“Who are you? Why am I here?”
“I am Panos, you have been asleep for a long time…”
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“She hurt me, I felt the knife inside me, it…where is she?” He looked around, his eyes filled with terror. Pano had been hoping his brother will not remember that he died, but he did not indulge his own disappointment. He grabbed the boy and holding him closely told him, “I got rid of the bitch, she will never hurt you again, I swear.”
Finally Pano let go so that his mother can dress the boy. She asked him his name and he told her, “Gerasimos.”
Tina, the girl who even among Cherinians stands out as the girl with the tender heart, came from the kitchen with some chicken souvlaki in a pita, chocolates and a big glass of cold milk. She had remembered that when Gerasimos died he was starving and guessed the memory of that time would extend itself to the present, despite his new body not being hungry. She was right and as long as she stayed to help him eat, he ate until the plates were clean. Only the milk he did not want. He tried it, but did not like it.
Eleftheria has returned to her singing, for she says that if she is to adopt the twin girls, she must work hard to earn more money. On the instructions of soft-hearted Alki, her salary was increased by about fifty percent and she has been told she will not have to pay rent for the apartment.
Every time we meet Gerasimo, we sense that the magic of love within his new family is healing him of his fears and even of his memories of his past. It is about time I return home and face my own devils. I’m over that nonsense I spouted about never wanting to love - how could I still feel that way after having Pano in my life? I would like to give Derrick another chance…who knows.
I have asked Samantha for permission to end off the story of my self-pity and of Pano. I am writing directly because I had a strange dream and I want to record it, since Prime Robert insists it could turn out to be a ‘significant’ dream. I chose to write so that only my words are used, not as interpreted by Sam. When a memory is shared, the mind holds it with so many ‘extra’ details, that the fact of its existence is established beyond the way in which the ego perceived the experience. It is not so with dreams; what we see in dreams resembles the wavering air of a sweltering desert day, with the memories seeming to dance and change as our mind, our center of being, tries to pin down the scenes and turn them into fact. Apart from what I just wrote, I must admit that I forgot, until this moment, that this diary alters itself after the words are written, as if another distorting curtain waves over them, altering them, so I don’t know whether what the reader reads will still honestly represent my dream. My memory of the dream has already altered what I actually dreamt, so the account in here will be twice removed from the actuality.
I saw myself walking within the home of the Prime Teller family, going from room to room. In each room, I realised, I was seeing among all those of the family, an old man hunched over a book he is writing. I also knew, without being told, that nobody else can see him. As I came to him for the third time, I leant over to see what he is writing. He looked up with a smile and invited me to read what he has written.
As I did, I found myself on the page, a part of it. The old man tried to close the book, but something was blocking him, preventing the pages from resting against each other. As he opened the book to take a look, I pointed at a word he had misspelled. He corrected it and now the book shut tightly.
I did not feel I was being squashed or anything like that. I just felt as if I am part of the book and it was a nice feeling.
I woke up and tried to make sense of the dream, but I could not. Maybe Themi would say it is symbolic and is the way I have found to tell myself I now feel I belong and am a part of life. I do not believe it is the answer, for how can being part of an imaginary story and author symbolise my becoming a part of life? Also, my awake mind finds the idea of being closed within the book rather claustrophobic, whereas my dream I’d felt nice being closed within the pages.
We’ll tell Lillian about your comments; by the time your writing appeared in our diary she was back in her reality, probably trying to find something she can love in crane…oops, sorry, I meant Derrick.
As we began to return to our normal way of life, which includes regular visits to the coffee shops in Kifissia and Kefalari, the girls continued to nag and I finally gave in and we took the imps to the coffee shop and they played their role wonderfully. Nobody even thought to check whether they are real girls and we gathered so many kids around us that Cherine began to pretend she is scared I will fall in love with them and leave my girls for fresh bodies - and she was a bit disappointed when I did not react in an appropriate manner to her teasing. The truth is, I was feeling quite low on energy and sometimes I felt as if I am not all there, as if I am about to enter a hallucination.
As the girls almost got too loud in their jokes, rather than censure them, I made certain none of their words were understood by others around us, distorting the sound of their voices. A number of parents wanted to know where to find such life-like dolls for their kids, so we pretended we bought them in New York.
The only adult who ignored our wish and touched one of the imps was a woman, about fifty five, laden with jewellery and a heart heavy with sorrow for her inability to have children. She actually wanted one of the ‘dolls’ to keep and pretend it is a child. Deep as her sorrow was, because I was feeling a little spaced out, I let myself be drawn into her mind and saw what an empty life she lives, meeting friends for cards, gossip and the odd affair, not for the sex, but for the pleasure of cheating on her husband, imagining his devastated feelings if he finds out (which of course she makes sure he never does).
Wendy pulled away protectively and the woman got upset. “I only wanted to feel it, I wasn’t going to break it!” As she walked off she said to her friend in a loud voice, deliberately so as to hurt Wendy, “Spoiled little brats. Their parents should teach them some manners!”
Wendy looked as if she were about to cry, but I winked at her and gestured for her to look at the woman. All my girls turned to look at her as she let off one very noisy fart. There were a number of titters from all the tables and she was quick to disappear, her face bright red and hard. Wendy sent me a kiss as a reward, though Dommi was not amused.
