He is real

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Patrt 4. Misha. Chapter 13.

December 31, 2017

Siberia. Krasnoyarsk

— Happy upcoming New Year!

A clear female voice made me flinch. Having opened my eyes I was blinded by the light — as bright as a flash that returns to life.

I was lying in bed, on my side, crumpling up a blanket in my hand with my head in a soft pillow. My eyes quickly began to get used to the light, and I raised myself up, leaning on my arm.

— How long can you sleep! — The girl who woke me up said.

I turned my head to her, answering, in a sleepy, hoarse voice:

— I’ve already forgotten when I slept last.

A brown-eyed and rather pretty young stranger was standing in the doorway. She was holding a big red mug. The terry pajamas of the same color, reminding Santa Claus’s costume. It hid all the advantages of her miniature figure, long curls of disheveled dark hair were falling to the waist.

— Come on, get up. Do you remember what you’ve promised? — She gave me a picky look and screwed her nice face up into an expression of a fair share of severity, went to the window and pushed aside the light curtain. — My car is covered with snow. — She uttered with sorrow, then turned around and added puzzled: — And where is your car?

— No idea. — I replied and folding back the blanket put my feet on the parquet floor and started to get up. I could hardly do that.

My whole body ached badly. My muscles ached, as if I had quit training for a couple of weeks, and then abruptly returned to them. What am I talking about? All of this was so long ago.

— What year’s coming? — I asked, tilting my head from side to side. I gave my neck and shoulders a stretch, not paying attention to the fact that I was not wearing any clothes. At all.

— Yeah, really… — the pretty stranger said, — you had a great fun with your old friends yesterday, — after looking at me, she gasped in surprise. — Is your nose broken?!

I touched my nose with my fingertips and felt a sharp pain at the touch. It shoot up the frontal part of my head.

— No, it isn’t broken. Everything’s fine, — I decided to assure her, although I was not so sure myself.

— So will you be standing naked in front of me? — She handed me a mug, and went to the closet.

— Anyhow what year is coming? — I looked down at the mug, read the inscription on it “Happy New Year 2018”, and took a few sips of hot coffee, feeling its taste and aroma. — I’ve got it, you don’t have to say anything.

The girl took gray sports trousers from the shelf of the cabinet and threw them to me. I managed to catch them with my free hand.

— Get dressed, I’ve made a New Year’s breakfast. Russian salad and red caviar sandwiches. — She took the mug from me and walked to the exit of the room.

— Wait, what’s your name? — I tried to stop her, followed her to the threshold, getting into her trousers, my legs got entangled in their fabric. Losing my balance, I hit my back against the corner of the doorway, having experienced a sharp pain. I felt it once again with my body, not my soul, which made a blissful smile involuntarily shine on my face.

Without giving her name, the Santa-girl stopped. Turning over her shoulder, she frowned, and twisted a finger at her temple, casting a sympathetic look, then went on, moving away from me along a narrow short corridor that led to the hall of the apartment.

And now it’s time to think thoroughly.

I looked around. This place was not familiar to me, and I didn’t know how I ended up here. The last thing I remember, in the material world, from the past life, was lying on the porch of the house (our house with Maria), in a pool of my blood that oozed from wounds on my hands. I was sure that everything would be over, that I would no longer be tormented so much from inside by the grief for the loss of my wife. But I couldn’t imagine what was waiting for me beyond the borders of the usual world. My painful grief didn’t vanish, it became millions of times stronger. It was hell — a sheer hell. Endless torments, which I had never experienced. And the worst thing — you realize that here you have no chance to change what’s happening. You have nothing to do, but to accept and obey, obey, obey… I tore apart the stumbled souls, they drowned out my pain. Albeit briefly, but it helped. I stood in the first circle. I was one of the first.

Sin causes sin.

Sin satisfies sinful hunger.

And yet I am back. Hellish torment is over. How? Who helped me, the stumbled? Why was I given a second chance? The answers to these questions were not known.

Many years have passed since my death, in this world, everything has changed, and I felt helpless, as if I had been sent to another planet.

I walked over to the closet, peering at my own reflection in the mirror. Some scratches on the chest and fresh bruises on the right shoulder and thigh. The nose is slightly swollen and twisted. The rest of my appearance hasn’t changed. It was still the same tall, dark-haired, strong guy aged about thirty. Coarse features, bristles on the cheekbones, small wrinkles on the forehead, blue eyes. Exact copy of the human body, which I possessed before.

