My only life

My only life

Publisher: Laguna

Link for Amazon


„It was about time for me to seriously turn over a new leaf in the novel of my life. I decided to seek out the strength to do it by going on a trip that was to instill in me at least a whiff of courage and fill my sails with the wind of wise bravery. I booked a two week sailing trip on a boat with total strangers. There were seven of us; four women and three men. Actually, two 47-year-old women – Vesna and Datsa, one 19-year-old girl – Militsa, and me with my thirty three years of age. Two men were around 43-years-old – Novak and Sasha, and a 46-year-old captain of the boat Nikola. One thing we had in common was that we were all single. That was an additional relief, because that way I wouldn’t have to answer any questions about coming alone, where’s my boyfriend and so on. But I’ll come to that later. In all honesty, what made me happy more than anything else was that I wouldn’t have to witness the everyday smooching and touching of two lovers, his masterful crafting of a seashell necklace that would forever adorn her chest, or the situation in which she sweetly asks him to put sunscreen on her back because she’s lying on her stomach and she has taken her top off, because she wouldn’t want to accidentally expose her breasts which are reserved for his eyes only. As if we would all be burning with desire to see them, as if in all these years we hadn’t seen enough of various tits watching us from all sides ¬– from movie screens, TVs, magazines, clubs, not to mention the beaches… And then the two of them would start playing the guessing game – what he wrote in Coppertone on her back. Naturally, he would write the kind of stuff I could predict even before the calligrapher had started writing: I love you, then: you are the most beautiful girl in the world, then: I want you… And then he’d dive into the sea with the aim of bringing his little seashell a sister seashell from the bottom. Then she would wait on the bow, anxiously looking at the surface of the water and keeping track of his time under, because he had never stayed underwater for so long. Afterward she’d start panicking and crying, we’d all comfort her and the bravest guy would jump into the water to rescue him. But at that moment a surprise would come. The diver would unexpectedly materialize on the deck behind her and startle her with a gentle “boo!” Of course, to top it all off, she’d start proving Darwin’s theory by grooming, picking, and scratching her male’s back like a female monkey. Ugh! There was none of that here, not by a long shot. The sense of freedom, width, discovering the most secret places of the coast only reachable by water, exploration of the sea, the peace and quietness of the open ocean, interrupted only by the fantastic sounds of sails cutting through the air, the dark ultramarine color of the open sea and the azure color next to the shore, sleeping on the deck, far away from the shore and looking at a sky dotted with stars that makes you aware that you’re a part of the universe, waking up at dawn with the first sunrays… The sensation of the indomitable power of nature! I would’ve enjoyed it if my birdbrain didn’t start clucking on day two. Not being able to restrain itself, it clucked out something that I couldn’t have imagined would come out of my beak, even in my wildest dreams. Vesna and Datsa are friends. Vesna has been divorced for three years and she has a 23- year-old daughter. She’s relatively well-preserved, hottish, and works at the airport as a ground stewardess. Datsa is a very voluptuous woman with huge (natural) breasts that always take center stage, and during a conversation with her they simply draw your eyes to her cleavage even if you may not be interested in analyzing it. She works at a duty-free shop at the airport. She never married and doesn’t have any children. She’s slightly logorrheic, nosy, and loud. But that doesn’t mean that she’s not loveable. Militsa is a typical 19-year-old kid, who thinks that she knows everything. Everyone’s saying that she’s supposedly “very hot”, but for my taste her shoulders are too broad and she has a tiny man’s ass. I mean, a woman has to be woman and not a man, hasn’t she? She’s not studying anything and I guess she’s modeling. I don’t know much about that, and I’m not interested in knowing. Doesn’t matter. Novak is a lawyer and Sasha is an orthopaedist. They’re both going through a midlife crisis. Novak is a handsome guy and he never married. Sasha has been married three times and has five children. I never figured out or remembered how many children he had with each wife. He’s divorced