His day begins with … coldness.
Restlessly his hand wanders over the other side of the bed, tracing every inch of the cold mat as Jonathan again reminds himself: His nightmares are not real. Marina is in perfect health. She is okay, he is okay.
She is alive.
He again reminds himself that she has left early for work, after all she works in a … bakery? No, not a bakery. Or was it that? No, no she works as a … teacher! Right – no, no, that’s not it either.
Newspaper delivery person. That’s what she does.
Either way; Jonathan knows very well that he can’t just stay in bed until she comes back, so instead he forces his tired limbs to stretch, hesitantly coming out from under his blanket. His first destination is the bathroom, or to specify it: The shower. The young man is full of sweat, he practically reeks of it. Once he got rid of the smell – instead now smelling of strawberries as he decided he might as well use Marina’s shampoo – his wet hand reaches out of the cabin for a towel, grabbing one clumsily.
As per usual the shower does its work and Jonathan steps out of it with the feeling of being born as somebody new. All sweat, all nightmares and all anxiety gone, shown by his enthusiastic whistling while he makes his way to the kitchen, a towel around his waist. He plans to make himself some breakfast, maybe text his wife and tell her that he will cook today, check his messages and look if there possibly are some from his colleagues. On his way he takes his phone, taking a look at it and widening his eyes.
To say that he is actually surprised to see a message is the least. But even if he wasn’t, he still would be startled by the fact that Marcus, a friend of his, texted him he’d be in front of Jonathan’s door in ten minutes.
It might not be necessary to add that the message came five minutes ago.
Anyhow, since the male doesn’t fancy showing his pride off to anybody but Marina, he hurls to the bedroom instead of his original destination and hurries to throw on some trousers and a shirt. By the time he is done he hears the doorbell ring.
The way to the door is not quite long and so are the greetings exchanged before Jonathan leads his friend inside, offering him to sit in the living room.
“May I bring you something? A water? Juice? We’ve got everything here”, Jonathan asks Marcus, offering the male – who has a slightly uncomfortable expression on his face – a wide smile. The other simply shakes his head in response, causing a pout to replace Jonathan’s expression.
“How about pancakes? I was about to make some, Marina loves them, so I somewhat got used to making them everyday”, he speaks, chuckling after his last words.
He doesn’t even notice how his colleague’s face pales a bit, doesn’t notice the way the older clears his throat.
“Listen, mate”, the male begins, running a hand through his blonde hair while trying to find the best way to say it, “Marina … Jonathan … Your wife died in a car crash … “
All the friendliness is gone within a second, replaced by terror, fear and disbelief, as well as bitter pain. “You’re lying”, the younger responds, again reaching for his phone, wanting to see whether there is a message, eager to see a sign of life from Marina.
His beloved Marina …
“She can’t be dead she – She didn’t even take the car today! How could that happen? She cannot – I don’t believe you”, restlessly he paces through the room, back and forth as a shaky hand tears on his hair and his face forms an ugly grimace filled with pain, “The … The police would be here, they – Is that why you are here? How can you sit there like that, you arse? You fucking twink, how dare you sit there, sit there like that and tell me – tell me lies?”
Throughout his talking he took a hold of Marcus‘ collar, pulling him closer so he could look into the other man’s dark eyes, his own filled with hatred, “She isn’t dead you fucking arse.”
Already his fist lifts so he could deliver a punch to the face of the older man, but his movement freezes when he hears the door being unlocked. Jonathan lifts his head, looking into the direction of the entrance until he sees a head with red locks peek inside the living room. “She’s … not dead, see?”
Finally his fingers let go of the fabric they were clutching, allowing the older to suck in a tense and deep breath. “You’re sick, Jonathan, you’re really damn sick.”
But the younger doesn’t even answer any more as he runs up to his wife, embracing her and planting countless soft kisses all over her smooth skin. “You’re alive”, he whispers, cupping Marina’s cheeks and resting his forehead against hers, “You’re alive, he is nothing but a … a liar, nothing else.”
And with that Marcus sighs, getting up from the chair he was sitting on as he gives the male a look of disapproval, “I was an idiot to think one could help you, Johnny, nothing but an idiot.”
For a last time Jonathan shoots a deathly glare at his colleague, his eyes already saying all the bad words laying on his tongue, “As you can see, my wife is very much alive. Now fuck off you swine.”
He doesn’t need to say anything else, doesn’t need to throw in any threats. The older leaves already, shaking his head on his way out. “My condolences, mate, my condolences … “
Jonathan doesn’t even hear it any more.
(Picture taken by Sophie Eichel)