Saturday 21 June 2014

'Left Untitled' by Anna Tveritinova

It was getting dark outside and it was only 2pm. He noticed there was a small gap in the window and thin stream of cold air streamed through. He shivered and pulled over his green velvet jacket. He looked back at the room illuminated by soft yellow light. It felt like an oasis of life in midst of winter wilderness. He could sit here for hours, enjoying the sound of scribbling pens, ticking clock, and wind outside. But today he decided to finish early. The holiday spirit was already here and the students would be too distracted to do anything now.

“Alright. Time is up. Pens down.” What followed was a mix of groaning and relieved sounds. With reluctance test papers were passed to him. He delicately collected them and put them into his briefcase. “You can go now, today we can finish early. Have good holidays. Get some rest.” Happy faces streamed past him and he watched them with melancholy, already beginning to miss them. He returned to his chair and resumed staring outside.

He woke up from his daydream as the bell rang. Students began streaming down the corridors. Soon enough it was quiet again as they all went home, leaving behind much greater silence than the one they interrupted. He stood up, feeling the heaviness of his thin bony body, packed his briefcase, put on his coat and hat, and left. He met noone in the corridor and had noone to say bye to, not even the cleaners.

As he stepped outside, the cold wind greeted him with hostility. His body became tense as he prepared to fight the weather. Just then he looked up at the sky and even though it was still covered densely with eternal clouds, he could imagine the vast universe and space that lay behind.

He went up the stairs and took out his keys. His wife and daughter won’t be home for another few hours. He turned his key and entered the apartment. The wooden floors creaked. The boiler was working and the air was hot. He took off his shoes, placing them next to other pairs. Just then he noticed an unfamiliar pair of boots. He frowned and with caution walked deeper into the apartment past the living room and into the kitchen. There was a new freshly opened bottle of red wine on the table. Noises from a bedroom lured him in and when he slowly opened the door he recognised his wife’s nude body in someone’s arms. Without saying anything he closed the door, took the wine and went to his daughter’s room. He sat on her bed and looked out of the window onto a small snowy park. He put on his shoes and made his way to the park, still holding the bottle. It occured to him how strange he was going to look - a lonely man sitting in the park on a cold winter afternoon, but he didn’t care any more.

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