What happened, it is not even in the realm of my consciousness. I am standing here, in a room surrounded by the belongings of a stranger, whose place I occupy and, judging by the injuries on my body, his death was caused by what had happened to him. He’d gone, and I came. Whether it’s fair or not, it’s not for me to judge, let the others be judges.

— Have I tried in vain?! It’s a holiday today, a family holiday! Doesn’t the word “family” mean anything to you?! — The voice of the girl who had woken me up came from the depths of the apartment.

I left the room.

She was sitting in the living room at the round dining table, near the panoramic window, not draped with curtains. Behind its glasses, large flakes of snow could be seen falling on the ground in the misty freezing air.

— Why are you so slow today? — She asked frowning her thin eyebrows, having noticed me stopped a few steps from her looking at the window. — What, haven’t you come out of yesterday’s party yet?

This snow, caught by the wind, it seemed that I often looked through a similar window from the last floor of a high panel house, surrounded by houses of the same type. A lot of floors and lots of windows where the light was on in the wee hours.

Familiar street. Familiar courtyard. But these are not my memories. I’ve never lived here. Maybe these are his memories? No, it is unlikely. He was not of those people who can sit in front of the window and wait for something, sometimes drowning in moments of the past experienced by him.

— Show me some more of our past.

— You shouldn’t be living in the past, baby. — I said in a hoarse whisper, resting my forehead on her neck.

— But I want to go through it. Once again.

— If you want that so much, than close your eyes.

I was hugging her from behind, sitting in the bath, being afraid to let her go of my arms, showing her our past where we were together. We didn’t have a “real present” anymore. She lived here, and I existed there. And she already had a different name. I couldn’t remember it.

— It’s just, that this American has screwed me over. — The stranger spoke again, after I sat down in a chair opposite her. — I still hoped that he would come to his senses, apologize, — she sighed, — I know, don’t say anything. You were right, he is one hell of a wanker. I thought he loved me. I didn’t care what others said…

I watched her put a few sandwiches on my plate, then a few tablespoons of salad, poured the juice into a glass still talking about the American. She was baffled, appealed to compassion and such a girl, with a snub-nosed face and a cute doll face, wearing terry pajamas and slippers, that would make any guy in my place to press her to his chest, stroke her head, sympathize with her. And I would gladly do it if I were not the one who tried to understand the reality, surrounding him.

— It’s a New Year today, you can’t be upset. We’ll go to the theater, see the ballet, and at midnight… — She continued speaking, fascinated by her own feelings. I didn’t interrupt her, I was thinking my own thoughts, I didn’t particularly listen to the words that she uttered without stopping, just was looking aloof at the gestures of her hands.

— Misha! — Suddenly screamed a frightened stranger, making me shudder instinctively. — Your nose is bleeding! — She suddenly jumped up from her seat, grabbed a cloth from the edge of the table, ran up to me and put it to my nose.

— I’ve told you I’m all alright, — pushing her away, I took the blood-soaked napkin from my face, — sit down.

She returned to the table with a hurt look, gazing fixedly at me.

— What’s your name? — I asked sharply, and wiped the blood that continued to flow from my nose with the back of my hand.

— What a nightmare, — she said, — what happened to you at night? Did you have a fight? Can’t you remember a thing? Don’t you remember me? Why didn’t you tell me before? Have you been hit on the head? — She didn’t get an answer to any of her questions (I didn’t keep up with her frantic pace, it’s not just my slowed down state), and with each new question, tension was accumulated in her, which in a couple of minutes erupted in anger of indignation. — I see that something happened to you, and you say “alright”! Not alright! We’ve got to rush to the hospital, immediately to the hospital!

She jumped up again and ran into the hallway, picked up her handbag, saying something to herself.

— Take your seat at last! — I shouted, thus deciding to calm her down a little. — I can understand the American who, as you said, “screwed you down”. — Having finished, I threw my head back, feeling how the blood began flowing into my throat.

Santa-girl threw the bag on the floor and resolutely approached me. She stood opposite me, arms folded.

— Screwed me over. — She said reluctantly in a hurt voice.

— Who are you and what is your name? — I decided to repeat the question and, with my head down, I wiped my hands with a cloth. Bleeding has stopped.

