"Cherish last hope, call me through sticky fright -
The broken-winged, dead angel won't fly to you tonight".
* * *
Veronica Todorova's diary
16th of October, 2008, about 11 p.m.
Rapid train Sofia - Burgas
"The rest of this life turned into the endless skein of the questions, doomed to stay unanswered forever, of the doubts, fears and of all those, already useless, thoughts about HOW could I change something, HOW could I save him, keep this string untouched... yes. This question always sounds for me only this way. Not "COULD I change something", but "HOW could I change something"... I have never felt the slightest doubt that I couldn't do that, that it was impissible for me... I've never thought about it, not even a moment. I... I just keep on forbidding it to myself, like in the obsession. I couldn't and still can't believe, accept, that I had to remain as miserable and powerless, like I was at that day, that I only acted the way I needed to act, the way i was DOOMED to act... I can't understand such a senseless and foolish cruelty. I can't accept that I just had no right to change anything, that I could only dare to watch, to scream, to cry, only to hear the empty words of the tired doctors, only to stroke Nevena, slowly dying in my arms... can't believe. It's impossible. THIS JUST COULD NEVER HAPPEN. Never... this is not fair... this is silly! This... this is exactly what happened. A year's already passed - and I still keep on rushing around the locked cirlce, like insane, in the senceless searches of the truth. WHY did he do it? WHAT FOR? I persuasively repeat to myself some of the endless chain of answers until I take it for real, and then, with the same madness, I start proving myself wrong, start thinking that it was all just a lie, just a non-sense... and right after I finally believe in it, I simply choose another answer, even more unimaginable and foolish than previous one, and it all starts repeating again... but I don't ever stop even for a second. I just CAN NOT stop... and now it's all the same... WHY did he do it?! Maybe it was just... just a freaky accident? No... no, of course, no! What a bullshit?! It WASN'T an accident. But then... why? Freaky incurable disease, forced him to choose a quick and painless death instead of slow and tormentful? Tragic, but terribly strong love? Betrayal? Deception? Disappointment? Fear? Blackmail? WHAT? WHAT EXACTLY?! Oh holy God, HOW can I know it for sure?!..."
* * *
1st of October, 2007,
Veronica was coming back hone, feeling the deadly exhaustment and at the same time the wildest desire to rush somewhere, to escape, to flyaway, like if somebody was calling her, screaming out her name, but there was only a soul that could understand this voice, only something deep, hidden inside of blood, it was the only power replying to it. It was misty, cold and drizzling from the early morning, and it was almost impossible to notice the figures of people and features of buildings behind the illusive grey wall of the rain. She was sitting next to the dim window in the half-empty bus, moving to the north from the Slivnitsa station, and remembering the fourth, the strangest, the fatal day from her secret escape from Burgas. Remembering, that it was misty, cold and heavily raining before the dawn at that day, that she was also following, being almost out of conscious, the same destination, maybe even in the same bus from the Slivnitsa station... and secretly watching the man. She unexpectedly faced him in the entrance of the old house, similar to all the other houses at the north of the city, where she was renting a tiny apartment on the eighth floor. Veronica clearly remembered all the events, all the smallest details of that morning - it all pierced deeply inside her memory for staying there forever, for sharpening it from the inside, like the worms. It was eight o'clock in the morning. She was coming back from her safely hidden sanctuary after unlikely long pre-dawn walk - facing the sunrise and melting in it's warm pinky-orange rays was one of her strangest passions she's never tried to refuse, even if there was frosty, rainy, even if all the streets got covered by the fog, making it hardly to breathe. And she kept this rule also at that misty dark morning. He, in contrary, was only walking out of the entrance - they accidentally shook, when he was opening the massive darkened door from the inside. His "sorry", short, but still not thrown just mechanically, was muffled by the strange, rising up from the floor, metal sound, which origin Veronica could only discover later, when the stranger has already walked out of the entrace and shut the door. Veronica found three keys, chained on the ring, that probably fell out of stranger's pocket in the moment when he shook her. She picked the keys and at the very first second mechanically took the decision to catch him up and to give it back. But suddenly something forced her to change her mind. She didn't understand what exactly it was. Just a strong ridiculuous feeling she's never known before. And she did obey to it with the fanatic rapture, which definetly had to scare her, but somehow had not. Veronica hid the bunch of keys in her handbag and, instead of returning home, rushed on the street, with the only hope to find that man and not to lose him from the field of eyesight anymore... it seemed like if