”Are you happy with your life? ” this is what Anna hears every time she visit her step mother Matilda; she ignores her question by asking about her new paintings and pretending to be interested with, she taught Anna everything about art but they don have the same taste, Matildas paintings are sad and dark but Annas has more life in it, because she has less experience in life according to Matildas opinion. After her father died when she was 11 years old, she had no one left but her, she seems to be a dry woman, but she looked after her well and beyond it all they have a hidden love for each other in a way they don understand, that is what kept their relationship bound through time. At the end of the day Anna takes the bus back to the town where she lives, the road from countryside to city is like travelling from the past to the future and this is what most attracted Anna it was the beauty that no one noticed but her. The bus stops and also her daydreams, in the bus station youll see those kids running with baskets of flowers making the place filed with life, although life has never being nice to them but their innocent smiley faces wipes away the misery presented on their dirty old clothes and their little bare feet; as Anna approaches the gate she saw two kids running towards her, ”Anna! Its my turn today to sell you flowers ” said little Antonio as he holds a bucket of tulip;
”No its my turn ” said Marcus with anger, Anna promised them that every weak she buy a bucket from one of them, so she listed their names in my block not,
”So today is the 24th day since we started our deal, and it is Antonios turn. Sorry dear Marcus next weak prepare for me the best bucket you have ” Anna replied; It is a lovely thing to see them compete with each other and remain friends at the end of the end, theres lot of kids like them in the country and she wishes to change their present to the best but now this is all she can do for them. At 4:00pm she visits Nana her neighbor to share coffee time with her like every day, Nana lives alone with her cat and her granddaughter Linda who visits her every weekend; ”How is your mother dear Anna? ” Nana asks as she put the flowers on the pot, she knows that she visited her when she bring flowers, but she doesn know shes not her mother or she forgets because of her disease. Linda graduated this summer from the high school and shes so excited to start her college life as she asks Anna who graduated from college last year, about her experience, and the time flies as they chat and the coffee time reaches the dinner time. After a lovely ladies night Anna back to her small empty apartment, as she walk around you can see her lifestyle and feel the atmosphere she likes from the books scattered neatly all over the place and gives it a classic look as if it was a Victorian palace library, following her to the kitchen we discover another feature of her life from the colorful paintings on the walls and the sketch papers on the fridge door, she took snacks and drinks and put it on the desk in her bedroom where she continues the sketches she work on.
In the early morning, the pure light of the sun lights her small room making its path through paper stacks, slowly reaching her desk and warmly touching her cheeks to let her know that its a new day and again she didn feel the night passing while finishing the 11th volume of the weekly comics; no one reads the comics in this city except kids in previous times, but now the type of stories that Anna made, makes even the adults wait the next issue of the comic magazine with passion. She wear her clothes randomly and left in a hurry when she almost forgets the sketches behind, on her way she run behind the bus to reach the book shop where she works and which is located two stops away, in 20 minutes she enters the shop saluting her boss, ”good morning Diego! I arrive in time as I promised ” Anna said,
”Welcome dear Anna! Didn expect you this early, I can tell from your eyes that you didn sleep AGAIN! ”Diego replied,
”What can I do? But the ideas come only in the last minutes ” Anna said while rearranging book shelves,
”Also sleeping helps your ideas flow smoothly through your brain cells ” Diego replied,
”Ok thanks for the science lesson; may I ask you something? ” Anna asked, but Diego refuses her request,
”But Diego please I need to sleep and I just finished the most exciting volume that will make lots of earnings, don I deserve a small vacation? ” Anna insists
e free these two days but you
e closing on the release day ” Diego replied
”Thank you, you are the best
” Anna happily replied and went toward the door,
e free after that guy of the edition house takes the sketches ” Diego interrupted her.
”I hope he doesn get late ” Anna said and back to her daily tasks.
The day is Friday the heaviest day of the week, everyone waits for it to arrive and can wait for it to finish so they can rest for the weekend and share the joy with their families, but for Anna all days are the same, while everyone waits for the weekend, she can choose the day she wants as a weekend. Diego went out for some works outside and left her alone, the time passes slowly as if the time is frozen and again Anna fell in her daydreams, her stepmother used to shout on her every time she lost conscious and drawn into her dream world saying that she will lose her life if she doesn keep focusing all the time, but now her dreams are making her path to the future she always dreamed of, and all of a sudden a voice brings her to reality: ”Im talking to you miss ”, said a tall man with burgundy skin in an average fitness body with tough face emotions, not that handsome one that attract eyes by the first glance but oddly handsome, standing in front of Anna.
