When he woke up, he felt the hot coal in his mouth. He tried to say something, to ask for help, but instead he only emitted a tiny voice, barely audible. He tried to move, still drowsy, and was then when he felt the pull in his arm. He opened the window; outside was nothing but white while they went through a cloud, but Rob felt that whiteness only meant that, wherever they were, they were too far away to come back.
When his eyes adapted to the sudden light, he saw the blood under his nails. His arm was burning. Under the light he could see how his skin was patterned with purple moons, tiny but visible. And he felt the unbearable sting that went up his arm to his shoulder and he realized that his whole body was full of moons, like stars, like a galaxy, purple and sick. He ran to the hallway, knocking his partner in travel with quite strength (Pal, what’s with you today?)
He went through the plane in a few steps and tried to open the bathroom door, which was lighted red for Busy. He knocked the door violently, making the plastic tremble and almost cracking the aluminium skeleton. A flight attendant grabbed his arm, that arm, while trying to stop him.
-Sir, please calm down- And then she moved away with a drown scream after seeing her hands covered with dry blood.
One of the fly attendants offered him a wet towel, to which he accepted, just to clean himself a bit before leaving it on the table. He tried to make the mimic to ask for water, while he pressed his shoulder on the wall. The door opened with a crack and a man came out the bathroom, staring at him with an angry look while he entered stumbling. The cold water calmed the burning, and he observed the long wounds, how he had scratched his own skin while sleeping. Under the blood he discovered even more moons, and under his eyes he could almost see them appear. He felt a hand in his shoulder and he turned to see a hostess offering him, with eyes full of fear, a bottle of water.
He opened it and drank it all in one sip, but it couldn’t help his throat. It was like he had eaten sand, like he had swallowed fists and fists of blazing white sand under the furious sun of midday, feeling how every metallic grain scorched his tongue, his throat, going down to a tortured stomach. He felt the burning in his chest growing, not only over his skin, but under it, from inside, like a dancing dune inside.
With what was left of his voice asked.
-Doctor- And pointed, without shame, to the state his arm was left in. The air attendants took him outside, where a woman tried to disinfect him with a yellow solution, and even though Rob let her do so (at this point nothing could make it worse), he didn’t stop asking –Doctor. I need a doctor. In the plane. Doctor-
He saw with the corner of the eye someone getting up from that part of the train and going to the first class part, but he wasn’t sure anymore. He heard some whispered voices, while he kept babbling more and more, losing his voice.
A thin woman wearing a wrinkled white shirt, emerged from behind the curtain. She must be around thirty years old, she had the hair in a ponytail, and yet somehow messy, and you could see some white hairs crossing the dark head of hair. Her skin was tanned, much more than his and she forced her tired expression into a smile. Her teeth were completely white.
He was with a grizzled man, around fifty years old. He had a slightly tendency to bend down, like all the people who have worked standing over tall desks. He had gnarled hands, and lacked a finger.
Under his dizzy vision, both of them looked a bit like monsters.
-Yo hablo Español, un poco- He said, without a smile –Ella ser doctor, para ayudarlo a usted-
Rob nodded with his head as a way of greeting, and he moved closer, with his arm extended and grabbing his upper arm like a drug addict that can’t get the needle out of his vein.
The woman bended with curiosity and grabbed some chirurgic gloves from a sterilised packet one of the stewardesses offered her. She pressed the moons, puzzled, and rubbed the skin waiting for some type of reaction. Then she interchanged some uncompressible words in a strange language.
-How long have you had those marks? – Translated with difficulties the man and Rob raised three fingers. Since three hours ago. He answered some more questions that covered from allergies to being bitten by some insect.
Rob emphasized the burn in his chest, but the woman discarded it as some trouble with the diet.
-It’s probably a body reaction- Nothing to worry about, completed Rob in this mind. That was what the doctors always said to patients in their office. It’s a nimiety. I had fifteen cases of this last week. It’s nothing to worry about.
Immediately after this the patient dies, but even then the doctor wouldn’t admit his mistake.
-It’s just a product of a strong case of somatisation. You are just exaggerating-
He imagined himself dead, up there, and his body being translated by the narrow hallway, his neighbour in seat carrying his head carelessly and a flight attendant grabbing him by the motionless legs. The passengers in the plane just sleeping, with the masks over the eyes, the pillows under the necks and the mouth wide open, while others laughed with a mouth full of fried snacks and the eyes fixed on the little screens.
Finally, when they reach the end of the plane and they’d open an enormous fridge, with the steam of the ice covering the place like white clouds, and they’d try to make the clumsy corpse to enter there, even though he was too big to fit comfortably. They would press his head, breaking the ligaments of his neck and closing the lid with a slam.
And they would forget about him until rediscovering his body, after many flights, moving him to the hold, where they would lose him like the rest of his luggage.
Meanwhile the stranger that used to sit by his side would get confortable on the two free seats and sleep deeply the rest of the travel.
Third Part (to be published soon)