she would never stand the hit threatening to her, if the stranger disappeared. But she saw him. She saw, she found him. He was standing at the bus stop and holding something in his hands, putting it closer and closer to the face. She immediately rushed to his side, trying to move as faster as possible and not to attract an attention to herself at the same time, not to excite any suspections... and it seemed like she really succeeded with this strange plan. She stopped in a few steps away from the stranger, behind his back, and she could see what exactly he was holding in his hands. It was an old copybook, and all the pages of this copybook was covered by the accurate handwritings, but to understand the words of text, she still needed to come closer, but she couldn't dare, staying movelessly behind him. But seemed like, it was the plot of a theater play, and the stranger was strainedly reading one of the monologues, silently repeating it with the different intonations and trying to learn by heart. Neither rain, nor cold, whitening and pricking his hands, could disturb him this morning: he was reading the lines with the same fanatic madness, which caught up Veronica too, while she was staring at him... when the bus appeared, she purposely stopped for a while, letting the stranger to enter and to take a place before her. Following his steps, Veronica sat down next to the window, a bit behind and a bit at the right from him, to make it possible to see at least the part of his face and to admire of his cold feminizing beauty without any punishment, without any fear. He didn't take his eyes out of the copybook during all the ride, so Veronica had the chance to discover him attentionfully, to remember every graceful feature of him, every detail of his clothes. He had a deadly pale skin, like if he was suffering of anemia, huge dark green eyes and very long black hair, falling down to his waist. There were a leather raincoat on his shoulders, the black fishnet gloves on his arms and the massive silver rings, shining on his long thin fingers. He was wearing a bracelet on his right wrist, and there was a florid inscription engraved on it, but Veronica was trying to read it in vain, and just let herself imagine what protecting words could he keep on his body. The ride did last only for twenty minutes - on the fourth or fifth stop the stranger went out of the bus, and Veronica, without any fear to get lost in the unknown city, followed him. She was haunting the young man secretly for a quarter of an hour, until he entered the small city theater and disappeared from her eyesight. She couldn't dare to keep on following him, and she denied to find any explanations and excuses to that. She simply turned around, to the bus stop, thinking to come back home, to try to calm down there a little bit and to understand what was going on with her. And to get warm finally, because she has wetted till the smallest bone under the rain and got frozen. She still could remember, even now, that scary pricking cold, remaining unperceived for her for so long, and then suddenly bringing such an unbearable pain in every bodycell... she only learned that the stranger's name was Milan and that he was a theater actor much later, when a few months have passed after their first strange meeting. But, just like at that morning, she kept on following him, secretly seeing him off and waiting for his return from theater. And, as she didn't want to call him "stranger" for all this time, she invented a name for him on her own - Angel... that was a name of a strange, mysteriously close to her, man she met for long ago, in forsaken Burgas, where she was helplessly trying to turn into the second flesh and second blood for that man. The stranger was painfully similar to Angel, but, inspite of this similarity, Veronica didn't see Angel in him and didn't want to - Angel was the one who didn't give her any chance, at that freaky day, many years ago, didn't even let her to do something for him... Veronica almost hated him for it. To be forsaken means to drown, like in the bog, in the deformed mass of feelings, where one was denying another, but at the same time staying perceived for the only human, inside of the only human. She was sure that it could never happen to her again, but those old, hiding under the skin, fears haven't died yet, haven't got dumb, and, listening to their voice, Veronica couldn't dare to come closer to stranger and to let him see her, trying to haunt him secretly day after day... and his keys. She didn't give him back the jeys he occassionally lost, she saved this bunch like a gipsy talisman. For luck and happiness... God, this is a kind of madness...
She nearly could take off her heavy and wet raincoat and shoes, when the loud ring of the old telephone suddenly pierced the corridor. At the third time for these six month, spent alone in Sofia, Veronica's mother called. With the same plea, nearly turned into the order. But her only daughter, severely erased herself from her life, had the same categorical answer for mother:
I will only com back to your damned Burgas when I turn into the corpse. Only when I understand I'm already dead, I will buy the ticket to the return train to Burgas. Only when I am deceased, I'll come back to your house again, because I won't already care, what you're gonna say and do to me...MOTHER.
