Old Friends

It was Friday afternoon and nothing could prevent Mary from going out that night. Her week at the office was a nightmare and she wouldn’t bear staying a minute more in there. Tired of her boss’ unstoppable yelling and the clients’ absurd demands, she was looking forward to having some fun. She drove home quickly and took a shower. Instead of relaxing though, she felt her heart beating faster and faster, as if she couldn’t wash away an unreasonable stress. In addition, she had this terrible headache even from her morning rise and no pill did anything. She thought that a strong drink was all that she needed to come around.

She opened her torn phonebook and made a few calls without success. Everyone seemed to be so preoccupied, something that started to despair her. Come what may, she would go out and she would have fun. That was the plan and she had to stick with it. While she was before the mirror dressing up, the phone rang. She dropped everything and run to answer it. Surprisingly, an old friend was on the line, asking her to meet again. So, they called it a rendezvous.

Daisy was a very lucky girl, truly blessed. She was white skinned with blond hair and blue eyes, like a Barbie doll. She used to wear colorful clothes with big ribbons and have anything she ever wished for. Beyond her looks, Daisy was endowed with incredible intelligence, patience and sincerity. She had always been best friends with Mary, but then one day they stopped hanging around together. Mary couldn’t remember the cause no matter how hard she tried. She finally concluded that it didn’t matter, since they were meeting again.

Mary arrived at the local bar a quarter to ten. She entered the place anxiously, ignoring the whisperings and the glances of people. She was a shy woman of low self-esteem and this reaction always made her nervous. She reached the barman and asked for a scotch shot to warm out. She had a quarter at her disposal until Daisy would come. Mary had a sip and got comfortable on her seat. She started to murmur something senseless and the barman looked at her strangely. She didn’t pay any attention to that look though, cause she was staring at the door, waiting for Daisy.

And there she was, fresh and beautiful, exactly how she remembered her. Daisy approached Mary smiling and kissed her twice. There was no ice to break, despite the fact that there had been many years, since they last met. They started talking and laughing as best friends do. They ordered two Margaritas and then some shots and drunk until their voice and hands started trembling. It was time they went back home. After all, the fun seemed more than enough for one night. From now on they would meet again regularly. Mary insisted to pay for the drinks, as a token of gratitude for the hopelessly beautiful night that Daisy had offered her.

After their leave, a man seated at the bar asked the barman:

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Who? Mary?” said the barman, pointing at her vacant seat.

“Yes her. Whom was she talking to?”

“Long story… It seems that she has visitors again.”

“Old friends?”

“Yeah… imaginary ones”

Renaissance

It was a beautiful spring day, like those of her distant childhood. The transparent sun shines were embracing the village with divine warmth. The nature seemed to lick its wounds and she somehow felt to participate to this massive renaissance. Sitting on a bench, she was looking around avidly. There had been many years, since she last visited this place, where she grew up. She could remember almost everything with surprising details, as if these memories were only a few days ago.

Her parents’ house surrounded by the bloomed garden, the annoying rooster that woke her up every dawn, the curious neighbors – sleepless guards ready to report whatever they would notice, the various street vendors humorously advertising their merchandise, the coffee and tobacco aromas blended with naphthalene that dominated the traditional café and was always crowded by old men reading newspapers or playing cards, the central square with the tall trees, the statue of the unknown soldier, the red wooden benches and the young couples in love holding hands, enjoying their romantic walk, the school yard full of restless innocent children playing, laughing, shouting, fighting…

She could recall her past with an admirable precision. However, she wished that she couldn’t. There were nights of torture, when she woke up sweaty all over and her cries dissolved in the silence of her room. There were days of endless pain, despair and isolation. She wished to forget both the village and its people, but the past haunted her with an obsessive rage that she couldn’t bear anymore. After many years of psychotherapy she decided to finally confront her fears returning to this very place, where it all started. Her therapist insisted on this trip as the only way to free herself from the continuous nightmares and illusions she had been suffering. She was told that she had to accept the facts in order to be able to go along with her life. So, here she was.

She was content of being here this time of the year, when the dead nature starts to reborn leaf by leaf, flower by flower, tree by tree. She stood up to take a walk and befriend with the place again. She was not surprised to see so many changes around. The village had lost its former vividness and glory. A few people were passing by and the church bell was tolling once in a while, just to remind that there was still life. She visited her old neighborhood. After the death of her parents, she had ordered to demolish the house. She spent a minute looking at the wild grass that had replaced the house of her early years. Then, she went to the graveyard.

