The thirtieth day…
Yes, the thirtieth day has passed since he has got here. Into his new home. HOME.
The frozen tongue refused to pronounce this painfully familiar and once causing an anxious delight and joy word. How unimaginably new it now sounded in consciousness!
Despair. Despair, dimming the mind. Tears – what about? Maybe of those long time gone and irrevocable days of simple man’s happiness? Of sonorous men's voices and happy children's smiles? Of a united family, which he was eager to have?
“Father…”. He has, actually, never heard this wonderful sound – and will never hear it now. NEVER. The mind gloatingly hinted that this is so – it can be no other way. But the heart, the heart, which have suffered so many torments and suffering – his heart refused to believe that. It always refused to trust in pain and grief. Always. Or… until the 30-days old events only?
And still… nevertheless, it’s his new home for now, no matter how blasphemously this word would now sound. A street. Almost constantly locked up at night doors of buildings. City dumps, where it was seldom possible to find some sort of food…
“No, no, NO!! This cannot be with me, only not with me! Why, why, why?!”
Silence. Deadly silence. The silence of the night. Words have left a withered throat into a darkness of night and have died out in a far distance. There is no response. He will have to search for answers himself.
Then – weakened, wasted, with scars all over his body – traces of struggle against colleagues by misfortune and city’s thugs, with a face, covered by purulent scabs, – he has fallen to the ground. He hasn’t even noticed, how suddenly the earth approached and his body, having hit it with a dull sound, kept lying motionlessly…
* * *
…He did neither remember, nor know, how many time has passed. And, probably, didn’t even want to. What’s the reason? To find a livelihood and a lodging for the next night – were his needs not limited by this only?
Then he opened his eyes. Tried to move – and desperately screamed from a sharp pain and a bloody haze in his eyes. The hand, his right hand. The one, which has rescued him time and again in fights on dark alleys for a piece of bread, the one which helped him to sometimes open not too qualitatively made locks of city buildings – he felt it no more. Totally, completely. A bone fracture, a dislocation? Most probably a dislocation and a painful shock, which has followed it… That’s good. Could be worse – much worse.
We will make it. We will survive, reason, – I tell you!
Hospital? What hospital are you suggesting me to go for, reason? And was it not you, my accidental witness, of how hundreds of people during those thirty days expelled me and threw me away from public transport, how teenagers mocked me angrily, how adults unfriendly mowed and how young girls turned away from me with such an expression on their faces, as if they have just seen the nastiest thing in their life? There is no place for me in the world of those ones. No more a place.
A-a-a-r-r-r-g-g-g-h-h… no, stop it! Only not those images, only not them! Memory, my obliging aunt who has been serving to me so right earlier, – what sort of malicious joke are you going to play with me?! Stop it, I beg you! I have already submitted to my fate! I have put up with it – do you hear me? I had!
Or… or not completely?
Questions, questions, questions… Questions, irritating both mind and heart. Lonely questions without answers. Servants of pain – spiritual anguish. A pain again – this time from a hand. That’s not too much. That one will be gone.
“They, it’s they who are guilty!” once again he wanted to growl spitefully.
Yes, it’s them. Harmful businessmen, liars, rascals. They have cheated him, as well as hundreds like him. He did not remember all the details for now but firmly remembered one thing – they have got his apartment by a deceit. The fucked company, false agency! Bastards!
Stop. Only not rage. No more hatred. He was already tired of it, too tired already.
Thirty days… how much he has learned and understood during those thirty days!
With what contempt he looked at all these needy and unfortunate people earlier! How much arrogance and complacency was in his eyes, obscured by formal well-being. How many simple human requests he rejected, referring to a lack of time. A lack… now, seemingly, he has this time in surplus – but what sort of time… He even betrayed once – his close friend and the fellow worker. Wanted to earn money… Has earned. And his friend got to prison for financial frauds – tried to prove, that he was a fictitious person. If only he also knew, who did that…
“One has to pay for everything,” he thought suddenly, “for all things made. To redeem own crimes.” A cruel lesson, indeed. He was, however, cruel as well.
He stood up, looked around. He has come – has returned to his home… Not to himself, though, not to his home. He perfectly remembered what was his home for now. And nevertheless… something uncontrollably pushed him to enter this familiar front door, to feel house smells – for the last time in his life. He will not return to this building anymore.
And then, having thrown aside all cowardly and bitter thoughts, firmly pushed his fractured hand to a breast, he has moved on – started wandering to a front door of this house. The door slowly swung open and some married couple went out of the doors – probably on a walk. He made a jerk and approached the entrance.
The young girl made a wry mouth and whispered something to his beloved one’s ear. The beloved one tried to strongly seize a man with a ridiculously bent and pressed to a breast hand, moving to a front door, but that man has suddenly whispered – “Only for a minute. It’s my former home”, – and a man’s hand, almost ready to seize this nasty vagabond, has suddenly slowly dropped somehow, a flickering of understanding moved in his eyes for an instant and, having murmured “yes, certainly”, he stood aside.
…Forward and upwards – to the third floor. Here it is, close and familiar… almost native. And who might be living in his apartment for now?
He listened. Somewhere behind a door, the dog was vigorously barking, possibly meeting his master. Somewhere a child was crying. Somewhere people were swearing. And only once during all that half an hour that he was standing, having leaned against a wall and remembering the former life, somewhere from above a many-voiced and joyful laughter has reached his ears.
He came back a short time after. Away from his home. Or straight to it?
The ground floor… mailboxes, similar to cast bunkers. To look in? But who can write him? Who?
And still, he looked into it – in a box with the large and bold number “30”. The thirtieth day… the thirtieth apartment…
There was only one letter – with his initials on it. With his! He looked at its date. Yes, it was brought twenty-nine days ago – the apartment was still owned by him that day. He has overrun its text. At first, the bewilderment, then amazement, a smile, and a pain were reflected in his face. However, if somebody has accidentally seen his face this instant – he would accept its expression for some sort of predatory grin.
Not trusting his own eyes, he looked through the text lines once again. Everything is correct. His mind was still serving him well. There is no mistake possible.
Large letters and words “notice”, “fortune”, a name of his sister, living abroad, and a sum of one hundred thousand dollars were the last things that lived in his consciousness that day. His legs gave away and he fell down, unconscious.
A rising sun could be seen in a building’s windows…