— I’m Yana, your younger sister, you jerk. — She tensed up her arms folded across her chest, unstoppably hack sawing me with her offended look.

— Sorry, — I never had a sister. — Don’t worry so much, yes I don’t remember anything, but we are not going to hospital.

— I won’t be surprised if you’ve plunged into something. — She, nevertheless obeyed and returned to the table, sullenly shaking her head.

— Plunged into? — I was already getting amused with her manner of conversation. — Listen, just help me remember, OK?

— Misha, you are an unbearable jackass. You’ve always been the one. I knew that it wouldn’t do you any good. You are screwing around. It’s time to grow up and settle down. — She sniffed her nose, took a few sips of juice from the glass, her hands were trembling. — Know what? If you decided to play a person who has lost his memory, then there are no problems. I’m already fed up with it. You never think about me, you don’t think about anyone except yourself.

— It was not me. — It is really so, if you take a second look. — I would never hurt my sister. And the word “family” means a lot for me.

— And what did you do for your family?! — She exclaimed, looking intently into my eyes. — Our parents went to America, I could go with them, but I stayed here with you. Who cared about you? Your buddies who are pulling you into skirmishes? Or prostitutes, who can be pleased with several doses of powder, in order to love you until the buzz is over? You were a sportsman, you were in the ring. You had the future, they believed in you. They admired you. You’ve got great potential in you, why have you ruined it all?

Her resentment and anger, aimed at me, were utterly and completely justified. The guy whose place I was lucky to take lived a wild and disorderly life. Ambitious, bold, self-willed. He was often lucky only because no one of those who was in charge of the maintenance of order in the “earthly world” really cared about him.

Permissiveness.

Why don’t I try cocaine? Why not to become addicted to it? Cocaine rose his soul to the status of God, who he felt himself last night before his death. One awkward movement and the steering wheel slipped out of his hands, he was pressing gas with the loud bangs of the music bass, and the last crushing blow came from the collision of the car with a tree on the side of the road

— It seems I remembered where “my” car is, it can’t be restored. And I think — must have been a real jerk not to appreciate a sister like you.

Yana couldn’t take her eyes off my eyes, peering at them carefully and with soulful eyes. She managed to find something alien in them, which made a shadow of fear flash on the face for a moment. She didn’t believe that a total stranger was sitting in front of her, couldn’t accept it, and who could accept this in her situation. In such cases, it is easier to fight off the caustic feeling, inspired by intuition, and hide your guesses in the far drawer.

— Have you had an accident? Has anyone been with you? — She asked bewildered.

— It happened so that I flew off the road, but don’t worry, no one was hurt. — Except your brother, who is no longer alive. — It goes without saying, I couldn’t tell her about it. — What did you say about the ballet?

***

— I am glad that you didn’t refuse and went with me. Although I’m very worried about your condition. — Yana, dressed in a sophisticated evening dress in black, with narrow straps that girded her tanned shoulders, put a leaflet into her handbag, and turned her attention to the stage.

The places we took were in the second row of the floor of the stalls. The lights of large chandeliers went out, plunging us into darkness, and the curtain went up slowly.

— You have no idea how good I feel, ballet fan. — Looking at her cute profile, I got my face to her cheek, feeling the smell of fruit shampoo, coming from the hair, and whispered in her ear: — You look stunning today.

She slowly turned her head to me, frowning slightly, and asked angrily:

— When did you have time to take a dose?

— I didn’t take anything, my dear sister who’d been “screwed over”, and don’t frown, it’s just not you. Look, the show’s starting.

Having thrown an “idiot” once again into “my” side, she again focused on the stage.

I didn’t have the slightest desire to watch this ballet performance. I don’t know why I came here. Most likely, because of Yana, she could not show herself without being accompanied. It was necessary to support her.

I put my head on the back of the chair, my jacket was tight in the shoulders, I couldn’t even fold my arms over my chest and closed my eyes. I heard applause sweeping around the audience and how everything stopped in silence for a few seconds. Then classical music came, played by the orchestra. A few minutes later, I began to feel sleepy, I wanted to dive into a dream with peace. There was no such thing as “peace” in hell, what can be said — it’s a place of chaos and fear.

Maria… I was trying to get back to you. You were waiting for me here, in this world, it looks so huge now, and where can I find you in this world? Memories flooded back, as if plowing in consciousness. Echoes of phrases, fragments of feelings — her despair. I heard her after I had left.

