In a tiny apartment of the city center, a woman observes her watch. It strikes midnight. She doesn't know what day it is, but really, that's none of her business anymore. She's dead anyway. Her name used to be Fatima. She looks at the cigarette ash in the windowsill, and recalls the last person who killed her. It occured a few days ago, when he rushed before her and burst into tears. He never had a name. He barely had two shirts in her wardrobe. That and the cigar ash in the windowsill.
Tenderly, she bundles it up in a little pile and blows over it. She watches as the wind tangles with the remains of a man who loved her without knowing her. Remembers the shirts, he didn't even take them. Contemplates burning them, and decides that it would be better not to open the wardrobe again. It's now filled with his cologne, the one that smelled cheap and of stranger. No, she won't burn the shirts. She'd rather burn her hair.
Better not. Inside her hair lives the memory of the person who almost killed her in a way that mattered. She had more than one name. She had a box full of them. The box still sits in a corner of the laundry room. Fatima can no longer remember all her names, because the box burns when touched. But one of them was Martina. She remembered it well, because it was the one she wore when she threw an iron at her. The iron burned when touched. Fatima absently touches the back of her arm, where the wound mark curls. Martina's brand. She, who screamed and tore apart and cried like a child. Who killed Fatima not when she actually tried to do it, but when she kissed her cheek, stole one of her lipsticks and a train ticket, and left her box. The kiss burned when it touched her. No, she definitely can't burn her hair. Better burn her skin.
But hundreds of freckles stare back at her from her skin, and those look a lot like her brother's. Although she was never alive for him, she still held affection towards him. At least he had had the decency to make it clear that he wanted nothing to do with her, nor with the rest of the family. He never gave her a life, and therefore never ripped it away form her. Not to mention that when he ran away, he left her a pair of shoes and a few coins for the bus. Nowadays they call him the Centipede, she ponders, but when our mother was still alive they called him the same name as our father.
She doesn't remember that name either. The father had disappeared in a bonfire: the name, the man and everything he left scattered around the world. The only thing he didn't take into the afterlife were his children, he probably thought they'd weigh him down. But everyone has always told her that she looks a lot like her father ... Maybe she could follow his steps and go up in flames with what little she's got.
If she's lucky, her soul will get trapped in the rubble. Then she could nose around in the affairs of the neighbors for eternity. Maybe she could fuse with the wooden planks that saw her grow up. Her mother used to say that the street was cursed. That her bad luck was due to the demons that lived beneath it. They crawled between cobblestones and during the night, they escaped to dance. Fatima has never liked to dance, but she could get used to it.
Yes. Better burn the apartment.
Fatima takes one last look at her own face, sets fire to the carpet and remembers a second too late that she hasn't left a note.