Whenever he felt his heart shiver, he imaginary stabbed it with his imaginary dagger; anything just to keep it in there, cold and unaffected, away from the feelings which once betrayed it. But this attempt proved too difficult for him… his heart just wouldn’t stop feeling… now possessed by the purest joy, and the next moment overcome by utter bitterness and hatred. The source of all evil, the true reason for what he had become in the past few years, was this uncontrolled weakness, this overdose of sensibility, the complot of his mind and soul which brought his life to ruin.
But this was not the last of him! He was too good to waste into nothingness just like that… to be just another ant in this rotten society… he had plans for his life, which were now only memories of his ambitions, covered in the dust of time… He was down, dragged deep into the shadowland by Love, but he intended to rise from his own ashes, like the greatest of Phoenixes… and all he had to do was to kill all his emotions, to become an ignorant machine, a robot unable to pity, to envy… to feel mercy for a poor soul… to hate… to love… to love! Yes! Unable to love! It was what he wanted, his final goal! Losing all that made him human… destroying all his sensitive self… it was a small price he was willing to pay to forget all the pain caused by Love.
His drenched body was floating steadily in the shallow water, his head hurting as though a war was going on inside. He gasped for air, and barely managed to lift his head above the water surface. Having no idea where he was, why he was there, or what had happened to him, he decided to scan the surroundings… but all he could see was water… clean, blue water everywhere… With an effort, he finally succeeded to move, his body still not responding, as though his spirit was nested in a new and totally unknown shell, and was now adjusting to it. The water was not very deep, and below its silvery reflecting surface was no life at all, only golden sand all over the bottom. ’It’s like a test’, he thought. He must not react… must not fear… must not panic… must not feel… He started swimming chaotically, hoping to see something, anything, except sand and water. But this was definitely not the way out of this timeless dimension; he could as well spend an eternity there, waiting for something to happen. So he started thinking… it was not the first time this was happening to him, but every time he found himself in a situation like this before, his heart was weak, it was still feeling, and the psychedelic dream ended in an instant… Now it was totally different; he trained himself too much for this to happen again. He was sure that nothing… nothing… could disturb the calm in which his heart was imprisoned now. He barely finished his thought, when he heard a well-known voice whispering sweet words of caress in his ears. ’It’s not real… it can’t be!’he thought. She was never able to love him, so this could not be happening… Next moment, he was overwhelmed by her soft hands, playing in his hair, as the magical voice was hypnotizing him, taking control of his mind and soul…
’You’ve won! YOU’VE WON! I give up!’ he screamed, soaked in sweat, as he jumped to his feet… Brutally awoken from this terrific nightmare, he looked around trying to get hold of any sense of reality… His heart pounding, his head hurting, his eyes blinking nervously… It was the first time he felt something in the last few months, and all the progress he thought he had made was now shattered. He tried to calm down, but his heart was being flooded with strange emotions that he barely remembered… his frozen soul had been touched by a warm sunray and already began to melt down... all the feelings that had been trapped inside were pouring out, arousing a bittersweet remembrance.
He gazed at the dirty room, his look lingering on the shriveled ceiling, then along the cracked walls, and finally stopping on his own disturbing reflection in the scratched, dirty window. He looked like a shadow of his former self, fading, old and weak, as though an unknown virus was wearing him away from the inside… his deep, blue eyes had a blank stare, swallowing all light like two black holes of sadness. He looked quite dead: pale skin, emotionless stare, unexpressive face… but… was this the effect of his own treatment, or the leftovers of his unfulfilled Love?
As he felt tranquility covering his heart again, he closed his eyes and stepped once more in the dreaded dreamlands… Everything was spinning in his head, known places, past events, familiar faces… He had it all under control, being able to set his own rules, to define his own world… it was what he usually did when he needed a good night’s sleep; nothing could go wrong, he was God in his small empire. He picked a clear sky, a big blue moon, and a rattling small river, and there he was, contemplating the beauty of the place. It looked somehow familiar, so he focused on remembering when he had been there before… he stared into the water, and instead of a wretched face, he saw a young man, staring back at him… Surprised by the steady reflection, he looked at the water, noticing that it was not a river, but a lake... The weeping willows were dangling in the soft breeze, as dark clouds covered the moon. In an instant, the wind started blowing, and big raindrops dampened his clothes. Fragments of desperate screams were carried to his ears by the strong gale, as the voices in his head started whispering songs of woe and despair. The sounds were maddening, awakening the lurking monsters hidden the depths of his heart, but he could not escape this nightmare anymore: he was now a part of it! In the chaos unleashed in this former island of peace, he saw her, standing still on a cliff, looking down at him on the lake’s shore, her face hidden behind a black, yet transparent veil. He could still hear her desolate screams, embodying the very expression of hopelessness, even though her delicate lips were motionless and her face displayed the illusory mask of tranquility. The next moment, her weightless body was falling, carried by the strong wind like a feather… He ran towards her, experiencing everlasting moments of terror; the time and space were gone, it was only him, surrounded by the deaf shrieks of horror coming from the direction of her forever falling body… When he finally loosened himself from the psychedelic enchantment of the moment, her unmoving corpse was lying at his feet, still warm, but stiff. His heart broke all its chains, erupting like a volcano, as despair and anguish engulfed him at the sight of this horrific scene. She was even more beautiful in death, her rigid lips tightened in a passionate clench, her ruffled hair, her angelic skin, looking now paler than ever… He abandoned himself to the moment, leaning over his beloved’s dead body for one last, eternal kiss… feeling with all his heart again, and wishing to live again, to experience every little emotion… He kissed her with all his ardor, searing stains of passion deep on her lips… so deep he felt them… decomposing… crumbling to pieces… tasting like rotten flesh soaked in fresh blood… As he opened his eyes, he felt shivers of repulsion and abhorrence down his spine, staring at the putrefied corpse of the once glowing princess of beauty he was now holding in his arms… Madness flooded his mind, and he started to shake uncontrollably, his sight growing dim… until he found himself surrounded only by thick darkness.
Leaves were falling in the late summer night, covering the shadowy path… She was waiting for him at its end, like a sparkle of light illuminating his way there… He did not want to go; he wanted to get back in the real life, to make things right… but he was now the eternal prisoner of his own dark mind, trapped in a dream within a dream… and all he had left was this imaginary portrait of her, to help him carry on until the last cell of his physical body has died…
The streets were being flooded by lovers in search for a little privacy, a small corner of Paradise for their own, where they can enjoy the sunny Valentine’s Day… and amongst them, only a sad face, a shadow painted black, a hidden figure behind a dark veil of sadness, its empty eyes staring at the ground, as though waiting for the soul to gather enough strength… The ghostly appearance crossed the street, and headed for the small garden in front of the Sanatorium, searching among the hospital’s patients the one who could make it whole.
She sat down next to her cold dead lover, the wretch in which she and her damn principles had transformed him… Taking his arm in hers, she was overwhelmed, not by the guilt she couldn’t stop feeling, but by an awkward feeling of calmness… the worries about what she was going to do were bothering her no more. ‘Life is gone, indeed’, she told herself, gazing at his breathing cadaver, ‘but Love will die only with the last beat of his heart…’ Then she laid her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes and leaving her world forever, entwined in Love’s warm embrace…
Leaves were falling in the late summer night, covering the shadowy path…