Não foi a primeira.
Foi talvez a segunda, a terceira, a quinta, mas entranhou-se de tal forma em torno daquele desgastado coração, apertou até lhe tirar tudo, que ele olha para ela como se fosse a primeira, a real, a autêntica, a única.
As que se seguiram viveram para sempre na sombra, e nenhum amor floresce assim. Sequioso, definhando no escuro. Tacteando o solo árido, na esperança de encontrar mais.
Entretanto as raízes cresceram, estendendo-se, preenchendo-lhe os membros e o pensamento. Mesmo longe, estão sempre tão perto. Movem-se os dois como um só. Para sempre juntos.
Não foi a primeira, mas foi a última. Não dando espaço para mais nada crescer. Não foi a primeira mas, quando pensa nela, é como se fosse.
Eternamente a sua Eva, Eva daninha.
As outras choram, salgando a terra.
After a while of finding one thing and losing the other, eventually she manages to locate both keys and keyhole, where it should be, but certainly wasn’t a moment ago.
The house welcomes her. Then reminds her that it was “Quinn, party of two”, and she turns around to find him still struggling with the stairs. But slowly, he makes his way up, after her.
He pulls the hem of her dress, but asks for no goodnight kiss. These are not the times for gentle men.
She’s happy for choosing the red over the white one.
He follows her through the door.
She fidgets with the bracelet’s lobster clasp and gives up, because one can only accomplish so much in one day.
He trips on her neat stack of healthy eating and interior decorating magazines. Waiting to be recycled, gathering dust by the door.
She runs her fingers through the cracking wallpaper, tracing the way to the bedroom.
They undress. He is a motion blur, pushing her onto the bed. Her head misses the corner of the bedside table by two inches.
Outside, the whole world comes undone and rebuilds itself. She witnesses none of this.
He rolls over to the side and she distinctly remembers him looking more competent in that “Employee of the month” framed photo.
Soon, he is asleep. The noise and color of life becomes an annoying buzz and, soon after, the buzz begins to wear off.
She had to choose between “the strength to accept the things she could not change” and sobriety.
But the good guys never won, in any of her stories.
Next to her bed she has her great aunt’s vanity table. She stares at her own reflection. She counts flaws until she falls asleep.
At the entrance of the house he immediately finds a keepsake on the list: a shell she picked up on the beach, on the week they started dating. It sits on a dish along with spare keys, lost and found screws and other bits and bobs. He grabs it turns it around in his hand. On the inside of the shell, someone crudely etched the date. Three years ago. He tosses it inside the black plastic bag.
They spread out. The new girl, Florence, takes the kitchen, where there will be less items to grab. According to the list, magnets on the fridge door from countries they visited, and a set of matching glasses she got him for last year’s Valentine’s Day.
“I don’t think they were ever used”, the client had added. “We kept saving them for a special occasion.”
He likes having Florence there. Not only because she’s quite comely, but she helps fight the stereotype that women, emotional little things, can’t handle this line of work.
E.B., the other team mate, is the one man he’d trust with his life. But right now, he is only in charge of the living room, where most of the framed photos are, as well as some DVDs. As he bags them, he’ll be keeping track of time and staying alert for any activity near the front door.
He walks towards the bedroom, stopping by the bathroom first.
Lipstick on the little glass shelf under mirror. The client had added she used it to leave messages in the morning, but immediately regretted it, feeling like she had to apologize for herself for being the kind of person who does those things. He assured her it was okay. People were allowed to buy, do or say silly things when in love. He told her about that one story where he had to retrieve a shared intimate toy, always a hit at the office’s Christmas parties, and she smiled.
He opens the tube and sees that it is a shade of pink, not red. Not as much of a cliché after all, and she didn’t seem like the kind of person that would look good in red lipstick. Into the plastic bag it goes. He switches off the light, not before noticing there is no toothbrush for her, and walks on.
The bedroom is usually where the relationship shrine is located. In this case it’s quite tame, so he can easily cross off the remaining items off his list and declare this scavenger hunt over. As always, he starts at the opposite end of the room, working his way towards the door, top to bottom.
Bedside table. A framed picture of the two on a trip to what looks like Venice. It’s always Venice, that or Paris. Both smiling a lot and, ah, apparently she sometimes wears red lipstick after all. He squats down. Love letters and a mix CD in the middle drawer, along with old overpriced moleskines from when the guy must’ve still had artistic aspirations. Those are not on the list. With a glance he notices that the opening song on the CD is Michael Bublé’s “Stardust”, and he hums it to himself as he continues to scour the room.
On the desk, near the computer, a plush elephant with “Don’t forget I <3 you” stitched across the belly. According to the piece of paper he holds, that would be the “stuffed toy”, the one she won for him at a fair after he he told her “she threw like a girl”.
