Of course, you don’t know what H4 is.

You cannot possibly know that because this sweet thing, if I may call it so, is unlikely to appear today or tomorrow, but in a rather long period of time. It will appear to play its evil ambiguous role in my miserable destiny…

A new word followed by a new question.

Is there a destiny?

If everything is predetermined, will our lives be the same?

If there is a destiny then there is no point in trying to achieve anything, because whatever you are trying to do, you will do the things that due to some vague reason you must do.

As for me, I personally believe in the arranged chaos.

Chaos is everywhere, and millions of different little things that happen to you in a couple of minutes, can dramatically change your destiny with your role here consisting in catching the right current in the system of events, as this system will breed new happenings, which taken in the total network of other processes are able to modify your future.

That\»s the essence of order.

That\»s the essence of chaos.

Eternal dynamics.

One second — and I am condemned to death.

Another second — and my life is saved.

The crucial thing is to make sure that the first second is not the last one, otherwise the chain of events can get broken and, consequently, my life can be terminated.

Let\»s skip the complexities and just say that the destiny mentioned here implicates the destiny of the whole mankind, to which this delightful invention should have given the second second.

I am again referring to H4.

No, you don\»t understand me…

Not surprising.

The same reason at play here that you are not aware of.

It will happen, it will happen some time in the future.

Then why, some clever head would pop up a question, do I address this question to the past? First, because it is not a question, second, the future is vague and I don\»t know if there is anyone there whom I can ask the question, while the past is certain.

You will have to find room for this in your system of values, or in the system of values of your future relatives, who will probably not know that you have existed.

Then why, some clever head would pop up a question, should I be interested in it?

Yes, you are right. You don\»t have to.

But you are interested in it, because you are still reading.

Got it?

You still have the time to stop.

If you haven\»t stopped yet, then you will hear a story about an infernal betrayal and divine love.

I can see your cynical smile.

I will erase it. In the story that I am going to narrate love prompted betrayal, while the betrayal in question involves topics of higher hierarchy than love per se.

H4 was preceded by Н1, Н2, Н3.

All of them had certain defects about them and triggered some terrible results, of which I heard in passing, because at that time everybody talked about «Hs» and how they could help all of us. Sometimes people just need something to believe in not to sink in despair. It was the time when there was a deficit in hope. We all got stuck in that first and last second, after which the second one should follow, but that was just the condition.

«H» made us believe that the second one will follow.

«H» meant «hope.»

«H» was hope.

But previous to H1, H2, H3 and H4 was Me.

Besides me, there were millions of other people, but first of all, from my point of you, it was me — an average citizen that was destined to appear at that horrible time. I should specify that the time of my birth was rather sunny, but hardly had I reached sexual maturity, everything changed…


Just a couple of months before the global changes happened, three days after my twentieth birthday, I became an eight-o\»clock person.

A completely different person.

Before that I used to sleep till ten sharp in the morning. Then I felt that I had little time left and I have to use it wisely, so I decided to wake up at eight. It was hard to do, it took me a couple of alarm clocks to do it, but I brought it off.

I succeeded.

I have to admit that was the time when the mankind was bored to death.

Everything was too well-ordered, too familiar, too good.

Too routine.

To the point that sometimes I would start screaming, stripping off my clothes, ripping off my watch, breaking the chains that seemed to strap and strangle my essence, I vomited and writhed in fits.

I was bored.

Then it occurred to me that the boredom of life is easier to handle when shared.

I smelled the bitter aspect of loneliness.

But that wasn\»t the reason why on one morning I woke up at 7, skimmed through the TV and arrived at the conclusion that I would feel less wistful if I had breakfast outside.

For example, in a café. There was one right in front of my house.

My house.

You can\»t imagine what I mean when I speak about my house.

It is not like one of those houses that you got used to, it is much higher, as there were so many people at that time that the urbanization problems called for drastic measures to be taken. When I looked down out of my window, I saw clouds, when I looked left — I saw hundreds of thousands of tiny windows into someone\»s tiny lives.

I never knew my neighbors.

Suicides, whose number was also on the rise, learned to fly when they committed an act of self-killing.

Clouds look very trustworthy.

They lure you independent of from which point you look at them — up or down. When I read suicidal reports in a local newspaper I just wondered how many of them had the time to think before they reached the ground. I guess that jumping onto the clouds is much easier than seeing black asphalt underneath.

By the way, newspapers reminded toilet paper rolls. There was so much news that the newspapers were actually sold by rolls.

The lift that took me down took ages to descend, it took me ages to cross the road, because the underground passage was under reconstruction and it was problematic to get to the other side of the street. Further, the self-employed doors of the café came to a halt when I was trying to walk in, they turned against me growing dead in the absence of movement and through the mean transparency I could see the managers\» hassle and happy faces of the scarce eight-o\»clock clientele, who were sipping coffee apathetically.

Coffee for ever.

While waiting for my coffee to arrive, I lit a cigarette entertaining myself with blowing the streams of smoke against the evil glass and yawning between drags. I refused to allow a thought about why I got up so early at the time, when a workday did not exceed five hours, while that morning just opened the weekend.

The Friday was no longer a Friday that you know.

