Published in “Opening Boundaries: Toward Finnish Heterolinational Literatures” (2019)
“Stay awake and hold on!” she cried as the storm rolled in and covered everything in my eyes.
I couldn’t hold on. I had no worthy thought nor aspiration for breath. It was a whirling freedom that called me through into the dark and shuddering night. It was liberation. The kind that would carry me away through its eye into the depths of the sky finally and forever into nevermore.
“I can’t,” I shouted back. The rustling of the trees, the high-pitched sound ringing through the air and the shaking of objects surrounding me was too much to mull over in sanity. We were elsewhere, and she refused to follow me into oblivion. She remained grounded, holding onto the railings of the staircase that promised her flight if she was to release the crushing clutch of her frail but determined fingers.
“I can’t hold on. I want to let go. I should let go!” I screamed, releasing all of my fear and panic through my vocal cords. The words were carried away swiftly, along with half of the objects in the house.
“Don’t do it, Frank. Don’t do it!” she shouted. I had never encountered such a heroism in her until it was all about to fall apart. A free flight was tempting. I was sure not to fall. I would be leaving it all behind and would take on the end somewhere in midair over the old neighborhood.
We dropped in the blink of an eye, thudding across the wooden floor and her across the staircase. The storm passed as if it had never entered our life. I was laughing, and she was crying.
“Why are you laughing?” she asked.
“I didn’t know you were so brave,” I commended her.
“I didn’t know you were such an idiot,” she shouted, just as picture frame of the two of us fell from our living room shelf and shattered across the floor.