Misha… my darling… he… but how comes! Why is it so!

— Sit straight, don’t disgrace yourself. — Yana whispered angrily, nudging me in the side with her elbow.

— This atmosphere of art makes me sleepy. — I found an excuse, and no matter what I wanted, I still listened to my sister.

Having demonstratively adjusted the collar of the shirt, I took a straight pose. I’ve never been a ballet lover, and in general all this masculine grace caused laughter, and girls flat and shapeless seemed to be prepuberal teenagers to me. But this evening, my opinion changed radically.

As if spellbound, with a fixed eye, I was watching the performance of a gracefully fluttering girl on the stage, who didn’t seem to be a subject of gravity. Her femininity and plasticity were striking, she performed a dance with grace, immersed in her own world, unknown to others, having entered into the spirit of the character. As if she lived exciting episodes of her own life on stage again and again.

She was atwirl in a muffled blue light, against the background of ballerinas fluttering next to her, her raised arms slightly bent at the elbows were drawing circles. She was jumping up and flying round so gracefully, gently coming down on the floor of the stage, then jumped up again and continued spinning, spinning… spinning… that’s all, my head was already spinning around.

Her performance was over, the music faded away, the audience burst into applause, shouting “bravo”, and the girl who performed her fascinating dance, just a moment ago, went gracefully forward for a bow. I wish she hadn’t stopped it. I wanted to bow to grandeur of her talent.

Having run a hurried glance through the spacious hall, she tried to give her smile to everyone in the audience. Her absolutely not flat breasts heaved and heaved, it seemed that during the performance she’d given away a part of herself, plunging us into the world known only to her. She threw her hands up and bowed once again, proudly raised her head and noticed me. Our eyes met. Painfully familiar eyes. Her stretched forward leg, covered with a dense fabric of pantyhose, shuddered, her face was startled by a puzzled surprise. I read her lips as she spoke my name.

— Holy shit! — My enthusiastic exclamation caught the attention of a number of spectators and Yana’s angry look. But all of them didn’t bother me a bit.

Not only was I able to return to the earthly world, I also had the opportunity to meet her so quickly, I just had to think where she could be.

She ran off the stage and disappeared behind the scenes. I darted off and began to make my way to the exit, stepping on the feet of the people sitting in a long row, bumping into their knees, and Yana rushed after me.

We met in the empty foyer of the Opera and Ballet Theater. On her way, she had already dropped the pointe shoes and ran barefoot over the tiled floor polished to a gloss. She ran to meet me and I hurried to her.

It’s when such events happen in life, you begin to doubt the correct perception of reality, it seems to dissolve and is perceived as a dream. Well, or in my case, everything can be attributed to ravings in hell. Yes, even such things happen.

Petrified, I looked at the one I had lost long ago. Baby, I missed you madly. Everything was quiet around. Even my heart, that was pounding so fast in my chest a minute ago, seemed to have stopped. Tension hung in the air, as if before a thunderstorm. The touch of her warm hand on my cheek. A thousand volts electric shock. My heart beating resumed with a new force, and the world was filled with life and sounds again.

— Misha, you’re back. It’s incredible. — She looked at me so excitedly, her green eyes gleaming like wet glass, a tender smile touched her lips.

I covered her hand with mine, took her fragile trembling fingers to my lips. I felt a rush of adrenaline, it began to tear me apart. I wanted to scream and swear in this empty hall with tall ceiling, but still I found the strength, to keep my emotions (suddenly, I felt annoyed at one of her words — “incredible”), and said with restraint:

— I promised. — I didn’t fully realize it myself what I had done, I just remember — I promised her. I remember that I wanted to get “home,” even if I didn’t have a home as it is. A thought, that we could have a home, anywhere, the main thing is that we should be together again, was warming me.

— Misha, you’ll give me a heart attack today. — My sister Yana, breathing hard, slapped at her side, bent a little, put her hand on my shoulder. — What’s going on? Can anyone explain to me? Do you know each other? — In her downed voice, she addressed us question after question (this girl could rarely limit herself to one question), breathed out and straightened.

— Maria. — I said confidently, wrapping my arms around the waist of my wife from the past life, and pulled her close. I cuddled her with a vengeance, bent down, buried my head in her warm neck, drowning in the joy of experiencing the feeling that I had longed to meet.

— Anna. — She replied, laughing and hugging me with trembling hands.

