“It`s not true, you know, what they tell you …. what I've been telling you.”
Mary stops her tedious work just for a moment and her voice slightly trembles as she asks Helen.
“What do you mean?!”
Helen sits on the bench and looks at the grey tiles. Her voice is weary.
“The pain … the sorrow … the anger. The feeling you could`ve done something else. Or more. It won`t go away. Ever.”
“But it will! It just takes time.”
Mary is calm as she answers. She hopes Helen hasn't noticed her frightened look, the lump in her throat. She wants Helen to stop talking, so she continues arranging the flowers and plucking the weeds around them. However, Helen is relentless today.
“No, time does not heal everything. It makes you kind of numb, at peace with fate – you know, the usual acceptance of “it`s normal, all things must come to an end, it's only natural….” And I tell you - it`s not enough. It was never enough. I keep asking – Why? Why her? Why not somebody else, somebody without … or no, somebody … far … or … sick … or …”
“She was sick too.”
Helen desperately looks at Mary but she is still busy with the flowers.
“She wanted to live. To live! Why did … ?!”
“Stop it! There's no use.”
“I wanted her to live, but I never told her that myself. I never thought I would miss her so much.”
“I never told her that either.”
“We didn't know how.”
Mary gets up and tries to touch Helen, but Helen doesn't notice it – her eyes are filled with tears and she`s already at the gate, leaving the place as if never to return. Mary kisses the photo on the tombstone as if to say “see you soon”. As the two sisters walk off, silence creeps back in, making everything at peace, filling the void. The unspoken words, heavier than lead, linger in the air for a while before they fall to the ground. Dark clouds gather in the sky as the dusk wraps around the cemetery. A gentle breeze carries away the heavy smell of burning candles, but the air is still sticky and suffocating. It`s going to rain. Again.
The photo is courtesy of Jelena Spasić.