now. Nikola looks just like we all imagine sea captains. He even has a little Popeye pipe. And so on day two, totally unprovoked, I started introducing myself to the other passengers and telling stories about myself and my life. I mean, that wouldn’t be at all unusual if I hadn’t… Here’s what happened: We were sitting in the cockpit of the boat, watching the sunset. Even Datsa didn’t disturb the silence, as she sensed that everyone was enjoying the sound of the waves and the occasional breeze that was swaying the sails. I was also enjoying the idyllic atmosphere, thinking about how I could live somewhere next to the sea and make enough money for my basic needs by fishing. I imagined how I would build myself a cabin with my own hands and how I’d live there peacefully, away from the city bustle, smell of asphalt and exhaust fumes. I daydreamed about living without stress, fear of getting fired, of going hungry, of unpaid taxes, electricity and phone bills… because here I could live without everything that is necessary for city life. I would be my own boss and my life would be a success as I’d be able to fulfill my small needs, because they’re small and related to the essence of being. I would live in harmony with myself and my capabilities. Maybe I would meet a fisherman with similar interests who’d live for us, for the sun and the sea… Our children would grow peacefully. We would teach them how to read, write, and do basic mathematics ourselves. In the evenings we would tell them fairytales, teach them about significant historical events, the animal and plant world… the love of life. – Oh how I miss my children… I said suddenly. Quietly but from the depth of my soul and so clearly that in the idyllic silence it boomed over the open ocean. My eyelids were lowered and I didn’t dare lift them up because I could feel everyone looking at me, expecting me to continue. The silence continued but not for as long as I hoped it would. – Ah, honey, you have children too? That’s lovely! How many kids do you have? Two? – Vesna and Sasha shouted joyfully. I struggled to open the heavy iron shutters of my eyelids and answer the question. I don’t even have to open them – I thought. Who cares, I’ll just say two. – Three. Two boys and a girl. My God, what’s wrong with me ¬– I thought and the iron shutters opened up by themselves, opening wide the view into the lying soul itself. – Oh, wow, three already? You’re not that old! I mean, no offence, I meant to say you’re in really good shape. Judging by your body I’d say you gave birth once, but three times! Well done! This remark from Militsa offended me, but it also encouraged me to carry on. I even regretted I couldn’t then say six, as that would surpass even Sasha with his five kids and it would make me the most respected one on the boat. But it wasn’t Sasha who gave birth to his children. It was his three wives, and with that in mind, my three kids equaled a Medal of Honor. – Thank you. My husband and I decided to have the second child right after the first because I had a really easy labor. He was even there for my second labor and recorded everything with a camera. He was so fascinated by how bravely I handled it that I gave birth to the third child a year and ten months later. Oh, I was so proud of myself. This was a bombshell. Not even the sea, or the sunset, or the sound of the wind could compare to me anymore. Everyone was looking at me with admiration. – You, girl, are very young! Are you going to carry on? ¬– the captain said sweetly. For the “very young” part he’ll be getting coffee and breakfast from me every morning, served on the bow. – Ah, my husband wants it desperately, but I don’t know if I could manage everything. Besides these three children, who I’m very dedicated to, I also have a company to run. So far I’m able to keep everything under control, but I don’t know if I could with another child or two. I mean, we can afford to hire a nanny but I wouldn’t want that. These two weeks of sailing were a gift from my husband so I could completely relax and rest, because I haven’t gone anywhere in four years. – And what does your company do? Novak asked the question. He was more interested in that than in my three, and maybe a few more, children. I was trying to think of an answer at lightning pace that would match the previous amazement and solidify my position as the undisputed first lady of the sailing boat. – During my first pregnancy I was finishing my economy studies and after receiving a masters degree we started an import-export company. We are importing a lot of different goods. Mostly… sardines. They sell brilliantly. Sardines? That