11. All the voices

28K 2.5K 770

"Take a look around, you don't belong.
Miss the birds the sun, this all feels wrong.
Can't find a way to get it out of your head.
Can't find a friend, so you lose your mind instead." (Isabelle - Sirens)

  ''Want some cereal?'' my dad offered.

''No, thanks.''

My mum pretended nothing happened. My dad looked like he genuinely didn't know shit. She walked around the kitchen like every other morning, and he sipped his dark coffee and read the headlines on the TV.

''So you watched a soccer game?'' he said.


''Last night.''

''Oh,'' I looked down. ''Yeah.''

He nodded, unsure. ''I thought you preferred basketball.''

''I do prefer basketball.''

''Then why do you watch soccer?''

''I don't know. 'Cause everyone does?''

''And so?''

I leaned back on the chair, confused. Why the hell were we talking about this? What did this conversation even mean?

''You know, I could have been mugged,'' I said casually, the same way they casually avoided the topic. ''Could have been assaulted last night. They say it's a nice neighbourhood, but shit happens everywhere and I – ''

''– and you're a walking contradiction,'' my mum said. ''You complain that we treat you like a child and then you complain that we treat you like an adult. Do you want a curfew, do you want us to check your homework and not give you money anymore? Because I could do that, but I don't. Why? Because I know you. You are my son!''

She looked at me with all that sincerity of a caring mother and I didn't know how to react.

''And don't sit here and tell me that you're afraid of being mugged,'' my dad continued. "Would you like to live like a nun? No? Well then, learn to live, Pietro. Because life doesn't have a timetable. No one's going to be there to tell you when to stop or when to enjoy a moment."

I smoked. One cigarette on my balcony, half naked and half asleep. Another one after breakfast and this one in front of the school. I didn't even feel the taste of nicotine nor saw the smoke coming out of my mouth. I just inhaled and inhaled, waiting for the poison to reach my bones.

Dario was there, rambling about the Halloween party the way children do with Christmas. God, he was so excited about it. Now that Stiff and Diego were part of our crew, he said it would be the bomb. I wasn't sure if I agreed. I wasn't sure if I would come.

Gaia was sitting on her usual spot on the low wall. Legs crossed, hair hid beneath her hoodie. Eyes neutral as always of course, but colder. This time everything was colder about her. I was afraid that if I touched her, I would freeze to death.

It was the three of us now, Virginia was gone. She might have been standing there a few meters away, but she was gone. To us, to the world, to herself. She looked more depressing than a forgotten ghost. Blue skin, empty eyes and a shaking body. Maybe she didn't even look that bad, but everyone was shocked anyway. Girls like Virginia Colombo weren't allowed to show their flaws. She knew that, she just didn't seem to have enough energy to force another plastic smile. The trendy 'I just woke up and I'm a homeless alcoholic' look didn't fit her. Her yellow cardigan hung loose, her skirt wasn't ironed as perfectly as always. Her hair looked like she did try to do something with it, but then she just gave up. She might have even cried this morning.

Like HurricanesWhere stories live. Discover now