The ghosts, that haunted her since her childhood, were living there. For all these years she was trying to run away and hide from them, but now she was willingly coming to meet them. She put some fresh flowers on her parents’ grave and walked slowly towards another one. Her heart was beating faster and faster. Many little angels, whose faces she could not erase from her memory, were smiling at her. “How happy they seem to be”, she whispered and a lovely little bird started to sing over her shoulder, softening her grief. Now, all the images of horror, the bloody faces, the amputated little bodies, the screams that had stigmatized that fatal day of the school bus accident, were fading away. She raised her sight up to the sky and felt her soul flying freely, as if it was a little bird, too.

A Fly Incident

I can still smell the burning wood in a cold winter day. Coiled like a lazy cat in front of the fire place, I was drinking hot chocolate, holding my favorite cup with both hands, breathing deeply over the rising smoke. I was observing the strong flames taking certain forms, sometimes frightening sometimes comforting. I was doing so until my eyes couldn’t stand of the heat anymore. Then, I turned my look outside the window to the snowy view of the landscape. Abandoned to their frozen destiny the fields, the trees, the river were silently awaiting for the spring to come. It’s amazing how the whole nature looks forward to meeting the warmth again in order to reborn. Thoughts like this were passing through my mind, since that day my spiritual concerns were on their rise.

Out of nowhere a forgotten fly appeared outside my window, striving against the cold and desperately trying to find a way in. I was annoyed of this intruding will, but mostly of its rude appearance before my eyes that destroyed my admiration of the plain white view. To punish the fly, I did nothing. I stayed still, touching the window with my right hand, witnessing an unavoidable death. After a while the fly’s wings lost their speed and the tired insect fell to the ground. I stood up and leaned slowly to see the end. There it was, on the frozen stair step moving its legs, as a final attempt to get away of its brutal fate. No one can escape from his destiny, I thought, looking at it from high and I felt no guilt for letting the being die.

I sat again on my couch and returned to my contemplation. It seems that the fly incident had disturbed my peace for good, why I couldn’t feel comfortable whatsoever. I forced myself to forget the whole thing, but the trace of my hand was still on the window’s glass, reminding me of what had happened. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t me that stayed out there to freeze to death. Didn’t it know what would happen? Besides, I am not the One who decides every creature’s destiny. How could I intervene to His plans?

I got up anxiously and blended the ashes. The fire had started to fade out, so I threw another log in. Accidentally, I burnt myself. “Stupid, stupid, stupid hand!” I cried and while my hand was burning to death, I realized that it was the right one.

A Name Story

His name was Gregory. He was a young boy that lived in a big city with high buildings, busy streets and numerous cars. He was keen on every type of vehicle, especially the big ones, like buses and trucks. He used to stand beside the window staring at them for hours. “I wish I would be a driver”, he said innumerable times to his parents. Gregory actually was in a great hurry for that day, when all of his dreams would come true. So, he lived his life with a rush. Whatever he was doing, he was doing it very fast, as if he could cheat time and grow up sooner. He was walking quickly, eating quickly, speaking quickly… Everyone, from his parents and teachers to his friends told him not to hurry things, but he wanted to grow up so badly that no one could slow him down.

One morning, he woke up earlier than the usual and from the moment his eyes were open, he had this strange feeling. He was not in the mood of getting up and he felt his body tones heavier. Moving slowly, he put his clothes on and took his hat on the way out of the house. He walked to the bus station and entered a bus waiting for him. He sat in the driver’s seat, but all the anticipated excitement of the moment wasn’t there. He tried to remember something from his past, but nothing came on his mind, except for his strong desire to sit in this very seat. After leaving a sigh, he started the usual bus route almost mechanically. When the bus stopped at a traffic light, he accidentally looked himself at the mirror. His face was full of wrinkles and spots, his skin was loose and his head was bald. “I wish I would be younger”, he murmured, while he was examining the signs of time passing on his skin. The traffic light became green, but the bus didn’t move. A horn from the back began to sound loudly.

This annoying noise woke him up. He was sweaty all over and stayed still for a few minutes. Then, with a huge anxiety dominating his whole being, he run to the closest mirror in order to be sure. What a relief he felt, looking again at a young face… his face! The boy put his clothes on, ate his breakfast and walked slowly to the bus station. His mother, standing beside the window, was watching him with curiosity and a great deal of concern. Gregory waited patiently for the bus to come. When it arrived, he got on and sat next to the driver. They knew each other for some time now and the old man allowed him sometimes to hold the wheel.

“Good morning, Greg”, said the smiling driver.
“Good morning to you too, sir”, said the boy.
“Would you like to take the wheel for a while?”, asked the man.
“No, not really, sir. Not today”, answered he.
“Ok then. Maybe tomorrow”, responded the driver.
“Neither tomorrow nor the day after tomorrow, sir”, said Gregory with a calm, but decisive voice.
“And why is that kid? Did you change your mind? Don’t you want to be a driver anymore?”, asked the man with a surprise.
“Of course I do, sir, but just not yet!”, answered the boy.

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