Linda Brieda







The One Who Had the Answers


One long, tall beauty next to another – all in black; pressing white tissues against their eyes to soak up their big crocodile tears. Smeared mascara, red quivering lips, shyly sniffling noses – most of them the handy-work of a renowned plastic-surgeon. A parade of the most known and most beautiful girls of France. Oh, you would have liked this! You would have loved this. This is probably the reason why you did it.

The first time I saw you, I hardly noticed you. Quite small and slender, hovering over your glass of tea amongst the wine-drinking crowd. Your crooked nose sticking out to pick up the scent; and when you did, you turned to me. I expected you to quickly turn away, to gaze over my body with your fleeting eyes, but you stared into my eyes – with a boldness that did not match your exterior. A curiosity that made me blush. You knew, you had me that very first moment. And since you knew with such certainty, it did not even cross my mind to consider otherwise.

Was it the wine, the music, the conversation or was it your touch? It felt like a drunken dream – your hand exploring each inch of my skin. I came. You didn’t. My pleasure was your pleasure. You tucked me in to sleep in your Moroccan bed and while I drifted into my ever so content, dreamless sleep, you opened some spiritual book to read – the kind of book, that I would force myself to read, because its good for you, because it will teach you how to be and live and think positive. But you did not need to force yourself, you flew over the pages, forgetting whatever beauty was laying next to you in bed. That night I felt special, because you were special and you were with me.

Now I find you despicable. I look at the many young, grieving faces in front of me and I have to bite my tongue not to lose myself – not to laugh out loud and disturb your funeral.  What would you tell those grieving women? You would reach out your arms, their heads would lean on your chest and you would let them spill their sadness. With your calming voice, you would tell them that death is just the curtain to another life. A sour giggle fights its way up my throat.

I try to imagine how you did it. How did you pull the trigger? I imagine you were as calm as always. As determined. Strong – even during your own suicide.

“A sickness is merely a message from your body to the soul. All we need to do is listen!” That’s what you said to me and probably also to all the others. So what sickness did you have? What sickness did death cure you from? Depression? Self-doubt? A psychosis?

The coffin is lowered into the ground. You are lowered into the ground. The roses and tulips and Lilys follow you. At first I did not want to see your face. The coffin was open and seeing your face would erase your existence forever. But I did see you and seeing you sleep did not match your character. You were awake, alert, your smile readily available and an answer always on the tip of your tongue before the question was even formed. Yes, you had all the answers.

Now I ask myself, weather you yourself ever had questions and if you did who would answer them for you – Certainly not your books, not the sleeping women next to you, not the yoga, nor the green tea that you sipped in buckets. All the admirers that were fighting for your attention and craving your wisdom – but you must have been lonely. Lonely as an ascetic that was expected to float above the worldly pleasures. Lonelier than any of us, because you did not have someone who would give you what you gave others. And inside of me the forgiveness erases my anger. I forgive you for leaving us behind. I forgive you for not being able to live up to the ideal you had created for yourself – an impossibility for any human. Smeared mascara, red quivering lips, my sniffling nose. My violets follow you – the hardiest of all flowers.











LINDA BRIEDA is an award-winning short fiction filmmaker. Her directorial credits include PIECES OF CAKE, ONE FOR SORROW, GLOBAL TIDES, JUST A FAVOR and A GOOD WIFE. She has traveled throughout Asia for work on documentaries such as LIVING RIVER: THE GANGES, QUEST FOR ENERGY, and ONLY ONE CHILD: THE FANGS STORY. She is currently working on her first feature WILD EYES. She enjoyed teaching inner city high school students about making narrative short films in the CUNY’s College Now Video Workshop at Brooklyn College (NYC). She is just  acquired her Master at the Film university Konrad Wolf in Germany.


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