Stories

The Wave – Sofija Damčević

The voice of the astrologer resonated: “We are expecting the coming of a colossal wave from the ocean that will flood the entire world. If we survive it, everything we’ve always wanted in our lives will be there for us on the horizon.” I could see that horizon. It was alluring; the sunlit ocean merged with the bright aquamarine sky. There was a small black cloud, perhaps a cloud of smoke, disrupting this tranquility — an ominous development, I thought.

Serene Ocean calmly swayed before me as I sat comfortably inside a beach house, captivated by the mesmerizing view of pristine golden sand, clear sky, and the gentle shimmering on the ocean surface.

Suddenly, darkness. A shadow came over the whole room I was sitting in; I could see it through the huge beach house window — a tsunami, the size of a mountain, ascending and rushing right at me. The gigantic wave hit the beach house. I could feel the unexpected, unfamiliar intensity blowing through, all over and around me. A little water entered through the open door, sprinkling my arm while I remained calmly in the cozy armchair in the house that stayed completely intact, without any emotional reaction. Then, I callously whispered, “Hmm…”

I woke up in the middle of the night in early December next to my partner, who was soundly sleeping. Hence, I questioned whether I should be afraid of this weird omen; I felt nothing. There was no trace of emotion in my life for months now, maybe even years, which I was partially proud of. In reaction to everything that did and didn’t happen in my life, I had lost almost every ability to have any compassion towards others, even towards myself. Snuggled devotedly with my partner, who kept postponing the development of our relationship for more than a decade and thus blocked the flow of life, I watched the darkness of the room, thinking how I might not be able to hold it in much longer.

It was already past Christmas, and I was walking down the frost-bound street in the town center, not feeling the obvious coldness typical of that time of the year. My mind had been ruminating daily for over a week now about that winter solstice night. I shouldn’t have said this, I should have said that, did I embarrass myself? Will we talk again? We should talk again, I should be prepared, I can’t, we shouldn’t talk again, I should forget about this. As my mind ran in circles, out of nowhere, a huge ice block fell right in front of my feet. It broke into pieces that rolled around in every direction. That made me wonder, what could have happened if it fell on me. Aware that I was not meant to die that day, I moved to the middle of the street, wondering whether the heavens were trying to tell me something.

Everything about him seemed familiar. Since the day we met a few weeks before Christmas, I was dreading my newfound curiosity and was simply confused with his obvious interest. I needed someone to teach me how to fight — how to fight outer and inner demons. So I found him. But how do I recognize his movements from somewhere? All the details, little gestures, things about him — the way he moved, talked, looked — everything seemed as if I’d seen it somewhere. But where? Hand gestures soft and slow hypnotized me, and I wanted to dive in and find out more… No! I want to run away.

“Too bad you are leaving,” the message read. As I’m not actually bound to anyone or anything, my stay in that town, in that country, is always limited. Every few months, I leave for a few months, then come back again for my desired but limited stay. I told him I would be back. It was surprisingly pleasant, though, that someone would want me there for a change.

Overwhelmed by this newfound longing for something I don’t quite know what, though it presents itself as deep, even urgent, and the feeling of guilt that I might be doing something wrong, I went on a road, hoping those sentiments would dissipate. Trying to accept these waves of emotion I can’t change, deny, or eliminate. Could I take the wave, survive it, swim out, transmute it somehow, someday…

The observer, floating on seas of circumstances, swayed everywhere, never lost, connected to the point of nothingness inside. The wave is overly intense; will it drown me, or am I safely resting in the beach house? The ocean contains life. Life needs to come through. The flood started.