Part 53 The Unraveling
Gia read Hana’s email again and again trying to make sense of the dreadful news, until she could barely see the text through the veil of sadness. She got up and sat down again, she clasped her shaking hands together, then crossed them over her queazy stomach. Surely she would soon wake up from this horrible nightmare. It just could’t be true!
Unable to sit still, she walked out on to the terrace in the garden. What was she supposed to do now? Lokie was dead. Why? Why on Saturday-their reunion day? Was it because of Gia? Oh, Lokie, why?
She reached for a weeks old packet of cigarettes on the windowsill, pulled one out and lit it with shaking hands. The smoke made her head spin. She paced back and forth…then sat down in a garden chair and stubbed out the cigarette. Suddenly Dana’s face flashed in her tortured mind. Gia pulled out her phone.
“Hey Gia, what’s up?”
Gia opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. It took all her strength to compose herself.
“Gia, are you there?”
“Oh, Dana…” Gia’s voice broke off. How was she going to say those words? It would really be true, if she said it out loud.
“Oh, no! Gia, what happened? Did you hear back from Lokie already?”
“Then what is it?”
“Dana…,” Gia took a deep breath, “Lokie, is dead.” she whispered.
“I just got an email from his wife, she said he died on Saturday…” Gia almost choked on the word died.
“On the day of the reunion?!”
“Yeah.., and do you remember the news about the dead guy on the rail tracks?”
“That was that him?!?”
“Yeah, I can’t believe I actually googled his suicide! And do you remember – I felt weird all afternoon, and then I was inconsolable all night? Well, that explains it! I was not going crazy! I sensed something terrible had happened all along!”
“That’s totally weird! Gia – I am sooo sorry…, I don’t know what to say. I just can’t believe it!”
“Me neither…, thanks Dana, but I don’t know what to do, I am…I am…”
“I know, what a shock! What else did she say?”
“She said, she understands what I was writing about, and that if I want, I can come or call her, and she will explain things about him”
“Wow, what a response in such situation!”
“So did she actually say he killed himself?
“Hm, no, she said he died…”
“So, how so you know it was the guy on the rail tracks?”
“Oh, I don’t know Dana, I haven’t actually thought about it…, you are right, she didn’t say it, but I know it’s him!”
“Dana, this is so horrible, beyond horrible, I don’t know what to do, or what to feel, I am so confused why did he do that? And…-”
“Okay, Gia – listen, I am almost finished at work, I will come straight after, and we will call her together okay? Oh, my God! I can’t believe it! This is just unreal…”
Gia put the phone down, and dissolved in shock again. Not long after she received a text from Dana to meet her at a bus stop. She was surprised that she got there so quick, but when she checked the time, two hours had passed since she talked to her friend. Nothing made any sense to her any more.
Her father was already at home from work, she didn’t even hear him come in.
“Hi.” he barely turned around, as he was making his lunch.
“Something terrible happened, a classmate died…” her voice quivered. He looked at her with indifference. “Yeah?”
“Can I leave the kids here for fifteen minutes, please? I need to meet Dana at the bus stop.”
“Yeah, that’s fine.” he uttered and took a big bite of his sandwidge.
Gia didn’t feel comfortable at all leaving the children alone with him, after the smacking incident last year, but the girls were watching TV, so she would risk it.
“Oh, Gia, I am so sorry, this is terrible!” Dana embraced Gia in a tight hug at the bus stop.
“I know, it’s surreal, I still can’t believe it’s true!”
“There, you want a cigarette?” Dana offered.
Gia nodded, tears rolling down her cheeks. Dana face was full of concern.
“I am so glad you are here, Dana, I don’t want to be alone right now.” Gia found her voice again, as they started walking towards the house.
“Of course, that’s why I am here….OH MY GOD, GIA!!! I just realized something, I am so sorry, I feel so stupid!” Dana’s expression now changed from concern to guilt.
“This is crazy, Gia, I feel so bad about it – remember the working title of the email to Lokie? How to kill Lokie?????? I didn’t wish him to actually die!!!!”
“Oh my God! That IS spooky!” Gia shook her head. They walked in silence for a few moments, as they were trying to digest this new strange coincidence.
“Dana, don’t feel bad, I know how you meant it. How could you have known? But obviously we both must have sensed something, you were helping me so intensely, you must have picked on it too!”
“I guess, you are right, but still – I feel so bad about it.”
Gia was glad that to find Aria still watching the cartoons, and Mimi was fast asleep on the sofa. She looked so angelic with soft curls framing her little face. Gia was fighting the tears again. At least her father retired upstairs. Less pressure to keep it together.
