There are a lot of things to tell about Layla.
Sometimes, my witch is not easy to take.
„You know what?“, she exclaimed in one of her first nights in my kitchen. „Why don’t you just leave your ID here at home. No one will know how far from home we are and that‘s it.“
It was already getting dark outside. The sky turned blue, the clouds were dramatic and I could see that everything inside her wanted to escape onto the fields. I wanted to tell her that this is not a good idea, but did not.
Within the last seven days, each border surrounding us had been closed. Good friends are suddenly trapped and out of reach. There is no way out. Human contact is a risk we cannot afford. No contact to strangers. Avoiding any company.
So, yes! Just leave it all at home and escape onto the field. Let us run into the forest and avoid the streets.
This is still easier to take than everything else, that is going on.
One night, Layla escaped without me noticing.
I had cried for hours, but it had been furious tears, no self-loathing sadness. I had been so crossed with the universe for trapping us and taking away everything our life had ever consisted of that I had furiously cried and finally fallen asleep.
But Layla could not, and so she ran out again. At 4 AM, she escaped into a forest and onto a field. A field next to the highway, and into a forest again.
She would later tell me that it was there, where it happened. The catastrophe, that Layla seemed to bring into this world as a gift.
Within that second forest, she was suddenly grabbed from behind and pushed with her back to a tree. A very grumpy looking man would hold a flashlight onto her face and ask for her ID, which of course Layla did not carry with her. That man would then search her and, oh! That was a pleasure, considering that Layla was wearing an old nightdress of my grandmother‘s underneath her leather coat, still exposing her unshaven legs that were put into heavy boots. Also her hair was a mess, and after a while of searching and robbing that girl of her last cigarettes, the police man would accept that she did not expect to meet people and was definitely not part of the party that he had just stopped.
Layla came back shaking. She threw boots and coat away, shook her head to free her messy hair and would sit down next to the window and look like an old painting, as she cried.
„The world is terrifying!“
Yes, being pulled over and searched on a secret night walk only because meeting people and having a party is something we cannot afford anymore is terrifying.
Still, this amused me.
A least for a moment, I had been amused.
The next moment of darkness was already waiting.
Maybe, it was a friend telling us that things will be this way for now and for longer, and that we will have to get used to live without any human contact, because that will be risky, until there is a vaccine. „And that can take years.“It takes years. It might never work out. Human contact is a risk. Social distancing is a painful term.
Layla would put a hand on my shoulder and hand me another bottle of wine. She would take me outside, onto one of those fields that were already drowning in blue. We would stand there underneath the stars of the northern field and empty the bottle.
„I feel invisible, because I am not seen by someone“, I would whisper, and Layla would nod.
“Most importantly by a certain someone.”
„The answer in his eyes“, she would add.
„And there is no one to tell this.“
And then we scream.
We scream out into the night. We scream out to the polar star and the full moon. We scream. And then we laugh. And somehow fall down onto the field, and only came home early in the morning.
I picked up the book, I was reading. The Asylum for wayward Victorian girls“ by Emilie Autumn.
„Why do we read this?“, Layla would ask, and I would think about that. It was painful, sometimes. It told a story that would not want to make through myself.
Also, the book invited the reader to use the free space as a diary in case of an emergency, and to share their own story with it.
And I did so.
Layla was awake, because I felt like I was dying inside while being isolated.
But as you see, we had wine and fun. The dark kind of fun that you don‘t want to have, but sometimes need to survive.