Tanslation by Peter Imoro

There were two men talking by the door. They hardly noticed her. They were eating fries, drinking beer and laughing out loudly. When the doors opened, Sophia entered slowly trying to avoid being noticed. It was nine o’clock. The supermarket was empty; it was only her and the two men. She picked up a cart, although she knew that it was too big for her, but she hated those little baskets. She stopped at each one of the shelves: those for donuts, drinks, canned foods…. She went to the meat section and examined each piece of meat, sausage, everything. In the fish section, she did not notice anything. Without ever knowing why, she always felt nauseous when she saw a dead fish. An hour later, she decided to turn around and, slowly, very slowly, go to the freezers. She was still a distance away when she saw them, but she could make out their perfectly delineated pink, blue and green surroundings, their perfect symmetry and those three big stars. She parked the cart and, without realizing it, began to run. She had lost control again. One after the other, she began to pick up ice creams of varying flavors —strawberry, cream, chocolate, and chocolate with nuts, blueberry … — until her lap was full. The ice cream fell onto the floor one after the other, but she kept on and on. The forty euros she had in her pocket, the only money she had, would never suffice. Her life was reduced to forty euros in the pocket. He had taken away the kids while she was asleep. Since she began taking the pills, she had difficulty getting out of bed in the mornings; her sleep had become too heavy and dense. This would be the last time. She knew it; she would never see them again. She thought about Andrea, the small one, and all the ice cream she had succeeded in holding onto in her left hand fell down. She sat on the floor. The salesperson in charge came running and when she saw her there, on the floor, covered with some sought of thick and colored paste, she looked so pathetic to him that he decided not to pass by that place again until eleven o’clock. Sofia felt very cold. It is cold in hell, she thought. It’s all a lie, it’s all a lie, she murmured while she got up.