”Excuse me sir! What you want to buy? ” Anna replied nervously,
”It looks like you were in a different realm; I was asking if there is a hotel around this area ” The men replied with a nice laughter. She stared in his eyes for a few seconds then answered ”Im sorry sir but your question confused me, as you see this is not a touristic city so we don expect tourists ”
The man looked directly in her eyes and wiped away the smile that he showed minutes ago, ”I am not a tourist miss; please answer my question ” he said in cold tune,
Anna shook her head and said: ”Im sorry sir! Yes, I mean no we don have a hotel near but there is a small motel in the exit of the city, follow this national road for 20 minutes and youll see a sign holding its name ”
”And whats its name? ” he asked,
”Yes! I forget, sorry for that; its Caesar ” Anna replied,
The man looked on his watch, lifts a corner of his lips with a hidden smile and said before he leaves: ”You need to sleep miss ”
”Is that obvious?! ” Anna said while shes looking in the mirror checking her eyes; meanwhile the guy from the edition house enters and asked: ”Whats the obvious? ”
Anna took the sketches of the new version and gave it to him ”Nothing I was talking to myself; tell me Armand do I look like I need to sleep? ” she asked,
”I can tell from your eyes that the new volume is going to be a trend; where is Diego? ” Armand answered with laughter,
”He left for some minutes hell come back soon ” she replied,
”I need to leave now can you sign for him? ” Armand asked,
”Yes sure ” she said as she sign the delivery
Once Diego enters she took her bag to leave when that stranger man appears again:
e back, did you find the motel? ” Anna said,
”Yes, but its full; can you help me to find a place for rent? ” he asked,
”Yes sure, the place where I live offers small apartment for rent I can show you the way, Im going there anyway; its two stations away ” Anna replied
He took a long look on the street before he asks her to have lunch with him saying: ”Don you think its lunch time now?! ”
”I don mean to waste your time sir, I can give you the address and you came later ” Anna replied nervously, ”Im asking you to have lunch together miss; shall we? ” he interrupted,
”Well this was the strangest way to ask but ____ ”,
”Im new here and I need someone to help me, consider it as a gift to thank you ” He interrupted her again when he felt that she will refuse. His words make her blush and she couldn refuse his offer so she accepted with a shy tune; and because the city is new to him he asked her to show him the best restaurant.
”Bonne appétit ” from its French name you can tell that the type of meals they serve is so delicious, while they were waiting for their order Anna broke the silence that prevailed for a moment and she started explaining the history of this restaurant: ”This place is three generations old, the first founder came from France during the world war, he started his job selling the French bread that he bake and his special recipe helped him grow and little by little he found this restaurant, although he misses his home town but he never felt as if he was a stranger, people here loved him so he loved to settle here ”, he smiled to her and seamed to be enjoying talking with her so he couldn take his eyes off of her; ”I couldn ask you about your name earlier sir ” Anna asked, ” please don use the formal way to speak call me Martin, and you young lady? ” he replied;
”My name is Anna, Im 20 years old and I work in the book shop ”
”Well, nice to meat you Anna from the book shop; whats your story Anna? ”
”Im sorry what? I didn understand ”
”What keeps a young girl awake so many nights? ”
”It is so obvious then; wait you didn tell me what your job is and how old are you ”
Martin laughs than said: ”You didn ask…. why all women answer a question by a question? ”
”I didn notice that, well shall we play the Question by Question game? You asked first my turn now ”
”I can disagree, you go first ”
”Ok! How old are you? ”
”I am 35 years old, my turn, why you skip your nights? ”
”I don know why you
e interested with it, but if you insist its ok; so I write comic stories and drawing takes a long time. ”
e a writer? ”
”Not really and you just toke my turn to ask; tell me, what is your job? ”
”Military, what kind of stories you write? ”
”Im not a writer, it is comics, it talks about a sailor who loves the sea but hes poor and that prevents him from sailing to far oceans, so he meets new friends and they decide to sail together for trading and discovering new lands and in their journey they face so many troubles; its full of adventures ”
”It looks so fun to read; I assume that you write it because you love to sail ”
”Well, yes I love adventures and I never have the chance to live one so I made my own one and share it with people ”
”I saw an ad for comics in the bus station, I saw people reading it too, congrats for that success you made adults enjoy their childhood again, Im sure you
e famous among them. ”
”No! Im not; I kept my identity a secret and if not, kids will never let me free, they will change the whole story ”
”Your life is loaded with fun ”
