Nostalgia – part 1

The following is not a story about first love and first kisses, but a story about people who have the talent to leave visible traces in our lives with a very little effort… It’s a story about why I’ve always had a weakness for green eyes, men in army uniforms, Freddie Mercury’s music and Damian Damianov’s poetry.

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I was born and raised in a small town in South Bulgaria, near the border with Greece, where most of the time if you didn’t know what you did, the rest of the town for sure knew. My parents were/ and still are/ respected and well known by everyone, citizens and it was a “must” that I had to follow their example. I was a good girl, most of the time, even when the hidden, wild-rebel ideas inside of me collided with real life, provoking me, I always made the effort to remain a good daughter.

I was almost 17 years old when I first fell in love. Toma and his family had just moved to town in the house opposite ours; it was a hot, summer night in July when I first saw him from my window, shirtless and sun-tanned, with cute, disheveled, light-brown, wet hair. I don’t know how you’ve all accepted the first signs of love and if you still remember these moments, but back then, I was sure that the glow in my heart  lighted the whole neighborhood, and I sure still remember the awfully, strong presence of the hundreds butterflies battling fiercely in my stomach and my knees made out of jelly. The two sets of curtains and the ten meters pavement between us were not meant to be an obstacle for a very long time. Few days later I found out that Toma was the new centre forward player of the football team in our town and last year student just like me.

My dad and my brother were involved in all the activities related to the football team/dad was a part of the administration and my brother was a junior player/  and on weekends I used to go with them to the stadium and play tennis on the courts next to the football field. The day when I saw Toma again I couldn’t play, rain poured down suddenly. I ran to the stadium to leave my tennis bag with my dad and to tell him that I will go to Mimi’s house/ Mimi- my high-school girlfriend/.  As I was leaving the stadium, there he was, standing by the gates, neglecting the drops of rain, and the idea of passing by him made me feel nauseous, but I confidently walked towards him, only to see him blocking the doorway with his hand. Needn’t to say that being young and inexperienced was the worse that could happen to a girl in love. He gloated over my confusion for a moment and then spoke:

‘How would you like if you and I see a movie tonight, after training here? That of course if you’re not busy staring at your naked neighbors!’
Not only he was a witness to a moment of weakness that I had, but there was this terrible feeling that I was made out of the most transparent nylon and he saw everything that I tried to hide. My reaction was to push his hand and to tell him to stay away, but he didn’t seem to be bothered and shouted after me:
‘7 pm. I’ll be waiting at the cinema, every night from now on, until you come.’
I didn’t go on the first night and on the second either, but I sent my brother to spy for me and tell me if he really waited; and when my brother came back, twice, with a positive answer, on the third night I went to meet him.

A week after, Toma asked me to be his girlfriend and I said “yes” without a hesitation. I didn’t have an idea what that meant, but it felt really great and the butterflies in my stomach were no longer intruders, but tiny sparkles that kept me happy. September came and school started, we walked together every morning, he held my books, kept a chair next to him at lunch break, called me “gorgeous” in the hallways of the school, demonstrating shamelessly his part as a boyfriend and at the football games on Sunday, every time he scored a goal, he shouted:’ That’s for you, baby!’ Everything was beautiful at that time and I was happy, even the fact that my parents didn’t like him very much didn’t disturb me. There was one little cloud that sometimes kept me worried and awake, we were together for nearly five months and he hadn’t kissed me yet. He always had his hands on me, hugging me, like he never wanted us to be apart, but his kisses were brief, on the cheeks or the forehead, like I was his sister. In movies people in love had passionate kisses and I couldn’t stop wondering why I didn’t have one yet?

All this made me suspicious, a little sad at times. It was like having a bar of a delicious chocolate, but never to taste, only to look at and dream about, and I was way too proud to dare and make the first move. The shadows of my unanswered questions made me listen and look around and soon I saw that not everything was made out of honey and rose petals. The goals at the games that were supposedly only for me, were apparently for half of the girls on that stadium/ some of them close girlfriends/ and the magical walks back home after every game were magical only because I didn’t know that Toma dedicated the rest of his nights to other girls, different each time and from the rumors, the dedication included more than brotherly kisses and hugs. But being only 16, I was allowed to be late out only on Fridays and Saturdays when my girlfriends and I went to a disco club and at midnight, I had to be at home, in bed. Toma rarely came to that club on the days I was there, his excuse was that he needed a rest for the Sunday game and silly me, never thought that it was all a big, fat lie. Innocence, a virtue that could easily lead you to a broken heart and I had a soul full with it.

