The soap umbrella

by Anna Masucci

I had forgotten how nice it was to be hereunder.
I had forgotten how good we felt together hereunder.
Blowing it was the easiest thing in the world. It took years to complete it, and yet it seemed to me we had just begun. Every day either of us used to blow a bubble. Do you remember the first one? When we met, on an August morning, both lost on the sand, both lost in our thoughts, I stumbled upon a small bucket and fell into your arms. You opened them wide. We couldn’t say no. We walked all day long and maybe the following day too, I can’t remember it, when I am with you space and time vanish like a soap bubble. Like the bubbles we used to carry with us. You kept them in your pocket, I kept them in my purse. That moment, I haven’t forgotten it. “What is the thing you like the most?”. “It’s easy. To make soap bubbles”. “Are you kidding?” I opened my purse and showed you my tube of soap bubbles. You put your hand in the pocket of your jeans, pulled out your tube of soap bubbles and put it next to mine. We burst out laughing. We couldn’t say no. “I hate the sun” you confessed me. “I loathe the rain” I replied. Then we had an idea. A soap umbrella to protect the two of us. Every day one of us would blow a bubble. Sometimes we blew two bubbles, one for each of us, sometimes only one bubble with two mouths. It was the easiest thing in the world, bubbles came out on their own: the first kiss, the first I love you, the first book we read together, the first argument, the first reconciliation. Blowing was like breathing, loving was like living. When the world became unbearable, a look was enough and we immediately found ourselves thereunder, where nobody could hurt us, nobody could catch us.
Then one day you stopped blowing. You used to say that the tube had run out of water, that you had run out of breathe, you were too tired, you didn’t have the time. I continued to blow on my own. “He only needs a rest, he will come back full-throated” I said to myself. But you didn’t come back. You went away, I saw you from hereunder when you put your empty and faded tube on the table and shut the door. I couldn’t say no. I waited for you to start the car and I stood up. I took the umbrella made of soap bubbles and folded it, bubble inside bubble. I stuck it into a black box and put it in the attic. It is still there, today I bumped into it by chance. I opened it a little intimidated.
I had forgotten how nice it felt to be hereunder.
I had forgotten how good we felt together hereunder.