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251 days without you

The world that the analyst Silvia Bellintani knew fell apart in the middle of the night on November 3, 2015, when her husband, Milton Bellintani, journalist, passed away, victim of a massive heart attack. The love story that lasted more than 15 years did not end there. It emerges every day, in the repertoire of small simple and wonderful things in her previous life that she tries return to by herself, slowly. This process is not simple, it is slow and painful. It is a brave reunion with routes, tastes and routines so familiar she wrote to Milton

Silvia and Milton Bellintani

251 days since you’ve been gone.

And today I found myself thinking that I did not record the dates that restarted some of the very significant habits shared with you.

Partly because I avoided thinking about the coming back.

Partly because restarted on automatic pilot mode.

Partly because I didn’t restart.

I’m talking about simple things, but full of meaning.

Places and things that we did together.

Places and special things for us.

And now they mean the reality of his absence.

I avoided many of them, postponed as much as I could and when I could not, I refused to see.

I remember clearly the devastating moment, when I was walking distracted around the mall, and saw a São Paulo soccer team store. It was like seeing you and at the same time, once again, not seeing you. A frightening absence.

I was so bewildered that I immediately needed a place to sit.

Then I called a friend and asked for help: “I won’t take it, it is unbearable, I feel like I am walking on a minefield … and every day I took a false step, every day; the more I avoid,there is always somewhere … Every day … I’m on the Groundhog day , walking on a minefield.”

Time went by and I learned to scape the mines.

I memorized the map.

I built my programs and routes based on avoidance.

In this crazy defense, hardly I realized I stopped going to places I liked. Places I liked.

I remember the night I refused going out with friends to a great Italian restaurant.

The chronological time of my “no, thanks” was impressively added to a logical time in which I saw myself in a trench of mixed thoughts discussing among themselves:

– Forbidden place!

– But I love the food over there!

– No way, you used to go there with him! it will be unbearable!

– But it is my favorite restaurant … You do not stop going to a restaurant like that…

– Don’t go and that’s it! It is always full over there! And what if they end up taking you to one of the tables he used to choose?

– Come on, it would be bad luck.

– There is no a lot of bad luck; there is bad luck.

– But I want to go, I could try … and be with friends, three people with me.

– Oh, of course, with friends it is easier for you to be “off” as they talk.

– But …

– Okay, okay, so go, do it fast, and then do not complain if you spend the rest of the night awake and crying the next day.….

– Sil, let’s go to the Italian restaurant?

– “No, thank you”.

This scene was repeated in pathetic variations: ice cream shop, bookstore, park, travel, concert, political event, TV show, and soccer match … Until one day, I cannot tell when the obvious thought finally occurred to me the: I cannot allow my world to be so restricted.

This is ridiculous. Enough. The end. I no longer accept having forbidden places. What else can happen to me?

And what began as an opposition reaction began to sound like elaboration.

After all, if the memory of these places includes you it is because they are pervaded with you; and if you are there, my darling, I want to be too.

– “My home is where you are”, this was one of the phrases that you loved to tell me.

That’s it. I won’t restrict your world either.

Not mine, not yours.

I will go back to the places we used to go and reopen those doors for you.

And so I went back to the Italian restaurant, the ice cream shop, to Normandia Street, tot Nova York Street…

I entered the store of São Paulo soccer team, looked at the house where you lived as a child, the school where you studied, the square in which you played soccer and, not completely satisfied, I dared to stop the car and walk around the place where you told me to had scored several goals.

– I scored a beautiful goal there.

– (Lol) Oh love, again this story? Whenever we go by this place you tell it! …

You may show up in my dreams and tell me again and again, and again …

Gradually I restarted habits, already without you by my side, but in my thoughts and intentions.

I admit that I still cannot listen to some songs.

Songs are time portals. I’m not ready.

The problem is that there are so many that we shared I found myself forced to look for new ones.

And there are a lot of bad songs out there.

But the movies came back to my life faster. I started going with friends strategically and then I restarted going by myself, one of the habits that give me a lot of pleasure: I was alone. I always

liked going to the movies by myself, always. I loved to go with you, I loved to go without you.

But curiously, since you’ve been gone, I went through a period that I was afraid to face the dark room. After all, you would not be home when I returned. And that changed EVERYTHING.

Now I’m back. And not by chance, I always choose the aisle.

– Honey, I’m buying tickets online; do you want a specific row?

– Anyone from the middle to the end of the room, and my chair is in the aisle; I hate being squeezed.

I would never be squeezed, I am not 6,23 feet like you.

But choose the aisle then.

And did I choose to tell all this?

The trigger was today when I finally returned to Ibirapuera Park.

I took the same ways, streets and shortcuts, I had ice cream in the same kiosk, did stretching at the same bars and even marked the right time on the parking card.

– 7:05 a.m. is 7:05 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. not.

– But honey, no one who arrives at 7:05 a.m. somewhere marks the “5” minutes on the card, I doubt it.

– Write it down honey, 7:05 a.m.; if there is the small square with 5, it is for the record … and 5 is not 15.

-God I can’t believe it … I must be the first person in history to mark an X in the minute 5.

– What’s right, is right. No cheating. Do it… don’t you feel well?

– No.

Yes, I was never easy.

And I always hated to mark 5 minutes in the parking card.

But not today…

Today I wanted to do it.

And I felt very, very well.

And I thanked the universe for giving me 15 years of amazing memories next to the love of my life.

After all, 15 years are 5475 days.

So many places to rediscover.

And I intend to go to all of them.

Enjoy the days, hours, minutes.

No cheating.