Pictures in the Attic by Maria Fokas
Rose Do you feel the shadows that lurk beneath your skin when you lay yourself down to sleep? I feel them every night. Sometimes I am petrified that it is because I choose to be an imitation of what I truly am. Could that be it?
Isabella I don’t know. It could be misery keeping you awake. The kind of misery that awaits in the pitch dark of the night. Or maybe you just gave up.
Rose Is that what you think?
Isabella It is nice to have discovered that the darkness can hide the mistakes of man; to help us survive, even eternity regardless of them.
Rose What a sham to pretend that eternity matters to anyone without the faintest idea where they will find the resources to survive the very next day.
Isabella And why do you walk with a smile on your face when everywhere you look it’s all coming down?
Rose Is it because Faith is dead?
Isabella It is because love is dying – life is shrinking. Can’t you feel it?
Rose Do you think I’m dead?
Rose We are only human Isabella. We have no aptitude to bear boredom, to feel nothing and survive it. That is why relationships end.
Isabella No, Rose. That is why hedonism prevails. We feel the end closer each day and fathom that we were meant for more than what we have now – and that mask you are wearing – take it off!
Rose Why am I fake Isabella?
Isabella Would you rather I be the fake because I choose not to live in a world where I am bought and sold each day to greed but instead I create my own where I can be free?
Rose And what does this world of yours look like? How is it more real than mine?
Isabella You don’t see past the anger you feel for a world that you believe has failed you. So you criticize a reality you cannot change but in the end accept it as the only way. When you do not find answers in the light you resent God for the promises they claim he made. You look for a villain to blame for all the wrong; as if life was ever meant to be easy and hardships merely malfunctions.
Rose How can you discard reality with such ease? You are selfish Isabella. You live a life by your own rules with no regard for authority. How can you care only about pleasure and not consider there are more meaningful things in this life we have to consider?
Isabella Is it pleasure you think I only crave? I come into a world that has no meaning. It is me that must provide it. I amuse myself with the beauty because it is so rare. I devour delight because it comes in drops and not in gush. I know life is a tragedy waiting to happen moment by moment. I don’t dwell on the things I cannot change. I create things that will make my brief stay meaningful. May I be fortunate enough to meet someone who feels the same way.
Rose I put my faith in beauty too Isabella; and on kindness. I am not dead – I am fighting for the same mark you are.
Isabella But the difference is that I see your world of misery and prefer not to be part of it. You see mine and condemn it. You resent me for choosing my life over the vision of your daily death.
Rose How did we get here?
Isabella We grew up believing in a lie.
Rose You mean accepted a dream that was doomed from the start.
Isabella And then again, maybe we never had a choice.
Rose If I ever needed a safe world to stay, would you let me into yours?
Isabella Let you in? I don’t have a world without you.
Rose Sometimes I think you are right about me being dead.
Isabella No Rose, that is the one thing I’m always wrong about.
© 2014 Maria Fokas