For the past few months he has slowly, very slowly, worked his way to a point of – not happiness or contentment, this will take more time, he knows; but to a point of numbness, a point where the memory of her skin does not burn his own skin at awkward times and places (most of all, his hands have missed her, so he has taken the habit of frequently washing them with ice cold water), where her absence from her side of the bed in the mornings does not tear through his heart like a knife the way it did at first. He almost feels pleased with himself. So when S. calls for the first time in weeks to wish him for the New Year, her voice crisp (and he cannot help picturing her lips and tongue forming each syllable, movement by tiny movement), he hopes, for few precious, misguided seconds, that either she wants to come back or he will live through it all, but the illusion shatters as his own words burst out, uncontrolled, uncontained, untamed, a flood of words of which he later has no recollection, he only remembers that ten minutes into the phone call -or maybe an hour, he cannot really tell- S. whispers that she is sorry, so very sorry, her whisper barely audible, and then she hangs up and his numbness is gone.
*Splashes of Red, ένα διήγημά μου για το γιορτινό αφιέρωμα του elculture.gr με εικονογράφηση της Κατερίνας Ανδρέου. Χρόνια πολλά!