Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Mina is one of the very first stories i've written. A very simple story about a life that went terribly wrong and the side effects of its lost of course. I hope you'll enjoy it:
They said that her story was a tragic one. That she was yet another of those girls in pain, whose soul dies slowly, day by day, and in secret. I saw her every night sitting at the bar’s end slowly drinking a bottle of fine red wine. She didn’t seem to pay any attention to what was happening around her. It was like nobody else existed in the place. As she was drown deep in her thoughts one could spot the signs of sadness in her eyes, but also an unexpected kind of serenity. Only once in a while, when she’d hear the lyrics of some favorite song she’d come out of her trance. Then her eyes would light up like candles, her lips would start whisper, her face would relax. She’d look like she was living in a dream…

Once upon a time there was a girl that used to live as in a fairy tale. She was growing in a wealthy home, having everything she ever asked for but love. Her parents were busy running after money, so the girl actually grew up without them by her side. It was the housemaids that helped her through her first and most difficult steps in life, and just about when she was ready to go to school her parents hired private tutors for her.
Mina loved reading and writing right from the beginning. And since she had really no one to talk to apart from the teachers she soon turned to books as the only escape from her lonely life. Only in there she would find some solace; so she’d read more and more as time slowly passed by. She enclosed herself into a golden cage and thought that that was what the world was all about. Sadly her parents never spared the time to drive her out of her illusions. They didn’t see much of her anyway. The family would only meet in rare occasions. And then her parents would only ask her just the essential questions about her school and her teachers, and nothing much else. A fine family hers was.
The girl, in her ignorance about the world, was growing wiser by the day. She was a great student, good mannered, kind-hearted, but she always felt that something was missing from the puzzle of her life. She once dared say that to her mother, only to hear her reply in exasperation: “But, you do have it all!” As if “all” really exists. Her poor parents thought that if you had money there was nothing more you could ask for in life.

The years flew by and she now was a beautiful and sad adolescent, and no one could really guess what was that that was casting its shadow over her young soul. They would see the dark wrinkles forming under her eyes and just wonder why or what. What was it that was burning inside of her? What was it that made her look so special? Why did her sadness make her look even more beautiful? Why where there’s beauty there’s also pain? The answers they would never learn, and so soon enough she’d be wrapped in a veil of mystery and myth, as it always happens with women that are smart and bright, but desperately out of touch with our narrow-minded world.
The boys’ eyes would follow her everywhere, as her beauty turned their young bloods on. The girls would feel jealous of but also sorry for her. Jealous of her beauty, sorry because her painting-like face was in pain, her sculpture-like body never touched by a boy. Every time a boy tried to approach her she’d slip away with a sweet smile, a smile that looked real and true but was a fake. Sadness was her game ground.
She’d spent most of her adolescent years reading her lessons and long novels, just like a princess trapped in her castle, watching life passing by from her open window. “It is good you read so much,” said her parents and the teachers, but she was not so sure. If all was so fine why did the pain in her soul became stronger and why did she feel all the more empty?
One fine day she woke up at dawn and opened her window to say her good mornings to nature. Right there, right then, she felt a strange feeling of happiness flooding her soul, making her feel at peace. And to add to that a traveling bird stopped for a rest on the branches of the cider tree in the yard, and started singing a melodious tune, as the sun was coming up in all its red morning glory and the north wind tenderly caressed her face. “Life’s out there,” she thought and smiled and allowed a slice of joy touch her heart.
She closed the window all at once, took off her nightgown and wore her long forgotten pair of jeans and a simple black t-shirt. Right then she didn’t look at all like the rich girl with the expensive clothes that her parents wanted her to be. She run outside like a wild animal that was suddenly given the keys to freedom. She walked fast and happily away from all the wealth of her parents and the fake sense of security, security without a life, that they gave her. She walked for long, leaving behind the rich suburb, heading for the small forest that she often saw from the car window. A forest that was so close, and yet did not exist in the eyes of those, who never really could tell if something was beautiful. It was there, that for the very first time she felt a breath of life warmly licking her soul.
She wandered in the woods for long, looking around but not really seeing anything. Only her inner eyes were wide open. “Ok, school in good, and so are books,” she thought, “but words are not enough to describe life, to live it!” If anyone happened to see her right then walking in the wilderness, he’d think that she was a fairy that has come from a faraway land. She looked like she was in a trance, as if the wonders of life were finally revealed to her. “Oh,” she thought, “people, stupid people; they never find the time to look at the miracles that lie all around them!” Time passed as a breath of a fresh air and at about noon Mina left the forest and headed back home; to sit down at the table with her parents, the people she did not know, and have lunch from the plates of habit.

