Let’s play in the dark, at the house of Rio.

Her silhouette moves around the room, along the dark marble wall with big R I O black italic letters across it. “Oh no” I sigh, as I see her shadow with a flicker of my eye. It’s not the first time I receive visitors such like this.

Only minutes ago I tossed and turned in a friend’s bed, restless. Next moment, I am in the open living room space meditating at two in the morning.

She seems troubled, panicked, yet no stranger to these house of Rio walls. She sits with me on the adjacent couch. A shadow sits with me. Her silhouette is long, slim. She crosses her legs, and takes a long inhale with a cigarette. Her hair falls down to her shoulders and forms the contours of her youthful face. She does not share her gaze with mine.

Senses flow through me in the silence. As once the blood flowed through her, so did the hell of her once lived life. Abuse, betrayal, solitude, powerlessness, addiction; a human who once lived.

“Oh no” this time a gasp forms upon my lips.

“You know what?” I listen. “This is where I feel most at home, I cannot leave this place.”

Taken to a room where she is a child. Her mother watches vacantly from the doorway as strange men steal her childhood innocence away. The denseness of the betrayal oozes within the room, then, and here now. Without warning, I’m faced with a raging being, tormented by the memory shared. She is in my face. The shadow is in my face. The youth is drawn out of her. She shrinks, darkens and silently shouts.

I am not responsible for a life now gone to a death now existent, I think as I remain motionless. The protective shield around me expands, lit, impenetrable. I still do not move.

“Are you ready to go to the light?” wholeheartedly I ask.


Fear feels our space. Images, like a film, run through my mind. Abandoned over and over from no one she could trust. Pain becomes normal. Drugs placed in her grasp to cope. Resignation to the fact her body is a temple of abuse, no other ways were shown to her.

It is then, I see in front of a mirror, the same mirror at this apartment’s bathroom sink, her blood-filled face. Desperation draws through her reflection, her own personal plea to the one she sees to free her; herself. A knife is lifted over her head, she strikes twice in her lower abdomen. Panic all around, as she is found bleeding her last breathes in one of these rooms. It would have taken courage from another for her saviour. None who knew her had such a thing.

I breathe in the returned silence.

“I cannot leave this place, it is my home”

“Do you want to return to the light?”

“No, no I’m scared” she sinks deeper into herself.

“You don’t have to come back as a human. What about an animal? What animal do you like?”

“A sphynx!” Without hesitation, she exclaims.

“You would be amazing as a cat” I assure. “No more addiction, someone to care for you.”

“I just love watching the love that travels these walls. It is a different, juvenile, innocent kind of love. I’m not ready, not yet.”

Finding myself rested, as I awaken the morning beside my friend. “How did you sleep?” she says.

“I think you have a ghost” I reply.

“Funny you say that….”

Written by Simona Galimberti

No credit available for image (please advise if you know, so I can give credit where credit is due 🙂 )

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