Anna: ”I was saying the same about yours, you want the truth, I envy you; I always wanted to join the military service ”
”Youll choose the marines if you have the chance to I guess, and if you have an undergraduate degree youll promote in short period ”
”Do you have an undergraduate degree? ”
”I can share my personal information ” he said that with a confident language
”You see! This makes me retract and stop thinking about it ”
”Because you do not have a degree? ” he asks,
”No! Not that, I graduated last year ____
” she stopped for a second as she remembered something before she continues,
”I can share my information too; and I see what you
e doing, you are dragging me into a trap to reveal my secrets ”;
Martin let out a long laughter and said:
e so amusing; there is no need to hide such thing from me I can know it in a single call, hiding military information is for protection, youll know it when you become one; I wonder! Since you have a degree why you don have a real job? ”
”Real job?! ” she said that in amazement and continued ”I do have a job ”
”I mean like a career, if you graduated from college so you have the right to apply for one, isn that the purpose of your study anyway? ”
”No! Not necessary I graduated and I never applied for that type of jobs, I saw how people change, they became slaves, and all of them will follow the same rhythm and they will not have a time to do what they love, sorry I prefer to die rather than living this life ”;
Martin smiled for a while and said: ”Youll be perfect in military ”.
The time passes while they talk and laugh, after the lunch they walk the streets together and the long boring road turns out to be more fun, and for the first time she notices the beautiful spots that she usually misses when she walks alone, thanks to the nice company that makes us all notice the beauty that we ignore ; who sees them thinks that they know each other for so long, but once in the life of all of us, we met that one who comfort us and share the same vibe, it is not necessary to have the same culture or ideas but it is just enough to except our differences that will make us discover the similarities that we share.
When they arrive to the residential pool Anna meets the owner and asked her to rent an apartment for her guest Martin; meanwhile his place get cleaned Anna invited him for coffee at hers. ”Im sorry for the mess I left in a hurry this morning I don usually leave before cleaning ” Anna said in a shy tune when she put hot coffee and butter biscuits,
”You mean this paper stacks? You should see my dogs when I leave them alone ” Martin replied trying to comfort her,
”So here where your ideas bright ideas made the magical stories ”
”Yes, I call it my cave of wonders, because it is small like a cave ”
”You are too young to live alone, where is your family? ”
”They live away from here; I stayed here for my study, now my job has my whole time, tell me more about you, what makes you come to this isolated city? ”
Before he answers her question he get interrupted by his phone, he asks permission to answer an important call and went to the kitchen, when he back she already went in a deep sleep leaning her head to the side of the sofa, slightly holding the hot cup of coffee and before it falls and burn her he reached it in fast and quiet moves; He couldn hide his glances towards her thinking to himself ”What a funny spirit she has ”, he stood watching her for minutes then covered her with a blanket before he leaves quietly.
The next day Anna woke up late not remembering last events of yesterday, she went to the shower cleaned herself then she prepared her breakfast, while she waits for the coffee she noticed the cups in the leaving room and remembered the guy who came with her ”Oh no! I bring a man to my place ” she said to her holding her head in chock, ”what if Matilda knows? ” she said with fear, ”I have to know what happened last night ”, went out running down stairs to the owners apartment; ”Good morning Mrs. Rosa, sorry I know you said last time you don want me to knock your door only if its important but I want to ask about my friend ” Anna asked the owner, she was a fat short old lady with angry looks, she replied to Anna in a harsh tone ”What about him? I think I was clear about the rules of not to bring accompany if you are not married ”
”But he didn sleep at my place, right? ”
”You don know who spends the night with you? Are all this generations youth as careless as you? ”
”I was hoping to know from you ”
Rosa scoffed her then said: ”No, he slept at his place then left so early, next time if I saw a man with you, you better find another place for you to live ”
”But I didn break your rules, he didn sleep over ” Anna said confidently,
Rosa hesitated and did not find a suitable answer for and said angrily: ”You have to pay your rent this week and I want it on time ”
”Yes Rosa… I will ”, after she knows the truth she felt relief and sad at the same time for he left without saying goodbye. At her place she sat thinking about Martin the mysterious man, will she meet him again or he was just a passing cloud, who knows, ”It is better for me now to start the next chapter.
