Mileva Anastasiadou "Only Together"
Today, we’ll drown in pain. There are five of us in the car, two of us in the backseat, the driver, his mom in the front passenger seat, and the spirit of his dead brother, lingering over our heads, like a cloud about to burst into rain. The air, heavy with grief, regret, guilt, all those emotions that accompany death.
Today, we’ll drown in sorrow. Nobody talks and nobody listens, not even words fit in the car. I sit by the window behind the driver, watching his hair, his blonde shiny hair, his golden hair, his hair shining like the sun, I hear his silent sobs, his mourning, his feelings, his thoughts, they are not shiny, they’re dark, unlike the day.
Today, we’ll bury his brother. His sister leans on my shoulder, she leans on my chest, while I lean on the window, I gaze out the window, the brightness, the joy, the joyful sunny day and I feel trapped in grief, trapped in this car, off to meet more sorrow, while I'm singing inside, I’m singing happy tunes, but the air grows thicker, until it runs out, and it hurts to be here, it physically hurts: my head aches, my legs are numb, my chest is heavy, his sister grabbing my hand like I’m her anchor, and I pull my hand from her clutch, I pull away, because I won’t go that deep, I can’t drown to save her, I must step out of the sinking ship, escape the fog, and breathe; breathe joy again, breathe life, pretend that life is only happiness and people like his sister lie on my chest and steal my air. All I have to do is let these people go. I don’t speak a word, I don’t make a sound, when I take back her hand and hold it tight. Only together will we rise above the water and reach the shore.
Bio: 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 Litro, Jellyfish Review, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Moon Park Review, Okay Donkey, Kanstellation, Open Pen, and others.