Copyright August, 2011, by Neli Tomova
I was seeking advice to help my family, but I could hear the conversation between my psychologist and his wife.
- You know I married you, because you always talked I looked like a nice girl you had in your memory or imagination, like a dream you wanted to make come true. But I didn't and don't love you. And now I have found my love.
- But I didn't force you to marry me.
- I had a perfect suitor in you to my parents. I will do anything possible to have our 3-year-old son with me.
- You could save the part of your lover. You had been like on a safe-boat with me till you found your lover.
- You have a career, but what do I have, apart from our son?
I envied my psychologist- he could have a venial problem that would create a shiver of an energetic earthly path called «life», whereas my life was first happy, then full of insecurity. My sister behaved strangely and I felt lost, as I was fond of her. She was downhearted — who knows, probably because she was nearing 30 and was single, or she was prematurely old. She could see danger everywhere and she was wary and maniac about my safety. One day she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was obsessed with a mania to protect me. That was my fifth appointment with the doctor.
-Hello, Mr Smith.
-Hello, Catherine. Now we shall talk about your family — how other people cared for you when you and your sister were children. Tell me of your mother.
- She left us to play together while she cooked and did ghostwriting.
- You mean your sister is your closest person.
- Yes. When I was 25, she came to the hospital right after an accident with my car. I then thought I was punished for being careless- I dreamed to be an actress but did nothing about it, except spending money on expensive clothes, and I needed to continue my BA instead. Here I am: a good actress 2 years later.
- A very beautiful and capable actress. You gave me an autograph, - his voice trembled, - and I admire the way you talk of your 25thanniversary, as though it was 2 years ago.
«Just another man who thinks that a woman at 27 is getting old,» I thought. I didn't say anything, as I thought he was rude for the conversation with his wife; I simply said: «Probably, you are not in a good mood today» and left him agape while I went out.
My mother was so in distress that she even started to ask me what the doctor said about my sister's illness. Poor Mom — she was accusing herself of not being a good parent, but then she said that I hadn't disappointed her with my health, that I am hard-tempered, and she hoped that at least I could take care of my sister with the money from movies. To her, It was a blessing that at 43, I still looked pretty. Hey, what was that? Me, at 43? What an absurd? My Mom just told me to leave her so that she could calm down — she was totally upset.
I went to the room where our cousin Mark stayed for 2 years now, as housings were not cheap enough for his earnings.
My Mom told me I could take that room, while Mark with a little less luggage preferred a smaller room.
I saw a cup of coffee on the table — I know my Mom had made it. But it was apparent she wanted to point my attention to photos littered on the table, next to the cup of coffee.
I started to view the photos. It was Mark, then all of a sudden it was an older Mark, and so on. Oh, there was a napkin near the cup of coffee, and on it — an inscription: see the dates of the photos. God, the grown-up Mark seemed to be in the future, but on the day I looked them through, according to the dates, he was 7. And on one of it, Mark with a taller, and probably an older, friend — looked like Mr Smith, the psychologist.
Then my sister entered the room. She said: «Ah, you are looking through the photos. It is good that despite my illness, I managed to bring up my sweet son. My Mom made the coffee for you, although she doesn't believe you're here. It's been 18 years since you died, but I keep you in my mind. It is 2 years to my son's age coinciding the age you died,» oh, God, that was, it wasn't a dream in the hospital after the crash — I turned into an apparition . «I know, I know — you have wanted to erase the memories with you, but I couldn't forget you — my Mom wasn't so close with you, but we grew up together. Do you remember when you sewed a dress for me?»
«Oh, Lizie, I sewed it, because I wanted to learn the feedback which could include «your sister is a capable artist», as you promoted everything I did with pride and zeal. You are the best sister.»
«No, my dear, you are fabulous, like a fairy. Mark - your nephew, had a friend who had an imaginary she-pal, looking like a good fairy, she disappeared 2 years after your death. He said once, while looking at your photos, she looked like you, and when he grew up he would marry a girl resembling you, I mean the fairy. Unfortunately, his wife has just left him. Now he is a psychologist — Dr Smith.»
Then I said: «Lizie, wait! In the hospital while struggling for life, I saw a fiery gehenna below me and a heaven above me. Then I saw pictures of a spoilt careless girl growing up and up, and finally lying in a ward — that was me. An angel said that the careless life I led didn't make me deserve hell, and I could see from above good sweet memories and fame after death, but you suffering. Then I chose the option saying we had never known each other and you being OK.»
«Mom doesn't know that she has had another daughter. Her memories are erased, but not mine. Now I have schizophrenia. I wish I was a little bit better. Can't you just rewrite the memories — with you had been living here, been my sister.»
«OK,» said I. «But from heaven, they told me that I mustn't change anything from the present, I can make a change in the past. And your full treatment is only possible if I erase the memories of me in you.»
«No, I don't want it. I loved and love you so much. Mark grew a nice youth, as he has known I can love and worry.»
Now all people know of my existence — I have ever lived on earth, but I died. My sister is still ill, I don't know if it is just neurosis or anything else and she didn't want to change it... I am waiting for Dr Smith — poor him, he can't meet the love of his life, but at least he is devoted to his son and work. Life cannot give us everything: passionate love, cloudless existence.
His son needs him. I am not in a hurry to take him with me soon. And when I want to see him in his life, I may descend from heaven in another newly-created body of an adult wanting to meet Dr Smith. Who knows?