Short Story inspired by song “Letters” by Facundo Raganato
The Story of Giselle & Damian
My name is Timothy Quain. I'm a writer from the town of Lestville. I think I am the most appropiate to tell this story...
Our town is small. Most people have been asking me about them; most people know about them. But they don't know the details of their story; what happened exactly and why they did what they did. So please, believe me when I write, that everything that I'm about to tell you about their story is true.
First, let me tell you where I am, for I think the situation at hand is very close what has happened, and I better describe what is happening now just in case the worst happens next . . .
I am temporarily living in Giselle's house, staying in her living room, sleeping on the couch. Lucy is staying in the guest room. And Giselle . . . well she has been inside her room for three days till this day . . .
Lucy has been a friend from childhood, Giselle's and mine's. All three of us have always had a good friendship throughout the years; we have supported each other in any hardships, but I think this is has been the heaviest still.
Throughout the day and night, Lucy does not leave Giselle's side, she's still very afraid that she might take her own life in any chance she gets, and I do too. I have not spoken to Giselle since she decided to mourn in her room now, and I have not seen her either, except when Lucy prepares and takes food to her room. It is around noon when Lucy takes the tray, and I open the door for her. Only in those seconds, I see Giselle sitting on the side of her bed, always in the same position: looking out the window to the mountain, as if her mind were somewhere else. I close the door as soon as Lucy enters, and I always have the same dark feeling. I try to think that things will get better and Giselle will come back to her own self, but I have not seen any change. What gives me hope is the remembrances of Giselle before all this, how happy she was, and how happy Damian was too.
These last nights, when Lucy exits Giselle's room after midnight, knowing for sure that she is asleep, she sits with me and tells me how she has been there for her. She tells me the things Giselle says, which isn’t much. I see in the shadows of Lucy's eyes how hard she has been trying, and one night she cried quietly with me. I have told Lucy that I can be there with her inside the room, but she insists that it is better if I do not. She tells me that the fact that I'm here outside her room gives her hope. Also, she says Giselle might feel overwhelmed with the two of us are in there with her. I tell Lucy that she gives me hope too, for she knows the story as much as I do, and has the same remembrances of the past. Lucy and I have been closer than ever, we have seen how much that we can be there for each other, but now we are here for Giselle.
Last night, I think we had a breakthrough, or at least some type of liberation to say the least. There was storm yesterday, it was a dark rainy day, and no one in town seemed to get out of their home, except Giselle . . . It was around 2am, the rain was pouring heavy and there were lightnings and thunders. I heard Giselle's bedroom door open, and I turned to see her standing there. She was wearing a white dress as a ghost. Upon seing her, I stand up from sitting and I see her eyes; althought I was in front of her, she does not look like she sees me; her eyes hold the sight of being gone; with her mind somewhere else. She walks slowly through the living room, Lucy follow her from behind, as if she were sleepwalking. She walks to the front door and opens it, the wind from the storm pushes the door open violently. Lucy grabs the umbrella from the side and asks: "Would you like an umbrella to go outside, Giselle? It’s raining heavily." As Lucy holds the umbrella, Giselle turns her head numbly to the umbrella, without a word, and then walks outside into the rain as if nothing.
Lucy and I stand by the edge of the door, seeing how Giselle walks into the rain with such slow steps; as if each step required a lot of effort. She walks barefoot down the porch and then to the middle of the front yard. It was pouring, but Giselle did not seem to mind, to the contrary, it felt like she wanted to feel the water. She stopped in the middle of the front yard and raised her arms upward, looking up to the sky, facing the mountain. It was dark, we could not see much of her expression, but we could tell she also opened her mouth. If she was talking, laughing, crying or praying, we did not know, but there she stood under the rain. And then, the unnamable happened, I thought I had seen and felt many things, but what happened next gave me a chill that I would never forget, it also made me start writing this story. . .
Giselle yelled from the deepest part of her heart and soul: "Damian!" with her arms raised, trembling from the sound of her scream, and then again "Damian!!" with long A's and painful N's. Lucy began to cry at her second scream, she could feel her friend's pain in her calling. And then a third and last time: "Damian!!" before falling to the ground. Lucy and I ran to her, she opened the umbrella and I picked up the fainted Giselle to bring her into the house. We placed her on the couch and I brought some towels to dry her. She was barely mumbling and whimpering, as if she were dreaming. Lucy brought many bed sheets and pillows to keep her comfortable and warm; she stayed beside her saying nurturing and caring words to her friend. We decided to light some candles so we could see Giselle's face if she woke up. Lucy stayed by her side, humming caring melodies as she caressed her hair. I stayed on the chair near them, watching them in silence as I fell sleep.
That night I had a dream. It was a dream of a time where Giselle and Damian were together. It was a concert where many people from the town came to watch, and even Lucy was there, sitting next to me. We were watching how these lovers were playing their music together, just the two of them, as they often did. Damian played the piano, and Giselle played the violin. They played like if music was living through them, together, with such passion and talent, with such harmony and bliss. The grace that shone from their music was beyond description. Everyone in town got to know them through their music, everyone in the world got to know them through their with music. They had the perfect combination of harmony; they had the kind of chemistry that proves that fate exists, it was the kind of chemistry that proves that there is a perfect one for each soul. It felt as if these lovers were very lucky to have found each other, and the world was lucky that they did.
