This woman - who until two months ago spent her free time stalking me, telling me lies, giving me details of their perfect little life together – rushed toward Mohsen’s casket and touched it like touching the last piece of this happiness which had already turned into some obscure reminiscence.
She dropped to her knees and wailed like a dog.
Dr. Moshir rolled his eyes. “I assume that it is him,” he said and the woman’s nod and the breaking of her sobs and the genuineness of her grief – something she had no control over -- soothed me and I felt pity in a way I’d never felt for anyone before, and my chagrin, this rainy cloud over my head even on sunny days, left me and drifted away to find its new place in the world. This moment was my awaited closure. This was a new beginning, a new life, still enclosed in the scent of death nearby.
Dr. Moshir led the woman away from Mohsen and looked at me. “Your turn now,” he said and I stepped forward to have my last glance of the man I’d learned to love and to hate. But all I saw was his hairy torso, cold and unmoving, and I remembered its quiet beats, the warm pulsing of life, the last time I’d laid my head on his chest. I looked closer at his face. There was a knot on his forehead as if he was appalled by his last thought. What was his last word? Or his last memory?
There was a dark purple line around his neck, and those three little moles under his chin. “It’s him,” I said and the second wife sobbed harder. “He loved me. He loved me more,” she shouted, reaching the body, shaking Mohsen’s arms, squeezing him, her fingers piercing the decaying flesh.
Dr. Moshir approached her with a look of concern. “You’re going to catch a disease, lady,” he said, pulling the woman by her shoulders, but she held Mohsen tighter, kissing his putrid lips, borrowing her face in his chest.
The room grew silent and I imagined the perishing ribs to fall apart, and the dead chest opening up to devour my stalker’s head.
The doctor stepped back, glancing at his watch. “Time to move on,” he said and I looked at the document in my hand. “Where should I sign?” I asked and the doctor pointed at the cross at the bottom of the first page.
A young guard showed up to remove the grieving wife, while Dr. Moshir wrapped up the corpse, forcing the metallic casket back into the wall.
And I signed the papers hurriedly to escape this temporary place of burial where a strange form of life persisted; half-dead-half-living, hidden in blank sheets, shoved into iron boxes, pushed inside the walls, locked behind layers of cement and concealment, while rotting - without interruption -- with determination and urgency.