This is a short story that I wrote in the beginning of 2012 for a Japanese Literature class. It’s based on the Akutagawa Ryuunosuke literature. The original version was in portuguese and I rewrite in English, I’m not a fluent english speaking, so forgive my mistakes – and tell me about them so I can correct. Hope you enjoy. (Portuguese speaking people can ask me for the original version and I send by email, I’m not uploading that one because of particular reasons)
– He couldn’t do it. – She have been thinking without a wink.
– There’s no other way. – These words were resonating in his mind.
Her cellphone broke the silence through the dawn.
Some days have passed since he started walking around, like an ant lost from its partners, searching for a way. That oppressive feeling, of seeing her everyday, being near her, but never really with her. He have been spending his days perched across the street, just watching her steps. Everybody who was passing by, greeted. Sometimes, he was só lost inside his mind that he forgot answering. From above, the were looking pitifully. This was torturing that poor being, who lonely, could not rely on compassion from his peers. He was downgraded. Not even his old friends, that substances which once affected his senses and bring some atonishment, after being overused, were not working anymore.
By the next morning, as always, he opened his shop 5 minutes before she open her salon, which was right beside the shop. Often, he was convinced that being in contact with his clients turns him up. The shop was quite popular, as the products were way cheap (but from questionable origins). It was located next to the main school of this town, so lots of teenagers come here. Just like his eldest daughter, a freshman high school. His youngest son was around 10 and restless like a puppy, asking for care. She, the Mom, broke with him to keep the children safe from his flightly temper.
When noon was getting closer was the most painful moment of the day. Soon the students would come from the school and the shop would get crowded, now, however, the silence that takes place makes possible hearing her voice across the cold walls. It was as if he was facing a hill, and he could see her on the other side. He was soaking each and every single word she was speaking, getting drunk with that voice melody, that used to wake him up every morning. Sometimes there were no words to be heard, so would go outside and walk around, waiting for a breeze to come and bring the shampoo scent from there. He risked a glance and saw some hair strands all over the floor, the client sit, checking the result of the work, and then, there she was, skillfully handling the scissors while the wet hair was being dropped on the floor. Some footsteps brought him back to his own shop.
It was one of that students who arrives too early for the afternoon classes and keeps walking and playing around. His neck was long and the nose, sharp like a beak. His low height and red hair brought a rooster imagem to the seller’s mind.While searching for some movies to buy the guy started a conversation. He was obsessed for thriller movies, like the serial killers stories. His favorite type was the ones with disturbed-minded characters. The talk was becoming annoying, so he hasted the sale in order to become on peaceful silence again.
He was feeling void inside of him spreading. He closed the shop early that day. He was in need of breathing and thinking. He considered going up the mountain, but his strenght was not enough for climbing, so he headed to the town’s old mine, a sparsely populated touritic point. There was a place where he could be alone, but that opressing silence turned it into lonely. He could see some young local residents smilling around, joyful couples crossing the bridge to the mountain path.
He couldn’t think anymore. Portraits, voices, smells, all kind of memories were spinning inside his mind. They had already been together at the same place, they had already been a joyful couple crossing the bridge, they had already smilled around. But unreasonably she become afraid of him. Suddenly he noticed a group of people forward, they were so loud that he was able to ignore them. The reason of that disturbance was a street dog, loved by everyone, who dispatched its puppy. “The puppy was probably sick”, a dad was conforting his loudly-crying child. The watching man remembered about his own child, who was supposed to be wating for him to spend the weekend together. The church clock stroke five times. It was tome to take his son at school.
At home, he let the kid watching TV while he was going out for buying some food and drinks. He knew the mother would call all night long to check that everything was ok. During the last three hours she had already call two times. That worry was freakying him out, what was so afraid of? When he came back home the phone was ringing again. Angry, he pulled out the telephone cable, he didn’t want to hear her voice far away, he didn’t want to notice the worry in her voice.
By this time the kid had already been tired of the television and started running around, fighting against imaginary friends, driving an imaginary car, yelling like a siren. Why was he so loud? The room was wave before the man’s eyes. Was it the alcohol? No matter how much his senses were affected by these substances, his feelings were not. How much would be enough to inebriate his soul? The smoke was making everything frenzied. This atmosphere provided a flashback immersion. But it was not an easy immersion, he felt like if every recently recurrent thought suddenly bursted into sounds, smells and imagens at once. He heard the discussions once again, his own threats, he felt her smooth skin touching his rough body. He didn’t meant to hurt her so many times, not even their daughter, but sometimes he was turned freaky by his blood pressure, he couldn’t help it. And after that, he felt relieved. The barking of the neighbourhood woke him up from the trance.
Now hi could see the right solution. He would give her the final choice. He had already threaten her so many times, but now he could feel cathartic effect of the action. He connected the telephone cable back. His mind was delighted by the idea of the fear she would feel. He knew she would be laying on the bed, without being able even to close her eyes, waiting for this call. He anticipated the hesitation on her voice and the hiccups that he would hear after saying what he would say. He knew she would argue that way. He knew even that she wouldn’t be able to understand the natural law. “Something borned from a deficient relationship should be eliminated, so that new healthy beings can be borned.”
The cockcrow came with the sunlight by the open windows. Everything was ready. But what he couldn’t anticipate was that she would send her brother in her place. What a pity! When he heard the voice of his brother-in-law, spanking the door, trying to breaking it down, he noticed his plan had failed. He was looking forward to seeing her blood joining with his and his son’s, who was lying dead in his arms. But the knife that killed the child would never reach her flesh, because everything was coming to the end right now. Quickly, he cut his own throat, in the right momento the door came down. The narcotics were preventing him from pain, he couldn’t hear or understand anymore the brother’s voice, who was searching in vain for a breath of life coming from the little boy. The red painting all the place was slowly paling, until nothing else remains. No anguish, no pain, no memory, no happiness.