She pushed this word out of her throat with the unmasked disgust and threw the receiver down. She didn't wait for mother's reply because she didn't need it at all. She simply discovered the strange, nasty weight inside, like if her body got fullfilled with the lead... this feeling always causes the unsharp aching pain from finger tips to apples of the eyes. There's no cure, there's no asylum and there's no hope as well: everything you can do is just to open the window, to swallow the wet sweetish air and to smoke the cigarette, trying at least to play the pleasure from smoking, deceiving yourself. Watching the rain - as well as wandering under the rays of the sunrise - meant for Veronica to let the life enter, drop by drop. It was her only chance to feel alive for such a long time, instead of feeling decomposing inside of the own body. The meeting with Milan, as it seemed to be, had to change and to correct everything... but it only brought a new freaky disaster instead of saving from it. Veronica has been tormenting by the insomnia, making every single day last like an eternity. This nearly moveless time was fullfilled with the pain, that was borning very deep inside, and, approaching the apogee, became perceived physically. The panic feats, unbearable doubts, freaky feelings, paranoic thoughts, following her everywhere like the guardian angels, - it all was merging and turning into the horror. Everytime, during the new secret meeting with Milan, this torment got changed by the moments of euphoria, absolute euphoria, getting all the consciouss of it's prisoner, but it couldn't ease the pain, it could only cover the pain. Right after Milan walked out of Veronica's eyesight, this cover tracelessly vanished, and the pain, getting in three times stronger, came back immediately. Watching the rain, imagining it's heavy drops to wash her body away, was the only, absolutely helpless, but so desired chance to get protected for Veronica, for a girl who always prefered even the miserable attack to the silent capitulation. The street, seprenting in front of her, was absolutely desert - the cold rain forced everyone to hide under the roofs, behind the walls of their tiny holes and to keep on waiting. It seems like Veronica was waiting for something too. Nasty, sticky and sharp feeling, that the disaster is already near, - it was getting stronger with the every second, and deep inside her mind Veronica has already started the countdown:
Five, four, three, two, one...
She had no time to say "zero": her countdown got broken by the deafening barking of the dog, sounding from above, from the flat, placed right above her own apartments, on the ninth floor. It was the same tiny apartment with the single room, with the windows facing the street and the autotrack, crossing it. This flat belonged to Milan. And Veronica knew, that he was living there alone, without family, without relatives, that he didn't bring any friends, any girls, any people from theater there - not even at once for these sixth months. The only creature, sharing his loneliness there, was a black sheepdog named Nevena, which barking made it clear for Veronica, that Milan came back home.
The 1st of October, 2007,
The last rehearsal in the theater Milan was working in always ended in half past seven in the evening. It was their own unproclaimed law, and Veronica, having no idea how and what for it somewhen appeared, has already made sure that neither actors' troupe, nor director, musicians or anybody else could dare to break it. At this evening she was waiting for Milan till eight o'clock, frozen and being unable to feel the own hands because of frost, but still cherishing the hope to see him again and to follow him back home, as always. At quarter past eight the half-empty bus from the Slivnitsa station appeared, and Veronica, already despaired and losing a hope, entered the salon and hid there in the corner, like a deadly frightened and still feeling this fear animal. Later, already achieved the destination point, a girl couldn't force herself to go home, and, inspite of cold, rain and lead exhaustment, kept on crawling around the nearby streets, like if she still could cherish the hope to find Milan there. But now she finally learned for sure where he was. He has just returned home. She was expecting to hear the muffled sounds of his voice and to recognize the joyful notes in it: he loved Nevena the way parents can't even love their children anymore, and he was always happy to see the dog again. But at this time Veronica heard nothing. The dog kept on barking, but clearly recognizing silence behind her bark was frightening the animal, and so Nevena became soundless soon. Almost inaudiable, but heavy, slow and slightly bringing the pain steps let Veronica understand, that Milan, without saying a word, exhaustingly walked from the corridor to the kitchen and, according to the piercing scratch, also opened the window widely and started to breathe the wet air with the greed. It seemed like the graveyard silence embodied in his flat for several seconds, like if the falling of raindrops mesmerized and Milan, and his dog with it's beauty - and even Veronica stopped catching so strainedly every occassional scratch for these moments. But soon this catalepsy vanished. According to the sound of steps, becoming faster and tougher, Milan followed or, to say better, rushed from the kitchen to the living room, and Veronica, standing a few metres lower, almost ran back to her room too. The heart was beating madly fast and heavily, breaking the bones of chest and interfering to breathe, so Veronica, helplessly falling down on the floor, pushed her fingers to the hot temples and categorically ordered herself to concentrate only on sounds, to turn into the hearing. A silent slow melody achieved her from the ninth floor. Milan was playing the piano. The masterpiece he was performing seemed to be familiar to Veronica like if she, no matter willingly or not, was listening to it from the very beginning to the very end every hour, but she still couldn't remember it's title, and the tryings to find the answer in her own memory was killing her by the uselessness. It seemed to be similar to a strange chain reaction, when this despair touched Milan too: his performance was perfect before the last thirty seconds, when a falseness suddenly penetrated in, deforming, disfiguring and growing up to the freaky grotesque. Veronica heard only the defeaning crash instead of the music final - perhaps, Milan smashed the cover of instrument, - and already familiar voice, suddenly fallen to the strange, piercing the ears, squeal:
Damn! God damn it!...