It was one December Saturday, a week before my birthday, when Toma and his friends came to the disco club, but things had been slightly cold between us for the past couple of weeks and he flirted with other girls openly, in front of me. We used to stay on a table away from the dancing floor, in the corner with dim lights. Not only the table had velvet sofas to sit on around, but it was big enough to fit all of us girls and the music there wasn’t that loud. Toma danced with a different girl with the change of every song and I felt miserable, sitting at the very deep end of the sofa, where no one could see my sadness. Few of my class-mates came to ask me to dance but I politely declined. My girlfriends tried to make me smile, but I told them that I needed a break, so at some point I was left all alone on the table. Five or six soldiers sat on the table next to ours that night. They were from the army base two kilometers out of town and you could often see them in the club or in the coffee shops on weekends. Most of them were at least five years older than us and we didn’t avoid them, but simply kept a distance. Many times we danced together or exchanged trivial greetings, but that was it.

I didn’t notice that something was up on their table at first, but when four of them came one after another to offer me a drink or a dance I woke up from the sad thoughts and patiently waited for the next one of them to come. Ten minutes after his friend left with my “No”, he sat next to me, which caught my attention immediately, none of his friends did, and said:

‘Hi, my name is Borislav. How are you tonight?’
‘Before you ask, the answers is “no”, so don’t waste your time!’
‘Hmm, and how would you know what I am about to ask you?’
‘I assume the same as your soldier friends who stopped by before you! Not that difficult to guess!’
‘Well …’, I didn’t let him to finish the sentence, I moved towards him and looked him straight in the eyes.
‘So what did you bet?’
His hands reached the camouflaged cap on his head, almost ashamed and he laughed.
‘Pretty and smart! I like it!’
‘That doesn’t answer my question, what did you bet?’
He leaned on the sofa next to me, lifted his hands behind his head as in surrendering and said:
‘The first to have a dance or a drink with you, gets the car that we all share, exclusively, for a month.’

A little satisfaction about being right that there was something going on cheered me up, but I wasn’t through with the questions yet.
‘Why me?’
‘We’ve been watching you for the past two hours, at least five of them, poor boys, left your sight with a disappointment on the face, we wanted to see if you were saying “no” in general or you just can’t dance. The prettiest girl in the club  should be on the dancing floor, not here alone!’
‘If I was that pretty as you say, I would’ve been dancing with the one that I like.’
He came closer to me and whispered: ‘Is he the one with No 9 labeled on his shirt?’
‘How did you know?’, I jumped surprised that I was so obvious to strangers.
“There are holes on his back, which I’m sure will be a perfect match to the size and the shape of your eyes. But anyway, what is so special about him?’
‘He is my boyfriend.’, I said with a hint of doubt about the statement that I just made.
‘Is this what you do when he behaves like an ass? Isolating yourself from all the fun around? You might as well stick a note on your chest ” I’m about to commit a suicide in the name of love!”
‘Oh, yeah! And what does a smart you suggest that I should do?’
‘Dance, look happy, even if it hurts like hell inside of you, show him that you don’t give a damn.’

‘Ha! You want that car really bad, don’t you?’
‘And that, but mostly I want to dance with you!’
‘Next Saturday, with the car that you will win tonight, you will drive me and my girlfriend to Smolyan/ town 20 km away from my town/ to see a movie that they won’t show in our cinema and you can have the next dance right now!’
‘Only if I can bring a friend along.’
‘Deal!’
‘Then, let us dance!’
And for a first time Freddie Mercury and “Too much love will kill you” had the most wonderful sound. Borislav held me in his arms like a man who had just found the woman of his life and there was a triumph and a spice in the rhythm of the music, in the camouflage colors of his uniform and in the way his green eyes shined…

TO BE CONTINUED …

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© 2012  Broken Sparkles

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I’m in love with a fairytale

“I’m in love with a fairytale even though it hurts,
’cause I don’t care if I lose my mind, I’m already cursed …”

~Alexander Rybak

Video posted on youtube by

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flashback

reflections on paper over slick colors
only the date remains to cast the years gone
it’s hard to draw the memories blank
letting the warmth of one summer night crack

the melody of the violin has faded away
but the music of the day I still remember
adagio in the green of his eyes
rondo in my veins, prelude to our little utopia

he was swimming in glory over my conquered heart
i was soundless, drunk from the flames on his skin
he was in love with a fairytale
i’m still breathing the flashbacks of his smile

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Alexander Rybak - image courtesy Alexander Rybak Facebook page

Alexander Rybak was born in Minsk (Belarus) on 13th of May, 1986. He grew up at Nesodden, near the Norwegian capital Oslo. He plays violin and piano since he was five years old. He won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with  his self composed song “Fairytale” – 387 points, setting up a new record for the contest.

