconds, minutes, hours adding up, meaninglessly.
When her phone rang, she just dully tilted her head, to confirm that it was his number, showing up on the display. Though she appreciated his tenacity, she refrained from picking the cell phone up.
He was probably the only one who had noticed her late anchorite ways… And if anyone else had too, she didn’t care. They didn’t care to check up on her, did they? Why should she give a shit back?
The rain started just as the ringing faded out, and she almost smiled. The sudden shower making the well put young mothers run around to gather their offsprings, like ducklings. The hammering also stopped, followed closely by much cursing and mysterious racket, suggesting that her neighbour was moving the DIY inside. Instantly confirmed by the loud “WTF???” from the top of the lungs of said neighbour’s girlfriend.
This time she did smile. She thought she should someday have flowers delivered to the couple. She was sincerely grateful for their daily reminder of why she wouldn’t allow anyone in her life anymore. Maybe a Champagne bottle would be better, they’d get drunk and inevitably get into a fight… Yeah, that’d be more like it! She really hoped they would stick together for a long, long time.
Moving to the living room, she noticed he had left a message. As usual. And as usual, she deleted it. As much as she longed to hear his voice, she knew she couldn’t listen to his words. He was the only one who could possibly make her doubt, and she didn’t want doubt in her life anymore. She didn’t have room for doubt. Pain was enough to deal with.
She turned on her laptop, and looked at her emails, checking and planning her night out. Working from home, for a business dealing with offshore distributors, she liked the late night almost anonymous exchanges… Funny how strangers in Japan seemed to care more about her well-being than people who had actually known her. Not one of her ex-colleagues had reached out after she had quit her old office job, overnight.
Of course he had questionned her new hermitage. It hadn’t been easy, since she didn’t reply to personal emails, pick up the phone or answered the door. But he had taken the habit of coming every Saturday morning. At first, he had tried knocking, and waiting a bit. Watching his flattering silhouette through the peep hole, she yearned to open the door, and bit her lips so he wouldn’t hear her sobs through the wood. Now he just came, slipped a letter under the door and…
She jumped when the bell resonated in the apartment. Her heart racing, she stood up and headed to the door.
Why is it so difficult to stick to schedule?? She ranted to herself… I asked the grocerie store to come at five, not four thirty! This delivery boy just cut his tip in half!