First Steps (20)

Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope.

For Romanian click here.

A novel first published in Romanian (Eikon 2017), available in English (translated by Mihaela Alecu) on Amazon (click on the image).

Here you can read in on free, so don’t forget to Follow my blog to stay updated with all episodes.


Text aici

Ana had avoided being alone with Mircea as much as she could. She liked him a lot, she cared about him, she could have even said she loved him, but she did not want to upset him with her holding back, otherwise self-imposed. On the one hand, she had only thought about school until now, and she didn’t have time for anything else. On the other hand, ever since her heart had gone crazy, and she had started thinking about it, she promised herself she will not do it under pressure or to please someone else, she would only do it when she would feel ready. As she was not a religious person, sin was not an issue, but her principles were still valid and just as solid.

But the other two were making her life impossible. It was as if they were asking for trouble. Although Amanda had not expressed her which to be alone with Ioan, sometimes they would only make plans for themselves. Ana and Mircea were protesting, but it’s true that Mircea wasn’t so convinced, but he wanted to sustain Ana, to prove her he believed in her decisions and the he was following them as much as possible. He couldn’t really identify himself with them, he couldn’t pretend they were his, but he liked Ana too much to contradict her.

However, one day, Ioan and Amanda were talking about a trip on the mountain.

“You two really don’t want to come?” Amanda asked Ana.

“I don’t know if my parents would allow me. I never spent the night anywhere without them, let alone all four of us sleeping in a tent together. Two times two couples,” she added.

“Your Math is infallible,” Ioan said ironically.

“Yes, thank you! I know,” Ana joked as well.

“But you won’t know until you ask,” Amanda continued.

“Yeah, it would be great for all four of us to go,” said Mircea.

“If we were to go to the cabin, instead of a tent, and we would book two double rooms, one for us girls, one for these two guys,” Amanda winked at Ioan, “do you think it would be simpler?” she asked Ana.

“Maybe it would be better.”

“Come one, you parents are the coolest in the world,” Amanda added. “And what is more, I don’t think they don’t trust you.”

“It is not about trust,” said Ana. “It’s enough that I trust myself, and that I trust you as well,” she said turning to Mircea. “I don’t have any reasons to doubt, do I?”

“Oh, God! Of course not, how can you even ask!” the boy answered indignant.

“Precisely because I trust you and I just needed a confirmation!” Ana calmed him down.

“I don’t trust myself,” started Amanda in her own twisted way, “and I am still going. Not to mention that I don’t trust at all mister sex-symbol here,” she pointed her finger towards her lover and she sent him a kiss. “But nothing will stop me from going on this trip.”

“Yes, but you are not normal,” said Ana with her mouth to her ears. “So that doesn’t count.”

“Come on,” said Amanda, “this time serious, it is going to be a great adventure. When were you last at Bâlea Lake? Come on, say it!”

“I think I’ve never been since I was little,” the girl answered. “You are right, I don’t see why I should not come. With one condition, we book two rooms.”

“Done,” said Ioan cheerful, “I will take care of it myself. I have a friend…”

“I am so happy,” said Amanda.

Mircea squeezed her in his arms, caressing her rich hair, very happy about her decision. She knew her parents were going to allow her; the hardest thing was to convince herself. Ana’s parents had stopped worrying about their daughter long time ago, she had proved that if there were anything censure she would be a tougher censor than them, and if there was something to be done, she would do it even more rigorous than they could have asked.

Her application for a scholarship in Switzerland was already sent, long time before the dead-line, she was doing well on her studies, she had learned everything, she had already revised the material once, and she was going to revise it again until the exam, so she could afford a small escapade in nature, in one of the most beautiful places from Făgăraş Mountains.

“I decided to go to the Faculty of Letters, here, in Brașov,” Amanda said suddenly.

“Very well,” Ioan and Mircea answered in one voice.

“You couldn’t have made a better choice,” Ana said as well. “With your innate talent for foreign languages, it’s the best choice. Not that you couldn’t do something else, you could, but this to you is a vocation.”

