Elaine - Awaken - Pawel Kaczynski

Elaine – Awaken

Elaine lied in her bed and listened to what was going on outside. Torrential rain was banging against the windows of the old Victorian tenement. Thinking about her day, she remembered the man who had bothered her on the street. He gave her an impertinent and cheeky smile and blurted out: “Hey, babes, looking good! Want to grab a coffee?”. “How dare he?” she thought to herself. “Who does this person think I am? A doll that you can just take possession of?”.

Obviously, she dismissed the man with a short and cold “no”, but there was something in her that she couldn’t quite let the thing go. Somewhere deep inside, under the layer of her superficial outrage, blossomed somewhat of a fascination. She tried denying the feeling, but it kept coming back to entice her. For a split second she imagined the man taking her, but she quickly renounced that vision, seeing it as indecent. With that thought she fell asleep.

When she woke up, the outside world was covered by a thick grey fog, which kept heavily pushing against the street. It wrapped itself around the lamp posts, hydrants and curbstones. It crawled in thick smokey billows, lazily, as if trying to fall asleep. The only thing that managed to break through the fog were the street lamps. Not a single soul was outside; it was dead silent. While Elaine was walking through the middle of a perfectly symmetrical street, houses on both sides of the street were glaring at her ominously. Her white knee length dress rippled in the wind, its lace following it in a wordless dance. Her white slippers didn’t make a peep, making them the perfect companions for a silent stroll. Walking straight ahead, she started thinking about opportunities she failed to capture. Elaine recalled a certain boy from her past. “He was a bit of a loser, but was he not good enough? Good enough for me? He always brought me white tulips, my favorite. He was truly happy whenever he saw me. No, he wasn’t a knight in shining armor who’d dismount his white stallion on a sunny day, open his helmet, get down on one knee and hiss my hand. But he was charming in his own way. He was real and he truly loved me. If there even is such a thing called love. Isn’t it just an idea that people keep chasing? The white dress, veil and a satin train gliding on the floor. A shower of white rose petals, a pearly white smile and a long life leading to old age. That’s the idea. But really, it’s just another of life’s tasks you just have to get over with. Isn’t it? Maybe I simply haven’t found my soul-mate, my Mr. Right, and that’s why I’m so bitter? Will, one day, my doubts and hesitation and my “yes, but” evolve into a “only him and no one else!”?

A man whose presence will bring about feelings such as security, living in the moment and warmness to come and cover me like a silk blanket?”
Suddenly, the landscape changed completely, and though the fog was still hanging in the air, it became somewhat brighter. All around, there was thick green grass and Elaine noticed that she was standing at the start of a slightly curly path leading to a small hill. Her eyes notice a sign post: “Meadow of Hope”. Having climbed the hill, she noticed a small wooden bridge and a tiny pond. Moored by the bridge, there was a wooden brown boat. Elaine boarded it and pushed herself away from the shore. As she kept moving away from it, the lake’s borders started expanding, while the pond became so huge that one couldn’t see the shore. The water darkened and then became completely black. On the water’s surface, around the boat, naked bodies were floating, all of them the color of dead white. The light of that whiteness seemed to have shined through the darkness of the lake. Some of the bodies were almost entirely emerged from the water and were floating on their backs, other ones were just heads sticking out of the water, their hair twisted and mangled. Elaine felt the desire to jump into the water. She wanted to be immersed by its depths. She removed her white slippers and took off the embroidered dress. Standing on the boat, she was completely nude, her hair falling down on her back, goosebumps covering her body, her nipples hard and stiff. She was about to jump into the water, when a single thought took over her mind: “why not try again?”