Student or Learner
Would you please correct the mistakes in the fifth part of my short story?
The young men took his book and went outside. The garden was as beautiful as the previous year. The colours, smells and sounds were the same, but his perception was changed. Nature seemed to be indifferent to human suffering, and he could only respond with apathy. He opened the book and, as it was his habit, his eyes searched for Jasmine. He needed her in this difficult time when the world twirled ever faster in its madness. His move to the city and study had to be postponed indefinitely. On the TV news, they were showing people in the city demonstrating against the war and hatred, but they seemed in minority. Many had resigned themselves to whatever was coming next. Fear, despondency and mistrust had become ubiquitous.
He spent about two hours outside and hardly managed to read a few pages of the book. There was no trace of Jasmine, which made him despondent. He went back into the house where his parents huddled around the radio rattling off the news. Now when they were jobless, they spent most of their time listening to the news and searching for the piece of information which could give them a sign of hope. Sadly, hope withered away, abandoning people to their hatred and distress. He went to his room and looked out the window, but there was no trace of Jasmine. He sat at the desk, opened the notebook, and held his pen above the paper, but nothing came out of it. He was anxious and restless, afraid of the harbingers of death and hatred. He had to preserve his sanity; he had to defend his feelings. They would never kill his inspiration; never control his heartbeat and his desire. His passion would survive all conflicts and wars because it was beyond human influence. He would carry it inside him until his death.
In the evening, he walked down the street, hoping to glimpse at least her shadow, but the house stood silent in darkness. He stood there as he had done many times before, but instead of warmth, coldness spread through his body. He had an eerie premonition that something awful had happened. This was not a time for taking holidays and travelling for pleasure and amusement. This was a time when people run away to escape the coming disaster. He paced the street and glanced repeatedly at the desolate darkness, as if expecting that Jasmine would suddenly appear in between the flowerbeds and her blond hair would cause his heart to stir. But the darkness was thick and unmoved. He returned home only to find his parents in the same position he had left them, curled around the radio, two wretched humans awaiting a miracle, which was behind time.
The next day he sat in the garden, his eyes riveted on Jasmine’s home. The scene was unchanged from the previous day, and he went back into the house. The whole day he was in a bad mood, and when at dinner his mother broke the news that Jasmine’s family had moved to Germany, he almost gagged.
“Lucky family,” Father said. “I wished we have enough money to do the same.”
“Pity, such a nice house, they’ve brought all furniture and gadgets from Germany,” Mother said.
“What’s the use of a house if you are dead?”
“I can’t imagine how it feels when you have to leave everything behind and flee.”
“I can’t imagine how it feels to be lying in a shallow grave, but it is certainly not nice.”
The young man finished his spinach pie, which they ate almost daily because their money was running out and went outside into the orchard. He sat at the table in the darkness and looked around. Except for Jasmine’s house, which was plunged in darkness, the windows of other houses were alight, their occupants fighting the same fear and worries. It would be a catastrophe if he had to run away and find refuge in other country. Nowhere would he find a better land and kinder people. Since the beginning of the troubles, they had lived like a large family, sharing everything with each other, helping those who did not have enough and those whose financial situation was precarious. He knew he could knock at any door at any time and ask for help, and people would stand up for him. Solidarity was in their genes; it was their way to overcome wars, occupations and evil.
Two days without seeing her flowing hair and he was already yearning for her. It irked him he had not plucked the courage to talk to her. Maybe she would have appreciated that someone had strong feelings for her, maybe she would have loved his poems. She could read them today in her German home, have something from her homeland which would never grow old or pass away, because poetry never gets old. “Jasmine!” he yelled, but the only answer he got was the whine of mosquitoes close to his face.
TO BE CONTINUED