It was my final breathe. A sliver of moonlight had escaped the drawn curtains and roughed up the darkness in my musty room. I had always felt a strange aversion to sunlight, as any moment it would unveil myself from me. Had I been less cautious about borrowing time, planning out my last moments in absolute solitude and darkness, I might as well have been easing towards a slow end in broad daylight.
As my eyes reconciled with the surroundings, I remembered a distant afternoon whereupon I was presented with a gold medal for a certain academic achievement that my memory now fails to recall. I had stepped onto the stage, and received my award, and the chief guest had congratulated me with an amicable handshake and later I was to stand amongst twenty other kids so their overjoyed parents and guardians and uncles and aunts and friends’ parents and older siblings could snap a few last pictures, cherishing the moment and immortalising it for a better suited future, with dreams, hopes, expectations and all life’s humdrum. I had sweeped the crowd in a glance, half expecting either of my parents to be taking out an age old camera and clicking away in order to preserve the aforementioned moment.
We were a bit too late into the 21st century as a family, watching tv rather than cable as the rest of normal households, using an analogue camera with the reel instead of a digital camera plus camcorder like the rest of normal families, eating separately either on bed or in front of the TV instead on a table together like the rest of normal families.
Neither of them had shown up. My face, alongside twenty other kids might still be preserved in twenty family albums. Perhaps someday someone stumbles upon the family album, sifting through the plastic pages that wrap a thousand and one memories of individuals, their stories, their lives, their existence. Perhaps someone hovers on a picture too long, trying to recall the year the picture was taken, trying to remember the faces and names of the twenty one kids plastered before the eyes, straining the
Perhaps someday someone stumbles upon the family album, sifting through the plastic pages that wrap a thousand and one memories of individuals, their stories, their lives, their existence. Perhaps someone hovers on a picture too long, trying to recall the year the picture was taken, trying to remember the faces and names of the twenty one kids plastered before the eyes, straining the brain cells, trying to connect dots, their adventures together, the event, the place, the time, the moment. Perhaps my name makes an abstract appearance, a flash of memory, thriving but instantly ending. Perhaps that is the last thought on earth strung to me, of me and all proof of a singular existence comes to a mediocre, uneventful ending.
The gold had withered considerably into a bronze leaf, ironic as it is given that bronze medals were awarded to third position holders, and the wooden frame that held it on the wall opposite my bed had gone through years of weathering yet still if you were cleaning the room and had to dust the wall hangings and you unhinged the frame and held it close enough, you could smell a damp forest tree, covered with moss and lichen.
The pale silver ray resonates a name which I have a hard time placing in my fast fading memory. “Raskolnikov”. Certainly a Russian. Name ends with – ov. Serbian? Oh they’re all the same. Assimilation of races. Murder. Guilt. Remorse. The Gulag. Who is he? The name’s harsh on the tongue. It is brutal to think about.