Joyce Cavalccante

Texto em Português

Everyone goes to a bench in the square when they have nowhere else to go to. Lucas and she went to one. The square was quite gray and plain. Everyone stared at her, with her disheveled hair and red eyes. She had left all her belongings behind, couch, refrigerator, stove, suitcase, bed. They were all left right in the middle of the street. She couldn’t carry everything. It didn’t matter. As long as she could take Lucas, the rest was of no consequence.

She walked on and on and after a long time, she sat down. She let herself stay and chat with Lucas. It felt so good talking to him.

Time, left uncounted, went by. Someone also came by and took her arm. She was taken to a room in which there were people. She couldn’t identify the person who was asking her some questions she was unable to answer; and, because she couldn’t, she asked Lucas to answer them for her.

She noticed something strange was happening. The person who was asking her the questions insisted on saying that she couldn’t see Lucas. That there was no Lucas there. That she should stop being silly and answer directly. That they were in a hurry.

Then she was taken to a dark and dank place. Thank Heavens Lucas was with her, otherwise she would have been afraid. Strange people, strange talks. Everything was so strange. As strange as to lose one’s job.

Still not counting time, she was brought out of the dank and dark place. She was told to get in the car parked in front of the door. She got in, still holding Lucas’ hand. He kept asking her if she knew where they were going. She didn’t even know if they were going anywhere.

When the car stopped, someone helped her alight. Everything was now being done with the utmost care and respect. A gate was opened and she entered an enormous garden, and after that an even bigger corridor. Suddenly they stopped. A door opened. She had a sudden incredible urge to laugh. To laugh about doors, so many doors that kept on opening onto the same things. To laugh about the resemblance of all doors. She was unable to suppress the urge and laughed. Loud and clear.

Behind the last door, a multitude of people. Ursula felt she knew them from somewhere.

There was a woman sitting on a chair, her hand to her chest and a face full of woe. A woman who had done all she could and could not believe this was happening to her own daughter. She was crying. The others went over and tried to soothe her. They said things like: she’s going to be all right. Have faith. Don’t despair. This is not serious. The woman would cry all the more. She screamed: — My baby, my baby, what have they done to you?

At her side, a man asked another one in white when she was going to be cured. She, who?

Another woman answered that she, Ursula, was her favorite niece.

Someone was always asking her about Lucas. She wouldn’t answer; she just pointed to him, who was always by her side.

But in time Lucas became increasingly transparent. It was as if he was melting, disappearing.

Ursula began to feel that Lucas was slowly vanishing from her life. She started to despair. She was going to be left alone. Not that. Never. She had lost everything, she was not complaining. But not him, never. Lucas was hers. — No, please, don’t take Lucas away from me. I can’t live without him. No, have pity on me who am nothing, who have nothing. I just want Lucas. I don’t want anything from anyone, just Lucas. He is mine. He was born from me. From my body. From inside me. I didn’t take him from anyone. He is mine.

They would answer: — Lucas does not exist. She insisted: — Yes, he does; yes, he does. He is mine. I made him. I made him from nothing. From the nothingness of me. He is mine. You have no right.

She would look to her side for help. She would scream for Lucas. And he, he kept disappearing. Diluting. Until she looked for him one day and he had gone for ever. Gone away. Never again his presence that was so good, so comfortable, so soft. Never. How scary never can be. He was gone. The fright remained. He had left and she had allowed it. He would only go away if she wanted him to and she was made to want it. That’s why he had gone. The world no longer had Lucas in it: a man she believed existed.

Copyright © by Joyce Cavalccante
Translated by Adriana Vieira

United States Literary Representative is Veritas Literary Agency

Text from the book "EVE'S RIB"