We met by chance and would happen to lose sight of each other one day. That was the deal. We didn’t like saying goodbye.
We were often afraid. Above all, we feared the morning. We were creatures of the night. During the day we hid in dark rooms, with the curtains closed to keep out the hot summer days. We didn’t become active until the light began to change. At dusk, we swarmed like flies over the city we called our home. We found each other. We never met on purpose. It was a small town.
It was Katja who brought the pills one evening, when we sat on a bench by the canal, taking turns kicking a can. We swallowed them without asking questions. Asking questions wasn’t cool. We leaned back and watched the streetlights across the canal cast yellow spots on the walls of the former gelatin factory. We sat there and watched. Hardly a word was spoken. We were no longer part of the world. We observed it from a distance.
It became a regular routine. Sometimes we swallowed two pills if we felt like it. The hours passed, but we stayed where we were. As if time had no hold on us. We were heroes of a parallel universe.
We knew at least one of us would not live to see his twenty-fifth birthday, but we never expected it would be Joey. He was the smartest. He studied philosophy. He knew his limits.
(c) Leen Raats