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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Home care worker - part seven, Short story

    Please, would you proofread my text.

    When the weather was bad, Katarina and I would stay inside her flat. She had a huge collection of photographs which she kept in photo albums and in drawers of her bureau, which by the way, was very old and which she inherited from her grandmother. We would sit together on her chesterfield and she would browse through them describing the places and times under which they were made. Thus, her whole life passed in front of me like in fast motion, from a black and white photograph of a smiling little girl, dressed in white standing on a pier; sun playing in her blond hair and on the waves behind her, to the colour photograph of a suntanned beauty in a bathing suit under the hot California sun, to the middle aged woman sitting on the bench with a dark haired man who put his right arm around her shoulder. Behind them, an old olive tree stretched out its branches like a sunshade. "This was Giulio and me in Tuscany during one of our visits to his village. When he was a little boy he used to play under the same olive tree and now he was sitting under its shade with his own wife!

    Than there was a photograph of her with two little girls on her both sides, holding her hands. "These are my daughters, Nadine and Mona. They are middle aged now and have their own families but I can hardly recognize them any longer. They are so distant now, they have forgotten the time when they played with their dolls and instead they only think about money." Katarina told me that about five years ago she bought a cottage outside the town in a woods. She expected that her daughters and their children would come and visit her at least at weekends, but in two years they had come only once. She was so disappointed because she planted flowers in the garden and the apples were ripen and rotting, but there was none who could help her and gather them. Shortly afterwards, she sold it and put the money on her bank account. It hurt her that they visited her so seldom. She gave them bought her key to her flat in the case that something happened to her, but they never used it, they were such rare guests.

    Actually, only once I got a chance to meet them. I came one afternoon and Katarina opened the door whispering, "They are here, they came to persuade me I should sell the flat and move to an old people's home."
    I shook hands with both women who were not so beautiful as their mother but still their faces had attractive features. Nadine had black hair and Mona was brunette. Apparently, their father's south European genes were stronger then their mother's Nordic. They both gave an impression of busy and stressful business women who were always in shortage of time.
    After about ten minutes, they left and Katarina and I were alone. While I was helping her to remove glasses and plates she said, "As long as I can walk, I will never leave this place. But if they continue to harass me I am going to leave them disinherited. There are many charitable organisations who would make good use of my money."

    Katarina did not have many friends. Beside me, she usually got visits from an old lady who was a teacher of Italian, but was a pensioner since twenty years ago. They could sit for hours and talk about Italy and exchange their experiences. If I came and found them in the middle of their recollections I would stay just for a few minutes leaving two old women to their dreams and memories. Her name was Ingrid and I would ask her whenever I saw her how she was feeling and she would answer, "I have survived this month but I am not sure if I am going to survive the next." One day she did not come. Her daughter called Katarina telling her that her mother had died. She collapsed on the stairs and before the ambulance came she was already dead. That day I saw for the first time Katarina crying. She wiped her tears
    with a piece of kitchen paper and said, "To how many people I am going to say 'goodbye' before I myself make the journey?"
    She gave me money to buy a buquet of roses and put it on Ingrid's grave. The pain in her knee and her soul prevented her to go personally to the graveyard and pay the last obeisance to her friend.

    It was the end of November when I walked from the parking place to Katarina's flat and felt heavy- hearted. This whole month was dark and the sun was not able to penetrate thick and grey clouds for weeks. It was just begining of the winter and we could expect nothing better, but more cold and dark days which destroy one's wish to live. The same morning I met Milan, a former professor from the University in Sarajevo, who despite his PhD, was driving a taxi. "We will all perish in this damn country," he told me before driving off in his silver Mercedes taxi.

    With such dark thoughts I rang at Katarina's doorbell and when she did not answer I picked her key from a dozen other I used to carry with me. My thoughts was still with Milan and his words when I opened the kitchen door and the living room. They both were empty. I knocked softly at the bedroom's door and when there was no answer I opened it and saw her eyes and mouth wide open and I knew that finally Katarina had taken her journey. She had a personal alarm which was not activated and that meant that she had died in her sleep. At least she did not suffer.

    If I had not experienced the war in my homeland I would have probably started to panic and run away, but I had seen so many dead people in much terrible conditions that this was nothing unusual. I pulled the cover over her head and called the hospital. I sat on the chair and a feeling of a deep sorrow filled my heart again. We had discussed for moths, we had learnt so much from each other, we shared our fears and joys and now she was away and would never return. In the last weeks I brought three CDs with me with old Bosnian folk music and Katarina really enjoyed it, especially when I translated for her texts which were about passion, rejected love and yearning for a love one who was far away.
    Two tall, silent Swedish Vikings dressed in yellow came inside, put her body on a ambulance bed and disappeared.
    I made a few steps around, controlling that all lights and other devices were turned off, locked the door and left. There were other patients who needed my help and I could not let them down.

    The next morning I remembered that I had forgotten my three CDs in Katarina's flat. They were very important to me because whenever I felt depressed I would play the old songs which would carry me far away from this cold place. When I opened the door I heard the clatter of the porcelain coming from the living room.
    "Good morning," I said.
    "Good morning, Nadine answered blushing. She had already taken all plates and glasses from the first three shelves of the display cabinet. When I entered, her hands were just removing a coffee pot from the bottom shelf and putting it inside one of her two sport begs on the floor.
    "I just want to take my three CDs with Bosnian music," I said, "Katarina and I used to listen to them very often."
    While I was searching for them, there twas a silence in the room, but for the clatter of the delicate objects when they touched each other.
    "Goodbye," I said but she did not bother to answer.

    It was one of the many sunless and murky days that spoilt the hope of the most optimistic person. "Think, if I had been killed in the war how little I would have known about the world! I do not want to get old in Sweden."

    THE END

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Home care worker - part seven, Short story

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    When the weather was bad, Katarina and I would stay inside her flat. She had a huge collection of photographs which she kept in photo albums and in the drawers of her bureau, which by the way, was very old and which she had inherited from her grandmother.
    Or:
    When the weather was bad Katarina and I would stay inside her flat. She had a huge collection of photographs which she kept in photo albums in the drawers of her bureau. (It was a very old bureau which she had inherited from her grandmother.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    We would sit together on her chesterfield and she would browse through the photos describing the places and times when they were made.

  3. #3
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Home care worker - part seven, Short story

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Thus, her whole life passed in front of me like in fast motion, from a black and white photograph of a smiling little girl, dressed in white standing on a pier; sun playing in her blond hair and on the waves behind her, to the colour photograph of a suntanned beauty in a bathing suit under the hot California sun, to the middle aged woman sitting on the bench with a dark haired man who put his right arm around her shoulder. Behind them, an old olive tree stretched out its branches like a sunshade. "This was Giulio and me in Tuscany during one of our visits to his village. When he was a little boy he used to play under the same olive tree and now he was sitting under its shade with his own wife!
    Thus her whole life passed in front of me in fast motion, from a black and white photograph of a smiling little girl dressed in white standing on a pier, the sun playing in her blond hair and on the waves behind her to the colour photograph of a suntanned beauty in a bathing suit on a sunny California day to the middle aged woman sitting on a bench with a dark-haired man with his right arm around her shoulder. Behind them an old olive tree stretched out its branches like a sunshade. "This was Giulio and me in Tuscany during one of our visits to his village. When he was a little boy he used to play under the same olive tree and now he was sitting under its shade with his own wife."
    It might be time to start putting to work what you have learned.

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