Student or Learner
This is the fourteenth part of my short story "A FLAT", please, would you proofread it.
Ivanís family was not only warmly welcomed by his parents, but by the whole village. Here, people always held together. That was their only chance to survive. Different kingdoms and regimes in the past had demanded allegiance from the villagers: the Turks, Austro-Hungarian emperors, Nazis and now communists. They all boasted about their power, governance and achievements, but eventually they would all disappear and turn into memories and accounts, one could read about in history books, while the village remained.
The villagers had always mistrusted those in power, although they never rebelled openly and did everything what the current government demanded from them. Thus, for example, when they received the order to write with white stones the Great Leaderís name on a plateau so that it could be seen from the air, they carried out the work without complaining.
However, they joked among themselves that when another Great Leader would come to power and demanded his own name written on the plateau it would be an easy work. They would not need to carry heavy stones again, but simply to change their positions.
In the beginning it was cramped in the house with two families living under the same roof. But neighbours came to the rescue. They organized themselves and brought a concrete mixer, bags of cement, bricks, beams and other material and started building more rooms. After a few days Ivan could add two more rooms to the old house, which could not completely solve their difficult housing situation, but at least, it was a promising beginning.
He pondered how to earn money and considered many ideas until someone told him almost jokingly that bees and honey were politically neutral, and producing and selling honey one would never risk to end up in prison. Ivan chuckled at the manís suggestion, but later when he thought deeply he concluded that the idea was not absurd at all.
His father had always kept bees, although they had just enough honey for their own household. But he had grown up with bees since was a child and when it was about beekeeping and honey, there was no secrets for him.
He decided to buy about two dozen beehives, risking his last money. But this time luck was on his side, as if life wanted to compensate him for the suffering he had endured in the past. Every Friday he would drive a pair of oxen, just as his father did before, to the market in the town, and there he would sell his honey and other products. Jelena stood beside him selling eggs, cheese and milk.
He felt immense satisfaction. He was his own boss. Only he determined how many hours he was going to work and when he was going to stop. And above all, he did not need to hear the factory manager preaching about a five-year plan which they had to fulfil.
Before long, the national TV and radio spread the news that the Great Leader was seriously ill. The government had called leading specialists from the USA, the UK, USSR and China to help him.
He had defeated death so many times in the past and everyone was convinced that he would come out of this struggle as the victor again. Unfortunately, the Great Leader could neither bribe nor manipulate death and he passed away, after a long a heroic battle. Ivan watched people crying: children, grown-ups, men and women from all groups of society, painters, writers, professors, dishwashers and football players. People fell down on the ground stricken with grief and they wanted to die on the spot to be closer to their departed, lovely Leader.
At the same time, pictures on TV told the beautiful story about the greatest man who walked the Earth, showing him killing bears somewhere in mountains, sailing on a white yacht or driving a Mercedes cabriolet on his own island, surrounded with all kinds of wild animals, which he had received as a gift on his numerous travels abroad. Ivan did not know if he should laugh or cry, aware that his fellow citizens had all these years lived in a fantasy world from which many of them would never sober up.
TO BE CONTINUED
Thank you so much for your proofreading.
Regarding the sentence, "Jelena stood beside him selling eggs, cheese and milk" I can say that at the beginning of the short story I wrote that his family had a good piece of land on which they grew rye and oat. They also had sheep which Ivan took care of when he still lived in the village. So I think that a reader can understand that now when Ivan has returned to the village he would continue on the same path just as his father, and he would help his parents and take care of the land and animals.