Online Contests

Diana-Gabriela Mathe, Prose, Group II

Diana-Gabriela Mathe participates in the “Short prose” section of the International Literary Creation Competition, 4th edition, from Brașov, Romania. Diana-Gabriela is 14 years old and is guided by professor Raluca Vasniuc at ”Ștefan Octavian Iosif” Secondary School No. 11. We thank her for her participation and wish her success.

 The sun and the moon

I hate this. I hate performing at the theatre. I hate how it makes me feel overwhelmed and like I’m about to tear my eyes out. Knowing that so many people are watching me and can criticize me for any mistakes I do it’s sickening. I wish to rip that violin apart, destroy it, break it into pieces, anything just to get rid of it. I had enough of these recitals, it’s like a living hell.

 “Atsuki? Are you feeling all right? You seem troubled, and your face is pale.” Hearing Elijah talk scattered my thoughts apart. His voice was steady and melodic as always, even though the concern was noticeable in his tone. To be honest, I don’t even deserve his kindness. He is always trying to make me feel better, and I can’t thank him enough for that. Whenever I see his smile, it leaves me with a weird feeling in my chest. Almost as if it feels…warm, and lovely.
“I’m fine, so quit worrying about me.” I said a little annoyed, yet touched by his concern.

 “I can tell by your face that you aren’t well. Maybe we shouldn’t perform today-” 

 “Are you out of your mind?! We can’t skip the recital just because- 
“I don’t get to finish my sentence as he interrupts me.

 “Did you even sleep last night? I hope you didn’t stay up all night practicing again.”  He was so worried about me that it almost made me tear up. Why does he care so much anyway?

 “Elijah, please, calm down. I’m all right, and no, I didn’t stay up last night practicing.” I said as I gave him a reassuring smile. “Let’s just get over with this recital, ok? I will be fine, I promise.” 
 He sighs. “Fine. But if you feel any worse during the performance, tell me immediately. Your health is way more important than this stupid performance.” He said as he was preparing to go on the scene. But before he left, he gave me a kiss on the forehead, smiling brightly. “I love you, please remember that. And take care.” Said Elijah as he went to the scene, leaving me alone behind the curtain. 

  Suddenly, I started coughing. Blood and…petals. I quickly wiped away the blood, hoping that he didn’t notice. I grabbed the petals and threw them in the nearest trash can.

  “What the hell has just happened…Why did I start coughing petals? It’s like I have... No, it couldn’t be. That disease is completely fake.” I tried to calm down as I quickly grabbed my violin, trying to get on stage. “Come on, Atsuki. Put it together. It’s just some blood, you will be fine. You get Hanahaki disease only if you fell in love with the wrong person, and you aren’t in love with anyone.”  I said to myself as I finally got on stage. I felt like I was about to faint, and I know Elijah noticed that on my face. I ignored his worried look as I placed my violin in its position. Why is it so hard to breathe? No, I have to concentrate. I just have to ignore this feeling. I can do this; I can finish this recital without any mistakes. I just have to suck up the pain and play. As the crowd finally settled down, I started playing the violin while Elijah played the piano. During the recital, I could sense the spectators' eyes searching for our mistakes. The way I was moving my bow across the strings, the way Elijah pressed his keys, everything we did…But why did something feel off? Then I noticed. The crowd was whispering, laughing, and spreading rumors. 

  You’re trash. You’re useless. You’re imperfect. That’s what they’re talking about. You should have practiced more. You’re a disappointment, your parents are right for hating you. You deserve to die. Everyone hates you. You’re Pathetic. I look around for Elijah, trying to seek his comfort. But he wasn’t at the piano. I couldn’t see him anywhere. Why can’t I see him? Did I go blind? He didn’t leave me, did he? Did I play so badly that he left? Did I disappoint him too? 

  I dropped my violin to the ground. My hands were shaking like crazy. My breath was getting heavier with every second, and my vision was getting blurrier. I began coughing bloody petals, feeling my insides being corrupted by them. I ran off the stage, as the flowers were pouring violently out my mouth. It hurt too much; my lungs felt like they were about to explode. What if I die? What if I will never see Elijah again? No, no, no…Please, I don’t want to die! He is the only person who genuinely cared about me, who showed me affection! He always took care of me, he always tried to make me smile. He loved me, he appreciated me, he was always proud of me no matter what I did. Please, I don’t want to be away from Elijah! 

  As I was trying to get out, I collapse onto the ground. The flowers have planted their roots in my chest, violently destroying my lungs. And suddenly, he appears out of nowhere. But…his gentle, caring smile has faded away. All that was noticeable on his face was fear and concern.

  “Atsuki… Please, get over my death already. Look how much it affected you!” His voice sounded shattered, it felt broken. He then lifts me from the ground, dragging me in his embrace. As he holds me tightly, I noticed that Elijah was crying. Was he crying because of me? 

  “What are you talking about? You can’t be dead, that’s impossible! Now quit talking dumb!” I try to speak, but it was hard to. My insides are being terminated, crashed by flowers.

  “But I am. I passed away two years ago, when are you going to understand?” His eyes were full of sadness and despair. I hate seeing him so depressed. “You have to forget me Atsuki. You need to overpass my memory so you can heal.”

  “You pity loved me, didn’t you? All the affection you showed me was just a false act, that’s why you want me to forget you!” My voice cracked as I said these downhearted words.

  “Why would you say something like that? I love you with all my heart. You are my angel; you fill my heart. Without you, I feel empty inside. Please, Atsuki. You have Hanahaki disease because you love me too much. But I can’t return these feelings because I’m dead.” He stops talking as he placed a gentle kiss on my forehead. “Forget me, my dear Atsuki. It’s for the best.” 

  “Stop talking like that! If you loved me, you wouldn’t relinquish me! Your absence will kill me, so please, just abide with me!” My vision got blurrier as I wasn’t able to see Elijah anymore. I fell to the ground, collapsing. The world was flashing before my eyes, every memory of me and Elijah occurring in my mind.

  And then, another floweret fell out of my mouth. A red carnation. Seeing the carnation, a weak smile appeared on my face. It was Elijah’s favorite flower. At this point, I don’t care anymore. I won’t forget him. I would rather tear my skin apart than forget such a kind soul. But, it’s weird. Until now, every memory of us seemed clear as a moonstone crystal. I don’t understand. Was that Elijah’s ghost or did I imagine everything? Did I have illusions for the past two years of Elijah? But if he died two years ago, how did he talk to me today? I can’t empathize with the idea that he is dead.

  I’m not afraid of death, but I don’t wish to die either. He was my everything. I feel lost without him. To be honest, Elijah was like the sun. He helped me shine bright; He was the light of my life. While I was the moon, clinging to his light, seeking his tender love. 

And just like the sun and moon, we have to say goodbye. 

“Goodbye, my sun.” I said, taking my last breath, as I die surrounded by red carnations and regrets.