obviously crossed my mind because of the daydreaming that had led me to utter the unbelievable sentence that started it all. – Sardines? Really? What’s the name of your company? – asked the divorced Vesna. In reality she was the only one among us who had ever had a husband and she had flown by plane a million times before, while I was simmering and cramped on buses. What lie am I going to deliver up now? How can I come up with a name for a successful company that no one has heard of? And maybe Vesna, the wife-mother-stewardess, asked me that because she loves sardines and knows all the importers in the country. Maybe they’re serving sardines on planes for lunch. And particularly on the long distance flights on which she used to work. – Well… it depends. I mean, what I wanted to say is that we have a couple of so-called daughter companies that do the importing. Currently the company called Pelamami is importing. Hmm… that’s made up of starting letters of our children’s names: Petar, Lana, Marko, and my husband’s name, Milan. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that they wouldn’t ask for any more details about the sardines. I cleverly devised the names so I could remember them during the next twelve days that I had to stick out on the boat. Petar is my father’s name, Marko is my colleague from work, Milan is my boss, and Lana is my friend who I already mentioned. There, I took advantage of her again, but this time around it couldn’t hurt her in any way. – I haven’t heard of that company. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it, I consider it my fault, because I’m a lawyer and I strive to know the market. Honestly, I admire everything you’re achieving. I felt bad for Novak. He’s obviously a caring man, but he’s always unhappy. I said before that it seemed like him and Sasha were going through a midlife crisis, or the crisis of a lost generation. Novak was in the same type of crisis that I was going through now, at the age of thirty three. He obviously hasn’t found a kindred spirit and he has a need for love. Since he looks good, I believe that he has had a lot of girlfriends and he thought that time was passing slowly. He got too comfortable in the hands of many different girls and this summer he had come to his senses. That’s why he came to the boat; to turn a new page and distance himself from the past. Five time father and orthopaedist Sasha was also looking at me with admiration. Me? Him? I don’t know the reasons for his divorces, I don’t know whose fault it was, if it was anyone’s, but I could see that it was difficult for him to listen to my stories of idyllic and dedicated matrimony. I noticed a salty drop in his eye while I was feverously retelling, to the minutest detail, the stories of my “family moments.” I felt horrible, but I couldn’t help it. I had the urge to feed my pointless life with made-up essence for at least those two weeks at the sea. But it wasn’t easy. Fabrications kept piling up as time went on. Baroness Munchausen, unlike her famous ancestor, couldn’t always remember all of her lies. The only good thing in all of this was that no one even considered that a lovely young woman, mother of three, married to a man who adored her, and who ran a successful business, would ever tell any untruth, let alone a complete lie. I tinkered and fiddled, and sank deeper and deeper. I got the names of my older and my younger son mixed up, then my son’s and my husband’s name, because I had used people I worked with as prototypes for each and I couldn’t remember whether Milan was my son or my husband. Not to mention the name of the company. Pelamami, Pamalemi, Pimelama… Militsa caught me there a couple of times as she perfectly remembered everything I had said. If she only used that memory on school books maybe she’d have managed to enroll in a university. Oh, I can’t even talk about her, she gets on my nerves! And then the stupid sardines. There was captain Nikola with his inquisitiveness. He asked about the quality, countries of origin, the number of sardines in a can, sizes of cans, weight, purchase prices, import fees, taxes… Naturally, as the precious importer I was supposed to know all this. After we docked in the first marina, I darted off the boat, ran to the first internet café and dug up a bunch of data, so one day I will definitely be able to fulfill my living on fishing dream, because after two hours of surfing the internet I became an expert on the subject. Furthermore, as I gave birth three times, Vesna naturally had the need to share the experiences of pregnancy and labor everyday… Talking about it was so strenuous that I felt