Dita writes: "Our God is a God of miracles! When my mom was expecting me, all doctors said that it is for women like her that abortions are an option, since I was so sickly in her. No one guaranteed I would survive until childbirth - everyone guaranteed that even if I did, I would not live for long, and I would certainly not be able to go to a regular school if I survived till the age of seven. Many years, a regular high school, outstanding university results and miraculous healings later, here I am, and here is my praise to Him who saved me."
Honestly, if the
moment they left hadn’t been so terrible, it would have been almost comical.
Everyone has lived through that embarrassing situation when you think you’re
talking to your friend who’s walking right behind you and then you turn around
and no one’s there, and you’ve been talking to yourself for quite some time
now. That is a somewhat accurate description of what happened that day. Globally
though. So that was something new –
according to the majority, at least. There are also some who say they should
have seen this coming, but now it’s too late. So they say. But they still go to their meetings (every day now, by
the way) and try to remember what was written in the book which was banned all
those years ago, shortly after my grandmother was born. I mean, more or less we
all know what it was about and what was wrong with it. Everyone knows. Banned
for the world peace, they said. But if I had to remember a line from it, I
would never be able to do it. None of us can, really.
While I don’t agree this whole thing has something to do with the book, I do think that the fact that there is something none of us can remember is worth looking into. If none of us can remember this bit, what else is there we have forgotten? Anne says I’m being ridiculous, but she herself was pretty much out for the whole day because it was a Saturday. She missed it. She can’t even remember what she was doing the moment it happened.
I personally think I haven’t forgotten anything about that day. I woke up at nine, no rush, seeing that the diner opens only after eleven on Saturdays. I got dressed at about half past nine and turned on the TV as I ate breakfast. I remember that nothing interesting had happened anywhere. Some flood in South America that had been contained. Politicians preparing for the next elections. Preparation for the annual celebration of the Liberalism Day. Now, those I’ve always liked. The city becomes so colourful and lively. The news report ended with the weather forecast, and I was relieved to see the weather would be fine. That was the last day. Ever since then we’ve only had storms.
I chose to take a bus that day, shortly after ten o’clock. It was quite empty so I could just sit down and look at the people on the streets. I remember some of them in a very detailed way, especially the woman in the short, red dress. It was obvious she had taken the surgery only a few months ago, because she still couldn’t walk well on her heels. And there was also the thing about her biceps. Her biceps were still too big while her legs were still too thin and muscular. It’s not a rare sight, but this one I remember very well because I caught her looking at her own reflection. She smiled. I love it when people smile. The last thing I saw of her was how she threw her long, strawberry blonde hair back.
I got to the diner shortly before eleven. When Jack and I opened it, it quickly filled up with people. I had to rush from one table to another with no chance of rest, and in between of all those orders I managed to slip in some beer someone had accidentally spilled on the floor. I remember the moment of falling. Everything always seems to slow down, at least for me. I saw the ceiling, I saw the shiny light bulbs in it, I saw the tiny flowers someone had drawn as an ornament, and I thought it was weird I had never noticed them before. I tried to grab the table to my right, but it was too late, too far, and it was then he caught me and straightened me up. I turned to him. Kind, brown eyes. Tall. Handsome. I liked him immediately.
“Are you alright?” he asked. I’ve thought about this so many times afterwards, trying to find some answers, but I can’t think of anything extraordinary. He had a deep voice, but nothing special about it. He was real though. This is important. He was real.
“Yeah, thanks for the save,” I replied. He nodded and walked past me, to a table where Mr. Donohue was waiting already. This is also important. He was there too and they were both real. I remember thinking he must be Mr. Donohue’s son as I continued taking and delivering orders, while they both just sat there and talked. There was peace radiating from them. Perhaps I just imagined it because I liked the guy, and I’ve certainly always liked Mr. Donohue. I’ve always defended him, even when there was suspicion that he might be distributing the book – lies, complete lies. The peace force never found anything on him or in his home. All he did was earn bad reputation, which is why he always ate alone at table three and no one ever joined him. Except for that day, of course.
I’m good with people’s faces, it’s my job. So I know exactly which tables those were which were left with an empty seat at exactly twelve o’clock. A woman at table one, who had been drinking a glass of juice at exactly that moment. It was the noise of the glass shattering against the floor which made me look up from the list of orders. It wasn’t the only glass we lost that day. There was a young girl at table two who had been eating an omelette together with her mom. The poor woman went into shock when the girl disappeared and her fork fell on the table and from that on the floor. ‘I was looking straight at her,’ she kept repeating over and over again. I will never forget her voice. Table three, of course. Both Mr. Donohue and the young man weren’t there anymore. That’s a shame. I would have definitely approached him at a suitable time. Table six – the old woman of the company sitting there. Table seven – three at the same time, a whole family who had been having lunch with a relative of theirs, apparently. The relative, a woman, was left staring into empty seats.
Let’s be honest – we were all staring. And then the phone calls began. The breaking news on TV. The internet was flooded with videos taken of the people during the moment they disappeared. And the reactions of the people who had been with them. Opened mouths, wide eyes, such complete, authentic expressions of shock on their faces. Like I said, almost comical.
But the man’s touch was real and his eyes were kind when he looked at me that day. Just my luck. The one guy I would have wanted to get to know closer, and he literally disappears in thin air a few minutes after saving me. Some things are just too good to be true, I guess. Whereas some things which we thought were too terrible to be true turned out to be exactly that.
As to what happened that day, exactly, and why it happened – who knows. More and more versions are presented to us every single day. Aliens, the whole world tripping because of something the government has put into our water, some new biological weapon – these are some of the versions I’ve heard of so far. I have one of my own. I don’t have any clue of their whereabouts, but I do believe they’ll come back. And one day, maybe even tomorrow, Mr. Donohue will walk through the door of the diner and sit down at table three, and his son will come in soon afterwards and sit down opposite of him. As if nothing had happened, as if it had been just a joke, because they had known our reaction would be priceless. And we will all laugh about it and the whole world will sigh in relief. And at the first chance I’ll get I’ll call mom and this time she’ll finally pick up, and I’ll finally hear her voice again. And she’ll laugh at me too, like Mr. Donohue. Maybe even tomorrow, I’m sure of it.
I’m sure of it.
(© 2016 Dita M. – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)