Nine Days (Девять дней)

Dedicated to all who lost their loved ones...

 

Iveta and Rimas lived together twenty-seven years. Both of their daughters were married and had own kids. Everything went perfectly, nothing to complain about, not until suddenly and unexpectedly Rimas died. Quickly and ridiculously. On Friday, as usual, after taking a steam bath in his country house, and at night, unexpectedly died. Iveta even did not realize what happened. Rimas woke her up in the middle of night, told her that he could hardly breathe, for some reason asked for a glass of cold milk. Then he had hard a fit of coughing and while she ran for a glass of water for him, he has gone.

 

Next day Iveta did not say a word. Only at night, sitting near her husband, it seems, she had been dozen off for a minute. Moreover, here what she saw.

 

Dream number one.

 

Loudly, a little even disturbing the home phone standing on a table calls. Iveta slowly, indecisively, as if in a dream takes the call. In the depth of the soul already knowing that now she will hear Rimas's voice.

 

– Iveta, my sunshine. I know how you worry. However, you should not worry everything is ok with me.

– Come back to me, please. I cannot take it anymore.

– I cannot. It is forbidden.

– By who?

– I do not know. However, it is forbidden. I would return.

– Tell them that I will not be able to live without you.

– Well, I will tell. However, the main thing – do not worry about me. Everything is ok with me.

– Come back to me, please. I cannot be without you.

 

Suddenly she hears short beeps on the other side. Instinctively Iveta pressed a phone close to her breast and woke up. She still sat near her husband’s body and with a strength, painfully pressed the right hand squeezed in a fist to her heart.

 

Nevertheless, the next day Iveta had to break silence and to discuss some details of a funeral with daughters. In the afternoon Rimas was taken away in a mortuary. Daughters put her to bed, but she could not fall asleep. She could be forgotten for a while only around four o'clock in the morning.

 

Dream number two.

 

Phone calls again. It was Rimas again. Iveta surely takes the phone.

 

– Did you die?

– Yes.

– Can you return?

– No.

– Then I will die too.

– No, not now.

– Why? I do not want to live without you.

– Not now.

 

Iveta began to cry, but as well as last night, there were only short beeps.

 

The next day in the afternoon, her husband’s body has been transported from a mortuary in a church. Rimas looked beautiful and pacified. Despite daughters’ begging, Iveta stayed overnight near a coffin. Shortly after the last attendants left the church, she having no strength to cry anymore, nestled her forehead in total despair on the varnished tree and after a little while fell asleep.

 

Dream number three.

 

Phone yet hardly managed to ring out, and Iveta already sharply grabbed a phone.

 

– Tomorrow, you will be buried. - She cried.

– I know. - She heard the quiet, reconciled voice on the other side.

– You will be dig to the earth.

– Yes. Therefore, apparently, that is the way it should be.

– I do not want.

– I know. However, it is how it should be, it seems.

– Why you talk about it so easily? You know how much I love you?

– Yes. However, it is how it should be after all to bury.

– Are you sure you cannot return?

– No.

 

In the afternoon Rimas has been buried. That night we had to call the ambulance. After a soothing prick, Iveta fell asleep with sleeping pill.

 

Dream number four.

 

This time phone rings very long, but Iveta does not want to answer– she is afraid that Rimas will tell her that he has died again. Eventually, she does not withstand and unwillingly with a hand, shivering for excitement picks up the phone.

 

– Why you did not answer for so long? – She hears uneasy, but Rimas's real and live voice

– I do not want you to die. – She answers, so that it seems she died.

– I did not die.

– Then come home. I worry about you.

– You know, I cannot.

– "They" do not let you go?

– Yes.

– They do not know how it is painful.

That is not the case. It is just impossible.

– I do not want to hear this. They have no right! (Iveta breaks on shout again) Tell them...

Short beeps.

– Do you hear me they have no right!

In an anger which has overflowed completely now she throws the phone on a floor. It breaks thus into small pieces.

 

"Mother, mother... "– She hears her oldest daughter’s voice as if from far away. Saule speaks with the doctor about smashed phone and emotionally discusses something with him. However, sense of these, as from far away words poorly reaches Iveta. For the night, despite objection, she gets an injection again.

 

Dream number five.

 

Today she picks up the phone right after the first call.

 

– My sunshine, very painful to see how you suffer. - She hears Rimas's sad voice.

– Painful?

– Yes.

– You did not die, did you?

– No.

– Does it really hurts? – Asks Iveta with anxiety.

– Yes, very much indeed.

– Why? – Iveta feels worried even more now.

– Because of your sufferings.

– You died, – repeats Iveta as if to herself.

