GilThis is the fourth part of my short story, The Poet. Please would you correct my mistakes.
Those arguments continued for a few months, until my father
hadsuddenly disappeared one day and never came back. My mother gathered us around the table and told us that they did not love each other any more and they could not pretend that they were living in harmony and happiness as before. She begged us to forgive her, because she knew that the separation would have a profound effect on us all. But they did not have any other choice. If they continued in the same way who knew what could have happened. At the worst, someone could be physically hurt, because people can do all kind of things to each other when they are angry. Now they would sort out everything in a civilized way. TheMy father had already agreed that we should keep the house and all the furniture, and he would find a flat for himself and start a new life. I glanced at my brother and sister and noticed that they were in shock. They had lived in ignorance for months, infatuated with their lovers and oblivious of the tragedy which was happening in their own home (If you are going to use "their home" this way it should be balanced with some other home. For example, "They saw that the neighbors were having problems but did not know what was happening in their own home") . They looked incredulously at theour mother not knowing what to tell her, until Joakim said, “ I think you’re both selfish. You didn’t ever talk with us about your disagreements. You don’tdidn't care about how we were aregoing to feel.”
themother said, “We didn’t want to burden you with our problems. We went through all the options and this was the best solution for everyone. When there’s no real love, you can’t buy it by mail order. It’s better to separate than live in an illusion the rest of your life.”
I had mixed feelings. Finally I would be able to read my books in peace without being interrupted by their quarrels, but at the same time I felt
thean abyss opening before my eyes. I could never have imagined to liveliving in a family without thea father, and I knew I was going to miss him terribly in the years to come. It was he who took me to a stadium to watch a football match when I was just four years old and taught me the rules of the game. Soon thefootball became our mutual passion, and we would spend hours discussing matches, tactics and players. Now that he had gone without talking to me or at least saying goodbye, had made me terribly angry. I promised myself I would never forgive him even if he returned and apologized.
About one month later,
themother came home flourishing a sheaf of papers in her hand and telling us that they had officially divorced. The father was now free to marry another woman if he wanted to. About two months later, I saw him for the first time since his disappearance. He was walking the street and holding hands with a tall, dark-haired woman. When he saw me he began to wave his hand at me and called my name. He probably believed that I was happy to see him again, but my only feeling was utter contempt. I immediately walked to the other side of the street, not giving him a glance. Later, whenever I saw him, I pretended not to recognize him, and I did not want anything to do with him, although he would regularly send money to me and gifts for my birthday.
As time went by, I noticed that my mother was devoting more attention to my brother and sister than to me. I could not find any special reason for her behaviour, but whenever she talked about them, her voice became soft, filled with love and pride as if these two children would bring her back all she had lost because of her divorce. However, I had to admit that they both were brighter and more intelligent than I was. Already as a teenager, Joakim was showing his mathematical genius. There was no mathematical problem he could not solve, no branch of mathematics or physics he could not discuss. Irena was more inclined to the humanities, and at a young age she had promised to herself to become a psychologist. She liked to read a lot, and she would spend hours in her room poring over books. Unlike them, after my parents’ divorce, my school results had become worse. I had become restless and could not concentrate on my school work. I had lost the firm ground under my feet, and now I was trudging through the deep quagmire like a lost sheep. Reading books and doing homework had become like
aclimbing ofup a rocky, steep mountain. I felt I was never going to achieve anything in my life. Instead of showing understanding for my problems, my mother started criticizing me and telling me that I should look up to my brother and sister.
Apparently she was oblivious to the root of my setbacks, or ignored it deliberately.
My brother Joakim had motorcycles as his favourite hobby. I remember when I was a child watching him tinkering around with his moped and his delight later on when he drove it up and down the street at the maximum speed which its small motor could manage. As he grew up his motorcycles became larger and their motors more powerful. When he began studying at university, he would ride his black Honda every morning to the department of mathematics, no matter the weather. Sometimes he would fall off it, but he had never hurt himself badly. He would sustain some bruises for which he did not need any medical help. But one morning when I heard him closing the door of his room, walking down the creaky stairs, opening the entrance door, closing it with a bang, starting the motorcycle, and speeding down the street, I could not have imagined that this would be the last time when I registered sounds of him while he was alive.
It had been raining outside - a steady, monotonous autumn rain falling from the overcast sky, which could make almost everyone feel miserable. About one kilometre from our home, there was a sharp, dangerous
bandbend, which unfortunately became fatal fromfor my brother. He lost thecontrol over his mighty Honda on the slippery road, and despite his frantic attempts to maintain thebalance, the machine veered into the oncoming traffic and collided with a heavy lorry, which threw him aside as if he had been a plastic doll, causing himmultiple injuries. He was still alive when they rushed him to casualty, but died one hour later. We did not receive receivedthe sad news notbefore the afternoon, when the telephone rung and my mother picked up the receiver without anticipating the tragedy. I heard her telling her name, and then there was a silence broken by her “Yes, yes, I understand.” Then there was a prolonged silence before she started screaming and howling as if someone was torturing her. I hurried down the stairs, and when I entered the kitchen I found her writhing on the floor, white like a ghost, crying out Joakim’s name. I crouched down beside her, put my palm on her sweaty forehead, and told her to calm down. Still, she was unable to control herself, and only after a while, through her sobs, I was able to understand that Joakim had been killed in a traffic accident. It came as such a shock to me that I was unable to gather my thoughts. It was hard to imagine that our Joakim, our genius, would never be with us again.
To be continued.
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