OTONO-48Darkness, silence, and unconsciousness inhabited Susana’s brain until she slowly opened her eyes. Strident pulsations hit her senses, as she woke up to the painful and unexpected reality of knowing that Ana had passed away. The news was so shocking that Susana fainted at the same moment that she saw Ana’s body through the window of the room where she was in the clinic. Her heartbeat could be heard a meter away by the force with which it hit her chest. The tears in her eyes flowed uncontrollably. And a question floated over her nebulous mind, how many times can a mother’s heart suffer the loss of a child before it is finally broken?

OTONO-53While Susana suffered, immersed in terrible pain, with a magnitude surpassing any conjecture or logical explanation that tried to mitigate her tragedy; Eduardo was still immovable on the floor next to the window of the empty room where the doctors had already removed Ana’s body. His gaze was lost in an abyss of rage and disagreement with life for having taken away his happiness with Ana’s death. The nurses had made several attempts to make him react to or go home, but Eduardo seemed not to listen, and like a heavy stone he stayed in place. He surprisingly felt an unmistakable and warm hand that caressed his face. Instinctively Eduardo looked up. Then, as if he were a small child, he threw himself into the arms of his mother who was standing in front of him, to release all the suffering that was stuck within his being through the sea of ​​tears that flowed from his eyes.

The hours passed; Irene went to look for Susana to take her back to her house. Eduardo left with his mother. The doctor told them that in two days they would deliver Ana’s ashes to them, because they could not be in contact with her body. Temporarily Irene stayed at Susana’s house to take care of her twins; so that Susana could suffer her pain and mourn the loss of Ana without limitations. The two days that they waited for Ana’s ashes were black, long, and full of endless pain.

Eduardo and Susana met again at the hospital to receive Ana’s ashes. They both agreed to spread them among the rose bushes that Ana had planted in front of the house. There was no ceremony, no parting words were said, they had no friends supporting them, only the two of them silently crying out their pain.

OTONO-49The following days were strange for everyone; Ana’s absence caused a void inside the house that made it impossible not to cry or to ignore for a moment all the memories captured in every space of the house. Eduardo reconciled with his parents and spent more time with them than with his children. Susana struggled to stay on her feet each day, displaying a strength that faded each night by being alone in her room.

Three months passed, during which Eduardo hardly spoke or spend time with his twins; with most of his day spent away from home or as a student at the university. Until one afternoon, just when the sun dyed the sky with red clouds, illuminating the ground with its golden rays and imaginatively setting the trees on fire by covering them with its orange heat that Eduardo told Susana, “I’m leaving the house! Forgive me and don’t judge me please. Do not worry that I am not taking the twins, because they are yours. Ana gave them to you; from the day they were born. Nor am I abandoning them. I will call them often and come to see them whenever I can. I have made a university transfer to study elsewhere. “

OTONO-34Susana remained in silence watching Eduardo without saying a word or showing any reaction when listening. Eduardo felt Susana’s gaze on him like a sharp sword that was piercing him very slowly with incomprehension, disagreement, and disappointment. However, he kept speaking, “I have tried not to feel empty inside. I have tried to continue living normally, but I cannot. What I am suffering, is slowly killing me. Ana’s absence burns me inside. The memories of her tear my soul. At night I don’t sleep; I hear her voice calling me, I see her presence everywhere. Susana I am going crazy by the absence of her! I need to heal my soul; I need to regain confidence in myself. Since Ana is gone, I feel lost in a world where I do not fit in, where I can’t find my way back home without feeling pain. I need to heal my wounds, but I can’t do it here. For the welfare of my children, for my own mental health, to be able to find a better future, I need to get away and find myself again. I am not selfish, I am not abandoning my children, but every time I see them, the memory of Ana’s face eats me inside. Please, Susana, tell me that you understand. “

Standing in front of Eduardo, and with a harsh voice, Susana said, “Go away Eduardo, do what you consider convenient for you. At this moment, I cannot think about what you are saying, much less understand you, but if you ever want to return, this will continue to be your home. ” Then Susana went to her room.

OTONO-30Eduardo lowered his head, he wanted to stay and show how much he loved his children, how much he loved the memory of Ana, but the urgent need to run to find the inner peace that he had lost and that he could not find in that house full of memories prevented him from staying. Eduardo went to the room where the twins were, hugged and kissed April strongly, and then did the same with John. Then he grabbed his school bag, the same one he had arrived with when he left his parents’ house, walked to the living room, turned off the lights, went out to the street and locked the door. Then he began to walk absorbed in a world full of restlessness and indecision, which prevented him from recognizing the emotions he was feeling. Indescribably lost in a hurricane of confusion, his steps were slow and awkward. The melancholy looks of him had his face reflecting loneliness and sadness. However, he kept walking in search of a miracle that would restore his faith, hope and desire to continue living.


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