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The silver transverse flute was lying quietly over the table, as Judith left the house.
Long ago…was the last time she could play her pain away, into a melancholic melody. Now it reminded her of the tones she used to play, to scare her pain away.
Sometimes tears escaped from her soul into her eyes, usually while attaching the tools to her hands with plaster and gauze, to be able to work on her newest jewelry piece for her current university semester; tears she tried to hold until they turned into willpower and smiles, remembering the stories about “Aleijadinho”, an amazing Brazilian sculptor who could only create his statues by attaching tools to his hands, being incapable of moving them. Son of a Portuguese man and an African slave, Aleijadinho’s life turned into legend, because of his statues. Judith, with her red hair and Irish parents, was neither Portuguese nor African, and did not even know exactly where Brazil was. But she felt closer to Aleijadinho than most of his countrymen would ever be able to feel.
Feeling special for a moment, every time she worked on her pieces after her friend Liana told her about him, she decided to do the same: live in the moment and be able to finish as many pieces she could, in the time she had. Who knows? No doctor could ever tell her how long it would take for her nerves to fade away.
“The future? Who knows, Judith”, Liana used to say. “There are 3D prints you can design in the computer, you can go into product design and create amazing stuff anyway. No one ever knows what the future will bring. Don’t cry before the milk is spilled—maybe when it happens you already turned into a vegan, so wouldn’t drink it anyway.”
Liana could always cheer people up, she thought, going slowly down the steps—there was no elevator in the building and her apartment was on the second floor. She was going out to meet Liana for lunch at the University Cafeteria. Her nerves were dying, but her mind and soul were alive.
Some people compare your body to a car, carrying your soul through life.
But, it isn’t the same. You can have none, one or many cars in your life.
Your body? You have only one. Once your soul gets into it, it stays there from your first until your last day. You need to deal with what you get. Some changes are possible due to the state of modern medicine and science, but you can’t crash it and buy a new one.
Liana was also the one friend who cut Judith’s food, pizza, steaks and difficult meals for her, exchanging her plate with hers in social situations after doing so, so no one could notice her incapacity to hold a knife and fork anymore.
Judith’s polyneuropathy was taking its course, slowly and surely. Weakness, numbness, and burning pain, affecting her autonomic nervous system; so, there was no time for tears. Only to live and smile. With a big smile on her pale face, Judith left her apartment to slowly go down the steps on the way to her car. She could still drive her car. She could walk. So, she could smile too. “Snow Tempest? Good that I have a car and can drive. I would take a week to arrive at the tempo I walk now,” murmured Judith to herself, walking out of her apartment.
Liana entered the Cafeteria, looking for Judith at each table. She wasn’t there yet.
Still looking for Judith, even knowing she had not yet arrived, Liana saw Renate, another girl, crying loudly, sitting in front of a plate. It was a plate for a full meal and she was crying in front of her plate and one already empty beer can.
“What happened, Renate?” asked Liana.
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