When she walked into his office, requiring their services, she had spoken with such longing and sadness in her voice that he had a feeling she’d call in the middle of the job to call it off, willing to give him a second, third, fourth chance.
He checks his phone and there is nothing but his dog staring back at him from the wallpaper.
He screens the closets, under the bed, the shelves, and crosses off the last few items. That one good book that got turned into a subpar movie, with her favorite parts underlined. A couple of old train tickets from some summer vacation where the best memories must’ve been made. A stress toy shaped like a plump little penguin that seems to have gotten a lot of use. Another photo, thick silver frame, but this time, only of her, holding a daisy to the camera.
The bag is now heavy with palpable memories and overrated nostalgia. He throws it over his shoulder and walks back to the entrance hall, where E.B. and Florence await him. He nods. They are ready to go.
They step out into the cloudy outdoors and E.B. confesses he was hoping for the guy to come home halfway through the job, realize what they were doing and, provided he didn’t call the police, beg them to stop because he does love her and doesn’t want to lose all those trinkets. Or her, either, for that matter.
He smiles, thinking it’s noble that E.B. is still a romantic after all these years they’ve been at it.
For how long have they done this? For how long will they have to do keep on doing this? It’s all about supply and demand, and right now the world needs these repo men for relationships gone wrong, people that will take from you what you don’t deserve anymore, for not loving enough. And then suddenly one day you get home and you lost them from your life. It’s not even a breakup, it’s as if they had never existed.
And he knows. For as long as people keep falling out of love, they’ll never run out of a job.
They get into the black van and drive off. Two more houses to go to, before the day is done.
It's a lot messier than she ever thought it would be, she probably doesn't look half as fierce holding a gun as she imagined herself, or even as when she practiced, curtains drawn, against the mirror. She had tried a smirk, she had tried a subtle pout, but now she settles for paranoia and panic.
She keeps correcting her stance. Testing more aggressive tones as she shouts out orders. If only people weren't so distracted with staying alive, they'd sense her fear, counter attack.
But they don't. They just want it to end, as bad as she does. Soon, they're handing her the bag. She could say something witty, but doesn't. She just walks backwards, changing targets nervously as she goes, trying to predict who wants to hurt her the most.
The next couple of seconds last a lifetime.
Outside, the world is peaceful - it kept running while all this was happening, before coming to a halt, now and just now. The trees sway gently to a summery breeze that you could enjoy just as long as you didn't have any sort of mask concealing your identity.
Closeby there's a park. If time wasn't standing still, or close, and light and sound with it, you'd hear the joy and laughter of children, and the indifference of youths. The patience and near-silent desperation of adults, the fatigue of young adults (or is it the other way around?).
But right in front of her, there is nothing. And it's not as if in those two seconds she can see her future, and into her past, pinpointing the series of bad decisions that have led her hear and will certainly take her through worse paths after they're done in this particular scenario. She is not just now realizing that maybe she ought to have been more alert on Career Day, as to not end up right here, right now.
In front of her, there is literally nothing.
She rewinds to the last night as she reviewed the plan and hasty sketches in all sorts of mixed media. Practicing with house furniture, having it timed until the optimal amount of seconds was achieved. He watched her, he listened, he didn't say much but she didn't take notice because his part was rather small. Hers would be the biggest wrongdoings. She just gave him the map and traced the route onto freedom that would soon follow. A place where the sum of their mistakes wouldn't matter anymore.
It was a plan, her plan for both of them, which in turn made it their plan.
But now, in front of her, there is nothing. No incognito blue, chromed, on a set of nonchalant four wheels.
Her partner in crime is nowhere to be found.
And she just stands there, motionless, caught entirely by surprise, denying that the one thing she didn't think would go wrong, has indeed gone wrong.
She drops the bag on the ground and kneels. This is not how it goes. It had always been for the two of them.
And eventually, as the sound of sirens grow near, shouting blue and red and disapproval, all she can think about is how long it has been since she the last time she was kissed, or even held. If she had held hostages, they would have had it better than she had.
When they point their own guns at her and force her head onto the concrete, she can picture him, apologizing, just apologizing, unable to say anything other than "sorry" or "I'm sorry". And she starts crying.
So maybe it wasn't the perfect second date.
- Colorful gourmet fancypants candy
- Chocolate covered almonds
- Sugar coated almonds
- Candy corn
- One chocolate bunny
- Two small chocolate chicks
- One bag of Dragibus (kind of round jelly beans)
- 5 pieces of Gorila gum in the following flavors: coke + lemon, passion fruit, strawberry, mint
- Spearmint Altoids
- 1 mint hard candy
- 5 dark chocolate cereal bars
Summary of what I have in my work drawer:
O acordar veio com um lento abrir de olhos. Antes sequer de tentar reconhecer onde estava, apercebeu-se da forte dor de cabeça, dor que aguardara que ele recuperasse a consciência para se fazer notar.