like I went through three pregnancies just by talking to her. I also pretended to be a little jealous of my husband’s female colleague because she invited him to dinner the day before. Then I couldn’t sleep all night because I unbelievably, but really, felt pain in my chest and a lump in my throat. Datsa was there for me more that anyone else. We talked till dawn. I mean, she did the talking while I listened and nodded, which wasn’t bad. For once, it was actually good. I was exhausted. And Datsa kept talking and talking… About missed opportunities, loves… At first I listened to her and tried to understand because, I guess, to distract my thoughts, she told the story about the greatest love of her life. About a man who was married, but didn’t have children, with whom she had a fifteen year affair but who at the end never gathered the courage to divorce his wife. She really knew how to pick a comforting story! Oh, Datsa… You’re certainly not the only one. As she put it, the relationship with him made her waste the best years of her life, from the twenty fifth to the fortieth. Because of that relationship she didn’t have children… and then after they split up, her hormonal balance was a mess and she couldn’t get pregnant. But she understood him and still considered him her greatest love. I felt like slapping her face to make her snap out of it. I felt like telling her that I invented my whole life story, that I don’t have a husband or children or company or stupid sardines… That I never had anyone I could call my greatest love, but that it certainly wouldn’t be someone who destroyed me. Who destroyed my only life and saved his fucking life. But I gave up on dealing with her because I was angry both with her and him and his wife, who probably suffered and pretended she didn’t know. And from that moment on I just kept on mindlessly nodding as if I was listening to her, and in fact I was shutting my iron shutters. I didn’t even notice that Militsa was looking at us the whole time. Just before dawn she walked up to us and hugged Datsa, telling her how she understood her and apologized for eavesdropping, but she listened because she felt bad and couldn’t sleep. While she was here with us, on the boat, her parents were divorcing. I prayed to God that the captain wouldn’t show up with his own sad story and sink us all together. But finally Datsa said something that she obviously wanted to say right from the beginning. Something that was intended as the “comforting story” for me, “the one whose husband sent her to take a break from her duties, so he could dine with his colleague.” – I wanted to tell you that there’s no need to be anxious and worry about the dinner… You’re a fantastic young woman of subtle, classical beauty and he certainly can’t sleep at night because he dared to let you travel alone, and he knows how irresistible you are to other men. It never occurred to me that Datsa was talking about me. To be frank I didn’t feel attractive or irresistible or fantastic. It had nothing to do with my made up marriage story, but in general, I never saw myself as a woman capable of enchanting anyone. – Everyone here is talking about how you enchanted our captain. I gave her a confused look, not expecting her to continue her story. – Listen, just the other day, when you were checking your business emails at the internet café, he and Novak were at a café and he told him that you’re his prototype of an ideal woman and that your husband is a lucky man. “If I had only met her earlier, I’d instantly marry her! She could be happy living in a little stone house by the sea. I know it! I can feel it! You take the stars out of the sky for a woman like that.” That’s exactly what he said. He even said that what he liked the most about you was your kindness, your wits, sense of humor, how easygoing and sincere you are. Sincere! I wonder how I didn’t notice it at that time. I was obviously too preoccupied with my lies. Internet café… How can it be that I didn’t feel anything? How could I miss it? I didn’t even take proper note of him, not in the way he apparently deserves. I saw only the Popeye’s pipe as his defining characteristic. Then I started to remember all of his gentle looks, shy remarks, all his commonsense views that perfectly matched mine, his appearance… He was strongly built, tall, with grayish stubble… and… I couldn’t remember the color of his eyes. Maybe steel blue… no, maybe it was hazel… I recalled the second day on the boat when he answered Militsa’s provocation in a nice and manly way, after which I really did start bringing his breakfast to the bow, but I did it somehow routinely and