Her fondness for adventure stories makes her imprison herself in her house creating her own adventures especially that she lives in a peaceful town; the only big and most interesting events are weddings and funerals or traffic accidents; when she holds pencils she start making magic that enchants minds and send them to a magical land where they live a fantastic adventure with the heroes of the story in the middle ages, you can feel the passion of the sailor Nova, the poor fisherman who dreams to witness the wonders of the seven seas; You can learn wisdom and intelligence from Ulf the surgeon apothecary and you can share the brotherhood bound between Kite the blacksmith swordsman and his young brother Colt; all along the story you smell the sea, feel the wind on your face and hear seagulls racing the ship, from her drawings you get stunned with wonder creatures and magical treasures. This is the magic she creates. ”I must sleep early or I will have eye-bags tomorrow ” Anna said talking to herself when the alarm clock rings for the time of sleep, she put a sleep mask and prepared her outfit for the release day where the comic fans crowds in the book shop to buy the last issue, although they don know that she is the author but she loves to see the reaction of each one and the happiness she feels is preciousness.
”Good morning Diego, ready for the day? I say we will record a new selling number this time ” Anna said,
”Hello Anna, well it depends on the quality of your art work, anyway we will see at the end of the day; don forget you
e closing today ” Diego replied, he stopped for a minute before he continues, ” Who is the guy you went with him yesterday? ” Diego said while reading the newspaper acting not interested,
”No one, he was on a job ride and passed to our town, he was looking for a place to spend the night, why you asked? ” Anna replied,
”Nothing interesting, he looked as a stranger and we don expect tourist in here thats all ” Diego replied.
At the middle of the day the crowd of funs starts coming more and more, and the book shelves are being refilled so many times, ”I can never get enough of these happy faces and the smiles that beautify it knowing that I am the reason for this happiness ” Anna think to herself while selling her work.
By the end of the day Diego took his belongings prepared to leave leaving Anna to complete the remaining work,
”… 232, 233, 234, that is the number of sells today, I guess you win again, we didn reach the old record ” she said while counting sells, ”Wait! You forgot a copy for your son ” she said,
”Thank you dear, if I went back without it he will be sad till the next issue, Bye Anna take care ” then he went out, after a moment three little kids enter the shop,
”Hello my friends ” Anna saluted them.
”Hi Anna ” they replied then the oldest said ”Anna we want our free copy as you promised ”
”Ok, but first you have to show me your commitment to the deal ” she replied,
”Yes we did and make our part of the deal, we learned five new words, first one is biology and it is the science that studies all living organisms, Solar system which represent the nine planets and moons which turn around the sun, the third one is Amazon, it is the largest forest in the world and it is located in Brazil ” the boy stopped to remember the other words than continued ”Yes I remembered, Austria and Australia, those are two countries the first one is in Europe and the other is the fifth continent ” the boy said happily waiting for the price,
”Great work kids you surprised me, you will soon be better than me I know that, now here is your free copy take it and read it with all your friends and don forget to learn five new words every week and you will have your free copy of the comic magazine as promised ”
She gave them the comic magazine before the second boy said ”Do you know that the sun is a big star? And it was blazed in fire for billions of years ”
Anna replied: ”Really? I didn know that thank you for the new information you deserve a present for this ” she took an astronomy tutorial book from the shelves and gave it to him, the boy was so happy with his gift and couldn wait to share it with his friends,
”If all teachers treat students like this they will all be high educated ” she thought to herself. There are many kids with no education around the country and the world and Anna always thinks of any way to help them.
Thursday arrives and it is the time to visit Matilda, how meter she tries to hide it but she can , the fear she has every time she goes to her, maybe the way she treated her since her childhood or it is her cold attitude that makes her unpredictable, but no meter what, she has to visit her and this trip is necessary. On her way she bought a cake because she learned from her to never go empty hands when visiting others, although she doesn know what kind of cake she likes or what the things she likes are.
Annas old house is a wooden small one with two rooms and a big leaving room shares space with the kitchen. The past years they used to own a wheat field but the drought make them lost it and by her fathers death they couldn restore it, Matilda found herself in a hard situation, she has no money or a job and she has to take care of the child left to her by her husband, she had no other option but selling the land, and she kept a small grove to use for living, they sell some of its goods and eat the other half. But life gets harder and harder to the point they had to economize the electricity by using reusable candles and wear used outfits, when Anna reached the legal age for work she start working as a café barista, sometimes in restaurants and even in gas stations only to provide college fees to make her dream of being an educated person and to use that advantage to travel the world and live her own adventure.