She’s got even more elegant and tiny. It seemed that she was about to disappear, to melt in my rough embracement. But I couldn’t open it; I wasn’t willing to let her go. Even if the demons of hell begin to take me to their residence, I won’t be able to let her go. I felt pain in my chest, had I only to think that she would not be with me again.

— You’ve got it wrong, my brother. This is Anna Waisman, by the way, I’m your fan. I’d like to apologize for… — Yana suddenly stopped talking, watching intently, as Anna, hugging me, clung to me with her whole body, as she pressed her lips to my cheek, and sighed with ecstasy.

A few seconds passed and the “sister” dropped a short phrase:

— I see, it seems, the play is over. — She took a bunch of keys out of her purse and handed them to me, smiling indulgently.

***

Anna was sitting next to me in the front seat of the car, throwing her coat over a ballet costume, with her knees pressed to her chest. Her round layered tulle skirt rested against the dashboard. Her wavy blonde hair, which she had unpinned in a hurry, fell on an incredibly beautiful face. His features, so neatly chiseled, were painfully familiar, and her eyes — she averted them in an attempt to hold back tears. She turned away to the window, looking at the snow-covered streets behind it, looking at the city, decorated for the holiday with garlands, stretched along lampposts. Sometimes she furtively turned around to me, casting a short glance pierced with admiring surprise, doubting of what was happening, then turning back to the window in an attempt to hold back her tears. She was trembling. Not with the cold. She was scared. The fact is that Anna, as well as I, knew what a cruel sense of humor the creators and their entire team had.

I squeezed her fragile palm in my hand, I wanted to tell her that I would stay with her, and we would live every day together, trying to spend sleeping as little time as possible. But to be honest, I wasn’t absolutely sure about it.

What if everything that is happening now is nothing but an evil joke of the creators?

Memory gradually continued to recover.

A small town in Siberia. At dawn, she returned to life in the earthly world. Parents gave her a name — Anna. She grew up in a house by the river and dreamed of seeing the sea. I squeezed her palm. That time I had dreamed about it.

Then I couldn’t touch her and feel the warmth of her skin with my fingers. She was my crazy fancy, just as I was hers. Then she had no idea who I was. How unbearably painful and hard it was for me. Although I was no longer in hell. The world where I received privileges and possessed phenomenal possibilities, if compared with the material world, was limited to a rigid framework for me. I have long existed like a beast, locked in a cage, from which it was impossible to escape. And it is the place where there’s no time, space, illness and death. Where you can dwell forever, traveling around the worlds, fulfilling not so complicated instructions, considering yourself a kind of meaningful and necessary, one of those without whom, in fact, the whole system cannot function.

Did I need it all? Did I need this eternity?

The answer is simple: — No.

People who experience terrible, tragic events in their lives trust in the Lord. Even those who are inveterate skeptics, in moments of despair begin to doubt their own skepticism (I heard their thoughts before escorting “to kingdom come”), and with all their might seek out help, even from those whose existence isn’t proven by anyone. They live with faith and hope for a miracle. For example, I no longer believed in anyone, and there was no one to ask for, and there was no one to wait for help. But I could help my Anna — her smile warmed my stumbled soul. She is more important than my own existence. I was allowed to take care of her. For her, I was a “miracle” — an invisible friend, she felt reliance on me, asking for help. And I could give her everything she asked. Except one. Me myself. Without me, the real, life for her was becoming more and more meaningless, empty and unnecessary.

Money turns into pieces of paper with indelible paint. Expensive things in junk. The carefree life that “we” were going to spend together in a house on the ocean coast is spent like meaningless days, that will go on nonstop, and beautiful guys become an option for infrequent and pleasant meetings.

***

Anna and I went to the country. Yana gave me the address of the house she bought a couple of days ago. She made such a gift to herself on the holiday eve, preparing everything for a joint New Year’s Eve party with the American (at that time she couldn’t even imagine that he would “screw over” her). Beforehand, she managed to give the necessary instructions to those involved in organizing celebrations and romantic evenings.

We could find bathrobes in the bathroom, Anna threw one of them on her, having got rid of her stage clothes.

Champagne and fruit were placed next to the rug spread out in front of the wall fireplace. Logs were burning crackling in it, fire flames played with shadows on the wooden floor.