out of kindness. I recalled him gentlemanly taking my hand as I was coming off the boat, and the time I tripped on a rope and he gently held me around my waist and carried me onto the dock. He restrained all of his manly affection and did it with so much decency and respect. He talked about sardines with so much interest… He was already telling everyone at the boat about me with admiration, while I was doing my research at the internet café… He wasn’t interested in sardines, cans, weight, and taxes… He just wanted to be close to me since he couldn’t be with me. And the stone house by the sea? Yes, he was talking about that too, although I didn’t even listen. Instead, I was sitting across from him, daydreaming of a cabin by the sea and my wish to meet a man who’d want the same thing and who wouldn’t need anything more than us, the sun, and the wind… And that man was sitting three feet away from me. – Let’s go inside, girls, the wind is picking up! We’ll continue later, I’m wiped out – said Datsa. What am I going to continue with, my sweet Datsa? – I thought. – You go; I’ll stay for a little while ¬– I said almost silently. They went below the deck and I heard noise coming from down there. I looked at the sky and saw clouds racing over it like balls in a pinball machine. Nothing existed anymore. Not one sarcastic remark about my personality, my wishes, my strivings, my doing, or anything else. Everything had already been said enough times. I wasn’t worth mentioning anymore. I watched the cabin door expecting him to show up. Just to see him, to memorize every pixel of his face. He didn’t appear; instead a storm appeared that was rapidly getting closer. Sasha and Novak lifted the anchor and turned on the engine. The wind was so strong that it was literally throwing us onto the rocks of a small island. As soon as we started sailing toward the marina, the anchor came loose and dropped into the sea. We were only couple of yards away from the rocks. We all tried to yank it from the bottom, but it seemed almost impossible because the boat was veering under the force of the wind and rain, threatening to smash against the rocks. At last he appeared. Turquoise! He had turquoise colored eyes and thick, bushy eyelashes. He smiled at me gently and quickly rushed to our assistance. He was the only experienced seaman and the rest of us were just trying to follow his instructions. The deck was slippery, the tilting of the boat made everyone sick, the boom was flying around and it took skill to dodge its blow… Vesna was calling for help, Datsa prayed to God for forgiveness of her sins, while Novak, Sasha and Militsa were more collected. They calmly followed all the captain’s instructions, maybe too calmly, as if they thought they had nothing to lose if we smashed against the rocks. Our boat became the boat of the drowned, literally and metaphorically. Captain ordered everyone to grab the anchor rope and pull on his order. We hopelessly repeated it probably one hundred times. Militsa’s palms were bleeding from the roughness of the rope. The waves were twirling us in the water, as easily as if the boat was a surfboard. There was no way to yank out the anchor as it was obviously firmly stuck to a rock. The captain then suggested that all the men jump into the sea, dive down and try to dislodge it. The suggestion made Novak’s and Sasha’s pale and exhausted faces even whiter. But that was the only way to salvation. They had no choice; they jumped after the captain and disappeared into the depths. I held onto the railing of the boat and watched the sea like Penelope. Occasionally one of them would surface to breathe in and then return to the bottom. Novak yelled that they needed help. – I’ll jump!!! – I screamed. I thought of how at least I wanted to leave this world as someone who fought bravely and worthily for other peoples’ lives and my own, whatever it was like. This was the moment and I didn’t want to let it slip. The man who had slipped away from my life was already in the sea. I won’t be able to bring him back, but maybe I’ll be able to help him return safely to his own life. – You can’t do it! You have a reason to live! You have three children! I’ll go! – Datsa shouted. – No, I’m going! – Vesna yelled. Militsa wanted to jump in too, but was stopped by her bloodied palms. – Please, I need to go and help them! I have to do it! – I was out-shouting the wind and the waves that were breaking against the rocks. – Hurry up, already!!! – We’ll all die here – Novak and Sasha were roaring from the water in broken voices that were bellowing from their seaweed covered mouths. I had no time to explain why I was