68 • pearls around the neck
When we met, she said to me: I give you the final period.
It is a very valuable period. Do not lose it. Keep it to be used at the right moment. It is the best thing
that I can give you, and I am doing it because I trust you. I hope you will not disappoint me.”
I had the final period in my pocket for a long time. Mixed with coins, keys and matches. At times,
it would get a bit dirty; besides, we were so happy, that I thought I was never going to use it. Then I
bought a secure box and placed it inside.
Happy days wore by sheltered from disappointment and boredom.
In the morning we waked up happily, delighted to be together.
Each day would start in a vast, unknown world, full of surprises to be discovered. Things lost their
familiar nature; recovering their lost freshness; trees and rivers became more inviting, almost maternal.
We would scour the streets observing things no one else would see, and aromas, colors, lights and space
were more intense.
As if we were under the effects of a powerful drug, our perception became heightened. But we were
not intoxicated; instead we were serene and sharp, blessed with a rare capacity to harmonize with the
Our senses had a particular melody that respected the outside order, but with no particular
In this state of happiness, I forgot about the box, or I lost it without noticing. I do not know which.
Now that the happiness has ended, I cannot find the period anywhere. This is creating additional
conflicts and grudges.
“Where did you put it? – she asks me, incensed – “Why don’t you use it, do not wait any longer,
otherwise everything will lose its sense and beauty.”
I look inside the closets, the coats, the furniture covers, the drawers, under the table and the bed. But
the period is nowhere to be found. Neither is the box. My search has become tense, almost obsessive.
It is possible that I lost it during one of our happy moments. It is neither in the living room nor the
bedroom, on the chimney. Perhaps the dog ate it?
Its absence painfully increases our despair.
As long as the period is lost, we are chained to each other, and those links are made of hard feelings,
apathy, disgrace and hate. We have to resign ourselves to continue this way, discarding the possibility
of a new life.
Our nights are painful, sharing the same room, where the feeling of suspicion grows to the size of an
asphyxiating wall like an unhealthy vapor. It settles on the wardrobes, on the furniture, on the books
dispersed on the floor.
We argue about anything, even though we both know that, deep inside, it is about the period’s
disappearance, of which she blames me. I believe that sometimes she suspects that, in reality, I keep it
hidden to avenge her.
“I should not have trusted you – she reproaches herself - I should have known you would betray me.”
It was a wooden and leather box, long, like the ones used in the old times to keep reading glasses. I
bought it at an antique shop.
I believed it was the most adequate place to save guard it. The period was there; round, miniscule,
well placed. But so much time went by! It is possible it got lost during one of the moves, or maybe
someone took it thinking it was valuable.