YOU WILL BE SAFE

by Dimitra Ioannou

You’ll live in the suburbs.

You’ll return home passing by family houses with curtains drawn open. You’ll know who is out and who is in. You’ll always leave the ground floor curtains open so that they’ll know when you’re out and when you’re in.

You’ll cut fresh roses from the garden to put in vases. You’ll hire a gardener. He’ll cut off those branches that hang over the partition wall so as not to disturb the neighbours. He’ll root out the weed. You’ll replace all the withering plants with new ones so as to impress your guests.

You’ll turn off the living-room and dining-room lights by eleven. You’ll close behind you the small door at the top of the staircase and activate the alarm. You’ll sleep with the telephone next to you. You’ll call the security company whenever you hear unusual noises.

You’ll tell fairy tales in front of the bathtub.
You’ll have a small store room for toilet paper and detergents. It’ll be used for their punishment.
You’ll go for a picnic in the forest, ten minutes away by car.

You’ll invite me over for a few days. I’ll have my own room. I’ll wake up later.
We’ll go for bike rides. You’ll make lots of long distance calls.
We’ll see each other little. I’ll vaguely describe my time to you.

We’ll spend one of the last nights together. You’ll order food for three. I’ll pop to my room. I’ll meet you again in the kitchen. You’ll talk without ending your sentences. You’ll be repeating “What was I supposed to do?” I’ll leave you quickly.

I’ll get up at night. Only the sound of the refrigerator will be heard. Everything will be in its place.

I’ll wake up from the knock at the door. It’ll be Saturday. We’ll say good bye. You’ll send me a last message.

She’ll be afraid of you constantly.

*

Translation edited by Chrissa Babouris.

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