the one who needed to jump in. At one point I just climbed onto the deck and threw myself into the sea. It was freezing cold and dark, almost black, with thousands of strings of seaweed. Like the arms of an octopus, they tangled around my hair and body, entered my mouth, nose, ears… I couldn’t breathe in well enough to dive down. – Sweet Mother of God, help me! I have the strength to do this! I have to have strength! I’m stronger than I think! – I was quietly repeating to myself… and dived in. One of the men pulled me strongly to the bottom, took my hand, placed it on the rope and gave me a sign to pull by squeezing it. I drew superhuman strength from my body. We couldn’t pull out the anchor. I surfaced to catch air and met face to face with the captain. The bow of the boat turned suddenly and rushed toward us. I gathered all my strength and rose over the surface, caught the captain’s head with both hands, pushed it under and dived down together with him. Realizing that I did it to avoid the bow coming straight at us, he pulled me down by the legs so we could dive even deeper. When we emerged back up, the boat was on a completely different side from us. – Are we going to die? – a shaky question escaped straight from my heart. He watched me with admiration in his sea-colored eyes. He was so beautiful. I had never seen such a clear look. His hair was swept away from his face, revealing a gorgeous, large forehead. He had the nose of a Roman legionnaire and clear-cut jaw bones. – We are not going to die. Courage is immortal – he said. – We did it, we pulled it free! – Novak and Sasha were shouting and swimming quickly to the boat. The wind suddenly started to calm down, as if someone’s magical finger had flicked the switch to turn off the sky fan. We climbed onto the boat with the little physical strength we had left after the whole ordeal. The others were already lying on the deck, wet and out of breath. The captain and I laid our exhausted bodies next to them. Everything was silent. The only thing that could be heard was the raindrops that were joining the now completely calm sea. It was one of the nicest and saddest moments of my life. I watched the faces of those who fought in concord and were ready to sacrifice themselves for others, those who didn’t truly know one another and were just drawing sketches of each other’s qualities, those who had their quarrels and conflicts due to the long time spent in a confined space, but were still ready to support each other. And where was my face? Where was I in all that? I tried to be brave and valiant, but was it because I needed to redeem myself for the twelve days of lying to those people in order to fascinate them, or because I had no choice? I asked myself a million questions while lying on the deck of the boat of the drowned, almost lifeless: am I running away from love and masochistically enjoying pain and suffering while looking for an excuse? Is he maybe looking for one too? Maybe he’s just like me? If his look was shouting and screaming from the epicenter of his heart, it would surely make me pull out my anchor lodged in lies. That’s it – I was repeating to myself, looking for a justification for my weakness. If he truly liked me, he would’ve felt that I was inventing my life. He would have asked me a question with which he’d carefully try to reveal it. He’s experienced enough to be able to figure out that I was fabricating my ideal life on the go. If he was a real man, he would have discovered it and forgiven me because he’d know that I was doing it out of despair and a need for true love! Well, he’s not a real man! And he has bowed legs. They weren’t actually bowed. They were completely straight, hairy, manly legs, whose feet were touching mine as we were lying next to each other. I started crying. Quietly, silently curving my lips while my throat was narrowing not able to swallow saliva. My nose was plugged too… I started to suffocate and inaudibly gag, choking on my own juices. I saw him as a mirage. I saw him clearly, turning toward me and lifting my head with his powerful manly hand, grabbing my lips and starting to kiss them, bite them, lick them and suck out the water from my throat as his velvety tongue wandered around my palate… He ripped my shirt with his other hand and pressed my breasts, massaging them with his rough fingers… My body shivered with hot and cold waves flowing over it… Lava and ice were tightening around my fingers, feet, calves, knees, thighs, groin… He was looking straight into my eyes, repeating something I couldn’t decipher… I grabbed his face and put my fingers on his cracked lips and then in his