The managers dispersed in a visible attempt to use other means to activate a stubborn mechanism and I felt desolate again. As soon as my cigarette finished, I felt a familiar itch, which signaled the coming fits, invading my body, stripping off could ensue, but…

There was a very beautiful brunette with impossibly big eyes and a slim body, she looked like a character from a Japanese cartoon with the household micro-nose and micro-mouth. She stared at me through the glass window, while her mouth deflected into an ironic smile.

She too was an eight-o\»clock individual.

Her short violet dress consisted of the color and a zipper.

The challenge of her white arms and legs was free of fabric.

Each of the long nails carried a complex pattern.

She had very beautiful feet, which is quite a rarity even with beautiful people. Her sweeping hairdo with sharply shaped strands distantly reminded the Statue of Liberty.

Her body was covered with moles, there were in different places, which I learned a bit later.

She positioned as perfection.

Suddenly the doors swung open and we found each other standing face to face.

«Hi,» I said just to say something.

«Hello,» she replied and I saw my reflection in her eyes.

«Isn\»t it too early for a coffee?»

«It\»s somewhat late,» she looked at her wristwatch, huge but with tiny pointers.

She suffered from insomnia.

She turned out to be a person without sleep.

The dark circles under her eyes suited her fine.

Her voice penetrated my ears like warm breath.

«I am flattered by your glance,» she smiled.

We moved away a bit not to obstruct the entrance.

«You are so beautiful…» I said.

«You too,» she echoed. «It\»s a shame that we cannot be together…»

«Why?» a long sharp blade cut through my heart.

«Because I have a boyfriend…» she started walking along the pavement.

I didn\»t think about it and felt stupid.

It seemed so logical that she couldn\»t be alone in this world.

«Are you going to meet him now?» I followed her.

«I don\»t know…» She shrugged her airy shoulders. «He must be still asleep.»

«Don\»t you live together?»

«Yes, we do,» she eyed me all over.

«Didn\»t you spend the night at home?»

«I have insomnia. When the sun rose, I went out for a coffee. I was bored…»

«I like waking up early, because the world is completely different in the morning.»

«It is only in the morning that wonderful things can be seen,» our eyes locked in understanding.

«I am not lonely…»

«Have you seen something extraordinary yet?»

«Yes,» I looked at her nicely protruding forehead.

«What is it?»



«We can have another coffee,» I knew the early risers love coffee.

«Isn\»t it too much coffee for one morning?»

«Not at all, if we try different kinds.»

«Hmmm…» she hesitated.

«I cannot let you go into his arms,» I said stubbornly grabbing her hand and stopping our movement. «He is asleep anyway.»

«Ok,» she said after having another thought. «I will stay with you for another hour.»

I didn\»t resist.

An hour consists of sixty minutes and a minute — of sixty seconds, while each moment equals one event. A lot can be done in this time.

I dragged her in one of numerous cafes that filled our enormous world. We sat opposite each other in deep red armchairs. We were separated by a transparent table that was designed for stilit, a popular game of our time. The waiter jotted our orders down with his eyes closed. Besides us, there were a couple of apathetic people and a slow-motion throw of a cup to their lips was the only motion they made.

Coffee for ever.

She watched me closely, while I saw my reflection in her eyes, teeth and nails.

«It feels as if you are trying to read my mind,» I said feeling weird under her heavy and unblinking stare.

«That\»s right,» she sniggered.

«So what\»s there that you are reading?»

«The degree of your sincerity…»


«I\»ll give you an answer at the end of the hour,» she threw a look at the big watch. «In forty seven minutes.»

The waiter appeared from nowhere and still drowsing off put the coffee and its smell on the table.

He was old and it was hard for him to get up so early.

He could have done without work — the social service could provide eternal rest even for young people — but he was bored: his woman had died long ago.

I started thinking about loneliness again.

Our cups were the biggest in the café and we made the orders simultaneously, which ruled out the possibility of false copying. The energizing mouthfuls rushed down our bodies, two pairs of eyes carefully fumbled within the province of each other getting burned when intersected.

«Is he also beautiful?» strangely I felt that her company grew dearer to me as the time on her hand flew faster.

«No,» she thought a little. «Yes.»

«Then why?»

«I have been with him for a while now,» she shrugged. «I got used to him…»

«Habit,» I flinched. «But that\»s like hell.»

«Habit, hell, life and time — they have a similar meaning in my world-view,- eight in the morning, two huge cups of coffee with milk, two combinations of fingers, two young sexually mature people and an almost 10-minute absence of boredom.»

«You\»ve forgotten how it\»s like to be bored,» I said.

«In my life boredom and time are synonyms,» each swallow made her eyes more and more open. Gradually I ceased to see anything else but them.

«What time does he wake up?»

«At dinner time.»

«What do you do all this time?»

«Getting bored…drinking coffee…sometimes reading…sometimes smoking…»


«To smoke regularly is boring — just another habit.»

«For how long have you been going like this?»

«Five, seven, ten years, I don\»t remember.»

«You are too young,» I didn\»t believe her.

«Everything is too much the same.»

«C\»est terrible!»

«Why do you think I will be better off with you?» another sharp blade into my throbbing brain.

I must have deserved it.

«If not, I will be sleeping till dinner time…»

«Aren\»t you afraid of oversleeping something important?»

«Then you\»ll have the right to walk away from me.»


«Boring,» I said a minute later.

«Hmm…» the perfection got puzzled and even forgot about the coffee for a moment.

Her finger combination that she used to navigate the cup of coffee was hypnotically ideal and strikingly harmonious.

