(Passage from the novel “The sadist”- 2003)
The first sunbeam fell on the eye when taking a turn at the foot of a hill, no further than 10 kilometers from Ionnina, the last Greek city near the border of his native land. He didn’t drop the speed of the car because at that hour there was no movement and soon the road would take a sharper bend towards the north. It was not a game of obstinacy neither with him nor with sunbeam. That entire trip at night made him sad at the beginning, when he was departed from Elefsina accompanied by a Greek song that just cried for a getaway, for an abandonment of no return. Was surprised by the sudden release when he thought of the reason for that sadness, but just gave himself the right saying that, ultimately, he had just a division with those people, especially with Nikon, with whom had gone well. Then he had felt a strong and coercive anxiety, as strong as he stopped the car in a corner of the highway and lit a cigarette. The cigarette smoke caused him sharp pain in the lungs. He was coughing and was soon got in the car. He didn’t depart immediately, for a moment he thought to call Luli, his fiancée. But he had shut the phone, shaking his head with regret to the whims of his loneliness. Greek clock at that moment had been 5 am, which meant 4 to Tirana. The fragile lady would be shocked by that call, when just last night they talked about half an hour for their longing and his return at the most convenient moment. She was having a more difficult life with her sick mother and her father that had started to drink more than ever. Only he missed Luli and there was no sense that he continued there, far away from her.
Now the sun is hooked up on the hills of east and the UK Tirana is coming near Kakavija customs. He can’t wait till going there to call his fiancée and again stops the car at a roadside. Greek clock marks 7 and 5 min and his Luljeta may wake up a bit earlier in a marked day like that. The ring fails to fall twice when Luli answers: “Sweat-heart, what telepathy”! I have 2 hours waiting for this call. I got up at 4 am from a very bad dream… Oh, such a bad dream!… I will tell you when you come. Where are you now? Are you coming?…” He does not respond immediately because a car goes with bang with him. Then, after the car noise is removed through the gorges of the rugged terrain, he says: “I am coming sweat-heart”. I am in Kakavija and I think I will be there by lunch. Wait me in my house cause I have brought some things I want you to see as soon as I come… Kisses!”
He shut down the phone and sighs.
When he arrives to Kakavija’s customs, he sees that the string of barges and small cars is about a kilometer long. He descends from his car and takes the road to the offices to see if the movement has begun. “At 8 will pass the first car”, they say. “8 am here is 7 to us, brother. We have plenty of time to wait till 11 pm when their custom closes…” However, the man who had spoken was left in a hurry towards the end of the cars, as if he feared that the custom clearance began and he was not there. Uku had followed visually, without really knowing what to do with all that time waiting. The service in the military had taught that the best thing to do in such cases was to wait thinking that, however endure, finally the hours passed and the long waiting could be soon forgotten. Customs cafe where he could have a coffee thinking of the anguish of a few hours ago was open. Albanians returning from Greece to their country, rarely entered there, while those who did the opposite trip, nor turned their eyes from that small cafe, rushed to flee as soon southward, toward the calling of their dreams to the promised lands…
He has passed Gjirokastra, Tepelena and then Ballshi bends and the joy of the trip toward the loving person left the place to the attendance not to fall down in the narrow exchange with the cars of his compatriots unrestrained by the freedom of democracy. Somewhere, outskirts of Fier, he feels that he needs a coffee and a cold glass of water. He stops the car in a bar along the way and sits outside. Seeing how the cars are exchanged and how paraded without any rule, the idea of movement psychopath becomes even stronger. Who knows how many accidents a day could happen here, he thinks and asks the native boy who brought the coffee and the sparkling water.
– Uh, – he replied, – only in this way, no day passes without 2 or 3 cars collided. But they don’t die every day; they rarely die, just 2 in a week.
They are poorly selected; Uku thinks and pays the waiter taking the water. In a moment, inside the car, he wants to call Luli again to let her know that he passed Fieri, but he changed his mind because didn’t want to ruin her waiting time. Exactly in these moments when Uku thinks to call her, Luljeta Voraka is with the two hands full of bags with fruits and vegetables bought in the VIP market of Tirana. It is not a good market to have such a pompous name but it is the best for the capital of Albanians wanted for western levels, however it can’t be compared even with a small market of Paris’ outskirt. Luli has stopped in the pavement, waiting for the cars to rarefy to pass in the other side where she can take a taxi. Finally, finds the opportunity and somewhat strained by the weight of the arms, her bottoms under the dress jump with an upsetting power for those who see. There are six boys, from 20 to 30 years old with the appearance of those born in 1997. They have been around her all the time during the shopping and she has noticed none. She doesn’t see anything. She hears inside of her the sounds of a sleeping symphony from thousand dreams repeated as a miracle for her. And even miracles occur, as it was happening for that lady that youth had come with the fear from savagery… She saw nothing. Even for the fruits she asked: “The best! Choose for me the most expensive!” And continued further: “Yes, I would like peppers and tomatoes, among the best and the most expensive!” She hadn’t seen her spy. Six spies for a single lady…
When she was approaching a taxi in line, a black Mercedes car had stopped in front of her legs baring the way.
– Luli, don’t you recognize me?
But Luli couldn’t remember immediately. At first she smiles without understanding who he was, then something resembled from that round face like a young woman.
– Luli, – the boy repeats opening more his blue eyes, – don’t you remember your “Ismail Qemali” high school friend?
– Surely, – she says quickly in shame. I am sorry but I was distracted because I was in a hurry to catch a taxi.
– Here it is! – He says getting out of the car and courteously opened the rear door of the car.
Luli hesitates for a moment but not enough to decide not to enter the car. The sudden appearance of that man has brought an immediate discontent. She had forgotten the short story with this school boy as all short and unpleasant experiences are forgotten when don’t leave deep traces in the long human life. Now that he suddenly came forward, she couldn’t recall even his name. Or she didn’t want to recall, as an unconscious reaction to the suspension of the harmony with her memories that he had just done. Even that road from “Avni Rustemi” square to Xhamlliku seemed as a betrayal to Uku, who, however, she would tell and explain the circumstances in which it happened…
She hadn’t heard anything clear of what that boy had said until they reached Xhamlliku, exactly at the building over the bar, which had given the name to the small square. She didn’t want him to accompany to the apartment where she would go, even though the bags were heavy. She had objected by saying that even the taxi would have left her there. But, Armando Ramboja, so called the high school friend, hadn’t accepted in any way to be rude with “a star at all” that she had forgotten even the name although he was her first friend of life…
What happened next would require several hours to return clear at Luli’s memory.
When Uku saw the door of the apartment torn and half opened, thought nothing. He couldn’t even think the simple reason of that breaking door. The view, in that moment, caused him a blackout of vision and he could only go inside and sat on the kitchen couch with his head between both hands. He stayed long with his head between hands, till the noise at first then the pain had died leaving the place to an unparalleled tranquility and clarity. The fruits and vegetables spread through the kitchen, made his thoughts clearer on what could have happened. Even the couch where he was sitting, opened and carelessly dragged by the wall, showed an all-rape of human and the housing. “It would happen,” says to himself. “I knew that something bad would happen in my return and still couldn’t stop it. It would happen. It would just happen to me because I had believed that nobody would dare to touch even a hair. While those have torn my scalp…”
He was sure that it was “these” not “this”, sure by that presentiment that had notified to hasten and he failed to arrive on time. But the evil was already done and he needed to think about what had remained to be fixed…
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