Orchids

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“Insiped”

There are three things that stress people the most: death, moving to the other place, or losing a job. Two of them happened to me when I was 9-10 years old, it was not losing a job.
I was at the age when children should always be somewhere between “happy” and “fine” emotion levels. And I was happy one until one day totally changed my life from childhood heaven to hell (as I thought about it before). But let me begin my story from my heaven.

I had everything that kids like me were dreaming about: a family that loved me just as much as I needed, all kinds of toys, friends that I truly enjoyed being with, good grades at school, and success in playing sports, etc. But the most precious “exhibit” in my collection of “good-mood-makers” was my best friend, Nika. We did everything together from sitting on the same desk at school, to spending weekends at each other’s houses, dachas, and so on. We had the same notebooks, pens, some of the clothes even, and opinions, of course.

Nika and I were going to my Mom’s office; she was going to drive us home. We were peacefully chatting about the homework, about those stupid boys in our class who were our friends but still annoyed us sometimes. We were those kind of girls who would prefer to play with the boys than live in the pink world of girls’ friendship. We went through the alley in the park, not even noticing it, still talking. Then, on the sidewalk of the main street in our city when we just needed to cross the little narrow road, hidden under the canopy of tall green oaks.
“These sausage and the buckwheat at lunch were so... insiped!” – she said with the intelligent mask put on her face. “Oh, your mom is watching us through the window! Look! Hi, Mrs. Tanya’s Mom!” – she waved her hand towards my mom, smiling.
“Insipid, maybe? Oh, I need to tie my shoes. You go- I will catch up with you in a second.” I squatted, mumbling the optimistic song “for-kids-only” to myself. When I was done with tying up my shoes, I started to stand up, raising my head when I heard the scratching sound of the car’s tires round the corner.
“Watch out, Nikki, the car is...!” the red rusty car washed away my friend. The pictures of her face passed one by one in my head, while I was scanning the place where she stood less than a second ago. Then it was a sound. Heavy knock on something metal. Knock of something tender, small, and unprotected. The tears went out on my eyes when I still didn’t understand what was happening, the big explosion in my chest creating a big hole around my heart. Then I saw the next picture, that I will never forget in my whole life. The car, gliding away from side to side; Nikki lying in unnatural position, her face and dark blue uniform all in blood. Her chest now looked like a sack with homogeneous fluid, legs were stretched out, nearly in straight angle. One more explosion in my chest, making the empty space around my heart spread a bit wider. My eyes were not able to stand this picture, though I started to walk towards my Nikki. My legs were protesting, my eyes losing focus because of the tears, hands shaking. It felt like I spent years to walk towards her, when I finally saw her face. One more picture that stuck in my head forever. Her deep blue, as an ocean, eyes were opened, fear and horror in there, her fair hair and her thin, long eyebrows covered in blood, little baby nose all scratched and bruised. Mouth. Mouth was still holding my favorite smile of her, showing her perfectly white teeth. Through my rapid and loud heartbeat, I heard footsteps. Mom ran to my side and put her hand on my eyes turning me around, closing me in embrace by the other hand. I heard her sob too. The street was empty, no people around. Mr. Gibert, Mom’s boss, ran out twenty-seven heartbeats later, calling the ambulance. I felt numb, fiery cold pain striking my body. After about three thousand heartbeats the ambulance car finally came. I was thankful to Mr. Gilbert for taking care of the ambulance and militia, while my mother was trying to calm me down at least for me to be able to talk. When Nika was taken from the road to the ambulance, one of the doctors with the cotton wool and syringe with some pink muddy liquid in it slowly walked to my back. Tired of fighting with tears and pain, I was unable to resist or even feel the needle going under my skin.

When I woke up, about twenty hours later, I think, my parents and Mr. Gibert were sitting around me in my small room, that now was black-and-white since I opened my tired eyes, red after crying in my sleep, as I noticed by the wet salty pillow under my neck.
“You cried all night long.” – Mother’s eyes looked tired, and concerned, hands shaking, not too much to notice it for the normal person. Father was by her side, holding her hands gently, pain on his face. Mr. Gibert was snoring in the furthest corner of my room, using my favorite donkey toy as a pillow.
“Did it really happened?” – I tried to stand up but my muscles didn’t appreciate this idea much, tired but still stressed. Parents nodded once, not able to speak.
“Mom, I want to go to school.” – they shook their heads.
“Please? I need to.” – looking in my eyes, trying to reach my soul, parents hesitated to answer. Not caring about the answer I went to the bathroom, to put myself into pieces, not only mentally.
Mirror. Was it a mirror actually? The face I did not see before, was staring at me with blank expression. It was not me anymore. My eyes, black as midnight, changed to a muddy brown, hazel eyes, not deep anymore. Pink paint washed away from my cheeks with my tears, smile no more able to appear. I was not me anymore, I was not a little kid anymore.
Coming to school was a relief for me. Though I tried not to think about what happened last day, pictures in my head were showing off again and again, tears appearing again and again. All eyes were on me now, teacher totally ignoring me, as I never exist. Only glares were showing the interest everybody had towards me, pictures appeared in my mind again, tears coming. I gulped and promised to myself, to my dearest Nikki not to show how painful it was to lose her, how hard it was for me, I promised myself to never show people who weak I am. Everybody was trying to sneak deep into my soul, to know how does it feel to me: to lose my precious friend, not even trying to hide their reason. My soul with a big black hole still didn’t recover and was irritated by such a rude invasions. She shut all of the entries and exits for the emotions, not allowing anyone to get to her weak point.
My empty desk, silent weekends, and the lack of anything positive, anything optimistic, despite parents’ attempts to get me back to life, cost me a neurosis (I was 10 years old). Two psychiatrists didn’t make any difference. My emotions, I mean, emotions that I was able to share with people were just smile or any plain emotion, that had no reason to sit inside of me and steal space from the pain that now became just a part of me. My existence without her was my own kind of Hell.
Desperate, my parents decided to move, leaving a piece of my, a piece of their own history.
Starting the new life in Kiev was the same as I was re-born, but the pain is still in my chest, my personal Black Hole still causing me numb pulsing pain from time to time.
Hitherto, 5 years, 8 months, and 28 days later, I still miss the part of me, that Nika took with her, the part that was substituted by the Black Hole in me, I still preserving my emotions, spiting them out just in black symbols on the paper or intangible thoughts. Hitherto, I can’t share my old pain to protect my beloved ones, hitherto, I can’t share it to save them from the immortal pain. Hitherto, without Nikki, my life is “insiped...”





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