— I was waiting for you so much. — Anna told me, she sat beside me, leaning her shoulder on my shoulder, looking thoughtfully at the snow whirling in a whirlwind outside the window, and not daring to take a sip from a glass of champagne. She lowered her head and ran her palm over the soft pile of the rug. Lost one.

And why did you suddenly get so confused, baby?

— Misha … — looking into my eyes, Anna sighed heavily, — I was… ready to go to hell just to see your eyes again.

It was midnight, and the chimes of the wall clock began to strike monotonously. Another thing from Yana, prepared for special moments.

— No good would come out of it. You know. — I said. My eyes slipped on her thin neck, which I was eager to embrace with my hand, then ran down the collar of her dressing gown, to her naked breast. I remember kissing it. My tongue seemed to feel the taste of her warm, pulsating nipples.

— When despair boils in you, you don’t care what happens. How long have you been here?

I didn’t answer her question immediately, at first I didn’t even get into it, turned my eyes to her puffy lips, which produced these words. So sweet. In the one world for us. I remembered how I experienced a painful desire feel their taste again, at least once, when she was lying in bed lost in sleep. I was nearby, feeling wild hunger. It had been added up for years — if you keep track of time by earthly standards. None of the souls could satisfy it, either a sinful soul in the chaos of hell, or an innocent one that I had to take from this world. Regret is what I felt then, looking at my Anna. But I was wrong; I shouldn’t have succumbed to the tormented conscience. We only live by the will of the creators. I had to feel this way in order to obey orders subsequently.

It’s all over. I’m with her. The chimes stroke the last stroke this year.

Did she ask how long I had been here?

— About ten hours. At first, I didn’t remember much. — I started talking, trying to concentrate. How much did she excite me, everything inside was cramped by lust, it languished so painfully and for a long time, beyond the border separating our worlds. And it was confusing. Soon I will get used to the feelings that I have already experienced as a human, and to the fact that she is with me. Is her body completely naked under the robe? Or does she wear only white lace…

— How did you manage to do that? — She wondered.

She’s knocked me off the topic. I have already begun to think not only about what is under her robe, but how I would get rid of her robe, what I would do with her after it. I’ll do it. I can do a lot of things with her… OK, I keep my temper in control.

— I decided to protest and send them to the devil.

— To the devil with orange heels?

— To the leader of all the devils. His heels are purple. — I have no idea what color the heels of devils are. And, in general, why should they have them? Being bewildered, I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind. — What makes you think that devils have heels? It seems like they should have hoofs.

— Oren said so, — she replied, and laughed softly. — I asked him the same question as you have. And he replied that they didn’t have hooves, but they have heels.

Oren, well, yes. The ghost boy from the madhouse. After all, I knew that the lone evil spirits fighter wouldn’t fail. Absurd little boy. A flighty, silly warrior who has such notions as honor and duty. He believed in me. He believed that he had met a higher being, an angel. He certainly went too far with devils. He found their heels, and gave them color. Although… why am I so categorical, everything’s possible. Devils may indeed have a hierarchy, which is distributed according to the color of their heels. Oren was an expert on evil. Who knows what’s going on in their world? Yes, they also have the world created for them, and our friend kept order there. He did well, was one of the best.

— He asked to give this big thank you to you. — Anna spread her arms, smiling.

Oren didn’t doubt that I would be able do the “impossible”.

— I didn’t have time to say thanks to him.

That’s enough. There will be some time to talk.

I run my hand into her thick hair at the back of her head, and kiss her neck, slowly and ecstatically, inhaling the smell of her skin. She tilts her head back, a familiar moan, escapes from her chest. Mad delight makes me go bonkers. I lean on her, putting her on the rug with her back down and pushing my knee between her legs.

— Baby… I missed you madly… — I’m whispering in her ear, she hugs me harder, clasping her legs around me.

— But don’t go away. — She says it quietly, strokes my back, shoulders, looks into my eyes, her palms slide down along the body, on my sides, to the hips. Her fingers feel the body, stop and dig into the skin, through the thin fabric of the shirt. She smiles. She froze in my arms, beneath me, and barely breathes. I bent my head, lightly touching her lips with my lips, waiting. She relaxes. She feels me — it’s not a dream, not a raving. Everything is happening now, and suddenly she says, gasping out: — You are real. — I catch the words, they echo the warmth of her breath on my parted lips.

