The third screening puts a new perspective on things.
I lay there in darkness forever, in a state of half-consciousness, on the treshold of slumber but not crossing it. I tried not to think of anything, to block out all the images of my family and friends suffering, to keep my brain from attempting to make sense of my current situation. I decided to do what I always resorted to whenever I had fought insomnia in the past and concentrated on my breathing.
It is a peculiar thing that if you try very hard to focus on your respiration you inevitably hold your breath for some reason. At least itÂ´s always been like that for me. I forced myself to inhale, deeply, and exhale but it just didnÂ´t feel right. My angst was getting the best of me, now not only affecting my cognitive ablities but also taking itÂ´s toll on my whole body, my vital functions.
If I couldnÂ´t fall asleep I would surely start hallucinating sooner or later. ItÂ´s happened to me before and I needed pills to fix it. I kept the pill bottle in the drawer of my nightstand. In fact, I just remembered that I had taken off the cap of the bottle and downed some pills with liquid the night before I had woken up in this room. Automatically I was taken back to the feeling of a thick heavy veil slowly covering my mind, spreading all over my body, rolling down from my part to my toes and pressing me harder onto the mattress in the process.
But it was only a very intense memory, not the actual feeling. I was wide awake, wishing I had my magical pills at my side. Sure, it probably wouldnÂ´t have put me in the best possible situation in case my tormentors entered but right now I really couldnÂ´t have cared less. I just wanted my mind to shut off. I longed for the comforting feeling of floating supernatantly through a world devoid of time, space and most of all, pressure.
I rolled over to the other side, my back facing the wall now, and wished that I hadnÂ´t smashed the TV set. Then I could have at least told for how long I had been lying there in my futile attempt to fall asleep.
Fulgurously I sat up and stared at the black screen with the white numbers growing smaller by the second.
How was this possible? I hadnÂ´t heard anybody come in, let alone replace the broken TV. I got up from the bed and turned on the light.
There it was, in its previous spot, undamaged. My hands touched the screen, then the frame. There was not one tiny glass splinter on the floor where I had first smashed and then dismantled the appliance.
Maybe I had fallen asleep after all. Yes. I had slept, not for a long time but a good two hours. And obviously my jailers had replaced the TV while I had been out.
I wanted to scream out in frustration. But I didnÂ´t. I sat down in front of the screen.
What was that? I traced a small dent in the right corner of the TV frame. The other TV had had the exact same dent on the exact same place. I jumped up and made a few steps backwards, fixating the screen.
No way. This was not happening.
Now, there was a logical explanationg to this: I had dreamt the whole thing. I didnÂ´t really break the TV. It was all a dream. I searched the floor with my eyes. My hoodie. On the floor. Where I had tossed it after wiping off the glass splinters.
I glanced at the screen again.
I was going insane. No sleep. No beverage and food. No hope. Crazy.
I wanted to cry again. But I couldnÂ´t cry.
I wasnÂ´t tired. I wasnÂ´t hungry or thirsty. I was going insane.
I just stood there, in the middle of the room, looking at the countdown. I wasnÂ´t gonna turn off the light again, that was for sure. I wouldnÂ´t let the door out of my field of vision. Walking backwards until I felt the metal frame of the bed against my calves, then I sat down, still staring at the screen and having an eye on the door at the same time.
I had time to kill.
A funeral. A small group of people dressed in black gathered around an open grave, the coffin visible at the bottom.
"You were my everything," an elderly woman tosses a rose into the grave. SheÂ´s followed by a man about her age, copying her action. He looks at the casket sadly but remains silent.
"IÂ´ll miss you, man. You were my brother," a curly-haired young man throws a flower into the pit. He steps aside and a red-haired guy takes his place.
"WeÂ´ll never forget you and all that youÂ´ve done for us," he says, flinging a rose into the grave.
The two men look over to a third one, staring at the hole in the ground from a short distance.
"Patrick?" the one with the curls asks softly.
He looks at the pair, "You just go ahead to the car. IÂ´ll be right there."
The one that has kept quiet nods and gives him a weak smile, "You just take as much time as you need." They walk away and leave him in front of the pit.
He looks at the coffin, then at the rose in his hand. Tears form in his eyes, rolling down his cheeks. He cries, quietly. After having wiped off the tear drops from his face he takes off his cap and has a last look at it before throwing it onto the casket.
"I wish I would have told you how much you mean to me that night. I wish I would have looked after you better than I did."
He sobs loudly.
"But now itÂ´s too late...And all I can do is remember all the times that you were there for me. All the things youÂ´ve done for me... And this is how I repay you."
The man pauses and looks up at the sky for a while.
"Goodbye. Goodbye forever," he tosses the flower into the pit. "I wish I was in your stead." Then he walks off.
On the gravestone lying a few feet away from the pit it reads:
PETER LEWIS KINGSTON WENTZ III
ALIVE IN OUR HEARTS FOR ALWAYS
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Thanks be to Katy for providing me with the word "supernatantly" (that I thought was a made-up word at first. ;) )