What had she made for herself? Why, in so many shadows, did she see faces; a child in tears, a demonic old man, a monkey smiling, a woman, half-naked, in total abandon. Why these nonsense images? Why was she always hitting a wall; feeling weak, depressed; useless? Around her, a lake of salted memories. Most of them of people, family, friends, ‘lovers’, who should have been her support, but, in truth, had never really cared about her.

Her constant attempts to change their minds, an elusive goal, never fulfilled. Nothing, it was always nothing. Emptiness, a vague sensation of existence. A wall higher than the highest you ever will see, topped with spikes and faced with thorn bushes, forever waiting…silently. Braced for the pain, a pain her mind simply wouldn’t let go, it seemed she was both the cause and the target of that pain, all her being, using its strength to keep her in that abyss. Her entirety a confusion of blood, tears, pain and fear; repeatedly beating herself against the wall, hurting herself, making herself a miserable, ugly, shadow of a woman.

Unconsciousness had taken all her soul, not even a trace of who she had been, remained; now just a ghost in a world of spirits, just one more intangible apparition. She lay on the floor, cold, lifeless; her mind playing games of destruction and death. She had fallen, and in her descent had ricocheted from wall to wall of a blackened shaft. She had never prayed, never believed, so didn’t have a hope in ‘faith’ to make it through. She knew she could not survive – not without him. Why would she? His distance left her empty, and in that emptiness she created yet further walls. In her desperate bid for escape she collided with them again, again and again, waiting for the ultimate shattering blow, so in her extinction she could finally forget.

She didn’t rise from the ashes, she wasn’t a character in some novel, but a woman left as blackened soot, who would remain as cinders forever. Crawling like a worm, she was digging a hole where she could stay until everything ended. She had no crumbs of love, nor medicine for her pain; only the remains of the woman she once was, who had grown and blossomed by his side. She had shone, not because of him, but because of her, because of what she had intended to become with him; but now, she was only this, a vague memory of a dreamer.

She had thought he was only a brick, and that she was the sledgehammer, but the truth was: she was the gold, and he the miner. Simple, obvious, fatal.

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