”It brings bad memories to me ” Anna talks to herself as she stood in the entrance of the farm, ”What a dark place, how I managed to live in that house for years, it is not just the appearance that make it look like a horror movie house, but it is cold with no love and it suffocates me every time put my feet on its floor ”
Anna enters the house and salutes her step mother and she replied in cold words as always; ”I brought you a cake, I hope you like it ” Anna said
Matilda pointed to the kitchen table and said: ”Put it there ” then she sat on her chair completing the crochet crafts on her hand ignoring Annas presence;
”It is a lovely weather today; would you like to visit the town with me? ” Anna said while preparing tea trying to break the cold atmosphere between them both but Matilda remains silent. Every time she visits her she hopelessly tries to make conversations between them in intense to break the ice wall in between but Matilda makes this wall thicker and thicker and the only subjects she replies about it is when someone talks about her paintings.
”Should I tell her about Martin? Maybe she will talk to me this time ” Anna thought to herself before she said: ”I met someone this week ”
Matilda stopped and looked directly to her eyes and said: ”Why do you think I would be interested about whom you meet every day, you live in a crowded town I wouldn be thrilled to know everyone says good morning to you ”
”No, it is not what I meant, I want to say I met a man, he was new to the town and he asked me to accompany him, we had lunch and walked around then I invited him for coffee at my place ” Anna replied nervously.
She was right this subject makes Matilda react with her but not as she expected. She stands up and walked slowly toward her with furry and anger blazed from her eyes then she said angrily: ”You ignorant stupid girl! ”; and other harsh words that she have to hear from Matilda every time she tells her about something stupid that she did, and this time she was right but she just overreacted;
”How could you let a stranger sleep at your place? Are you dumb? Where are your manners, is this what I gave my life for? ”
”He didn sleep at my place I told you I invited him for coffee and I fall asleep, when I woke up he was gone, I asked the owner and she told me he slept in his place then he left in the early morning; why you like to hear what you want ” Anna replied with tears in her eyes,
”In your house or his, why you invited him in the first place why you talk to strangers? You didn think of what he could do to you? You didn think of your name what would they say about it, at least think of your father ”
In this moments she can argue with her and all she did is just starring to the bottom of her tea-cup sobbing and drinking her falling tears to the tea, listening to her till she calm down, but this time they both know that she will not calm herself; it isn like the old times when she scolds her for soiling her clothes in dirt, or when she forgets her homework, get in troubles at school or fighting with naughty boys, back then she was teaching her manners and she doesn scold her anymore because she learned, but now its completely different! She will keep searching for any mistake to start a fight and shot on Anna and every time she remain silent; in the last year their relationship got worst and tangled because of the unspeakable thing; the one thing that they both keep silent about for they both fear the results that they surly know; the first time Anna thought that she won an argue with her was when she decided to go to college, she refused at first but Anna managed to convince her, that was what she thought but Matilda was waiting for her to return home when she graduated, because she thought that the diploma is all what Anna wanted; but she didn and instead she started her independent life, thats what kept her angry all of the time because she feels that her grip is no longer around Anna and if she talks, she will lose her forever; Anna never understand her behaviors and kept wondering if she wants her to stay in act of love or just to share the misery that her father left for them both, this is the only question remains with no answer. When Matilda get tired of yelling she went to her room leaving Anna alone crying; when the sun sets she wished a good night for her knowing that she will not respond, took her bag and left as usually, taking the same road and meeting the same kids, buying the same bouquet of flowers and put it in the same vase.
”What making you sad dear Anna ” Nana said when she noticed her red eyes and continued: ”You are silent since you came in; tell me dear, what is hurting your heart? ”
”Nothing Nana; it is just the lack of sleep don think about it, it is me who should ask about you, tell me how are you today ” Anna replied faking a smile.