«I hardly know you,» the human absolute squinted. «I am not sure about you, you might be anyone.»

«First of all, I am a homo sapiens,» I was drinking my coffee really fast and the sleepy waiter was looming on the horizon, while my thoughts were overruning my speech. «I avoid getting into alluring but doubtful dealings. I try to convince myself that I am not a gambler, though I haven\»t been to casino and haven\»t played there. But maybe I haven\»t been there because I talk myself out of it. As well, I don\»t have any female friends, or to be exact, in the full sense of «female»… and in the full sense of «friends.» I develop disgust with them, that normal disgust that a person with normal sexuality can feel with the representatives of the same sex. I am shy and I could have stayed lonely till a very old age, but the effect you have produced on me was so powerful that a suicide would be the only alternative to my walking past you. I wouldn\»t be able to forget you…» — a new cup. «I am sure I am sufficiently romantic; not miserably, but sufficiently — should be understood in both senses.»

«You have an inclination to suicide,» she said either stating or negating the fact. «Well, as any homo sapiens… just because you drink coffee…»

«I drew on the topic to cite an example,» I liked her idea. «My emotional equivalent,» she had a number of wonderful ideas visiting her head.

And she had a fine brain.

And even then her brain was very dear to me.

I needed that brain as a pill to save me from boredom.





All in all, synonyms.

I took me no time to realize it and that\»s why I was so violent to crush another\»s personal happiness. I tried not to think about the other one, who slept somewhere nearby.

The instinct of self-preservation.

To survive, one is to snatch the pill out from somebody else\»s hands.

«Do you believe in God?» she asked suddenly.


«Strange, a lot of people do not believe in God.»

«I do.»

«Me too.»


«If there\»s Devil, there is God.»

«Why do you think that Devil exists?» she was constantly registering changes in my eyes. She knew how to apply this data to gauge the emotional side of my truth. She could differentiate the latter very well.

«He is always talking me into something. For example, drink another cup of coffee.»

«You think this is Devil?»

«Who else?»

«You must be right,» another cup into her beautiful fingers. «Time to smoke?»

«I do it only when I am bored.»

«A good indicator,» she passed her judgment,  «for people to use.»

«I know a guy,» I said. «His girl is a combination of chips and mechanisms. He said that his personality is so complex and multifaceted that he won\»t be able to live with a stupid girl. However, living with someone like him seems equally absurd to him, as he won\»t be able to tolerate his own glitches.»

«A robot?» he eyes widened.

«A self-educating program,» I confirmed. He believes it\»s simpler. A robot cannot be stupid, because it\»s a robot. Besides, it is emotionally balanced and perceives only positive emotions. Then you design the appearance to your liking; so to say bring your ideal into life, compile the basis of notions and packs it with various vocabularies. It does what you want, it doesn\»t argue with you, it is strikingly beautiful, a walking encyclopedia, one can talk, one can joke. It knows love and laughter, it knows about everything. The only thing it is not aware of is what it is.

«Do you agree that this is a kind of an easier life?»

«No, I don\»t. Though, when he introduced me to her… well, I didn\»t notice the difference. If he hadn\»t told me about it, I would have considered him a lucky one. I have thought a lot about it… » my hand holding the cup twitched; it seemed to me that everyone, and she in the first place, noticed that nervous sign of agitation. «But then I decided that I need a living person. To own a person, a personality is what really valuable. No artificial intellect can substitute a concrete individual that is able to express different emotions, able to go wild, chaotic, ambitious, able to love and to betray…»

«Get a dog,» she grinned.

«Oh, no,» I waved it off. «I am not talking about you, though I like you a lot, and would like to spend the rest of my life with you. But you told me something about you and I respect your choice. I don\»t really know why I\»m talking about it. No — I do know! Several days ago I placed an order. I dialed the number that a friend of mine gave me. I have just been looking at you and suddenly realized, it\»s so good that you are alive, so good that you are unpredictable, that you are not going to do what I want and that you have your own emotions. I have been looking at you and thinking that what a beautiful life is sitting next to me hypnotizing me with her eyes and talking about funny things… Why do I need a piece of metal that I would know as a piece a metal. Somewhere deep… where my soul is, a little engine is raging,» I finished my second cup. «I want a soul…»

A pause followed. As if accidentally, through the marking I noticed her wonderful legs with amazing feet. The feet that are rarely found even in beautiful people.

«Beautiful legs,» I said to fill in the hanging silence.

«Very beautiful,» she added strictly.

«Very,» I easily agreed.

«Don\»t confuse, ever.»

«I will try.»

Another pause followed, it was very tender and I felt a nice and strange easiness.

«You are good,» she suddenly hid her eyes. «Sorry, I need to go…»

«But we still have…» I looked at the watch, «fifteen minutes…» the easiness crumbled to dust. «Please…»

«I have to…» her face got distorted and her beautiful legs straightened up. «It should be done…» she darted to the exit sweeping past me.

«You promised…» I pushed a devilry into her back. «Fifteen minutes more…»

The perfection hanged near the door, which stayed closed; the street was soaking to the bone: the rain came down in buckets so that the buildings on the other side of the street were hardly discernable, while the shadows rushing up and down the pavement looked like miserable souls that are shown in the films about apocalypses.

I approached her from the left and we were looking into the rain for a while.

The drowsing waiter brought each of us a third cup of tea.

