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Passe-Temps. Story of One Life. IV

Yana Malysheva-Jones


When did I slip into this? Into becoming someone I am not?

Did I make myself believe that this is something that I want from my life? Or should I say ‘in’ my life — the difference is massive, though it doesn’t seem that way. I’ve always dreamt of far off lands — do you remember, Sasha? We used to dream it together. Our shared dream was to become archeologists, the unthinkable thought that we cherished and that we lost along the way. Did you lose it before you passed away or much earlier than that?

You know, for many years after your death I kept on seeing you in people or shapes on the streets wherever I went. For over ten years I didn’t think of you as someone who died, and I think I still don’t. So maybe it was you when I thought I saw you and then immediately remembered that you are no longer in this world? Because you must be still somewhere here, mustn’t you? I don’t believe that you are gone.

Sometimes I wonder if you can see me and what my life has happened to be. What would you say of it if we met, let’s say tomorrow, for a coffee or just a walk? What would you look like now, I can’t stop thinking of that. Sometimes it happens, I see a young woman who has something of your eyes or the shape of your face and I tell myself or even Ben — this is what my Sasha could look like. And maybe this is what you actually look like — somewhere there, where I can’t see and where you are still breathing.

What is death? There are way too many questions in this piece, and that’s not a sign of a good writer, they say. But who are they to understand what someone goes through when they have lost a piece of something so precious that they can’t even comprehend the loss themselves?

Life is about losses. It will take me over ten more years after your death to understand that. I lose a piece of me with every decision I make and even every gain and victory in life because I come to understand that human capacity is unthinkable, as well as the capacity of the world. I could have been that, but have become this. I could have gone there, but stayed here. I could have met someone else and not fell in love with the man I am married to and have a different child to the one I have now. As unimaginable as this thought is, maybe that is the reason why I always feel a bit sad and as if in a constant shortage of something — because I know that there are paths of my life that I will never see and live, a billion lost opportunities though I never even knew they were possible?

Give me a sign, tell me you are proud of me. Tell me I am on the right way and please tell me you miss me as much as I miss you. My beautiful friend, my fire in the land of snow where we were destined to find and lose each other.

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