He gave up rowing, and the boat was being rocked by the river, driving him without direction. His eyes looked at the dark waters while he wondered why he had to give up for fighting for his life. His mother’s smile started to invade his memories, his father’s laughs started to be listened over the sound of the water… why had he done that? He tried to look for an answer, but he was not able to find it.
He raised his sight, hopeless, looking at the empty edge. He remembered when he opened his eyes for the first time and found himself in a place like that. He remembered the doubts and the fear… how long it had been since he was there? A suddenly he felt an impulse, and he started to row in order to arrive at the edge. He needed to walk on land. He needed to be in a place that was not that cave guarded by Cerberus. He could not help but feel relief when he was out of the boat.
He started to walk, leaving behind the boat, wanting to forget the work that he was obligated to accept. Was peace really hard to find? That meant to be dead, right? He sighed, knowing that all those questions did not have answers. So, he kept walking on the edge, with the sound of the water surrounding him. Nevertheless, a big rock called his attention. He got close to it, realizing the thousands of lines that were on it. He touched it, noticing the rugosity.
«Are you interested in the meaning of the lines?»
He startled at the sound of that voice behind him. He turned back, finding a young man out who smiled and was taller than him. The boy got closer, took a stone and drew another line on the rock.
«Each line represents a day. I do this in order to count the days since I arrive here».
«Caronte has not come yet?»
«You are in Cocytus, the people that you find in this river are those who do not have the amount of money in order to pay Caronte».
Suddenly, he understood the situation. He looked at him again, realizing how his face looked like it was dead. The young man smiled again, squeezing the stone in his hand.
«Wandering for eternity is not as bad as it sounds».
However, he did not believe him. His voice sounded sad. Too sad. His smile did not show any kind of happiness, in fact, it was full bitterness. The young man sat, putting his back on the rock, hugging his long legs, staring Cocytus’ river.
«I do not care if I have to wander eternally… There are worse punishments than this, like forgetting who you are, isn’t it? At least, I know who I am and who I was. I have my own memories that are by my side, no matter what… There are a lot of people who are condemned to star at Lethe’s river, do you know what it means? Oblivion. If you drink of its waters, you forget who you are… No. It is not so bad to stay here».
Why had people to stay here, wandering, just because they did noy have a coin? That was something that he could not understand. Perhaps death did not turn people into equals.
«I can help you. I can take you there so you can put an end to everything».
Suddenly, he was again on the boat, rowing with that guy who looked at the edge while his hands squeezing the stone. And, for the first time since he came to the Underground, he smiled. Finally, he felt that he was doing something good. What could be wrong with that?
Image by nighty