«Soon we will become eccentric,» I said accepting a hot cup.

«Has it happen to you before?» she asked her eyes lost in the elements.

«Of course. Before all important missions, that my life wasn\»t really abundant in, I drank a lot of coffee and became eccentric to carry them off.»

«That\»s not too healthy…» she said sadly.

«Homo sapiens is inclined to suicide,» I smiled. «Drinking coffee is one of your beautiful proofs…»

«I am happy you liked it…» my destiny\»s voice, if for a moment we make the allowance that the destiny exists, became even sadder.

«I won\»t let you go…» I stated hypnotically caressing her profile.

«I love rain so much,» she replied. «I always feel good when it rains.»

«Rain is my ally,» I told her. «In my life it signifies the exceptional nature of this or that moment. The sun is associated with routine.»

«Do you think this moment is exceptional?» she asked.

«I think yes,» I confirmed and touched her cheek with my lips.

Her skin was very delicate.

It exuded an exciting smell.

My heart trembled like glass inside my chest.

She slashed my bewildered face with the corner of her eye and dived back into the rain.

The rain was on and I felt good.

It seems to connect us with its warm and solid thread.

It started for a certain reason…



She wouldn\»t come up to him, she wouldn\»t collect her things even.

We would be lying in bed with sheets stretched to the chins and lazily exchange thoughts. There would be a huge window in front of us and sometimes we would see birds through it.

We would be a bit shy.

Occasionally we would have a cigarette.

Sometimes we would be sipping wine.

«Maybe I can fetch your things?» I would suggest.

«Why would I need them?» a reasonable question. «To keep memory?»

«I don\»t know…»

«Neither do I,» she smiled. «Let them be where they are…»

«Ok, let them be…» I don\»t protest.

A minute-long pause.

«Do you think we can buy me some clothes?» she looked into my eyes cunningly. «Jewelry, a car…»

«I have a car,» I shrugged. «I don\»t like driving it, the tube is fast enough and I can always be in time. But you don\»t have to be on time anywhere, so you can use a car,» I turned over to the side and got immersed in her profile. «Clothes are no problem, while jewelry… well, we can find something for you…»

«I\»m just kidding,» her lips replied. «I don\»t drive and I don\»t see any point in wearing jewelry.»

I put my head upon her shoulder.

«But I like wearing new clothes…»

It was a strange feeling.

A bit childish, a bit sexy and wonderfully comfortable.

«What do you feel?» she asked.

«The impulses of sensory organs come via a multitude of receptors,» I responded over the shoulder, «both pleasures and reflections are generated by the things that are happening, by the memory of the things that happened, by the memory of the memory of the things that happened, of sensations and previous experiences. Certainly I can see only my reality and yours can be diametrically opposite, but whatever it is that you perceive, I feel great now and would like you to feel something similar…»

«Don\»t worry about it. If I feel bad, I will smoke…»

«You smoked…»

«I will smoke alone, now we smoked together and it\»s a different thing…»

«Then I will smoke too to level down you displeasure…»

«You see, everything is so simple. The most important thing is that we have something in common. At least a cigarette and then there is a way for something to develop…»

It has been raining all this time.

We hear it, it caresses our ears.

Softly, the drops keep knocking against our window.

And millions of other windows.

«Our» is definitely more pleasant than «mine.»

The meaning of it and therefore the sound of it.

The rain creates the feeling that we are here alone and initiates the illusion of a shelter. We feel that once it stops, our relations will evolve and everything will change.

It is sure to be a challenge for both of us.

«For us» is definitely better than «for me.»

Those are absolutely new sensations. I have never experienced anything like that before. I am flushed from inside; my blood mixed with foam is storming within my veins and my eyes are suffering a hysterical hunger.

I am going soft with visual elation.

My time has safely hung up and it is still unclear what part of day or night it is, but it brings relaxation and pushes us beyond the borders staked off by pointers.

How long can this heaven last?

This question brings you back to the constraints of time and once it\»s asked, you start fighting against the waves of the restless sea of thought trying to find other fixtures in your joint and beautiful moments apart from their possible limitations.

There is no point in telling you about the time when the sun rolled out and changed the scene, when our eyes started running away from each other and the fences of our young foreheads concealed captious mental processes. I dedicated myself to bringing the order into the room, while she surrendered to the bathroom and the electric chef began generated something applying the best of its professional skills, but again it must be of little interest to you.

The only ones who are concerned are her and me.

Therefore I will be an egoist skipping the further detailed description of our relations, or, to be more exact, of their development. I will provide the gist of it and key moments though.

Now I am thinking maybe I should end my story here.

Maybe I should leave you at an easy loss and you would shrug and move on to another read soon forgetting about the previous entertainment.

But I won\»t do it, because the punch line is still to be pronounced.

Besides, you are still unaware of what H4 is.

It would be unfair not to tell you at least this.

For that short time that we were allowed to stay together we didn\»t quarrel once. The first tension caused by the end of the rain slipped away as quickly as it appeared. An hour later after lunch we strolled diagonals deep into the city looking for clothes.

She liked being admired, while I liked admiring her.

She liked wearing different clothes, and it\»s silly to talk about my reaction to it.

Our conversation could go for hours on end, we constantly were discussing something and when we felt we had thrashed out all the topics, we sprang into the inexhaustible depths of household philosophy looking for unordinary explanations to the things that have long turned into routine.