The dog's bark and another almost hysterical scream continued this unpleasant scene again:
Shut up! Get away! Get the Hell away from here!...
According to the silent clinking of the claws, touching the parquet, the dog did obey to this order and left the room. The silence became embodied again... and during all the next minute Veronica was simply trying to ensure herself that Milan was drunk at that evening. It could explain everything. If he wasn't drunk, he would never let such a nasty falseness enter his usually perfect piano perfomance. If he wasn't drunk, he would never start screaming at his dog he was always so gentle and kind with, because he knew how much does this dog love him, it's owner. But Veronica's conscious was still madly resisting this suggestion, because it was definetly wrong. Milan wasn't drunk, and there was no sense to doubt in it. There was something else happened with him. Something really disgraceful... but what, WHAT EXACTLY?... Veronica suddenly started to realize clearly, that she will wake up in insanity next morning, if she keeps on choosing the one from the numerous answers to this question and doesn't find the absolutely correct one for these six or seven hours.
The 1st of October, 2007,
The freakiest headache was bending her down to the floor and nearly blinding. The heartbeating became so terribly fast that even the breathing now was turning into the hardest torment, and Veronica was afraid that she couldn't to survive till the morning and that later, few days later, her breathless blueish corpse would be transported back to Burgas on the train. To her mother's family. The only ocassional thought that she would need, even against the will, to be returned home, was waking up the terrifying rage inside, and it was impossible to resist, like it's always impossible to resist yourself. Veronica rushed to the bathroom and firstly washed her face with the icy cold water. The massive melted grimage left the dark traces on her palest skin. For a minute she was just movelessly staring at her own reflection in the round wall mirror, watching the water, mixing with the eyeshadows and mascara, falling down and drawing the traces of black tears on her cheeks. This short oblivion helped her to find the asylum from unexplainable panic for a couple of seconds, while this panic kept on trying hardly to own her. But the moments of frustration suddenly were swept away - just like if the predator has already found the prey, hiding in the grass, and already thrown the paw with the sharpest claws to it's flesh. The disturb has been becoming so powerful, that Veronica started to feel painfully sick. Oh God, what's going on? She sat down on the edge of the bath, closed her eyes, stopped breathing and tried to look inside of herself to find the answer to this question, but there was no any answer. She simply had to do something, though anything, simply to make sure: she still has the power above her mind and body, she still can control it... she opened the wall medical case with the tiny key, took some glasses with the pills out of there and swallowed six or seven tablets without a water, just chewing it, like a piece of bread. The medicine left the disgusting bitter taste in the mouth, and it saved Veronica from parasiting thoughts and fears for a few more seconds. Another minute has passed, and a girl heard the moaning, finally piercing the coffin silence. These sounds were firstly almost inaudiable, but kept on getting louder and louder with every eyeblink: Milan's dog suddenly started to whine plaintively.
