memories of midnight-Page 26

The drive to the beach house took an hour of actual time and twenty years of memories. There was so much for Melina to think about, so much to recall. Costa, young and handsome, saying, Surely you've been sent from the heavens to teach us mortals what beauty is. You're beyond flattery. Nothing I could say would do you justice...The wonderful cruises on their yacht and idyllic vacations on Psara...The days of lovely surprise gifts and the nights of wild lovemaking. And then the miscarriage, and the string of mistresses, and the affair with Noelle Page. And the beatings and public humiliations. Monnareemou! You have nothing to live for, he had said. Why don't you kill yourself? And, finally, the threat to destroy Spyros.

That was what, in the end, Melina was unable to bear.

When Melina arrived at the beach house, it was deserted. The sky was cloudy, and there was a chill wind blowing from the sea. An omen, she thought.

She walked into the comforting, friendly house and looked around for the last time.

Then she began to overturn furniture and smash lamps. She ripped off her dress and let it fall to the floor. She took out the card from the detective agency and placed it on a table. She lifted the rug and put the gold button under it. Next she took off the gold wristwatch that Costa had given her and smashed it against the table.

She picked up her husband's swim trunks that she had taken from the house and carried them out to the beach. She wet them in the water and returned to the house. Finally, there was only one thing left to do. It's time, she thought. She took a deep breath and slowly picked up the butcher knife and unwrapped it, careful not to disturb the tissue paper that covered the handle. Melina held it in her hand, staring at it. This was the crucial part. She had to stab herself hard enough to make it look like murder, and at the same time have enough strength left to carry out the rest of her plan.

She closed her eyes and plunged the knife deep into her side.

The pain was excruciating. Blood began to pour out. Melina held the wet bathing trunks to her side, and when they were covered with blood she walked over to a closet and shoved them in the back. She was beginning to feel dizzy. She looked around to make sure she had not missed anything, then she stumbled toward the door that led to the beach, her blood staining the carpet a bright crimson.

She moved toward the ocean. The blood was coming out faster now, and she thought, I'm not going to make it. Costa is going to win. I mustn't let him.

The walk to the ocean seemed to take forever. One more step, she thought. One more step.

She kept walking, fighting the dizziness that engulfed her. Her vision was beginning to blur. She fell to her knees. I mustn't stop now. She rose and kept walking until she felt the cold water lapping at her feet.

When the salt water hit her wound, she screamed aloud with the unbearable pain. I'm doing it for Spyros, she thought. Dear Spyros.

In the distance she could see a low cloud hovering over the horizon. She began to swim toward it, trailing a stream of blood. And a miracle happened. The cloud came down to her, and she could feel its white softness enveloping her, bathing her, caressing her. The pain was gone now, and she felt a wonderful feeling of peace steal over her.

I'm going home, Melina thought happily. I'm going home at last.