I have never been good at telling jokes, maybe I had no one to joke with, but I was able to make her laugh. She fell into my arms so strangely and suddenly, and I took it easy as if she had always been by my side. We have never spoken about the timing, the deadline, however important those things might seem at first, and it took us an hour to get used to each other. We have never discussed my life before her or her life before me: we were too unspoiled to have any suspicions.

Ours was a lazy but unspoiled world.

At that time there were no drugs, they were considered a mauvais ton.

Maybe we were vaccinated against them at birth.

Wine was the only thing the humanity has reserved for itself.

During the time before those terrible things happened I have seen different kinds of her: the same as when we met, with a different hair color, different skin color and heavier, but in any case she was perfection, and when I carefully embraced her plumper body I saw in it a new and especial beauty.

I heard that love blooms at the beginning of a relationship, and then it begins to subside until it fully melts away. However, whether the weight of my love increased or decreased, it managed to accumulate my feelings in such a way that I didn\»t spend a minute without emotional fervor.

We could be any place: at home, in the street, we even ascended to the roof of the house to look at the clouds floating below, and we never had any emotions but positive. And even if the strongest wind, the only stranger we met on the roof, could blow us down as it tried, hardly any earthly power could be found to separate us in the flight and the ground was unlikely to break up our couple: in that case only the location would change.

We were very much alike.

Somehow, I too lost sleep and dreams were rare guests in our house. We could saunter the streets of the city all nights long and drink coffee in some café in the morning looking at each other and talking through the dark circles under our eyes. We have seen a lot of wonderful things in the morning; the coffee has become our satellite as well as cigarettes that we smoked together once one of us pulled one from the pack.

We both looked good with dark circles under our eyes.

Sometimes we drank coffee to the degree of eccentricity and laughed into the depths of our mutual eccentricity.

The synonyms have left us alone.

I no longer screamed or stripped off my clothes, or ripped off the watch or broke the chains…

Together we collected the positive power of the rain.

Rains were frequent at that period of our lives.

I have counted the total number of birth-marks on her body.

There were forty of them and they were distributed in the way that she didn\»t seem speckled, but wherever I peeked, wherever I targeted to leave my kiss, I always came across a tiny spot.

«Holy Inquisition,» I used to tell her, «would burn you down.»

She smiled.

While these beautiful feet roved the floor of my apartment, I was happy. Thirteen of her moles decorated this part of her body.

I am sure that you misinterpreted me here.

No, not the previous sentence, but the one above.

I have to disappoint you — that\»s not where the shoe pinches.

The betrayal is not connected with the direction these feet could choose to walk away.

This is out of the question.

If you crawl twenty nine lines up, including the lines of this sentence, and focus on the thirtieth, you\»ll understand why.

Some call it destiny.

Those who believe in it.

I believe in arranged chaos and that makes our relationship extremely valuable since we managed to find each other in this hassle, when each and every little thing can radically transform your future.

We have chosen the right algorithm of events.

Just imagine: I counted all of her birth-marks.

Some can live twenty years together…

We had two months…

Think about it and praise it…

I would like to say sorry:

I must have made you jealous…

If not, then you are lucky to have found your happiness.

Before finishing reading these characteristics, think for a moment about this man, from whom I have stolen her, this wonder. I have never seen him, I have no idea how he looks like, we have never talked about him as if he didn\»t exist.

But he did.

Once he woke up at dinner time to find she was not there.

He didn\»t worry as he thought that she went to have a coffee.

He waited an hour, a day, two, three days.

He was nervous, he was worried unable understand.

Maybe he reported her disappearance.

But in our world that got divided into billions of windows, below some of which clouds are seen, it is next to impossible to find someone, who accidentally got behind one of these tinted or transparent glasses.

Besides, he had little time.

I feel both guilty and innocent.

But in the light of the events that followed it doesn\»t matter whatsoever.

I again feel this desire to finish the story here and let bewilderment to chain down your brain.




Two months after our acquaintance the events of a galaxy scale happened. They underwent five stages.

During the first stage the most of the planet was burned down by roaring fire.

During the second — the remains of the mankind arranged a dome over the piece of the mainland that stayed untouched and gave an opportunity to the rest of the people to stay in their houses for a while.

In the third stage a fiercely loud and hysterical rumor about some other race that aims to hound us out and use the planet and its resources spread at a speed of light.

The fourth — people began offering resistance and there were rumors that not without success, but soon we all were forced to search for refuge under the asphalt as the dome was finally broken.

The fifth — rumors about H1 sprang up and all of this happened during the ruthless extermination of the race.

You are probably thinking that now I am going to tell you about a war with aliens, but no, not at all. War in its conventional sense is not the central element in my narration, but it\»s a new form of war, where human beings are not the best of heroes.

Love under these conditions is the main link.

We were just unlucky to start a relationship during wartime.

On the other hand, we were rather lucky as we happened to find ourselves under the dome and had some more time to live. Moreover, for over a month we lived behind our window unwilling to believe what they showed in the news.

During this time we haven\»t seen aliens.

Other people haven\»t seen them either, though there were plenty of reports about killed aliens\» saucers. It is terrible when you don\»t know who your enemy is, who is trying to eliminate you.

We took our survival very easy. As easy as our accidental acquaintance. We walked through the deserted city holding each other\»s hands tightly, drank coffee in the last cafes that remained in the world, we even came to the end of the dome once, though we noticed nothing but burned ground outside.