The 1st of October, 2007,
She has already understand, a long ago, WHAT in the human life, during all of it's days, could be more scary and more powerful that death itself. It was fear. Fear is what's born before the human and remains almighty after human's death, turning into the perfect weapon of killing and enslaving. It always keeps on haunting, moving behind step in step, and it's impossible to hide from it - neither in the world of living or the world of dead, nor anywhere between these worlds. Everything has become absolutely clear for a girl - exactly now, exactly in these unbearable minutes, when the body's tormented by the pain, and the consciouss - by the obsessed thoughts. She came to understand now, that she's locked inside of a circle, which, as it seems like, is impossible to break - neither in this life, nor in the next one... because it's invulnerability has been created and protected by the fear itself. The fear was born at the same moment with Veronica - in the very heart of picturesque bulgarian city, at the 18th of December, 1984. The fear was growing up with her, inside of her innocent, but still surely created for the vices, body, the fear was seen in her eyes, heard in the heartbeating and in the voice, the fear was an electricity in her wavy raven hair - the fear was the part of her nature. Everything was happening because of the fear - because of the fault of the fear and because of Veronica's silent agreement. She wanted to remember nothing. She wanted to estimate nothing and to give a thought to nothing. But there were fear and her own stupid spineless humility what turned her life into the freaky endless war against herself, against everybody around, everybody who's never seen her, against God, against Devil - against everything and everyone, because this is exactly the nature of fear. This secret reign forced her to desert away from this war and to escape from Burgas, with the naive belief there could be a place on the Earth where she can hide from herself. This secret reign didn't let her to appear at any of Milan's perfomances in the theater, because she couldn't fight the fright in front of a thought, that he could notice, recognize, expose her, that he could understand that the chains of deceiving occassions and matches have always been foretold. And now, in the eleventh hour of the evening, in the tiny flat on the board of Sofia, she was the prisoner of the same secret reign again. WHAT she was so freaky, so panically afraid of now? WHAT?! She was obstinately trying to get to the very point, to make it all perfectly clear for herself. And slowly but surely she started to feel the approaching to the truth, like the blind people feel the rays of sharp light, scratching the utter dark... WHAT was she afraid of now? That something, very soon, maybe even next minute, was about to happen... something freaky, something disgraceful... no... no. Something freaky is happening with her during all the life. Something freaky is happening with her every day and every single hour. Strangely that she still can observe that. Probably this is what exactly means to be alive?... but she's afraid of something another. She's afraid that she wouldn't be able to change the rush of time, to prevent the catastrophe, to do though anything for salvation... of Milan? Of the unknown theater actor, living in the tiny flat on the ninth floor?... is it really so important? Salvation of him or of yourself? Or anybody else, who's gonna need in the help of this girl? She's only afraid to stay helpless, to lose another fight against herself, against everything and everyone... she's only afraid to turn into the angel with the broken wings, which can't be a messenger, can't be a savior, can't let an ascension to happen, can't chase the night away from no one... but can just to stay the transparent shadow, uninvited witness of everything happening around, without any slightest chance to intervent and to change, to stop this disasterful countdown, though for a moment...
Suddenly Milan's voice has reached her again. Deafeningly loud, sharp, coldly vain and at the same time trying to swallow the tears, to hide the scream behind this vanity... it seemed like there was a little, restlessly playing in the mindless games, demone, talking out of Milan's flesh... and for a long time Veronica was just refusing to believe that this voice belonged exactly to... her Angel from Sofia... but no, it was the Milan's voice. He was speaking three languages - latin, old slavonic and german - and Veronica, just like dew to the ridiculuous confusion, could speak exactly those languages too. With the greed and at the same time with the horror, she was catching every Milan's word, trying to understand as much as only possible, but still only some occassional splinters of his speech could become understandable.
Ballo Della Morte. Introduction... The Living Skeleton and the Morena witch could only learn the Mysteries of Ice, Winter and Death, which they share sometimes and partly just with the best ones from the chosen ones - with the most faithful ones from all of their servants... and this knowledge is also opened to the white-haired North, who, as it was said, has turned it into the icicles, hanging on the tree branches and on the roofs of the houses, but always melting with the first rays of the spring Sun... many people were trying to get this Knowledge, but right after their hands touch those icicles, it started to melt down, crying with the water tears in the warm palms... True, the Knowledge of this mysteries - of the Eternal Cold and of the Ice Secrets of Death - doesn't belong to those who are alive...
His voice got strangely broken, at the same moment with the breath, like if his body was suddenly pierced by the freakest ache and shiver. It seemed to Veronica that she could feel extremely the same... her flesh started the convulsive dance and became blueish of cold and suffocation... the girl tore the plaide from the bed and muffled herself up, trying to get though a little bit warmer. Along with the precious warmth, the natural simplicity and obscurity of the breathing slowly started to come back, and Veronica, ordering herself to calm down and to concentrate only at Milan's voice, started to listen to his monologues again.
The first act, the first scene. The suicider, the deadman and the dying man. One on the edge of the abyss, another one in the Purgatory and the third one in the hospital bed!...
