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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Please, would you proofread my text

    This is the fifth and the last part of my short story "Departure," please would you proofread it.

    Only six month after his arrival, he received the news that his home had been destroyed and his parents become refugees in a foreign country. Everything which they had patiently built and created, all decades of sacrifices and hard work had disappeared in flames only because a soldier was drunk and bored and wanted to have some fun watching the house burning to the ground.

    Or maybe his colleague was envious and sat it on fire out of sheer malice. His parents ended as refugees in a neighbouring country together with thousands of others who had lost everything, and still were lucky to come out alive.

    Some months later his father died, officially from heart attack, but he knew that the real cause was sorrow. He had hoped to enjoy his coming retirement in his garden surrounded with beautiful flowers and plants which he was looking after as if they had been his own children, but instead, he ended up in the smelly, cold barracks without much privacy.

    Then two years later his mother had become ill and asked him to come and visit her. She was still living in the same barracks and did not know what was going to happen with her in the future. She had a brain tumour which was diagnosed too late and probably she knew she was going to die soon. She wanted to see her only son before she died and pleaded with him to come. But he never came.

    She must have felt ashamed of him. In their culture, the family was more important than anything. One was taught already as a child that when it was about the family one should sacrifice everything, even one’s own life. He had always loved his mother more than his father, but he could not climb over the invisible walls of this city and set off on a journey to the south. When the news of her death reached him, he began to cry and the tears ran down his face as if they had been pouring from a deep well.

    He had promised himself that one day he would return to his parents’ graves, at least to ask them for forgiveness and say prayers.
    All these misfortunes had made him strong, callous, self-centred, and sly. Sometimes he would walk the streets thinking, if he was still a human being or maybe had transformed into something other, a creature about which there was no description in study books.

    He glanced at his watch. He had to go. He slowly rose from the bench, gripped the handle of the suitcase and started to walk, pulling the suitcase behind him, its tiny wheels making a buzzing noise on the concrete. After about a hundred metres, he reached the bridge and joined the surging crowds. At the moment he became one of them, a man with the goal and direction.

    When he reached the middle of the bridge, he stopped and looked down at the river, dazzling under the sunlight. He walked on towards the train station. Close to the entrance, a young Gypsy girl was standing and playing accordion, an empty shoebox under her feet. People were so busy that almost nobody gave her a glace. He stopped, fumbled in his pocket for the coins he would not have any use of in the south and threw them into the shoebox before entering the black rectangular building which reminded him of a large crypt. Before the automatic doors closed behind him, he turned towards the city for the last time and inhaled deeply.
    THE END
    Last edited by Bassim; 15-Dec-2010 at 17:37.

  2. #2
    johng is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    This is the fifth and the last part of my short story "Departure," please would you proofread it.

    Only six months after his arrival, he received the news that his home had been destroyed and his parents had become refugees in a foreign country. Everything which they had patiently built and created, all the decades of sacrifices and hard work had disappeared in flames only because a soldier was drunk and bored and wanted to have some fun watching the house burning to the ground.

    Or maybe his colleague was envious and sat it on fire out of sheer malice. His parents ended as refugees in a neighbouring country together with thousands of others who had lost everything, and still were lucky to come out alive.

    Some months later his father died, officially from heart attack, but he knew that the real cause was sorrow. He had hoped to enjoy his coming retirement in his garden surrounded with beautiful flowers and plants which he was looking after as if they had been his own children, but instead, he ended up in the smelly, cold barracks without much privacy. [I am confused about who is in the barracks, that father or the son.]

    Then two years later his mother had become ill and asked him to come and visit her. She was still living in the same barracks and did not know what was going to happen with to her in the future. She had a brain tumour which was diagnosed too late and probably she probably knew she was going to die soon. She wanted to see her only son before she died and pleaded with him to come. But he never came.

    She must have felt ashamed of him. In their culture, the family was more important than anything. One was taught already as a child that when it was about the family, one should sacrifice everything, even ones own life. He had always loved his mother more than his father, but he could not climb over the invisible walls of this city and set off on a journey to the south. When the news of her death reached him, he began to cry and the tears ran down his face as if they had been pouring from a deep well.

    He had promised himself that one day he would return to his parents graves, at least to ask them for forgiveness and say prayers.
    All these misfortunes had made him strong, callous, self-centred, and sly. Sometimes he would walk the streets thinking [wondering?], if he was still a human being or maybe had transformed into something other, a creature about which there was no description in study books.

    He glanced at his watch. He had to go. He slowly rose from the bench, gripped the handle of the suitcase and started to walk, pulling the suitcase behind him, its tiny wheels making a buzzing noise on the concrete. After about a hundred metres, he reached the bridge and joined the surging crowds. At the moment he became one of them, a man with the goal and direction.

    When he reached the middle of the bridge, he stopped and looked down at the river, dazzling under the sunlight. He walked on towards the train station. Close to the entrance, a young Gypsy girl was standing and playing an accordion, an empty shoebox under her feet. People were so busy that almost nobody gave her a glace. He stopped, fumbled in his pocket for the coins he would not have any use of for in the south and threw them into the shoebox before entering the black rectangular building which reminded him of a large crypt. Before the automatic doors closed behind him, he turned towards the city for the last time and inhaled deeply.
    THE END
    Good ending. I just got confused in the one part about the father. I could not follow the time line in the paragraph.

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Dear Johng.
    It was the father who ended up in the barracks and died of sorrow remembering what a beautiful home he had left behind.

  4. #4
    johng is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Some months later his father died, officially from heart attack, but he knew that the real cause was sorrow. He had hoped to enjoy his coming retirement in his garden surrounded with beautiful flowers and plants which he was looking after as if they had been his own children, but instead, he ended up in the smelly, cold barracks without much privacy. [I am confused about who is in the barracks, that father or the son.]
    You might change the second sentence to begin with, His father had hoped...

    So the sentence could read like this with a couple of verb changes.

    His father had hoped to enjoy his coming retirement in his garden surrounded with beautiful flowers and plants which he would looking after as if they had been his own children, but instead, he had ended up in the smelly, cold barracks without much privacy.
    Does this help make your intended meaning clearer?

  5. #5
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Dear johng.

    Thank you very much for your suggestion. Your changes in the text really make the meaning clearer.

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