State servants were the only ones who tried to use various infrastructures to offer resistance.

We were not recommended to go out.

A week before the moment when the humanity was forced to hide in their dens, we came across a roll of newspaper produced by someone and left in the empty street by someone. Besides various information that encouraged joining the resistance, there was an article called Hope-1.

«Look,» my significant other called me, when I waited for the vending machine to exchange my coin for a drink.

But the vending machine was empty.

Meanwhile my woman was holding a dirty and crumpled roll mottled with millions of signs.

With deserted streets, untended shops, the road, dead traffic lights and ominous cleanness around.

According to the article, the human rows were slashed down in geometric progression with technical inferiority being the reason behind it. To resist, human resources were needed, and they were few.

The article went on informing about a certain substance synthesized in secret laboratories, which was supposed to accelerate the fetus development in the womb and aimed at a sooner birth of a new human being.

Now it too a month to reach a mature age, the average life expectancy was 15 years; however, 15 years is not that little, when you don\»t know whether tomorrow will ever arrive.

Then the dome was ripped open.

Then people moved under the asphalt into gigantic labyrinths full of weapons and double cells, where people had to reside for the coming dozens of years. We were put on the register as husband and wife, it was impossible to check this information in such a chaos.

Along with one hundred other people and a cardboard box in the hands we were falling down somewhere in a freight elevator, fast and for quite a while.

We were allotted a cell to live in.

The set of objects was minimal and included a table, a chair, a bed, a radio, plates, a short double-barreled rifle and the door to a toilet and bathroom.

There is a roll of paper with the article about H1.

«Nice,» she said turning on the tap and looking at the foaming water.

The walls and the floor were made of stone and cased in wood.

A long lamp over the bed supplied the cell with light.

The cell was not big; we had to share one key.

That suited us just fine.

«Sorry,» I said.

«Why?» she inquired with a smile.

She was wearing a silver overall that consisted of that color and a zipper. Her hair was loose; her face was a bit sad as usual with a bright imprint of intellect, my favorite shadows under the big and deep eyes, a small mouth the kisses of which were my reward.

«We will have to live here,» I said apologetically.

«Do you think it is worse here?» she looked up suddenly.

«Routinely,» I said and flinched.

«Don\»t hurt me,» my nymph became serious. «Would you like some coffee?»

Coffee for ever.

«Yes, I would like some.»

«Let\»s become eccentric,» the ideal fingers artfully handled the cardboard box that we took with us from another world. «We have stilit, chess, ten tins of coffee, some books, my clothes, your clothes, a notebook and a pen… We are all set. At least, it is safe here…»

A bit later a doctor came and read our metrics. The metrics were sewn into us at birth; they contained all important health data, which changed with time.

There was no way out of here.

Narrow sinister corridors beetled off from our cell. They were highlighted with rare lamps and people like rats kept racing along them; we heard constant steps behind the door.

We didn\»t know how deep underground we were.

Around us were similar cells, where people were distributed on a gender basis.

Women were housed with men, men with women.

New rumors crept down the labyrinth: Hope-2.

But we didn\»t go into detail.

It was impossible to get back to the surface.

But we did resurfaced, we did it stealthily that no one could see us or do us harm. We would just imagine something like a spacious field of golden rye, a spatial merger of the earth and the sky, our eternal running through it, a ringing laughter, tattered clouds that sometimes swam lazily, sometimes sped by, springy ground. And it was seldom when, like an evil reflection of reality, a black object loomed large against the boundless blueness of the skies and stayed up there, and we couldn\»t figure out whether it noticed us or not, so we ran away from it, ran into another fantasy of ours.

We didn\»t talk; we heard the thoughts of each other.

«I love you,» I said.

«Me too…» the same sad smile.

«Wherever, however, if only you were near…»

«You know, we have similar smiles,» we drank were filling up with coffee to become eccentric. «I haven\»t noticed it before… Well, I did, but I realized this only now.»

«I think people always look for themselves when it comes to the opposite sex,» I voiced a thought that passed in my head.

«Then you are me, and me is you.»


Then our neighbors on the left invited us to share a bottle of wine that remained from the previous life with them and recounted us when drunk:

«Hope is a raw substance,» the tanned bald head of the neighbor was shining in the nervous lamp light. «It is injected into a man, but only a strong and sturdy man can endure it. H1 killed all the testees, H2 killed half of those who took the risk of being injected. All the men who survived were given a woman, all the women died. For H3 it took a week to be fatal. Everything went fine, but a woman died in labor…» he swallowed down, his gaze was heavy. «H4 has just been developed. The formula has been slightly modified; the characteristics of men and women fit for the injection have been compiled. So far there have been two experiments and both of them were successful. Boys are being given advanced training, they are taught to resist.»

«How do you know?» my woman asked.

«I prepare one of the components for H4,» the neighbor shared after a pause. «A tiny component… but the rumor spreads…»

«I know a woman, she assisted deliveries,» his partner, a lady with ashen hackled hair and unsmiling face, revealed herself. «Soon she will be getting pregnant herself.»

«Is it connected with H4?» I asked.

«Yes. She said soon they selection centers will start recruiting.»

Soon we left.

That was all our neighbors knew.

The next morning we were brought a newspaper.

At first we were happy to have it and our mood heightened.