Claudia asked whether we could go to Sweden for her birthday. I was not clear what she wanted and she explained.
“In Sweden we grow up feeling very proud to be Swedish. Here, we live in Greece, but we do not grow up like Greeks, instead we say we are Cherinians. Robert, Cherinians do not have a country of their own and we only belong to an idea, not a place where the old people wear funny clothes on special holidays, where songs that belong to grandparents of our grandparents are taught at school. In Sweden there is a feeling of belonging not only to the land, but also to a past because we are what came out of that past.
I want to see the country that is not my country anymore, travel around it, meet people and let them tell me stories in the villages. I want to say goodbye to all of it after I know what I am leaving behind me. It would also be nice to know that there are other Cherinians who have seen it with me and understand why I am as I am.”
“We are not Cherinians to you Claudia. We are family first. I nearly answered you now, but I think this may need some careful thought and even discussion by all the Cherinians. I’m sorry, I was not speaking of what you asked of us, the trip you want you can have and we will love to see your country with you.”
“What did you want to discuss then?” Cherine asked.
“The ideas Claudia has raised. I’m not certain she is right and yet I cannot say she is wrong for we have no rules to guide us.”
“I know Sweden, they make watches there and have these verrry big mountains covered with snow. My daddy said he will take me there to ski.”
The girl of about nine had been standing close to us looking at the imps. When she spoke I had a shock. Not because she was an opinionated smug girl who thought she is the cat’s whiskers, but because she had heard what we were discussing!
“I’m sorry dear,” Dommi said to her, “that is Switzerland, not Sweden. You could understand what we were talking about?”
“Yes, was I not supposed to listen?”
“No, it is alright, we don’t mind. So you want to learn to ski?”
“I know how to ski!” she answered forcibly, “my daddy says I am the best in my class, that is why he promised to take me to Swisterland. Can I hold one of the dolls please?”
“I’m sorry, they don’t belong to me, they belong to the girls who are holding them. The dolls are easy to break so they won’t even let me hold them.”
“Can I touch one please?” She directed her question at Wendy. Poor Wendy did not know how to say no, but knew she could not let her. She looked to me for help, but I refused to, I felt it was important that she learn to say no when necessary. She looked anxious and then suddenly smiled.
“If you promise to touch it softly and only once.”
The girl stretched out her hand and Wendy raised her fist and the girl caressed it, her face happy. She pulled her hand away and politely thanked Wendy, but with a look of superiority at the other kids. I admired the quick thinking of Wendy, but was annoyed, both at her and with this smug little girl. As the girl walked off I played with her co-ordination so that the toe of her one foot caught on the heel of the other and she tripped. I felt a bit of a humiliation in front of the other kids might be good for her. As she fell an adult reached out to catch her, but all his hand did was knock her to the side. As she landed she cried out and I felt a sharp pain in her. I jumped up, but there were others now between her and me so I sat down again and closed my eyes to concentrate on her.
She had hit the leg of a chair across her mouth and broken a tooth, the inside of her lip had been cut open and was bleeding. I felt sickened by what I had done.
Dommi whispered, “That is her front tooth and it is not her baby tooth. Oh Roberto, what have you done?” She felt how I had reacted and her eyes were not angry, just filled with pity.
I made the girl lose consciousness and prevented her parents from thinking of looking in her mouth. I filled them with the urgency to get her to a doctor. They picked her up and ran off. My healer was already within her trying to repair her tooth. It told me it could not.
I got up and mentally made the people get out of my way as I collected the piece from her tooth. I returned to my girls, sat down and left my body.
I returned from the void, picked up the fragment and found the girl. I had to make her open her mouth so as to get the fragment inside and then used my energies to bind the molecules so that the tooth was whole again. I looked within the tooth and made certain that the fragment was now a part of her tooth in every way, I did not want it darkening or dying. Once I was certain it was alright I looked at the cut. I had to force myself to leave it alone, to repair it would only raise questions. Quickly and lightly so that she would not feel me, I scanned her mind and found out where she lives and who she is - or rather, who her parents are. I returned to my body.
Irene said miserably, “Can we leave Robbie? I want to go home.” I saw all the girls were upset and nodded. They walked out while I left money on the table and followed them.
“I cannot believe that you hurt a child Robert!”
“Dominique, you know I did not mean to, I only wanted to knock out of her that superior smirk. I did not expect that man to bump her.”
Dommi still looked angry and Cherine looked at her and then at me and back again. “Dommi, if Robert had wanted to hurt the girl the protector would have attacked him.”
“That has nothing to do with it! Cherine, that child is not his daughter or wife, he had no right to try and humiliate her. Just as he had no right to make that other lady look ridiculous in front of everyone.”
“You know our Robert, he…”
“I don’t!! That is exactly the problem Cherine. The Robert I know would never hurt anyone!”
“You did not mind when he did it to that Petsas!”
“It is not the same, he was attacking us. Anyway, he was a nasty little man and deserved it.”
Next PALNet Post 063
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
19th September, 2019
* posted on PALNet - Steemit - WEKU - CreativeCoin: 19th September, 2019