• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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What would you do if the world wouldn’t end?

This morning
as I am driving Ana to school, she says: “Mummy, I do not want you to be old.” I glance at her in the back seat. She doesn’t look at me. Her eyes are on the world running past the window. She looks perfect. I know she isn’t perfect but in that moment, to me, she is the sight of perfection. Me and her, right now. Me: not old. She: not grown up.

A memory:
the tone of dark inside the houses in my grandparents village. My great-grandmother, from whom I’ve inherited my first name, lived in a typical ground-floor house. There were only two small windows. As a child, I liked visiting the old lady, despite her being so old and us having nothing to talk about. She would give me a biscuit, but I think that what I really enjoyed was the darkness there. I would do nothing and wait for nothing.

This morning, still,
after I drop Ana at school, I notice a young woman passing by, pushing a cart. Though plainly dressed, she is beautiful. When she walks past me I can see that she is carrying dozens of copies of religious books and leaflets. There are more and more people (more young people, it seems) warning about the end of the world or perhaps I just notice them more. In the local park, lately, there is always an old man standing by the entrance door, talking about salvation. “Do you know that Jesus is light, a father and love? Do you know which of the three is more important?” He never waits for other people to answer: “Light, because without light you can’t see the father and without seeing the father you can’t enjoy his love.”


What would you do if the world wouldn’t end?

What would you do if the end of the world was near
was the title of a book a man I loved once gave me and I did nothing with the gift. It would be foolish to fear the end of the world, because it’s happening. If I had had any doubt, it disappeared the moment my child was born; that was the moment my world wasn’t the future anymore. What would you do, then, if the world wouldn’t end?

A future memory
I’ve been having, since the family started to talk about what will happen after my grandmother is gone, is of the attic in her house, to which I’ve never been. As a child, I wasn’t allowed to go there, and after I stopped being a child, I stopped wanting to. I see an empty, dusty place; an utterly abandoned place. I feel uneasy and guilty. I feel a sense of failure for not being able to keep family storage spaces nicely full. The only comforting feeling is in the darkness, diminishing the need for every day urgency, and in the light, shining timidly through the old roof, with a ghostly hope.