The Biggest Bump I’ve Ever Seen!

Plot – Is it possible that a banal event connects you to an old memory? How is it possible to have a deja-vu and feel like you’re back in the days, living a scene for real? That’s what happened to me, in a ordinary day, at work. A part of me felt like I was being dragged back to a very long, long time.
[Translation by Lucia Zaccherini]

It’s the biggest bump I’ve ever seen! 
My colleague is laying on a cot, resting in the infirmary next to the prototype room, where a dozen seamstresses are busy sewing couture garments; or maybe she’s asleep, I haven’t the faintest idea! 

I found myself acting as her bodyguard by pure chance. I was going to the toilet when another colleague asked me to guard the room. Without having the time to ask for an explanation, I reached the threshold of the small room. There was a cot, a table with a medicine box, two chairs. All very dull, but how should such a place be, after all?

I stared at my colleague for several seconds and moved closer to see if, instead of resting or sleeping, she had passed out. However, I couldn’t assess her condition because I kept on focusing on the bump. It had formed on the right side of her forehead, just above her eyebrow. Even though a blue patch covered it, that was truly the biggest bump I had ever seen!

What the hell had happened to her? I can’t take my eyes off that round shape that seems to grow every time my colleague breathes in. Ten minutes pass, maybe a little more, but the situation doesn’t change. She looks half dead, I’m in a state of observation. As if I were a scientist studying the reactions of the guinea pigs that have just been injected with a special serum.

When I get back to my desk, I resume my work on excel, but I’m not there. I feel like I’m paralyzed. My eyes stare enchanted at the screen; I think I’m moving only because I’m breathing. Perhaps this happens when we experience a particular memory. Maybe our body moves in slow motion because the mind sends signals to every cell. This is to retain that memory before it slips away and becomes something that makes us say: «I have the feeling of déjà vu».

I am in the office with two colleagues who are a couple of feet away from me, the screen hides my face. They can’t see the expression that is slowly appearing, and I prefer it, because I want that moment all to myself.

I think back to the apartment where I grew up. Third floor. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms. Separate living room and kitchen; the perfect environment for a family planning to expand.

The hallway leading to the rooms overlooks an entryway that connects the living room and the kitchen, and the space is wide enough for a three-year-old girl who lives for playing funny games. And while I’m still in a trance at my workstation, I see myself running down the hallway, popping up in the doorway, ready to take a big run-up and startle everyone in the kitchen. My feet are stomping on the cheap marble floor, my eyes are taking aim at people engaged in a conversation, but just before I reach them, I find myself screaming so loudly, I feel like I’m about to lose my voice. 

When I open my eyes again, my forehead, which I feel to be sore and swollen, is submerged in a red plastic bowl and, between the tears overflowing from my eyes and my constant screaming, I only see the hand of my maternal grandmother trying to soothe me with a liquid that stinks.

I look away from the screen and smile as I think back to that joyous but tragic memory, because it is the only moment I can remember about my grandmother. Our only connection, nothing else. And I can’t explain it. The only thing I know for sure, now that I think about it, is that my colleague’s bump is not the biggest one I’ve ever seen!

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