Stolen memories

15. Februar 2015 | von

Some old record playing in the room, slow instrumental music fills the place with a melancholic touch of rhythm and peace. A small round table takes up the center of the room and a delicate figure of a slender woman sits on it. Courtains flow with the wind, the glass door that lead to the balcony is open and lets the voice of crickets and owls enter the room and mix with the music. On the wall to the left of the door, a sober couch with a blanket on top, next to it a stand with a lamp, a telephone and a book that awaits for a reader to sit again and continue with the story. Opposite that wall, two old-styled chairs facing each other, a tea table with service for one, and a glass shelf with beautiful ornaments made of silver and a golden trophy make up the rest of furniture. No pictures can be seen, only naked walls that contrast with the familiar feeling that the music offers. The apartment on the second floor of a three-story building surrounded by trees and bushes is just the place for someone who looked for peace and quiet.

Suddenly, a dark figure breaks the inanimated state of the room, a masculine shape that opens its way through the courtains. Slowly, trying to figure out what his next move should be, a man appears and examines the sorroundings. Black pants and a black long-sleeved pullover help him comouflage with the night, sneakers conceive the sound of his steps, leather gloves cover his hands. His eyes move from right to left, it is hard to say if he is looking for something or for anything, around his late thirties, he´s neither young nor old, a three-day beard and the icy eyes give him an eerie look. Before he can walk any further a scream and the noise of porcelain breaking as it hits the floor let him know he´s been seen. On the other side of the room, a woman stands with her hands over her mouth, as if trying to hide her own voice, her eyes wide open and her body stuck to the door… a door that, she will regret immediately, just closed as she tried to step back.

For a second neither of them moved. It seemed as if even the music had stopped. As soon as she could put her mind together, she tried to turn around and open the door to escape, but her nerves kept her from succeeding… she faced the man again and while pointing at him with her shaking finger she ordered him to leave or otherwise, she would call the police. Her trembling voice barely made it out of her mouth, thick walls made it improbable that any of the neighbors would hear her. Even though she had little to nothing to do with them, she hoped they´d hear and maybe arrive and help her, but the truth was, ever since she became a widow and moved in and left the house she had shared with her late husband, she had tried to keep her situation and story for herself, avoiding contact with the rest of the world as long as it was possible.

„Please, dont be scared…“ the calmed voice of the man contrasted with the moment, he didnt seem to be nervous or scared, he didnt react like a thief who had just been caught breaking into a house. „I beg you to forgive my careless actions, I understand that you are so scared, but please let me explain. I am just looking for my cat, Aki… he ran away again, it´s the second time this week.“ The woman felt overwhelmed by her feelings: part of her just wanted to run away, part of her was intrigued by the man´s words and tone… and yet another big part of her mind was simply too confused and shocked to actually do anything other than stand and stare. „You see, even if you want to call the police, if your apartment is like mine, and I think it is, the only phone in these houses is the one in the living room… the one to your left. My name is Evan, I also live in this building, well, I just moved in a few days ago.“ The woman´s face didnt seem to convey a positive reaction, so the man went on: „If it makes you feel better, let me give you a tip, instead of dialling 145, you should try 555 333, that way you´ll reach our police station directly instead of the central, it happens that I am a policeman myself. In any event, I will leave now, I dont want to scare you. Please excuse me, I feel terrible for having caused trouble, but Aki is my only company and you know, I wont forgive myself if he´s lost, my wife loved that cat.“

Evan was just leaving when he heard: „Why are you wearing gloves?“ He turned around, the woman was still standing with her back against the door, but her body seemed to be a bit more relaxed, her voice also reflected more curiosity than fear: „I mean, if all the things you said are true, why are you wearing gloves?“ Evan smiled, as if the answer was so simple and clear: „Well, it seems like Aki does not feel too comfortable with me yet, “ he took one glove off and showed some scratches. „He will fight, scream, scratch and run whenever he does not feel like accepting that now we only have each other. The thing is… he is not really mine, he is my wife´s cat… I mean, he was, or…  I dont know… it´s just one more of those things that dont make any sense. She would take care of him and he, in return, often followed her wherever she was. It´s not that I dont like him, it´s just that maybe we are too alike and we both tried to gain her attention, and now that the link that made us kind of enemies… I´m sorry, I should really leave.“ Once again he turned around, but as he tried to leave, the woman spoke, even taking a step forward: „I am Caroline, please, wait a minute.“


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