Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Lullaby of a Memory

I remember that day so vividly. He had been asking me to go out for more than a week, and I finally agreed. It was one of those winter days when it is cold and you feel your hands freezing in the gloves, and yet the sun is shining. The white glittering snow created a picture of heaven. I stepped out of the taxi and the fresh air filled my lungs. I saw him there in the middle of the square with his hands in his pockets. He was wearing a black jacket and jeans: the usual. I stepped closer to him to say hi. He smiled. The mysterious color of his eyes made me angry because I could not define it, but it made him even more charming.
We started our walk in the quiet Borisova Garden. It was a Saturday afternoon but probably caring mothers decided it is too cold for their kids to be outside. After a 15 minute walk we met the exception of my inference: a little creature passed near us. The little child was no older than 4 years: she was wearing a green coat and a red hat. Her cheeks were so red as if two raspberries had blossomed on them. Two small teeth could be seen in her smile: they were like little pearls on her little lips. She was looking like a little penguin, while she was trying to run away from her grandmother. The old woman stopped soon of course. Age is merciless. The little lady came next to me and I caught her hand. It felt so small in the glove. I took a glimpse at my companion. He was smiling. I smiled too. When I got back to him we started holding hands. I could not separate from the pulsing warmth of his hand. It was somewhat magical, and yet scaring.
Soon our walk in the park was over so we decided to walk the wet streets of the old Sofia. I had let his hand down. We passed “Chervilo”: the night club. It was so noisy at night and so quiet and calm during the day. He asked when I will go there with him. I laughed as usual and left him wondering. I had never been able to tell him that this music caused me a headache, so I tactically said nothing. We passed the Russian Church next. Its golden domes were reflecting the rays of light as if the day was not light enough. He asked me what I want to do. I was very thirsty so we stopped in a shop and he bought two cans of Coke. He took my hand and told me that he would lead me to a special place. We passed the Presidency and the Alexander Nevski church. I didn’t know if it was the pure innocence that this day brought or the white walls of the buildings, but I felt lighter. We walked and talked and I couldn’t feel my feet stepping on the damp ground. I was weightless. After a 10 minute walk we reached the National Theatre. He smiled at me with his childish charm. I couldn’t believe he remembered that this was my happy place. I have never enjoyed a can of Coke that much. My thoughts were flying in all sides. His small gesture, his effort to remember a useless piece of information made me feel like a princess. I could suddenly see myself dancing with a beautiful prince like the happy endings of the Disney classics. I have let him in. That was it. My world was spinning…
It soon started to get dark. Five hours had passed like 5 minutes. I was looking at the fountain, where young people were sitting. You could hear the clashing of cans, the laughter of people, the ringing of mobile phones. These seemed so irrelevant and distant. I laid my head on his shoulder and I felt like I am in eternity. I was feeling something, but I could not define it. Suddenly, a tornado of memories started in my mind. I remembered the first time we met in “Bizarro”, the club. I remembered the first time we went out. We went to City Centre Sofia and watched “Iron Man”. I remember when he came home to check out my famous cooking skills. The oven was new, and as a result the chicken could easily broke your teeth and choke you at the same time. We have been out so many times and there is not a single one that made me sad. This person made me happy: insanely, eternally, perfectly and simply happy.
My head felt so heavy on his shoulder. I did not want to lift it up but I had to. I had to go there in the noisy company, at the bar, where everyone judges and no one thinks of how I felt. I told him I had to go. He walked me to the Palace of Justice, and soon I was traveling to Students’ Town alone, without him. I could feel my heart beating, so slow and sad. I gave the driver a fiver, and got out of the cab. The music was already so loud. I missed my happy place with him in it. This was a nightmare. I just sat there for hours, talking and laughing on the outside, but dying and crying on the inside. I started to realize that my happy place was a mirage. He was not in it, and he would never be there. We were different. I had my world and my friends, and he had his. What could he possibly do in my world? How could he possibly fit? I could already see the faces of my friends: strange, smiley, but not real. I could not do this to him! I cared too much! I could not think of my happiness rather than for his!
I couldn’t! I couldn’t! I couldn’t!
I wanted to get out of this place. I was not charmed even by the boy with the little scar over the tip of his lip. Even he was irrelevant now. Tears started building up in my eyes, and I started rushing through the crowd, desperate to find my way out.
Someone pulled my arm. I turned around. The mysterious color of his eyes made me angry because I could not define it, but at this moment I did not even care…


  1. A Lullaby of a Memory by you is a short story written in a very high standard with a very intriguing style. There are several pluses to this piece of writing, which portrays one day of a person’s life. The story is interesting due to many factors such as the epithets used to help the reader make a better picture of the situation “It was one of those winter days when it is cold and you feel your hands freezing in the gloves, and yet the sun is shining.”, the long explanations of the emotional condition of the character “My thoughts were flying in all sides” and “My world was spinning…” and the shortness, but meaningful confessions ” I have let him in”. The variety of feelings explained in this short story is a plus because this way the reader can feel closer to the character and even share his happiness. Details are explained such as names of places “Bizarro”, “Iron Man” and “City Centre Sofia” help in the visualization of the whole picture. This is a really strong piece of writing because after reading, it leaves a good impression that the person, who has written it, in this case you Toni4ke, is fluent in English due to the used vocabulary, has a good imagination due to the described people, places, objects and an eye for the small details in things. In general those are the pluses of the story.
    Some things, which could have been prevented is the sudden end of the story “The mysterious color of his eyes made me angry because I could not define it, but at this moment I did not even care…” In my opinion a more appropriate end could have been written because this way the reader wants to hear more about what happened, but suddenly the main character does not care. The emotional stature of the main character is both a plus and a minus. Due to too many emotions at some points in the writing the reader starts thinking, why would somebody get worked about something for example such as “His small gesture, his effort to remember a useless piece of information made me feel like a princess.” In general there are almost no minuses in this short story.
    I hope that my reflection of your story helps in your future development as a writer.

  2. You have done a great job. The story is really interesting and the way it was written is amazing. I am astonished that a senior can have such style. I am sure that one day you will be famous for your writings.:) Firstly, I like the fact that you made me feel a part of the 5 hours spent with him. The details used: “Borisova Garden”, “ Chervilo, the night club”, “the Russian Church” made me imagine the center of Sofia and you and this boy walking down the streets. The good description of the emotions you felt throughout the whole day “We walked and talked and I couldn’t feel my feet stepping on the damp ground. I was weightless”, “My world was spinning…” makes the whole story sounds sincerely and I believe this is really important. Every single word suggests the importance of this boy. However, there is one thing that I do not like. You are suddenly telling the readers that “a tornado of memories started in my mind” and you are not describing the reason for that. I think you should do it because it seems that this moment is the turning point of your story, when the mood changes and the day stops being so great.
    Great job, Toni! :)