Foi a tentar levar as mãos às têmporas, para tentar empurrar a dor mais para dentro, onde se calasse, que se apercebeu de que os seus movimentos estavam restritos. Os pulsos amarrados aos braços de uma cadeira tornaram-no subitamente alerta, talvez até em pânico, e aí sim começou a tomar nota do que o rodeava.
Aquela cadeira que o prendia podia ser uma simples cadeira, se não o tratasse de forma tão hostil. Aquelas paredes pareciam recém-pintadas. Aquela cama era-lhe... familiar.
Foi a meio deste lento construir, peça a peça, que o audível click da fechadura da porta a trouxe para dentro do quarto.
"Que simpático da tua parte juntares-te a mim. Já achava que não poderia contar com isso hoje."
Sorriu-lhe, porque sorrisos escondiam tanto.
"Bem-vindo ao terceiro dia", disse, e, pegando num bastão, remeteu-o de volta para o mundo de sonhos de onde há pouco tinha regressado.
Recuperou os sentidos no que tanto poderia ter sido horas como dias mais tarde.
Já não estava preso à cadeira. Na verdade, já não estava na cadeira, mas sim deitado sobre a cama. Ao seu lado, na mesinha de cabeceira, um tabuleiro com bolachas. Sumo de laranja. Comprimidos. Uma orquídea numa jarra esguia.
Fraco, viu-se tomado por um sentimento de paranóia a que alguns poderiam chamar de instinto de sobrevivência. Não conseguia identificar o que é que naquele tabuleiro era o veneno, e o que era o antídoto, pelo que não arriscou nada senão ajeitar-se na cama, tentando sentar-se de modo a tentar estudar os arredores uma segunda vez.
Soltou um grunhido de dor, tão inesperado quanto impossível de conter. Um pouco como quando se ama alguém.
Este seu sinal de vida, canto de sereia, trouxe-a de volta. Foi apenas com os barulhos dos saltos aguçados ferindo o soalho que conseguiu perceber onde estava e, mais importante ainda, porquê.
"Gosto do que fizeste com este sítio", disse, recebendo-a no quarto. Ela poderia ter-lhe tirado tudo, mas não a iniciativa. Pelo menos, não sem lhe prender os pulsos.
"Agradável, não é? Consegui recuperar algumas coisas antigas. Uma casa para dois. Oh", acrescentou, desapontada, "não comeste nada ainda."
Tentou chegar-lhe o copo de sumo aos lábios, que ele prontamente rejeitou. O que lhe faltava em força física tinha ainda em força de vontade. De viver mais um dia, pelo menos.
"Vá lá", insistiu ela, "é seguro. Eu não te quero fazer mal. Não assim."
Bebeu um pouco, o suficiente para lhe provar que era inofensivo, mas ele estava demasiado familiarizado com a história da Branca de Neve para acreditar. Ela que mordesse essa maçã, tanto quanto quisesse, que ele nunca o faria. Continuou sem demonstrar qualquer interesse por aquela refeição, fosse a sua última ou não.
Com olhos suplicantes, perguntou-lhe porquê, e ela virou-lhe as costas, o que se traduziria por "Como se não soubesses já".
Foi assim que ele soube que já era tarde demais para qualquer pedido de desculpa. Bom, isso era um indício. As nódoas de sangue coagulado seriam outro.
Dança, imenso. Provavelmente já não vai ser a Moves Like Jagger, mas haverá outras.
Arrasta a bicicleta de exercício para o meio do quarto para poderes andar nela enquanto vês séries.
Manteiga. Já chega de margarina durante 15 anos.
Lembra-te que, no verão, roupa é para os fracos. Mas não negligencies o poder de cortinas fechadas, durante estes dias.
No inverno, usa as calças largas de tecido polar. Sim, as que arrastam no chão.
Sabe que uma refeição pode ser feita de pão e salada, sem ser preciso carne ou peixe ou queijo, desde que se escolha o molho certo.
Lembra-te que gostas de pickles, batata palha com ketchup, mostarda savora. Tudo isto na mesma sandes.
Relembra-te dos poderes curativos de um longo duche quente. Mas não demasiado longo, porque não devemos desperdiçar água e também porque agora és tu que pagas as contas.
Aprende a dominar a arte da massa com chouriço, queijo e pimenta.
Telefona, faz uso do plano de chamadas grátis, ri muito, ri alto.
Comida que passou do prazo de validade é só um desafio.