Veronica was scared with the fanatic, already almost insane, notes, becoming more and more clearer in his voice. Willingly or not, but Milan was speaking louder with every second, almost starting to scream, to whine hyserically, and the sense of his words was melting down behind this dementia, so that now Veronica could only catch the short splinters of his phrases:
Death is a happiness for dying man. When you die, you stopped being a mortal!... how can we know what death is, when we haven't learned yet, what life is? Every thought about death is much more cruel than the death itself. How silly it is to die because of fear... of fear in front of death!...
The tough and the abrupt german language, rushing out of his mouth, already became more similar to the dog's barking, than to the human speech. Very fast and confident steps sounded right above Veronica's head: Milan started nearly running in the room, from one of it's corners to another, and he kept on learning his new role by heart; even though his voice could be heard distinctly enough, it was already impossible to understand the words, cause the words was merging in the unimaginable cacophony and stuck in the air.
When you realize all the mysteries of life, you'll start looking for death, because the death is just another one mysery of life!... only death can turn human's life into the destiny!... the one who's afraid of death is already dead!... it's possible to contempt the life but it could never be possible to contempt the death!... we would be already dead if we wouldn't be dying... is it really needed too much to save the memory about a man? One hour of marbleworker's job... ONE HOUR OF MARBLEWORKER'S JOB!...
This scream rushed outside with the blinding pain, and suddenly the deaf sound of fall followed it - perhaps Milan has stumbled and fell down heavily on the wood floor. Next second Veronica heard the strange on a timbre, loud barking and the clinking of the claws - the dog rushed to help to her owner, surely suspecting something scary.
Go away... go away, go away, please... go away!...
He clumsily stood up, but fell down on his knees again next moment - because of the freakiest cough, that nearly shook him on the floor. And, while Milan was trying to fight it down and to recover the breath, Veronica, without any idea what could be controlling her, being almost in a blackout, moved to the corridor and took the keys out of the bag. The keys, that somewhen belonged to Milan, but now were turned into her magic talisman she was keeping always closely to heart. She tried the metal ring of this bunch on her finger and came back into the living room. She stopped next to the window, turning her back to the darkened glass, and concentrated on the listening only once again. Milan was staying wordless for several minutes, and the silence, embodied in his tiny shell, got only broken with the dog's howling, becoming longer and louder. Then Veronica caught the sound of his voice once more:
The first act. The second scene. The same characters and the Sweet Blossom. At the same places and at the bench in the park under the sun... Suicider can be very coward and very brave at the same time: he couldn't dare to fight against the time, but he isn't scared of the eternity... the freakiest of all the evils - death - has no any relation to us, cause when we still exist, death is absent yet, and when it comes, we already exist no more... to be afraid of death means to think you own the wisdom you can never own, to think that you know something you don't know at all. Because nobody knows what death really is, and nobody knows isn't it the perfect gift for all the mankind... we should all be careful, that the death could never put more wrinkles on our souls, than on our faces. We should all live the way letting us not to be scared of death and not to desire it. We should all be scared not of death, but of the empty life. The only true braveness means not to be calling the death, but to keep on fighting against sorrows...
Veronica suddenly understood, that she has been crying. Without any explainable reason.
What's related to death, we just cannot feel it: we only understand death by our crumble minds, because it's separated from life with the only moment... even though life is dying, the death should never be alive... the first chance for immortality is death...
The dog's howling finally became so defeaning and sharp, that, obviously, Milan couldn't hold himself down anymore and so he screamed in despair:
Shut up! SHUT UP!...
The abrupt sound of kick and the piercening squeal: Milan madly kicked the dog, and Nevena whined of pain and of fear - in front of the inevitable disaster coming here next minute already - at the same time... this presentiment hurt, like the unexpected peaked arrow, stoned Veronica: shaking the warm plaid away from the shoulders, she suddenly rose up from the floor and rushed into the corridor, to the entrance door.
