laura bivolaru

Time was passing differently back then. Days and nights would fold into each other, but we never grew older. Summers seemed to last for years. In our beds we dreamt of another time, when we would put perfume on our necks and smudge our lipstick in rushed kisses. We would absorb sunlight like lizards, unhurryingly expecting the dark hour. Sleep would be heavy, a monochrome abyss into which we would bathe our nakedness.

Some afternoons, a strange happiness would ring in our ears, like crystal champagne glasses in forbidden cupboards, and it would get more dazzling with every spin, a bee flight in locust woods. Then Dad’s voice would break it, the grave thunder before a hot August storm. We’d sit quietly after that, but silence would ravage our minds. Statues would have been jealous of our status quo. We would compensate at the right moment, break our hands 3+2+1 times and our hearts that number times three. We would never learn.

Mirrors would call us, louder and louder, to come and see if our waists were slimmer and our breasts had blossomed. Mirrors would always lie that they didn’t, but we knew better. So we would stare back into them, rehearsing our mermaid songs. You’d tickle me and I’d resist for a while, but then I would just give in to the bewitched laughter.

We had Lisa the guinea pig and the memory of a Norwegian cat from which to learn how to be wild. Mum then decided that we needed to have our hair cut, but we wouldn’t let ourselves caught. Soon they heard us screaming in our hiding spot. We had discovered that all this time, Lisa had not been one of us. Next day our locks would be gone. We never came up with another name for him.

Then a crisp autumn wind started to blow. The camera was gone. We had to fill our little bags with notebooks, pencils and a fountain-pen each. In the morning we would leave for school. Two schools. You at yours and I at mine. We would make new friends and learn different things. Most days you would go in the morning, I would go at noon, then we would switch. I’d see you late at night, doing dishes or some other chore, but you’d be in your own world. Summer never returned and I learned you might leave for good. I know I will be on my own by then, but will the camera ever return?