mouth, entwining his tongue with my thumb… His shoulders were broad, his chest muscular, his biceps sinewy and veiny… I snatched his hand and shoved it between my legs squeezing it tightly... – Take me… ta… ke… I waaaannntt… I’m… yoouuu… r’sss… – I shouted in some strange, broken voice. He tried to pull out his hand and spread my thighs… I bent at the waist and threw my head back, over the side of boat, with my hair cascading down… I opened my eyes widely… Everything was upside down… The sea was undulating over the heavens and the clouds were covering the bottom in snow… Blood rushed through my body like mountain rapids… My chest surged out from beneath the ripped shirt to grab the air… I felt the weight of his body on my stomach… – Love me… please… love me – I moaned. I put my hands on his head and tangled his hair, grabbing feverishly onto each string… I was searching for his eyes… turquoise… sea… salt had gathered on his eyelashes like frost… and his lips were salty… – Kiss me… – I whispered eagerly. I tempted him with my half-open lips. They were swollen with desire and bitter saliva was flowing down them… Again, the sea caused a tempest in my eyes… The salt made me suffocate… – Lo… ve meee! Looovee meee!!! – I screamed gurgling through the tempestuous waves on my face. He was shaking me nervously while I shook with hysterical trepidation putting my legs and arms around his waist, hips, legs… – Smack her, smack her face! – someone shouted. – Yes! Hit me! Love me! – I was screaming. He gave me a sharp smack. – Strong! Stronger! – I kept yelling hoarsely. – I can’t… Help me… I can’t hit her… she’s so… – the captain was saying through tears. – She’s delirious! Snap her out, she’ll suffocate, she’s lost it! – Water is in her lungs, we have to try get it out again! A blurred image of disfigured people was dithering in front of my eyes. At times their voices were wailing like an old, stretched cassette tape. – Who are these people? What are these voices? The dam in my aorta had burst… all the water from my body will flow out to the sea… and flood the land… Where did he go? Who is he? My whole body hurts… – I was saying to myself. Another smack flashed. A woman’s smack. I saw faces more clearly and heard their words more discernibly. They weren’t smacking my face, they were pressing down on my chest in a weird way. – What got into her to jump into the water like that? Novak and Sasha already got the anchor! Why did she jump? The captain would have jumped in if there was need for that! – I saw her face; she was just looking at the water absentmindedly and suddenly plunged in! – Good Lord, she swallowed so much water. It’s horrible! – Everything will be alright, she’s coming to… I was lying on the deck, listening to them. What were they talking about? Hadn’t they seen the captain diving down with me and helping Novak and Sasha? How could they miss it? Weren’t they shouting for help? I didn’t just jump in like that. – Hey, you! Didn’t you help us climb on board when the heavenly fan stopped working? Didn’t we all lie on the deck like sardines… and then the captain turned around and started kissing me in front of everyone. He wasn’t afraid to demonstrate how much he wanted me… and loved me… and I wasn’t afraid to show it back. Stop lying to me! Stop! – panic was overwhelming my soul and mind. – Her eyes are watering again but there’s no more water in her lungs. Seems like she coughed everything up. Should we give her something to calm her down? ¬– I don’t know, ask Sasha. He’s an orthopaedist, I guess they’re taught about that kind of thing. No! Ask Vesna, she used to work as a stewardess, she knows first aid! As I was gathering consciousness, it became clearer what they were talking about. I didn’t want to go back to their reality. I wanted an injection that would put me to sleep. – I can’t take it anymore… – I spoke quietly – I’m tired… of everything… I’m tired… – There, she speaks! – Vesna yelled. – Everything is going to be alright, my pretty one, you’re a strong and brave woman – the captain was whispering to me. – Am I…? – I smiled briefly with a slight irony in my voice. He was watching me concernedly, with a fatherly look. He didn’t say anything else, he just smiled. – It was all a lie. All of it – I uttered and fell asleep. I don’t think that anyone understood what I wanted to say with that short statement. I fell asleep and slept without dreaming for eighteen hours. It was around two in the morning when I woke up. I went out to the deck and saw that we were anchored by the dock in the marina. Everyone was asleep. I decided to leave the boat without saying goodbye“.



My only life