“That is what I think,” said Amanda. “Thank you for the encouragements, dears,” she said to the three.

“And what specialty are you considering?” asked Ioan.

“I have no idea, French something. There’s no point to go to German–”

“Maybe to teach it yourself!” Ana interrupted her.

“Ha, ha, yes, yes. And English doesn’t make any sense either, however, my French is not so good.”

“What can I say, not so good for you means that you don’t speak it as well as a linguist whose native language it is, in this case French.”

Amanda laughed but she agreed with Ana. She was speaking French like a singing bird born in Paris.

“I don’t know what other languages they have here,” she said, “I haven’t checked yet.”

“I’ve heard they will be opening The Confucius Institute soon,” Mircea told her.

“Really? I didn’t know that. Then I will definitely study Chinese!”

“Wow,” said Ioan, “I would give anything to have this predilection for languages and your incredible memory. I even had to struggle to learn German almost as well as my native language, although, I’m already close to finishing the XIIth grade. And I didn’t even count the years spent in kindergarten…”

“Eh, never mind, you are good at other things,” Amanda replied conciliatory. “Who among us can take so much pride in his paintings? We can barely scribble the paper, and you will be a famous artist, with exhibitions all over the world… Don’t you forget about me then!”

“You are talking nonsense, how could I forget about you? You are my chosen one,” he said decisive.

He had no reason to feel embarrassed, she was his girlfriend, and the others their best friends. He was ready to sacrifice anything for them that is how close he felt to both of them. And for Amanda he was convinced that he was ready to give a kidney, if she would have needed it.

Amanda gave him a long kiss, as she heard the honesty in his voice.

“What about you?” Ana asked Mircea.

“You are my chosen one as well,” he answered quickly.

“Not this, silly,” Ana laughed. “Although I happy to know it. I was asking if you made up your mind about which Faculty you are going to.”

“Ups,” the young man was sweating like from a virtual sauna of real emotions. “This… well, yes, I think I am going to Informatics or Robotics something, I don’t know yet.”

“It fits you like a glove as well,” Ana applauded.

“We will be four fulfilled friends,” Amanda added.

“The future sounds good,” Mircea added.

“And we are the future,” concluded Ioan.

“An artist, a computer expert, a doctor and a polyglot linguist,” Amanda recapped the list. “What a wonderful quartet, indeed.”

“But, coming back to Earth,” said Mircea after a few moments of contemplation, “first let’s have fun. Let’s make our plan for Bâlea. What should we bring with us? What will we go by? Where should we make a reservation? And so on.”

“Right,” said Ioan. “Ana, when will you know for sure if your parents will allow you to go?”

“When? Now,” she said decisive and she picked up the phone.

She went out of the room, into the small kitchen next to it, he three could hear her voice, but they couldn’t make out the words very well. Ana came back after a few moments.

“Done!” she said emphatically.

“Wow,” Ioan couldn’t restrain himself. “I am a boy, my parents let me live alone in my studio, and still it wouldn’t have been so easy. I mean wow!”

Ana laughed. Amanda applauded.

“It’s going to be so great!”

Then towards Ioan:

“Come on, faster, call there where you said you know I don’t know who, make the reservation!”

“Right away, right away, come on, it’s not burning,” he tempered her.

He picked up his phone, he searched for a name in the phonebook, then he called.

“Hello, this is Ioan calling. I know you know,” he laughed, “but I didn’t want you to be scared, I mean, after all, I haven’t called you for a century. How have you been?”

He listened to the other one’s answer, and then he continued:

“Hey, buddy, do you have two free rooms for next weekend? Yes? Are you sure you can? Great! Yeah, I can’t wait to see you too! Ciao.”

Ioan hang up and he said using the same tone Ana used earlier:


“Hurray!” the other three shouted.

“The most difficult part is solved,” said Ioan. “The rest is piece of cake.”



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Published by dorin

Full time husband and father; full time writer; full time artist (#fineartphotography). And in the free time, I like to travel, to read and to learn new stuff.

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