There was an article about H4 there.

It said that a certain part of the remaining people was arranged in lists according to their metrics. Those on the lists were to appear in the selection center asap, and it was a wartime urgency.

The newspaper consisted of endless lists of names.

They were wrapped up in the nervous and desperate propaganda.

The paper said that if the optimal set of genes be selected, if they are perfectly compatible, the application of the evolution forecast method can produce a superhuman.

The listed individuals were to convene in three days.

That was the first convention.

We were not there.

In a week the neighbor came round;

«They have taken Inga,» he said on entering producing a bottle of vodka from his coat.

We didn\»t know what kind of liquid it was, but we heard about it.

«What do you mean?»

«She didn\»t show up for the gathering, but this morning the soldiers came for her.»

«And you?» the eyes of my perfection grew wide.

«I am not on the list,» the neighbor didn\»t ask for permission, found the glasses and poured the drink into them. «I am not on the list…» they hadn\»t known each other before they were placed in the cell.

«It must be a mistake,» I suggested. «You have to make an inquiry to the military center.»

«No mistake,» the neighbor snapped foisting the glasses upon us. «I\»m just not fit. Few people remained, and the mass instinct of self-preservation makes me silent. They recruit prospective unions, who will be able to survive H4 and produce strong ones,» he drank it at a gulp. «Sure, I made an inquiry, but I am afraid the answer will take too long to arrive…»

I saw the eyes of my woman.

They were frightened and inverted.

I tried to look courageous, thinking that I should inspire confidence.

The three of us got drunk.

This was the first and the last time, when I felt the crushing mad vodka inebriation. The neighbor left and we were lying on the self-made carpet we crafted from the clothes that we needed no longer. However, it seemed to us that we had nothing to do with it, the boiling bliss filled our heads and bodies and we sprawled soft on the artificial tenderness of the fabric.

Soon the rye starting growing through us, a dark tree acquired a night color, stars starting popping out provocatively, and the bathroom door ajar brought in the sounds of drops, while the fabric freed a flax wind. I felt the positive charge of her warmth; my head was spinning with her smell, and the planet seemed to rotate at a breathtaking speed dragging us and swaying the heavy gold of bread.

«I experience unusual things with you in the morning too,» our concept was getting perfected.

«That\»s the way…» I agreed, «and only with you. Only then the formula is complete with all components and is able to work, that is why we see what we see.»

«That is why we are having similar thoughts…» I felt her trembling and for a moment I became strong, drew her closer to me and suddenly fell into the chasm of her eyes, where soaring in the darkness I felt the burning effect of her lips.

The picture altered:

Interwoven we were dropping into the sea of whipping cream.

Those were clouds.

For a second we entered a blinding fog, where there were only us.

Then suddenly we saw a huge city underneath and the speed slowed.

It was far below us and in the flight we saw the light of the city.

They were winking to the stars.

Then I saw a glass door and her standing behind it.

That was our first meeting.

Our first rain…

Then a lengthy galaxy of various rains followed, they were gentle and ferocious, cold and warm, we were in their epicenter, stood naked behind the window silently watching and embracing for hours on end. This divine music offered us a lullaby.

Too many beautiful things sew us together with their warm and solid threads.





There was a demanding knock on the door.

The metal drummed on the command.

This was the biggest eccentricity delivered by coffee.

Our carpet hosted cups, chess, stilit, books, some clothes and a plate with food.

«Open the door!» the voice behind the door ordered.

«Don\»t open,» my woman asked.

«No, of course not,» I calmed her down in spite of the sharp steel sting piercing me from inside.

It came so suddenly.

We were as silent as mice.

We were hopeful that they would think that no one was at home and leave.

Probably we were born under a lucky star, because after the second knocking the expansion stopped.

We were trying to catch some sounds in the silence, and it caressed us with the absence of any bringing safety.

On the next day there was knocking again, there were threats, but soon they left.

We could discern the thumping of heavy military boots now.

We had enough food, and besides we were coffee people, so we didn\»t need much food anyway. We didn\»t need anything but peace. We were not interested in the destiny of the mankind and were egoists to think that our contribution into the common cause is minor.

We were interested in each other.

We were curious about our worlds most of all.

«Open the door, betrayer!» the roaring sounded behind the door and we shuddered and went pale. We were detected, eavesdropped, they knew we were inside. My woman hid behind me and having seized my skinny shoulders tried to find refuge there.

She is in a thin red top and shorts.

Her big eyes are quivering.

Her micro-mouth is smothered in a dumb fright.

The fingers with patterned nails stuck into my skin.

The hairdo that she wore on the day when we met ignites my rage and desperation, which are foreign to me.

At the same time, I feel bad because she doesn\»t think I am strong enough and it is just unbearable to think that my perfection, my absolute can be in somebody else\»s arms.

This can\»t happen, I don\»t understand why someone thinks he has the right to decide everything for us, I don\»t accept any arguments and I am totally unavailable.

«I see,» she can hear my thoughts somehow and whispers caresses into my ear.

A rifle nestles in my lap, it is fully loaded, I got an extra cartridge in exchange for books, my neighbor is lonely now and he is in need of reading. Inga is still absent, she must be bearing another superhuman somewhere in the selection center.

I don\»t know how to shoot, I have never done that, but I think it is manageable. We continue drinking coffee adding more eccentricity to our heads. The knocking and kicking doesn\»t stop, we hear dirty words and harsh threats of punishment.