She was in doubts. She was afraid, trembling with fear. Did she think that she could dance it over and get drowned in her fantasies? At first I couldn’t believe the reality of what was happening. But the more time I spend in this world, the more I begin to realize that my staying here is no longer limited to seven days.

Clasping her face with my hands, I gaze into her clear green eyes.

— Now everything is happening the way we wanted to, and then it will be even better. You’ve brought me here. — I tell her and smile.

I was happy to madness. I denied, but still adhered to the framework of restraint, tried to be gentle with her with all my might, slowly, taking her in part by part, enjoying her. By and large, it was impossible to get satiated with Anna (once Maria, or whatever name she could be given), this pleasure is like a short moment of orgasm, which has a tangy long aftertaste, and when it disappears, I want to immerse myself in it again… again …and once again…

Lots of people touched her elastic body, squeezed her breasts with their trembling fingers, reached out for to her hardened nipples drooling. She moved sitting on the lap of clients, feeling how each of them was getting excited, fidgeted, and made them cum into their pants. Writhing beautifully and plastically, whispered pleasant words. Imagining me in every young guy who had appearance similar to mine. Even if she had never met me in this life, she knew that I should be (somewhere) looking like her imagination was painting me. She didn’t look into their eyes, she fantasized, she felt, pure lust stroke her into the marrow — we are together in our atmosphere. The rumble of club music bass, alcohol, obsession. She was carried away on the arc to the world, close to mine. Subconsciously, she was drawn to people, realizing that she couldn’t feel me in human form. But she wanted it infinitely. She was waiting. She was looking for. I don’t blame her for giving herself to others. Only in this way, she quenched the pain of incomprehensible longing, even if not for long. And she herself was afraid to admit that. I was torn apart by anger when I watched this, when I heard the lustful thoughts of her clients. I wanted to grab her hand and take her away. I wanted to instill into the person, she was sitting on, such paranoid delusion that his brain would explode with horror. I wanted to get into the body of each of the guys who she had sex with, and feel her mine. But the borders of my cage didn’t allow me to fulfill even a small part of my plans.

Anna was not given a chance to understand it. She lived in a world which I had left long ago, but she still loved me, without even realizing it, without consideration, loved me in others, giving a part of her own sincere love. Unemotionally, taking the excitement of everyone, enjoying the emotions of people, chuckling at how easy they could be evoked. She was playing.

They are just puppets in the skilled hands of the puppeteer.

Over the time, she began to realize that she had been carried away with playing. That there was no substitute, and the presentiment that she was cheating on someone, gnawed from the inside.

I will go through the circles of hell once again, I will get to the first one, but I will not share her with anyone else. I won’t let her faff around.

— Indeed, it’s better to do something than to stay here in this very place where we have to be!

She was furious, screamed, and didn’t understand that I had been thinking long about it. She didn’t have a clue — that “something” meant returning to the very death trap for me. Such wights are collected there from billions of worlds, that I myself became even a worth wight, just to take mine from them. To survive. To last. On the other hand, everything there is built on one main principle, which is embedded in the globe. But the earthly world is more humane and civilized — an easy option.

We’ve done it. We’ve lasted. And no matter how much time is allotted to us here, I will live every day, with the feeling that I was given a second chance.

From now on no one else will squeeze my Anna in his arms, experiencing extreme obsession, drowning himself in the passion of desire and imagining how he was having her in various positions. Nobody, except me, and only I will be allowed to take her rudely, properly, in any positions.

In any case, I really wanted this: the fantasies born in my head, and then the action.

Let’s fantasize, and put it into action, baby.

Now they may enjoy her at a distance, watching her dance on the big stage of the Opera and Ballet Theater. Let her fascinate people, if she likes it, but in a different way.

We don’t live in this world for the first time, she had come back here before, and so did I. And there were many other worlds where we lived, they are arranged according to different principles. There are countless numbers of them. They divide endlessly. Just, everything is easier and quieter here. We were drawn to each other, and exactly here.

— Hey, stop it, we’ll come up with something.

— It was like this before.

— It has always been like this, — I said affirmatively.

We found each other, and we will find each other once again, even if we are scattered across different worlds. Actually… as usually.

After all I became a human; there aren’t those abilities that I used to have before. They are not provided for people. Why did the understanding remain with me? What for? Probably, our creators still need something from us. They will never be satisfied with their creation — it should be slightly corrected, improved, checked how it will begin functioning in a given situation. And it is alarming.

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