”I am old and sick but not a full dear Anna, I know when someone is hurt, believe me I have more experience in life that makes me read eyes, and yours are telling a sad story ”
”Well it seems I cannot hide anything from you ” Anna holds Nanas hands, took a deep breath then said: ”What is your opinion on a person who hides his feelings from every one, a person who treats all people like a trash; you never know his real intents, a person who breaks all bridges that others build trying to reach for him; what makes this person act so cold like this? ”
”Well you know that no one was born evil, but life and bad events could turn the soft heart into a hard black stone; you know charcoal was a green pretty tree filled with life and spread it around, but fire turned it into a lifeless cracked inanimate, no one can put blame on it for why did it change, the same thing is for people, life treats them so bad until they shrink into their shell cutting all ties between them and the outer world ”
”You mean that those people behave harshly just because they have fears? ” Anna asked,
”No one can know the real reason behind their actions but yes, they fear something, they fear to get hurt again like the same thing before ”
”Believe me, Matilda has nothing to fear of, she is so cruel and dull, she is the strongest person I knew in my life ” Anna stand up from the chair and starts walking back and forth and tension evident in her face as she talks about her: ”Tell me who can treat a little girl severely to a point to despise an innocent gift by throwing in it to the trash, do you know, she forced me to do pregnancy tests several times when I was a teenager, do you know how I felt back then? I was walking down streets with fear of just talking to boys and men in general; if she has fears I don see what innocent kids could do to her, I understand her fears but nothing or no one can give the right for anyone to hurt others, only if they were evil by nature ”
”Let me tell you a story of my mother and her father, I was a little girl oblivious to whats around me, I was living with my mother on her parent house when my father went to the war, my grandmother was as pure as an angle, she protects me from my mother every time I get in trouble, I learned that from her and I do the same to my grandsons, but my grandfather was a cruel man I never remembered him smiling, every one fears and hates him except my mother she was serving him with love even when he scolds her she never felt bad and always was showing him respect, I remember once he turned the table because he didn like the food she cooked, do you know what I did? ” Nana laughed as she remembers then continued: ”I started crying and yelling at him saying why you throw my mothers food? She spent a long time to make it, you are a bad person I hate you and hate your house, you don deserve to have a daughter like my mother I knew he would hit me for what I did but I wasn afraid of him all I wanted is to protect my mother, but he didn even raise his voice and left the room, in fact I felt that moment that he agreed with what I said; I didn understand him back then, his actions were incomprehensible but nothing remains a mystery forever, it was the day I lost my mother when I discovered the truth, the image of my grandfather holding my mothers body so tight and crying as if he was the one who lost his mother, would never leave my mind, that day he couldn hide his emotions no more, he moan next to her grave for the rest of the days he has left until he died and buried next to her ”
”But why he was mistreating her? ” Anna asked;
”I had an uncle that I never saw, no one told me about him before, and he was the eldest, back then, parents used to treat boys batter then girls, teaching them, buying them all what they wish and even give them food more than girls and if there is less food they give it to the boy and leave the girl starving, and my grandfather did the same to my uncle and for my mother he married her when she was so young just so he can spend more money and attention on his son; and one day my uncle stole all the money from his father and left forever with no trace, the chock that he felt makes him sick and weak he fall into depression and sorrow, my mother felt sad when she heard what happened to her father and went immediately to see him but he refused to open the door for her but she insisted to see him, she served him with love and unconditionally even when he treats her harshly because she knew the reason behind his actions, he remembered what he did for her and regretted how he preferred her brother over her but she still loving him, so he was punishing himself by pushing her away for that he don deserve her kindness, he wanted to make it up for her in any way but the time was too short and death took her from us, My precious one, my precious pearl this how he called her every day after she died; this my dear Anna was the mysterious story of my grandfather, sometimes people push away others just so they wouldn be the ones who hurt others ”
”Im sorry Nana I didn know your childhood was hard ” Anna said then continued: ”but I don see that Matilda is trying to don hurt others, because, she is hurting people for no reason ”
”Ah! Yes Anna we can know what others hide in their hearts but there are ways to discover it, just like face features are a reflect of the hidden emotion, anger is a reflect of what people hide inside of them, if you want to know the truth of what a person hides inside you need to know what makes him angry ” Nana said
Anna laughed then said: ”Believe me everything makes her angry, she hates everything and everyone maybe herself too ”