Then a flash brightens up our consciousness, something high-tech is at work to pave the way for soldiers to our bodies. They have their own truth, which is completely different to mine. They don\»t understand the exclusiveness of our union that makes any, even the most noble and humane goals and reasons insignificant.

I don\»t have any doubts or remorse.

Weakness is not here either.

I am witnessing the sparks circling around the lock and it is ready to fall out of the steel body.

There is a disheveled newspaper roll on the table, it didn\»t make us happy, we felt something looming large. It was full of lists and propaganda, it also contained the photographs of two boys representing a new generation of people. Their sharp faces gleamed with intellect and hidden and deep rage in their eyes.

My woman was on the list, I wasn\»t there.

In panic we scanned the lists hundreds of times, but no.

The third convention was to be assembled in three days.

The tone of the order was even more metallic.

I have forwarded a request and attached a volunteer\»s statement straight away.

I have sent it out to four institutions hoping it would help.

I didn\»t receive any reply and when I tried to get an audience with the people in power, the square faces of soldiers were impenetrable and they explained to me that it was impossible.

Two days sifted through my fingers like sand.

About two weeks no one came knocking at our door, and I began to hope that my request reached the addressee and that we managed to bypass the damned lists.

But they did come knocking.

They needed my wonder.

The pill to save me from synonyms.

My treasured mind and body, none of which I could let go of.

It etched any humanism out of my heart.

The sparks lessen and the lock falls out of the door.

The door is slowly opening and I see the soldiers darting towards us, but their movements are very slow-motioned, as if something else apart from the door and two people obstructed their way in.

I am pulling the trigger without leveling the rifle.

The rifle perfectly fulfills its obligations, and in five seconds we have several bodies lying in the doorway, I continue firing targeting the ones who are still in the corridor. I see someone slumping against the wall there, and I receive some bullets in reply.

I see the firing and realize that it has something to do with me; I feel the bullets penetrating me and fall down. Pain breaks my mind and body, but I don\»t cry, it doesn\»t look like the best way to spend the last few minutes of my life.

My goddess blows the atmosphere with a yell, her madness sizzles their rage, they hesitate for several seconds before approaching her and now they are reaching out to her with their rifles atilt.

My rifle soars up, this time ideal fingers are holding it; they bring the rifle closer to the perfect chest and pull the trigger.


From the floor.

I watch.


Her eyes going empty in a second and her bouncing back, the strands of her hairdo breaking against the floor, pretty legs convulsively shaking on the fabric. Blood redder than her clothes splashing around, screws scattering around the floor and a part of some strange mechanism is about to fall out her impeccable body.

«Damn,» I hear the words, I am mad with my impotence and grieve. «She is synthetic…»

Delirious, I am crawling to grab their military boots, crumbling down in tears, cries, pain and blood, my mouth goes wry and I spit it out:

«You could have left her to me…»

«Betrayer,» one of the soldiers says in anger, aims at me and shoots.

«Kill me,» I beseech snatching to the hope to avoid the spiky jaws of endless sadness. «Kill me…»

I don\»t feel any remorse.

Strangely, I stay alive.

First I am cured, then I stand the military tribunal.

It is extremely boring.

I hear the people with cold eyes and senses announcing the verdict.

They drink coffee too.

I hear the bottoms of their cups clicking against the soulless marble of the table.

Right in the middle of the procedure I begin screaming, stripping off my clothes, ripping off my watch, breaking the chains that seemed to strap and strangle my essence, I vomit and writhe in fits.

Not because of fear, of course.

The verdict is severe: I am condemned to solitary confinement somewhere in the center of the earth. And somewhere close to the surface — I hear the wards talking — the fire is raging.

I am impenetrable, I can see but I don\»t understand.

I can make out the words, but I cannot figure out the meaning.

Is there any meaning?

I am wearing grey uniform and big handcuffs; they look absurd on the thin body of mine.

Some can blame me.

Probably those, who envied me when I apologized. Those, who didn\»t, will understand me, because they must have found their happiness.

I don\»t know how long I have been in my cell.

I have been lying in the same position for a third of the time I spent here.

I turned into a thought, decayed into memories.

Sometimes my face is visited by a distorted smile.

I am not given coffee, which is probably for the best.

How do I manage not to die from grieve?

I just imagine that it is not me but someone else who fights the grieve, someone who looks like me and whom I am watching, someone, who has the same thought about someone else, who is similar to him and me, who, in his turn, sees the fourth twin-face that tries to resolve the internal conflict and that goes for eternity. I am just stepping aside running from obsessions through the lengthy labyrinths of my consciousness, from a long emotional worm that wants to devour me and that sneaks around different representative levels of me in an attempt to find the true me.

But is there me, the one whom he seeks?

Sometimes I have a feeling that there is no me.

Once I died and stayed hung up in some space.

But there is no point in dying, as the place I am to travel after death doesn\»t have her.

And if that\»s true, then there is no difference between the Earth, Heaven and Hell.

All the same…

Translated by Tatsiana Malochka

Здесь находятся мои рассказы, повести и опыт из нежной сферы отношений, где встречаются влюбленные люди. В унисон стучат их сердца и как только они не испытывают свои чувства, эмоции и свою любовь, наслаждаясь мистикой эмоций.

Ваш, Роман Коробенков