Inside a mirror

by Anna Masucci

I remember how beautiful you were that morning. With your hair in a messy bun on top of your head you sang that song, your favourite song: “… all life endlessly goes round without a reason…”. You looked at me in the rear-view mirror “… everything comes from nothing…” then you pointed at me smiling
“… nothing remains without you…”. I burst out laughing and covered my mouth with my hands. When I think about it after all these years I wonder why I did it, maybe it was an attempt to contain my emotions: when you looked at me they were so overwhelming that I thought I could drown in them.
Like every morning you stopped the car in front of the school and I stepped out. You lowered the window and kept on singing softly “… and nothing remains without you…”. I kissed you on the cheek and took the pathway. Then I turned to watch you drive away. You were beautiful in profile as well.
Thirteen years have passed since that day. And I still don’t understand.
I tried in every possible way.
Over the years, I succeeded in being top of the class, later I graduated summa cum laude. I volunteered at the hospital, where I spent whole days with the terminally ill. I got married, then I divorced, then I got married again. For a few months I tried to get into Buddhism. I went to therapy twice a week for ten years. No answers though, no consolation.
I tried to go back there. I hoped I could find something, there where you decided to drown in nothingness. Something that might have influenced you, that might have hit you inexorably. No clues, no revelations, only an ordinary lake, almost invisible in the mist.
Had you been thinking about it for a long time?
Did you make up your mind in that moment? Did I kiss you on the wrong cheek, did I wash my teeth wrong, did I wear odd socks? No notes, no goodbyes, no hints. You didn’t hesitate before leaving that morning; you didn’t look at me in a different, final, way. Or maybe I have forgotten it. I can’t remember your face anymore, I only remember how beautiful you were with that messy bun rolled on top of your head.
This morning, while I was driving, I heard that song on the radio, your favourite song. I pulled over near the school, I looked in the rear-view mirror and my daughter pointed at me singing softly “… and nothing remains without you…”. I don’t know how she happens to know it, nor where she’s learned it. I burst into tears. Mum. I covered my mouth with my hands. I will never drown with you again.