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).
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Sunday, June 12, 2016 means different things for different people.
For the United States, it is and will remain in the history of the unfortunate days, the darkest Sunday after 9/11. According to the number of victims and injured, Pulse Club is the fireless equivalent of Colectiv Club. The first, hell brought on by a madcap, the latter, hell brought on by an entire system composed of individuals who do not have the slightest compassion for their fellow. What unites all those guilty by doing or by thinking is, ultimately, their lack of care for life itself. Two tragedies that cannot be put into words, painful and absurd. Done deals which we all witness helpless, making us seriously doubt people’s point in this world, and the directions towards which the human species evolved or regressed.
Amanda, if she had known, would have said crying that the world if filled with crazy people and that they all have access to guns. But that Sunday she was doing something different. After several months during which Ioan courted her like when they were young, to re-conquer her and convince her again, without any doubt, that he sincerely regrets the mistake he made, that he admits that he did something stupid and that he wasn’t going to repeat it ever again, Amanda was with Ioan at Bâlea Lac, for the entire weekend. Neither one of them had gone to Bâlea again from their wonderful careless youth. On Sunday Amanda decided.
For Maria it was the day when Cezara defeated death. At 8 a.m. she was brain dead, otherwise said, she died, but she was successfully resuscitated, namely she returned from the dead.
For Azade it was the day when she got to take her plan to an end. Little by little she regained her lost beauty. Sunday, at 9 a.m., Ahad requested to see her. A man brought her to his hut. Azade was decided to go all the way, knowing that she wasn’t going to get a second chance.
“Leave us,” Ahad said to his man.
He left leaving them alone.
“Now it’s the critical time,” Ana explained to Maria.
Ana, learning the news, rushed to the hospital as fast as she could.
“I love you,” Ioan whispered into Amanda’s ear.
Ioan had woken up earlier, but he let her sleep until nine. Amanda shivered with pleasure and stretched softly under the covers.
“Why are you bothering me?” she asked him in a very harsh tone.
Ahad was taken by surprise. He didn’t even expect Azade to be able to talk, because she hadn’t made a sound since that day, let alone speak. Then, she always behaved like a drugged subject, and now, suddenly, her hieratic position made her look like a queen.
“The following hours are going to be extremely difficult for her,” Ana continued. “The road to healing is not easy; on the contrary, it is going to be hell, but… if she goes through today, then we will know…”
Maria tear dropped, nodding that she understood.
“How can I know for sure that this time you are serious?” she asked. “What if you wake up again thinking something different, what if anguish will appear in your artist soul?”
Amanda wanted to believe him with all her being, body and soul.
“Undress…” he tried to command her, but his voice was shaking.
Ahad was watching her with big eyes. He really did not understand what was happening to him. The woman’s eyes pierced him like an arrow.
“But you mustn’t despair,” Ana encouraged her. “You have to be optimistic!”
Maria tried to smile, but she didn’t really succeed. Ana nodded that she understood and that it was alright.
“Kiss me you fool,” Amanda whispered.
Ioan leaned slowly on the bed, leaving his lips to enjoy tasting Amanda’s sweet lips.
“No!” she answered on the most determined tone.
Ahad couldn’t bear her direct gaze so he bowed his head, which he hadn’t done for a long time in front of a woman, probably since his mother used to scold him when he blundered.
“And, above that,” she continued, “you have to keep hoping. Are you religious?”
Maria nodded no.
“Take your clothes off,” Amanda continued to whisper.
Ioan looked deep into her eyes, his heart started beating with hope. He stood up and he took off the robe he had when coming out of the shower, unraveling a mature body, but still without a six pack on his stomach just as flat as when he was an adolescent.
“On your knees!” Azade pushed it.
She couldn’t believe it herself when Ahad slowly dropped on his knees, she was prepared for the other reaction, but she succeeded very well to remain composed, not to betray her surprise. Ahad felt vulnerable, as he had felt only when he was taken prisoner.
“Neither am I,” Ana smiled. “And yet, it works. Therefore, come on, let’s pray together. You don’t have to pray to any gods or to God, you can pray to whoever you want. I, for example, I pray to a ‘god’ I imagined myself, the god of modern medicine.”
Maria put her hands together, as her Christian Orthodox ancestors did and closed her eyes.
“Close your eyes,” she said.
Ioan closed them. Amanda removed the blanket, then she took off her pajama and lingerie remaining as white as the sheet she was on.
“Ask for forgiveness!” she commanded.
Ahad, bowed his head down to his chest, babbling something, with his palms on the ground, as if he was praying to Allah.
“It always works with your eyes closed,” said Ana on such a soft voice that Maria felt the wing of the guardian angel flapping in the air.
She opened her eyes, expecting to see him. Then she closed them again, to feel his presence again.
“Come!” she told him with the same voice. “But don’t open your eyes!”
Ioan listened, and with his eyes closed, he joined Amanda.
“Out loud!” she continued to command him.
Ahad clogged his head as much as he could in the ground, grunting something unintelligible, then burst into tears of weeping. Azade was so close to his knife that if she would have stretched her hand to get it, she could have reached it with ease.
“What is happening?” Maria got scarred.
Cezara’s body begun to struggle in spasms.
“I love you,” she whispered to him, before entering the magic land of kissing.
Ioan kissed her back, passionately, as only he knew how.
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