– No! – Persistently, Rimas continues to claim.

– Then come back.

– It is really hurts.

– What do they know about pain?

– They know everything.

– Then they will let you go.

 Iveta could hear his breath on a phone for a while.

– Do you really feel pain there? – Iveta starts to worry again.

– Yes. Your sufferings bring me intolerable pain.

– How I can help you?

– Bake my favorite pie tomorrow.

– Pie? With cherry? You must be joking.

– Yes, my favorite, cherry pie.

– What time will you come home tomorrow?

– I will give you a phone call.

 

The next day, not understanding what is going on, daughters tried to distract mother from her deep grief during the supper. The pie was cooked perfectly than ever, but Iveta did not touch a piece lying on her plate. When all left, she brought it to her bedroom.

 

Dream number six.

 

– Thank you, incredibly tasty. – said Rimas, eating up something.

– Did you really like it?

– Yes, my sunshine, very much, – Rimas's voice is unusually gentle.

– But you got one slice only.

– I ate EVERYTHING, – answers Rimas with laugh.

– You have not changed!

– How I can change with you?

– Aren’t you hungry there?

– No, they feed us well here, – he laughs again.

– What are you laughing at?

– Cherry pie and you.

 

All next day Iveta sorted old family photos.

 

Dream number seven.

 

About an hour, Iveta sits near the phone. Finally, the phone rings.

 

– Why you did not call for so long? It seems I was waiting for the whole eternity...

– I know. Sorry, I had something to do.

– Are you okay?

– Yes, more than ever.

– Today, I watched our photos for all day.

– Yes, I know, we watched together.

– You were so young when we first met.

– And you were beautiful.

– Were? – Iveta coquets.

– Now even more beautiful! – Rimas laughs.

– I am afraid to look at myself in a mirror these days.

– And I admire you all the time.

– Really?

– Yes, my heart.

– You never called me this way before... Can you come at least for a minute? I want to see you again.

– I do not know. I will ask.

– Come, please. I miss you.

– Me too.

 

That evening the younger daughter who came to visit Iveta after work noticed that mother tinted lips and made her hair.

 

Dream number eight.

 

– Rimas, I cannot hear you properly! Can you call back?

– No, I will not be able to call you anymore.

– Rimas, I absolutely hear nothing. Call back, please!

– I cannot, I am already too far.

– Rimas, I absolutely hear nothing. Can you speak in the phone?

– We have to say goodbye I leave today.

– Speak in the phone, please. I almost hear nothing...

– I-lea-ve-to-day!

– What?

– I lea-ve! – Rimas shouts.

–Can-not-hear-you, can you call back?!

– Say hi to girls, they do not answer the phone. I could not reach them.

– Yes, now I can hear you better. Ok, tomorrow they will be here. Call when they come over if you can.

– I have to leave today.

– Where?! Do not leave me! Please, do not leave me alone!

Short beeps.

 

That night Rimas tried to call two or three times more, but each time when Iveta with accruing alarm literally sufficed the phone, they could hear absolutely nothing. It was impossible to understand a word because of a continuous crash and hindrances on the line.

 

All next day Iveta cried. She refused to call the doctor. Seeing all this, one of daughters stayed at mother’s home just in case and, without undressing, lay down on a sofa in a guest room. Only in the early morning Iveta, having grown weak from waiting and still sitting on a chair near the phone in the bedroom, she had been forgotten for a while.

 

Dream number nine. The last.

 

– You are so beautiful. This white shirt looks so good on you!

– Thanks. I came to say goodbye.

– I know. Will you kiss me?

– I love you so much; – saying this Rimas gently touches Iveta's face with his palms and kisses the spouse.

– What a pity that you died...

Rimas silently makes a helpless gesture and looks at Iveta with easy condemnation.

– I understand. However, it is very hard without you. I cannot get used to thinking that you are not here with me.

– I am.

– I understand. However, I still cannot to get used to that you are not here.

– I understand.

– May I come too?

– Not now.

– May I call you?

– Yes, certainly.

– Will you wait for me?

 

Instead of the answer, Rimas silently kisses Iveta once again.

Since then he came only once, on the night of the fortieth day. Dressed in all white as usual. Radiant, quiet and happy. Remembering their long and happy joint life, he joked and smiled.

Over time, Iveta has got used to wait for his call at night. The next following after their conversations day she always looked happy, and in the evening, during the tea breaks with cherry pie, told to daughters the content of conversation with their father in detail.

Rimas, separate thanks to you personally. Thanks to your pure love and sincere attachment to your Iveta we at least a little, nevertheless have idea of that world.