”Then you don know her, you didn try to watch her and observing her, if you want to fix your relationship with her this is your task, it is hard but you need to try ” Nana said then started coughing so hard;
”Nana dear do you feel bad? Do you want medicines? ” Anna said anxiously
”No my child Im fine, it is just temporary ” Nana replied;
”Im really sorry, its my fault I made you sick because of me and my problems; do you want me to spend the night with you? ” Anna said in regret;
”No Anna no need for that and don blame you for that, old people always get sick, now go to have rest in your house Ill be fine my dear ” Nana replied nicely;
”Ok Nana Ill leave you to rest and please if you feel sick again call me, I really love you and I can imagine my life without you, I wish you were in Matildas place then life would be so nice for us ” Anna said,
”But I am here for you forever my dear ”
”I know and I love you for that, goodnight Nana Ill see you tomorrow ”
”Goodnight Anna ”
Anna left her to sleep and went toward her apartment carrying her worries and sorrows that burdened her and made her unable to stand on her feet, she leaned her back to the wall and sat in her dark thoughts and overwhelming sorrows, in the middle of this blues a low voice and a dim light came out from her room calling her to join them, it was the story and its characters that Anna gave her all time to, she can hear their voices and see them in her heart because it was the world she created for herself to save her from drowning in sadness, immediately she went there setting on her desk thinking of how to get the story heroes out of the trouble that she put them in last time and hearing their voices blaming her, the story supposed to be a funny adventure one but the last episodes are getting tangled more and more and now the heroes need a hero to save them; not just the characters but even readers start noticing that the story gets darker every volume, Anna know what her funs think about her work from the page they create for funs of the comic, she reads every good and bad comment but only one attracted her, it looks like he or she are reading Annas emotions through the story; it said: ”I think that the author needs our support more than throwing scolds on him; his sadness appear through his words ”
And its true; Anna created the comics to run away from reality when she should face it. In the middle of this storm a new character appear from the darkness looking like the hero who will lead them to safety, a tall man in an average fitness body with tough face emotions, not that handsome one that attract eyes by the first glance but oddly handsome, and his name was Mercury, why Mercury, because he is as fickle as the mercury. This man wasn just a character from her imagination, he was the one who will change Annas life and turn it upside down and take this story to other levels away from just a sweet love story; this is the silence before the storm, or in proper words a hurricane.
The next day Diego arrived to the book shop early as always but he is stunned by something he never view before and it was Anna waiting next the door holding the sketches and wearing a creepy smile on her face;
”Am I late? ” Diego asked;
”No sir you
e on time ” Anna replied;
Diego said as he unlocks the door: ”Then you spend your night in front of the shop ”;
Anna laughed and said: ”Is it because I came too early? I finished the next volume and couldn wait to publish it; people will be choked when they read it and will be cheering for more ”
Diego gave her a sharp look then said: ”You said that last time and you just ruined it, half of them don want to read it again ”
”Trust me this time I know they will love it ”
”Didn you read whats writing in social media? They
e disappointed, and some of them ask for refunds ”
”Ok say what you want I can make you trust me, but I signed a contract with the edition house and they will decide when to stop it and till that moment I will keep writing it ”
”Im just saying my opinion about what I see; it is your work after all ”
”And Im asking you to trust me Diego, you supported me since the start don let me down now ”
”I do, but Im concerned thats all, I don want you to be sad in the end; by the way you will work your full time today ”
”Don worry Diego my happiness motivated me today ”
Diego is a middle aged man and like most of them he didn get used to network and social media yet, he reads and replies to each comment, sometimes he gets really upset so that once he broke his smart phone; he wishes the success for Annas art work, not just because it makes a profit for his book shop but also for her happiness so that Anna always works with his advice; theres Armand too who is the second one who reads it before audience, Anna made him one of the main characters so he loves to see what she made him like in the two dimension world and she loves to see his reaction. Do you remember the kids from the bus station? Anna made their daily routine life an essential part of the story too, she do all she can to help them, their hard life make them skip school lessens so this is the way to encourage them to advance their reading through this comics, a tricky way but effective.
Anna asked to work for addition hours for the two days before the release day to reorganize the place before they receive costumers, that will leave a good impression for them and Diego finds himself accepting her request, he land her the keys in condition to open early. Anna was fooling herself but deep inside she is thinking about Martin and his face never left her thoughts and working for extras hours is just an excuse to keep her busy and prevent her from thinking about him.