In the morning, I could tell why I had such beautiful dream. Lucy had climbed on to my lap during the middle of the night, and slept hugging me. I hugged her too. So when I woke up, she was there with me, holding on to me as if we were already lovers. We both woke up at the same time, and there Giselle spoke: "You make a great couple." She said in a hopeful yet tired voice, as if we were the only thing she believed in. Lucy stood up and walked to her, asking: "Giselle, how are you feeling?"
"I should be with him." Giselle said.
"No, Giselle, you are safe, here with us. You are alive." Lucy replied.
"Am I? I don't feel alive. I feel cold."
While Lucy placed a cloth around her, I noticed someone approached to the door. I stood up and walked to open it, hoping to hear good news. It was the detective. By the look on his face, I could tell he did not bring anything new, he saw Lucy and Giselle sitting on the couch and took his time to speak: "We have been looking these days with all the officers from the town, but we cannot find the house, it seems the amount of snow covered most of the trees which referenced its location. Although there are many who want to volunteer to join our search, we strictly forbid civilians to join us. There has been trembling aftershocks and we fear it might cause another avalanche. We will do another search today before nighttime, but it will be the last one. I am very sorry to say this, but we doubt he's still be alive, that is if he managed to survive these days." The detective knew them too; he knew how hard it was for her. "I'm very sorry Giselle."
The silence spoke more than any words coming through our minds. "Thank you Detective." I said, and he left respectively. His words didn't seem to affect Giselle more than she was, but after he left she said:
"He's still alive."
Lucy did not know what to say, nor did I. We did not know to either support the hope of finding Damian, or be there with her to accept the fact that he was never coming back. Either way, we were with her. I sat on the armchair next to her. Lucy on her other side. We were without words, but with our arms around her.
Giselle stood up and turned to face us: "I really appreciate you both being here. You are wonderful friends. Both of you. But if you don't mind, I'd like to stay the rest of the day in my room, I would like to bring peace to my heart. Can you respect my wishes?"
I nodded, but Lucy stood up and said: "Promise me that you won't hurt yourself, and we'll respect your wishes."
"Don't worry, Lucy." Giselle responded, "I could not imagine being hurt more than I am now. I promise."
"Then, we'll be here outside your door, just in case you need us." I said.
Giselle nodded. "Thank you." And then took a moment to really look at us before turning into her room, and closing the door behind her.
I stayed with Lucy the whole day. She called the animal clinic to let them know she won't be coming to work today either, they were very comprehensive, for they also knew Giselle & Damian.
At lunch, Lucy told me that Giselle came to her house the day before the earthquake because she and Damian had a fight, the only fight they ever had:
"Damian wanted to have a family, but she didn't." Lucy told me "She said she needed more time to finish her compositions, but he said she was saying that only because she was afraid. She said it was a stupid argument, but she just needed to be apart for some time to process what he was asking."
"Who would have thought." I said. "If they wouldn't have had that fight, Giselle would also be with Damian trapped inside that house."
"I don't know why Damian had to build his house up there in the mountain, always surrounded by so much snow."
"Damian always loved snow, and he told me he built that house up there because of the peace of sound; it helps him compose. Giselle agreed when she lived there with him. You know how much time they spent time inside composing; we could hear the genius of their music when they performed. Besides, there has never been an earthquake in this town, and there has never been an avalanche in that mountain."
Giselle spent all day in her room. Lucy and I often stopped to see if we heard any sounds coming from inside, but there were none. She didn't came out for lunch nor dinner, although Lucy insisted on knocking on her door to ask her, I reminded her that she wished for peace; if she were hungry, she would get out.
Lucy and I cuddled on the couch that night, with a few candles lit. We did not asked nor question anything happening between us, we hugged and caressed each other as if we were already together. We still have not kissed, yet I think we are both waiting for everything to resolve for us to start on a good note.
Next morning, We both woke up early, and Giselle was the first thing in our minds. We walked to her bedroom door and tried to listen, but there were still no sounds. Lucy looked at me, and I nodded, I think it was alright to check to see how she was, at least to see if she was hungry.
"Giselle?" with caring voice, Lucy called out to her friend. And then a few soft knocks on her doors: "Giselle, are you awake? We were wondering if you wanted some breakfast." No answer. She knocked again softly "I know you don't want us to bother but we just want to hear your voice, see how you are." No answer. I knocked this time "Giselle? Can you talk to us please?" I knocked again. No answer. Now I was getting worried. I turned the knob, but it was locked. She never locked the door before. "Giselle." I knocked harder now, trying to turn the knob. "Giselle, please, open the door or we are going to break in." I knocked harder now. "Giselle, last warning, if you don't answer we are going to come in, do you hear me?!" No answer. Lucy covered her mouth, thinking the worst: "Oh my God." So I had no choice but to break in; I grasped the knob and used my shoulder to force the door open. "Giselle. Open the Door!" I kept pushing the door once and over, again and again, "Giselle!" and then I opened the door, breaking the door frame.
What we saw when we entered, was nothing that we expected to see. Giselle was not there. The window was open. There was a letter on the bed. Lucy ran to read it. I looked outside the window, but she was gone. I turned to Lucy, and she said: "She went to find Damian."
... to be continued ...
- Facundo Raganato