Midnight Hands


by Mileva Anastasiadou


 

On the one hand:

there was darkness, that coldness, that freezing distance between them, that sense of isolation, but it was also January and the car heating didn’t work, not that she’d noticed before, when they kissed, when she still loved him. There was silence, words unspoken, disguised as emptiness, violently asking for space, more space, before emerging, an undefined bitter taste at first, then as bullets about to fire. Her eyes fixed on the void. Staring at nothing in particular. Gazing out the window, while he kept his hands on the wheel, his eyes on the road. There was that tear that went unnoticed, that vast noisy solitude, that buzzing from the outside world, from inside her mind. That song she first heard that night, that song that’d be a favorite for years.

On the other hand:

there was light, that warmth, coming from inside, street lamps brightening the landscape, the certainty of hope, the hope for a future yet unfolded, that future that has now turned into past. That raindrop on the window, slipping down, demanding her attention, that one raindrop that won the race, as he smoothed the creases on his shirt, the electricity she felt when he made a movement and touched her hand, but she violently withdrew it, that electricity she once mistook for love. There was that touch, that unwanted touch, while he smiled as if nothing had happened, his ignorant smile, and she smiled back for she wasn’t ready to talk.

On all hands:

there was the rain and the music and the memories, building up, that bunch of neurons, that neuronal circuit that formed a particular memory, mingling hope and despair, light and darkness, a clear, yet complicated feeling, the memory of the night she finally knew. That conviction that better days would come and those days have come and gone and all that’s left is this neuronal circuit, this memory of the past, polished, refined, that will remain stuck in her brain, and she’ll return to it, nostalgic, every once in a while, at midnight, hands cold and sweaty, holding on to that bittersweet piece of youth magic, that vast, stormy sea she went through to reach the shore that time has transformed into gentle waves, now that all is plain, uncomplicated and simple and fading away, fading out, like that old, favorite song.

 


Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, from Athens, Greece. A Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions nominated writer, her work can be found in many journals, such as Gone Lawn, Litro, Jellyfish Review, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Moon Park Review, Okay Donkey, Open Pen and others.