I was sitting close to my husband’s grave for a second hour or so, I think. I didn’t even notice when the dusk approached. I did not like to stroll across the entire cemetery after dark. And I was lost in thoughts again. I wanted to turn the clock back. I was always locked in two minds after the accident happened. I kept blaming myself for his death, even though my friends were explaining me that it is pointless. This day was coming back to me when I slept, night by night…
„Do you remember that we are visiting Jola and Mirek this evening?” I screamed from behind the kitchenette to the bathroom, where my husband was getting ready to leave for work.
„Today? Oh, Honey, I almost forgot. I have an important meeting.” Janek poked his head through the bathroom door, and tried to win me over with a soothing tone.
„I told you about this two weeks ago and reminded a week ago. But the work always seems to be the most important thing for you!” I lost my patience. Jolka was my high school friend. She and her husband had a wedding anniversary that day. I promised them that we will come.
“Honey, you know how it is nowadays. The boss scowls at everybody. He’s just waiting for someone to spoil something. He will use it as a pretext to cut our bonuses, or, what’s even worse – to fire us.” I knew this sniveling by heart. I was perfectly aware that Janek remained in this corporation for the benefit of our couple. We dreamt about our own single-family house. And about a flock of children under its roof. So far we had a house, ourselves and a huge credit contracted for two-thirds of our lives. Sometimes I was wondering whether I want to live like this. Janek was always away from home, our dreamed home. I think I preferred our students’ time more, when we were squeezing in a small dormitory room. But at least we were spending most of our time together. I was the happiest girl in the Universe back then. Now my crave for Janek’s presence was turning into frustration. I needed just a small excuse for quarrel…
„Perhaps you should marry your boss and move out to his place!” I would explode.
„Oh, Honey, don’t you think you’re overreacting?” Janek was slightly irritated.
„What am I for at all? Do you still need me for anything? Perhaps you don’t love me anymore, perhaps this is the reason why you take refuge in your work!” I said, completely losing control over my utterance.
„I think you are going over the top, Anka…” My husband lost his humor. He would address me like that always when dark clouds were looming on the horizon of our relationship.
„Is this all you have to say to me? Why don’t you make up with something and rearrange this meeting? Perhaps it will be better for us to get a divorce. We constantly miss each other.” I was spitting out accusations.
„Ok, I am going. Thank you for this fantastic morning. I do not know what bit you. You don’t really like Jolka anyway. I don’t know why you’re still hanging around with her. But, it doesn’t matter. If that’s what you want, you can go alone. I’m going back to work, someone at our home needs to earn money.” Janek had his revenge now. He knew that my professional career is my tender spot. I lost my job half a year ago and I was unemployed.
„If you’re going to support me, go to hell! I can cope one my own, you will see.” I failed to remain calm. I only heard the door slapping behind Janek and the following squeak of our car’s tires.
I hurled the dishcloth forcefully, went to the living room, and turned on my TV to cool down. I was unable to keep my sit. After a while my thoughts started to settle. I analyzed every uttered word. Janek was right, indeed. I was all matey with Jolka, as I didn’t have any other closer friends. And she was always around. I shouldn’t have started this. I looked around the house. I remembered how, day after day, week after week, we had been furnishing the house. Janek was getting new promotions and perks, and I was spending his money, running around shops and buying furniture, carpets, small curtains and everything I could dream about. It’s true, back than I wasn’t worried that Janek is working 12 hours a day, sometimes even longer.
I decided to call him and apologize for our morning row.
„The person you are trying to reach is temporarily unavailable, please call later”. The familiar voice announced that Janek’s mobile is switched off. He wants to strike me back, I thought. Half an hour later, I tried again. The same thing. This time I was a little worried. I made a call on his company phone, so it should have been turned on already. I froze. I was sitting for dozen minutes, gaping thoughtlessly at a one point. And if he will leave me?
The ringing phone woke me up from my meditations. I picked it up, not looking at the display, as I was sure that it was my husband.
„Hello Honey, I’m sorry for today. I don’t know what got into me.” I burst out.
„Mrs. Anna Nowak?” A strange voice cracked in the headphone.
„Yes.” I answered, confused.
„Your husband had an accident. Please come to the hospital at Wiślana Street as fast as possible.” A strange voice, even though quite kind, sounded like a message from hell.
„I’ll be there in one minute!” I screamed.
I landed in the staffroom; from there I was taken under the operating room, where my husband was fighting for his life. My dear Janek. I don’t know how long it lasted, an hour, four, five maybe. Finally, a doctor emerged from the operating room.
„Are you Mr Jan Nowak’s wife?” He asked, not giving away what happened.
„Yes.” I confirmed the second time today.
„Your husband had a car accident. I don’t know any details. I’ve heard that some woman drove out from a side street. Mr. Jan got some serious injuries. We did everything what we could. I am terribly sorry.” The doctor looked with obvious compassion, touched my shoulder and rushed to do his other duties.
I fell on the ground.
I don’t actually remember much from the last weeks. I was taking huge doses of tranquilizers. I did not shed a single tear since the funeral. I did not feel nothing. Or maybe I was afraid to feel anything? I kept blaming myself for his death. If we did not quarrel back then, he would have left his house after the breakfast that is twenty minutes later. This was enough for you to be close to me…
I was standing by his grave and kept looking at his photo. I felt cold prods on my cheek. I looked up. First snowflakes were shimmering in the moonlight. Suddenly, among regular microscopic stars, a white downy feather appeared. It was falling down, swaying from side to side like a parachute. It landed right on my hand.
„You should go back to your house. Your husband must be worried about you.” A grey-haired man appeared from nowhere. I smiled so slightly. He was right. He’s sitting somewhere up there and urges me to come back home, throwing feathers down on me.