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  • Writer's picturekatjagschulz

Run, and don't give up!

The moon scratches itself on the mountain. Big, round, full.

Snow on the peaks shines brightly.

I run. Along the lake shore. Fast.

“Run, Katja, run!”

Drops of sweat run with me. Sticking to my back, before sliding down.

The lake is calm. A shallow shimmer. It's not dark yet; not too late. But time is pressing on. “Run, Katja, run!” calls a voice.

90 days. So much time. And yet so little. 90 days I hold in my hand like the grains of sand in an hourglass. Unstoppably do they slip through my fingers. Every grain of sand, every day, squeezes through the neck of time. Plunges to the ground. Tick, tick!

These days are sad. Heavy with worry.

Money trickles away. A few thousand grains until the second hand will be empty too. The last Rappen slipped through.

“Run, Katja, run. Before it is too late. RUN!” shouts the voice.

I am running, yes. But where to?

Music is playing in my ears. The world is more beautiful with music. With a melody. Your melody. Because it touches me. You touch me. It's been like this for a long time.

Do you remember that dark day in December 2004? You shot an arrow into my heart. A fire kindled; a wound ignited!

You are there. Like a jewel are you lying at the other end of the lake. Behind me. I cannot see you. Zurich, my darling, my love. My pain.

Do you remember, back then, how you brought me to life? Dancing, laughing, loving.

Do you remember, back then, how you made me die? Compulsions, tears, a bleeding heart.

“Run, Katja, run. But don't run away!” it echoes from behind.

You have drawn me under your spell.

“Run and don't give up! Because if you go this time, there's no coming back.”

“How shall that work? How am I supposed to stay?”

"You have to fight. For you. For me!”

“Stop it. Stop calling and tempting me. You know I have reached the end of my tether!”

“Run, Katja, run! Damn it, how dare you just give up!

The moon has risen higher, the snow is turning grey. I stop: out of breath.

My chin drops to my chest, tears are pressing. My hands are empty, time has passed. Hope has vanished. The lake so still.

Music keeps playing in my ears. The Alps tower close and mighty, my heart breaks into pieces.

I hoped to rip you out of my soul, Zurich, my darling, my love.

It's been a long time. I was young. The fire, the flames, they still blaze.

I’m unable to suffocate you, I tried. Paris. Montréal. Calgary. London.

But none is like you, your arrow hooked far too deep.

Tears are flowing. I am frozen.

“Run, Katja, RUN!” you yell at me.

I turn around and there you are. Your eyes are big, your mouth so wide.

You shine and sparkle, your houses glow with colour. So new, so old.

The people you hold safe – from nearby and far away.

Your face so beautiful. Multifaceted.

That is you, my Zurich, my darling, my love, my home.

“Then run, and don't give up on me!”

“But tell me: WHY? Why the pain, why the suffering? A job first, so why the loss so soon after? The time, the fear, 90 days only? You are killing me.”

“Life, Katja, that is life.”

“WHY? Why so hard? Am I to blame?”

You raise a hand: “But don’t forget – I gave you your husband!”

My legs so weak. I kneel down at your feet.

“I know.”

“So run, Katja, and don't give up!”

“Then give me work, give me friends. I am begging you. Give me peace and the right – I want to linger. And tell me: do I belong?

A stab hits deep in my chest. An arrow, it begins to drip – sweet syrup spreads into my veins. Warmth, glory, magic. You have enchanted me. Yet again.

I’m hanging on, my Zurich, my darling, my love. As if stitched to you by a thread. I’m hanging on to you and only you.

“Then don't let go and don't give up. I am holding you, have faith. And run!”

Your arms so wide, your smile so soft. I lift my head, am getting up.

And, finally, I am beginning to run again.

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