The weekend arrives so as the release day which is always crowded with readers of different ages waiting impatiently to buy the new issue, the shop always open early so they can satisfy all of the customers. She slept early so she won have eye bags and wore her best outfit to serve her funs in proper ways, she goes early as planned, happy and filled with energy waiting to see their reaction when they discover the new events of the story, but she couldn hide her mixed emotions when they reached the end of the day with just seventeen sold comics instead of more than two hundred that they used to sell at the first day; for a moment Anna felt the earth shaking beneath her feet knowing that she was living in her dreams, Diego was right and thats what Anna hates when someone warns her about something and she ignores it, hes always right and Anna was acting selfish and arrogantly; Diego approaches her as she was sweeping the floor lost in her dark thoughts and through his eyes she can see so many talk hidden underneath his tongue, he took the broom from her and sent her home. The road from the shop to her place is long and boring, and for the first time she wished to have a nice company with her to share her feelings and light the dark road shes taking but shes alone this time; she went to the garden where she used to go every time she faces a bad day but it was darker and empty so she had no choice but going back home, all the way long her eyes was glued to the floor until she entered the apartment and unconsciously falls asleep not remembering how she reached the bed, she simply hand it to her feet while her mind was lost in thoughts.
Anna used to spend her nights awake and the comics she writes are just an excuse when people ask her about the eye-bags she had sometimes, she hides the reality for fear that others would see her odd when they know she sits in the dark by the window enjoying the silent atmosphere and when its rainy she take a walk in the empty dark garden enjoying herself alone, normal people fear the night and all dark places but Anna finds her shelter in the dark, but the dark emotions and sorrow she had this night makes her run from her shelter.
”What is that noisy voice … Is it my phone… Thats odd I didn get used to receive calls so late at night ” Anna said when her phone rings waking her from sleep;
”It is Armand, what could make him call me, he never calls unless he asks about sketches ” Anna wonders about this strange call:
”Yes Armand! Did something happen? ” Anna answered;
e really asleep? ” Armand replied;
”Yes! Normal people sleep at night ”
”No silly, the comic blog is blowed up; people are talking about it in most social media groups, you need to check it now ”
What Armand said makes her jump from the bed rushing to the laptop to check the comic blog, the screen before her eyes was sparkling with comments and overviews, everyone love it and yes she was right when she said people will love it, Anna was so happy that she wanted to tell someone about this success, she took her phone and passionately searched for Martins number and theres when she realized that she doesn have his number but whats more important is realizing that she has feelings for him,
”When and how? We met only one time and I didn get to know him well, I don even have his number, why him? ” Anna asks herself,
This is the strange equation of love, we meet so many people in our life but we only fell for the ones we met once and leave us counting days to see them again, the one who is hard to see every day, the one whoever sees them even once is like witnessing the beauty of the rarest diamonds, in simple words THE HARD ONE TO REACH. This night she skips it again but what for? When her new issue succeeds, or when she discovers her emotions for Martin? She doesn know yet but at least she is happy now.
The second day she went early to the shop with her smiling face that she couldn hide thinking of the reaction of Diegos face when he sees the overviews but when she arrived to the shop she was the one who gets surprised by the long line of costumers waiting their turn to buy the last volume
”It can get any better ” she thought to herself as she counts the number of sales that passes three hundred and they didn reach the end of the day yet:
”You see that Diego? I was right, they
e cheering for more ” Anna said,
”Yes you were young lady, I guess we can record a new number of weekly sales and this time you win ” Diego replied
”What do you say if we celebrate our success today, I am inviting you and Armand to ”Le Bonne Appétit ” this evening; we shall go back to work now so we can leave early ” Anna said
Diego let out a long sight before he accepts Annas invitation: ”whatever you say young lady ”.
Two months later, in a Saturday morning Anna heard knocking on her door while she was on her room immersed in her work, drawing and writing;
”Who is it? ” she asks after she opened the door and she get surprised by seeing Martin at her door, wearing a nice outfit of dark blue jeans, a grey round neck shirt and a leather jacket in a classic cut, just as handsome as before,
”Martin! It is you ” she said happily,
”Who opens the door before asking who is knocking? ” Martin said laughing to her,
”Really, I did that? Never mind, come inside, I invite you for coffee or tea or whatever you want ” she said then suddenly grabbed him by the hand as she remembered Rosas warning: ”No, you can enter lets go outside ” she said while grabbing him and running downstairs,
”Why are we running, and from whom we are running? ” Martin said felling confused,
”Tell me did you meet the owner when you entered? ” Anna asked,
”No, I didn saw her, why? ” he asked,
”Oh, thank god for that, last time when you come she warned me if you