I run up the dimly lit stairs, past the mail boxes on my right, to the second floor. I pause in front of the leather encased door to flat No. 12 and with a sinking feeling in my stomach listen for any sounds. All is quiet. I open the door and step into a long corridor with very high ceiling. The telephone on a hanging shelf on my right, coat closet on the left; splatters of dried blood on the old wood floor and on the white door to a bedroom.
I carefully step past that, trying not to make any noise, and go into my bedroom, which is a large room, rounded on one end, with a big west facing window. The window is open and evening summer air is filling my lungs. The room is empty. Only movement is the reddish orange squares of the sunset lit window reflecting on a beige wall.
I go to the window and look outside. Two giant birch trees stand still. The metro station is also silent. There are no people outside. The orange city buses are not moving. I smell the musty wood floors and hear them whine under my feet as I shift my weight. I suddenly realize that I am alone. There is no wind, no birds, no people, no bugs, and there is no God. The silence is pressing on me, the weight of it is becoming unbearable and I want to cry.
“Ok, Natasha… Time to turn over…” I hear my massage therapist, and am grateful to feel human hands on my back. And I'm ok again.