surinenglish

SECOND RUNNER-UP

Light

And suddenly I start to hear something. Somebody is calling me unceasingly, somebody repeats my name once and again with a heartbreaking voice, full of anguish and despair. That person is touching my face with something strange. It is not human skin; the touch feels stiff, kind of artificial. I can barely understand those words but, eventually I recognize the voice, surrounded by many sounds in the room. It’s him, yes, it is. My love. He is trying hard to wake me up. He opens my eyelids and looks at my pupils with a tiny lantern to see how I react to the light, requesting an answer. After everything has been done and they have finished stabilizing me, Mark kneels by my still body, begging me to come back and stay with him. I can hear him, I can feel him, but I can’t move, I can’t speak… I can do nothing!

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After many tests, my family arrives. They all cry. Mark explains the situation down to the last detail. He is going to try his best to keep me alive until the end. He is going to do everything possible.

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I’m not sure how long I’ve been this way, but there’s always someone next to me. Sometimes my mother remains sitting near my body, which lies motionless, caressing my face, my hands and my belly. Some other times Mark stands by me. Every time he walks through the door he cries. He rests his face near mine as if trying to avoid losing me; he is too much in love to let me go. He spends here most nights, whispering that lights will guide me home, igniting my bones, and that he will try to do everything possible to fix me.

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As time goes by visitors become more and more scarce. I notice it when Mark appears in the distance noiselessly. Tears come streaming down his face. But instead of getting closer to me, he remains standing next to the door, heartbroken, because not only can he not bear being unable to help me, but also feeling that he is losing something that he will never be able to replace.

From time to time he gathers his courage to come close, take my hand and rub the sheet on my trunk gently without uttering a word.

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Time. Everything is a matter of time. Like love. Love is a matter of time.

A person cannot love another if it goes to waste, as the torment would turn a blissful person into the most wretched one. I’m aware of Mark’s mixed emotions. He possesses both the drive and eagerness to make it happen.

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What is going on now? They are moving me somewhere. There is a blinding light just over me, odd sounds and a distinct atmosphere. It’s sort of cold here. I’ve been changed out of my bed which has accompanied me for so long and there are so many people around me. Maybe I’m undergoing some kind of surgery, maybe they’ve finally found the solution to my condition and I’ll escape from this prison miraculously.

A baby bursts into tears. What? Is that a baby weeping? My mind is about to blow up. It’s my baby! I was pregnant all this time without being conscious. Mark places the baby between my breasts telling her with the most tender voice - “This is your mum my lovely girl, one day you will be as strong and beautiful as she is. Remember her for the rest of your life, ‘cause you are the light that she leaves on, before the light inside her goes out forever”.

And so, Mark holds my hand firmly, kisses my lips while his tears fall over my face and then I realise that it’s time to leave.