The 1st of October,
She was furiously running upstairs, stumbling, falling, painfully hitting the stone steps, but anyway standing up and following this chosen route. The dog's howling she could hear closer and clearer, was hurrying her up, punching to the back and forcing to move faster. Finally reached to his flat, Veronica, thinking about nothing, tried to unlock the door with the keys Milan somewhen lost. The bottom lock was opened, and the top one could only be unlocked with the one from those two keys she had on the metal ring... with the only one key, but Veronica didn't guess with which one exactly, she needed to try it out again, paying the price of several seconds for it... the price, which seemed to be too expensive to Veronica, but in fact it's been already meaningless at all. The door got unlocked, but Veronica couldn't enter the flat anyway: the door was hold by the goldish metal chain from the inside, and so couldn't be opened wider than for five or six santemetres. Veronica madly screamed at that moment - screamed because of despair, horror and panic... she was helplessly pulling the handle, slamming the door, helplessly trying to tear the chain apart... the dog rushed to her, whining heart-rendingly, rose on her back paws and even scratched Veronica's palm by the claw occassionally, trying to help the girl enter the flat... but it was all in vain too. Veronica even had no time to call out his name. The last thing she saw was the slightly opened door between the corridor and the room, and through that aperture a girl could notice the dark slender silhouette, easily sliding down from the window-sill and fallen on the asphalt with the raindrops... she had no time to clamp her ears... and her punishment for it was the order to hear that freaky, unbearable and undescribable sound, when the flesh, still warm and alive, finally hit the ground. The dog caught the sound of this hit too. It painfully howled again and disappeared in the narrow dark corridor, leading to the kitchen.
Veronica Todorova's diary
16th of October, 2008, about midnight
Rapid train Sofia - Burgas
"I loudly shut the door and rushed to the lift. Then ran out of the doorway to the street and did nearly fly right to him... he was lying in the bloodpool, in the strange unnatural pose, but he's still been alive... his eyes were slightly opened, and, though the bloody veil already has been covering it, he, probably, still could be able to see... he was trying to say something, but there were only cough and the streams of blood rushing out of his throat... I ran to the taxophone on the corner and called to the ambulance. While their car was on the road to our street, I was sitting on the asphalt next to Milan, carefully strocking his hair and, as it seems like now, even trying to speak with him... now it doesn't matter if I really was trying to tell him something. I just remember, that I occassionally did understand the inscription, engraved on his silver bracelet. It was proclaiming: "The Angel with the Broken Wings"... then finally the ambulance appeared. Probably it took only ten minutes to get to this place, but this time seemed to be longer than whole eternity to me... I know it always happens like that. The time can be unexplainably cruel with people. I begged the doctor to let me to ride with Milan to the hospital. When he asked me, who was the young suicider, I answered, without any slightest doubt, right next moment:
This is my fiance.
All right... if there's your will.
And so we rushed to the hospital. The road took a bit longer than a quarter of hour. I spent whole that night in the hospital. I was crawling there in the corridor, from one corner to another, or just standing movelessly at the same place, like a wax figure. I was endlessly thinking about something... feeling scared... damning... praying... cherishing the hopes... at half past five (I remember this absolutely clearly, as I was too often throwing my sight on the wall clocks, hurting myself more and more) one of the doctors finally appeared in the corridor. But at that moment I have already known what he was about to tell me. Milan lost his consciouss at ten minutes before midnight. Five hours and twenty two minutes in the morning was the exact time of death. He died in the emergency room, in the early morning of 2nd of October, as he committed a suicide because of the reasons nobody will be able to learn now...
Returning back from hospital, I somehow decided to go to the market and to buy a piece of meat for Milan's dog. I wanted to take Nevena to my place and to care about it... like if it was the last alive creature, close and dear to me. I was cherishing the hope... yes, at that time I still could do it, still could hope for something. But, already approaching to the house, I started to understand that even this slight little hope had no chance to come true. Nevena was lying in the backyard in front of the doorway, right at the same place where the body of her own fell down last night. I came up to the dog, sat on the asphalt and put it's head on my knees. My hands still had to save the smell of meat I bought, but seemed like if Nevena didn't catch it at all: it was only silently whining, and then closed the eyes. I pushed my palm to the soft dark hair next to it's left paw to perceive the heartbeating, and I understood that the dog was slowly dying. I started to cry at that time, and Nevena, probably using the very last strength inside her body, rose up a little bit and licked my cheek. And then, at the very next moment, it heavily fell down on the ground, and I spent these last minutes with it, strocking it's head and back, until the dog stopped breathing... and a strange though suddenly pierced my mind: "That is all"... and then I asked myself a question, requiring no answer ever: "No, isn't that really all?!"...
A year has passed. Whole the year of the nightmares, pain, self-tormenting and absolute helplessness, uselessness of everything happening around... I'm riding now on the night rapid train back to Burgas, to my mother. Because I promised her to come back, when... and now I understand, that this time has come and I must keep my promise in front of her... and so I'm coming back".