Lady in Black
© Yuliya Alpagut, 2019
Created with Ridero smart publishing system
There are things that we just remember. There are things that we do not want to forget. There are things that we cannot forget, no matter how much we want it.
There is something that we easily forgive. There is something that is hard for us to forgive, but we forgive. And there is something that we cannot forgive, no matter how much we want it.
There are people we love. There are those that we thought we once loved. There are friends, enemies and just people. There are a lot of different people around us. But there are those with whom we would never want to meet.
Pain and tears sometimes generate understanding, compassion, and forgiveness. And sometimes they generate hatred and evil…
LADY IN BLACK
1. Who are you?
Spring. Friday. Evening. Eleanor sat in an empty classroom and almost finished checking the work of her students. The phone rang. The woman took her cell phone. Diana called. Eleanor exhaled wearily and took off her big glasses. Putting them aside, she rubbed the bridge of her nose with her fingers and finally answered the call.
– Hello! Hi dear! – she said when she brought the phone to her ear.
– Hello mom! – her daughter’s voice rang out, – When will you come? I thought you would come early! We agreed to go shopping with you! – the twenty-year-old girl said indignantly.
– Sorry, honey. I’m already finishing up. In ten minutes I will leave.
– Ok. I’m waiting for you. Bye.
– Bye, Diana. I will be soon, – said Eleanor and turned off the phone.
Fifteen minutes later, the woman finished her work and began to gather home. She threw a mobile phone and large nondescript glasses into her huge, worn and shapeless bag. A little tidied up on the desktop and, having thrown a bag over her shoulder, looked around at the empty classroom. Sighing wearily, she went to the door.
Eleanor was about to leave the classroom, but stopped near a large mirror that hang there. The woman looked at her reflection.
The forty-six-year-old primary school teacher looked rather unattractive. She looked repulsive. Dyed white, dirty hair was collected in a ponytail at the back of the head. “Bags” under small, inexpressive eyes, small sharp nose, dried thin lips, pale skin. Dry hands and broken nails… The woman did not take care of herself.
Eleanor looked at herself in the mirror. An unkempt, tall, overweight woman looked at her from there. In a shapeless blouse, like a robe, dirty yellow color, in the same, shapeless as a bag, long skirt disgusting swamp color and brown worn out sandals.
Eleanor looked at herself and smiled. Despite her ridiculous and even unpleasant appearance, she liked herself. And none of her entourage never told her how disgusting she looks. Most people didn’t care. And for her three children, she was just a mother. And the children look at the mother in a completely different way. They do not always notice how bad she looks or even the fact that she has already grown old.
Her husband did not love her. Just like she did not love him too. But no one ever talked about this.
The husband never told Eleanor how unattractive she looked. On the contrary, on social networks and in person meeting friends and acquaintances of their family, he sometimes talked about how beautiful she is. But it was just a lie. Only Eleanor did not know this. The forty-eight-year-old man, Marcus Ramirez, Mexican by birth, played the role of husband and father very well. Exactly played a role. He didn’t love his wife, with whom he had lived for over twenty years, nor his two daughters – 20-year-old Diana and eighteen-year-old Alice. Only the youngest son, fifteen-year-old Calib, was the only person in their family whom Marcus really seemed to love. All the others were as if only a part of some seemingly endless play called “Life”.
Marcus would have divorced Eleanor long ago, but he could not. He couldn’t because he was very afraid of convictions. The man was very dependent on the opinions of others about his person. Therefore, with all his might, he tried to play his husband and father roles as best he could. And he succeeded. There has never been any respect or love in this family. Only roles… Game… Game and roles…
Eleanor looked at her reflection and smiled. “What an attractive woman!” – she thought about herself and, turning off the light, left the classroom.
She closed the door and, throwing the key in her large bag, turned around to go down the corridor towards the stairs. But the woman did not even have time to take a step, as the light in the corridor suddenly went out. It was still quite bright outside, but even there, outside the windows, the light seemed to low. Eleanor was frightened, and after a moment turned white with fear. At the end of the corridor, from the doorway, that led to the stairs, suddenly poured black, thick smoke.
“Fire!” – thought a woman. But no specific smells, no shouts or voices, and indeed no sounds could be heard. It seemed that all living things around suddenly ceased to exist.
A few seconds passed and the smoke began to dissipate. There, at the end of the corridor, near the stairs, Eleanor saw the outlines of a woman. A short, slim, completely black figure, like a shadow, slowly moved toward her. Long, narrow, black, similar to the mourning, dress to the floor. Black patent leather shoes, the toes of which were visible from under the hem, when a woman was taking step by step. Black gloves on hands. On the head of a strange lady was a black hat with a wide brim. And she bent her head a little bit down, as if she was looking at her feet. Because of this, Eleanor could not see her face.
Lady in black slowly moved to Eleanor. She walked, but her steps were so light that it seemed she was just floating through the air.
Eleanor did not understand what was happening. She was scared and amazed. She, as if spellbound, looked at the black figure moving toward her.
The woman did not move and seemed to stop breathing for a while.
The lady in black “swam” to Eleanor quite close and stopped at arm’s length.
Passed about a minute. Strange woman in black was silent. Eleanor too.
– Who you are? – finally the teacher asked in a voice shaking with fear.
The lady did not answer her. She slowly raised her head so that Eleanor could see the lower part of her face. It was the face of a young, beautiful woman. Her skin was so white that it seemed to Eleanor that it was not a face at all, but a beautiful mask. White as snow, beautiful mask with dark, almost black lips.
The teacher shuddered from what she saw and took a step back.
– Who you are? – she asked quietly again.
The lady in black smiled strangely and, taking a couple of steps forward, touched with her graceful hand in a black glove Eleanor’s shoulder. Woman immediately felt a terrible cold running all over her body. So, as if in an instant she was in the freezer.
The teacher’s heart almost stopped for fear. She wanted to shake the hand of a woman in black from her shoulder and run away, but could not even move. Her whole body seemed paralyzed.
– Who you are? What do you want? – Eleanor muttered, her voice shaking with fear.
– I am the pain, – quietly, barely audible said lady in black.
She no longer opened her mouth, but Eleanor heard the word “pain” many times as if the echo repeated it again and again and again and again…
An entire eternity seemed to have passed, and the woman in black suddenly disappeared. Dissolved in the air as if she never existed. The light in the hallway lights up again.
Eleanor, recovering a little from what she had seen, quickly ran down a long corridor to the stairs and after