In Between People

In Between People

You can barely walk unassisted, only you’re too young (or too old) to give up. The in-between people give you a hand. They’re too old to remember your struggle (or too young to know).

You’re drooling but you don’t notice (or don’t care). The in-between people take a handkerchief and wipe your mouth. They stare at you, their eyes filled with hope (or despair) and watch your efforts at standing upright.

You’re so full (or empty) of life, staggering, taking your first (or last) steps. You’re almost there, they say. All it takes is a leap and you’ll reach the table. You won’t need them anymore. You crave for independence, but you’re stumbling, and fear overwhelms you. You’ll never make it on your own (again). Imagination takes over, for you still (or already) cannot control your mind. The in-between people turn into unidentified monsters (or enemies). They try to help, only you now push them away with all of your might. They wonder  aloud how on earth a baby (or an old man) has that amount of strength. You hear them, yet you don’t understand, for you still don’t know their language (or have already forgotten it).

Just before you grab the table stand (or lean on the table), you feel wet, a strange liquid running in between your legs, and fear transforms into another emotion you can’t name (or you vaguely remember as shame), and they run to catch you before you fall, and take you into their arms (or put you on that chair). They look at you like you’re precious (or a burden), like you’re summer impersonated (or winter).  Don’t worry, you’ll try again later, they say (or they don’t speak at all). They find the odor cute (or gross), and they smile at you, and they take you to bed and change your diapers, while you cry and yell, and they tell you sympathizing words which barely lessen your fear. It’s not the end of the world, they say, only you’re young enough (or old enough) to know better.

They smile (or frown) at your futile attempts to turn around and resist their help. In between people lingers a truth too frightening to face; the end of the world is near. In-between people know it comes often when you’re young (or once and for all when you’re too old, but that’s a truth they prefer to ignore). Later on (or earlier, only they don’t know yet), even if it comes, they don’t realize it, because they already think the world never really ends. Disasters come and go, only they don’t matter in the long run.

In-between people were you and one day (hopefully) they will be you again. In between, people don’t remember how it was and conveniently turn a blind eye to how it will be.

In-between people will live forever. In a world that will keep on turning, in which seasons will alternate endlessly. In a world that never ends.

Mileva Anastasiadou

Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist. Her work can be found in many journals, such as the Molotov Cocktail, Ariel Chart, Jellyfish Review, the Sunlight Press (Best Small Fictions 2019 nominee), Ghost Parachute, Gone Lawn, Ellipsis Zine, Queen Mob's Tea House, Bending Genres, Eastern Iowa Review (Best of Net 2019 nominee), Litro, Moon Park Review and others. @happymil_


  1. So true. Another's pain, struggles, abilities, or inabilities are something no one can fathom without first walking in their shoes and sharing the same experience. You captured both sides, from the inside out, beautifully.

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