She opened Hana’s email and let Dana read it. “Shocking.” she uttered, all the while shaking her head. “And the most astonishing thing is, that she replied, and that she is willing to help you, Gia.”
“I know, she didn’t have to do that at all. I have a huge respect for her, Dana.” An act of kindness from a complete stranger stirred yet more powerful emotion in Gia. She was so grateful to her and to Dana, because she felt so utterly lost. She didn’t know what to do with herself…sit down, walk around, or just stand there?
After a while Dana stood up, “Okay, lets go in the kitchen,” she pointed at one of the chairs, “sit down, and I’ll make us a coffee, then you will call Hana, okay?”
Gia was more than happy to oblige, because her brain was not functioning. Dana made the coffee and checked on the girls. Then she sat down with Gia at the kitchen table.
“Okay, call her now, Gia – now is a good time.”
“Oh my God, you know how much I hate calling people, and now I am supposed to call Lokie’s wife?”
“I know, it’s hard – but you have to do it, Gia you know that, and the sooner you will do it, the sooner you will be able to put it all behind you.”
Dana was right. Gia took a deep breath and dialed Hana’s number. Her hands were shaking, as she listened to the dialing tone, then it cut off abruptly, and the voicemail came on.
“I think, she just cut me off!” Gia looked at her friend, just as the phone vibrated in her hand. A text.
“I am sorry, we are at a theater, please call tonight at 9pm after I put our son to bed. Hana” Gia read the message aloud.
“That’s good, Gia. She sounds like a good person, and she wants to help you, do not worry about anything.”
“I know, how is she even able to do this?”
She felt such deep sadness for Lokie’s wife, that she had to go through all this, and there was the little boy who lost his father. How terrible it must be for them! Who is Gia to feel so bad? She has no right!
“Let’s play Mommy!” Aria stuck her little head through the door.
“Okay, darling I’ll be right there.” Gia wiped her tears. “Let’s go upstairs.” she said to Dana.
They played in the bedroom for a little while, when her father suddenly burst into the room.
“You left the patio door unlocked, Gia! Don’t you ever do that again!” he was raising his voice. A pair of pale eyes bulging out of his head.
Gia just looked at him, unable to respond. Was he out of his mind? Lokie is dead, and he is shouting at me because of some stupid door, that is open all the time anyway?
“What an insensitive prick!” said Dana quietly, as soon as he left.
Gia, crying again, just nodded.
“Let’s get out of here, shall we?” Dana got up, as they heard Mimi’s little voice from downstairs.
“Yeah, let’s go to the restaurant, in the village they have a little playground there for the girls to play.”
In less then five minutes they were walking down the road, and Gia felt like she could breath again.
“Gia, do not get him get to you, right now, you have enough on your plate.” Dana squeezed her friend’s arm.
They stayed in the restaurant for hours, until Dana had to leave, and it was safe to return home. Her Mom would be back from work by now. Gia walked slowly along the tree lined little road leading to her parent’s house. She just couldn’t comprehend how people, they met on the way, just went about their day, as if nothing had happened.
The sun was still shining, and the birds were singing. Nothing had changed, but it had. Gia felt the difference in the air. Life stopped yet carried on. She could not comprehend it, and she felt so lost without Dana. How was she going to do this all on her own? It’s not like she can tell anybody else about it. Not the full truth anyway. How was she going to function with the girls. How could she pretend and hide her grief?
“Nanny!” The girls greeted their grandmother with a hug. She smiled and embraced the girls, then looked up at Gia.
“Oh, Mom! Remember that guy, I used to like years ago at school – Lokie?”
“Yes, what about him?”
“Well, he never made it to our reunion on Saturday, and I just found out today, that he killed himself.” A tear escaped Gia’s eye.
Mom raised her hand and covered her mouth “Oh, Gia, that is terrible, I am so sorry.”
“I can’t believe it Mom, I know I haven’t seen him for ages, but we were supposed to meet there and…and.. it’s just terrible…”
“It’s a tragedy.” Mum said, and patted Gia’s hair.
“I emailed him, and got a reply from his wife, she said I can call her at 9pm. Can you please help me to put the girls to bed?”
“Of course – but Gia, why do you want to call her? Do you think it’s appropriate?”
“I don’t know Mom, there is more to it than you know, I have to…”
Gia sat in semi darkness on the terrace in the garden. It was exactly 9pm. She held her phone and tried to dial a few times, but stopped the call getting through twice, maybe three times. Soon she would learn more about what happened to Lokie, and his mysterious problems. She had to know! She unlocked her phone again, dialed Hana’s number and finally let it ring.
Original writing and photo © Gia Joseph and Giasuniverse, 2015