With the school, the readings and her lonely soul-appeasing walks time was passing by fast. Mina was like a flower blossoming in the wild garden of life, as she started her studies in the university. Following her parents’ advice she was going to become a teacher. The elders always know what is best for the young to do, an old bullshit saying goes, so Mina simply obeyed.
It was not long before that she once again started getting all the attention of boys and girls alike. Her bright brain, her fantastic looks, her simple ways simply made her stand out. The boys would feel good just by stealing a look from those big green eyes of hers, and a lot of them were soon enough on the hunt for the wonderful pray that she appeared to be. Passions for her were running high, but she didn’t seem to care or even notice. She was unapproachable, impregnable, just like a high-walled castle. “No, you guys; you are not the ones for me,” she seemed to say, but that wasn’t really the reason she kept them away. The thing is that she was still a girl living in a world of her own. She was looking for the ideal man. She was expecting her prince to come riding on a horse and carry her away, just like in a fairy tale. The poor thing could not understand that life was already there by her side and she was simply overtaking it. She could not see that time was rolling by like a thunder and she had remained nothing but a little girl. A girl loved by all, that’s true, but nevertheless a small one and lonely. As for her parents, well, they thought that they’ve spent a whole life doing everything for her, and now she had to live up to their expectations.
Thank god life never forgives those that never get to know her, so one day it send her way a brilliant young man who was meant to wake her up from the dream she considered a living. Nick was a lovely crazy guy, one of those people that drink all the juices of life and even dare ask for more. Mina was unable to resist that certain secret charm that he possessed. So, for the first time in her life, she let herself go free, and set her soul naked in his arms, and his words and his warm presence. They were like twin suns and when one saw them together could feel himself go blind from their bright essence.
But, as usual, when something goes extremely well something comes up to destroy it. So, as they both were on the seventh heaven of happiness, and as Mina was finally getting to know the true nature of love, some other people came to shed disaster and misery into their lives. When her parents heard about Nick they hired people to find out who he really was, and they came up with the answers they were mostly afraid of. He was a good man and all that, but desperately poor, and so not a suitable companion for their daughter with all her fortune and beauty. They asked her to leave him, and as she never ever said No to them, she simply obeyed, and led herself into the well-known paths of loneliness and silence that at least made her feel safe. He, who loved her more than his life, fell into misery and lost his will to live, though he kept saying that he was strong and was going to get over her…

That was her short story as I’ve heard it from more than one person; true or false I did not know. But the story of her life after the break up with Nick, I know it all right and by heart, since I’ve heard it from her own lips. It was on a cold, sad and moonless night that I’ve decided to talk to her, since I could no longer stand her painful sight. So I went and sat right next to her and asked her to tell me a story. She lifted her gaze from the wine glass and looked at me deeply in the eyes, and after a while I saw a sad little smile taking form on her lips. She’s noticed me sitting at the bar many times, she said, and she thought she saw in me a brother in pain. And she started talking…

I guess there’s no need to tell you that I lead a miserable life. Time and again I call on the angel of death to come and take me away, my misery and me. As you already know, the only man I ever loved I sacrificed for my parents’ sake, and since then I pay the price. He was my breath, my dream, the only truth of my life. But I, miserable I, destroyed everything, and killed him and myself, because until then I didn’t know how to say No. He taught me how to live, to love and to wonder. He taught me how to make love and feel happy and all the little things that make life worthwhile. When I was with him I was just myself, and not the one my family wanted me to be. With him I blossomed like a water lily, I became a stream running through the fields of those chosen few, who really came to love from the depths of their being. What else can I say? What should I really say? I must carry a curse otherwise I would never ever dared kill the love of my life. Yes, that’s what I did. I killed him the night I said it was all over. It was my lips that talked and not my heart, and he knew. “I feel sorry for you,” his words a slap on my face; and since then my soul is bleeding.
And now, now that I really know who I am, that I really know what I want, I cannot be with him. He’s gone. He now lies in the arms of Hades. He was a crazy man, he led a crazy life, and lost his life in a crazy way, riding his favorite bike. Since that very day my heart is dead, black as a dark cellar. I no longer truly smile or laugh, my hair has started turning to gray, my once radiant eyes are now broken. To be dead in life; there’s no worst curse than that. And if you care to ask me why do I go on living, the answer is quite simple; I’m a coward; I don’t have the guts to put an end to my life…

That is all she told me that night, upsetting my peaceful soul. “Is really love so powerful that can drive one straight into the arms of death? Or is it the guilty thoughts, the never-forgiving, that just can’t let her be?” I was wondering quietly as she rose to leave. I remained behind to finish off my wine. Without realizing it at the moment I smoothly caressed the glass she was drinking from. All my grievous problems suddenly seemed unimportant, and my heart was filled with her sorrow, but hope didn’t die in my soul that things could get better for her. And they did.
I met her again at the same place the very next night. I was just sitting there drinking my wine, drowning in it her pain. I never saw her as she approached, lost as I was in the deep wells of thought. She sat next to me and touched me gently on the shoulder. I turned to her startled. I was even more surprised to see a sweet wide smile taking shape on her lips. She thanked me for listening to her the night before, and so making her open the prison cell where she kept her soul captive. She felt better afterwards, she said, her heart was just a bit more light, the world looked a little brighter, maybe, just maybe, the end of her life was not at hand!
I just sat there still, looking at her speechless. I could see a flame slowly lighting up in her eyes and a certain glow appear on her soft beautiful face. As I saw her transforming before my very eyes I thought that that was the grandest miracle of all; in the hunting grounds of death, life had won the trophy.

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