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© 2011  Broken Sparkles


Just a scar

Winter is all over and the smell of smoke coming out from the chimneys makes it so obvious. The sun shines for couple of hours and tries to warm the frozen earth, but it’s cold, especially in mornings. To leave the bed and the soft, warm duvet that kept me comfortable all night, to get up and adjust to the unpleasantly cool floor …  one of my biggest “I don’t want to do it”. The thought of a very, very hot shower sometimes gives me the motivation to start the daily routine without saying again and again: “Five more minutes”, until on the end I am so late, that I get up anyway.

Today is Sunday and I had an extra heater in the bathroom, it was probably 35 C in there but I loved it. I couldn’t see myself in the mirror, because of the steaming hot air, but it was so relaxing, so damn good, sitting for a while in the water with bubbles and after that walking around with the fluffy towel without the need to hurry out to work.

My eyes stopped on the little scar I have on my ankle. Someone once said to me that I should be more careful, because scars make the skin looking scratched. But this someone doesn’t know how much I love my little scar. For me the noticeable mark left on my foot is not just a damaged skin that took time to heal, it’s a memory that right now in this winter day warms me more than any heater and not so much my body, but my heart.

Few years ago I was having a bit of a rough time, we all do sometimes, because life can be a “bitch”. Trying to end a relationship that was leading me to nowhere, changing work, moving house I must say one very good stressful combination. Taking decisions was so hard, because when attached with feelings and used to everyday same life for a very long time, saying “good bye” is not exactly easy, even though I was completely aware I’m doing it for a better change. The strong personality I usually have, couldn’t take the pressure then, couldn’t face the bumps on the road.

One day I was struggling with job interviews, nasty phone calls from the man who couldn’t accept the fact I’m not there anymore, but I’m trying to set new home for myself  with no space at all for him in my new world. And the next day I found myself in a tourist agency booking me a ticket to Santorini, excited that is time to pack my bag again and escape. Troubles would still be there when I come back, but I decided I will leave them behind for a while. I will take a break, because I really needed it.

I always wanted to see this island with someone I love, I couldn’t imagine that the first time I’d go there I will be alone, but somehow my inside was sure that even alone I’d be just fine. I took the express ferry, I lost myself watching for hours the blue of the sea, brings unbelievable peace to me.

Once the boat stopped at Santorini’s port and I went to look for the”pick up” people the hotel had arranged for me, it felt great, just breathing the air, just being there proved me so right that I came. The hotel was a normal hotel made to have a well-organized and pleasant stay, nothing too special, but once I opened the window… The view out there made me still. I am not sure if I have words for it. Breathtaking, beautiful to say? Will it be enough though? What I saw is one of the things that I will probably never find  the right words about to describe. It is something you have to see yourself, sense it yourself so you could really understand how nature can make you feel like flying.

Touched from the view I dropped my bag, changed quickly and went out. I found out that I’ve missed all the trips for the day and the museums and the churches are already closed, but I could go to the beach or walk around the town, as for the rest I could sign up early next morning. Street after street I went nearly to the other end of the town where I found not exactly a beach, but let’s say somewhere I can sit on the sun and swim if I want. It was totally empty with no person alive around, just few open shops on top.

I sat on the sand enjoying the game of the sunshine with my skin. After 2-3 hours of reading book and taking breaks by exploring the land with my eyes I went in the water. Refreshing, washing away all the stress I took with me, until a very sharp rock went right into my ankle and I felt, I heard the noise of my skin torn apart, the salty water burning the wound. I panicked, the pain wouldn’t let me swim properly and the beach was far back, I couldn’t even step on the ground, I was in a deep water and in a big trouble as it seemed. I was ready to scream when I saw not so faraway really small island, maybe more like a couple of rocks united with few palm trees on it. I got there so scared that I will sink before I reach the shore. The wound was big enough, I couldn’t stop the blood and then is when I started crying, swearing inside my head in all languages that I know, asking myself: ” Why, why troubles again ?”

I was just about to take off my bra and tie it around my ankle, thinking of swimming back to the beach where I could call for help, when I saw him … A blond man wearing only shorts, with tanned body in a golden brown color, walking towards me in a hurry, with his face so concerned. Right now I can’t remember with details where he came from, what he did, what he said or what my reaction to all this was. Maybe because of the shock, maybe because of my mind so scared? Or maybe because of the charm coming out of him? I don’t know? I remember that he managed to stop the blood and tied my ankle with piece of material taken of his shorts and the only icon I have left is his green eyes looking at me with so much care, his voice making me feel calm, making me ignore the physical pain.

Then the small boat he had and took us back to the main land where my things were. The natural bond we felt, the need to stay together and talk and talk and talk, of which talk I don’t remember many words either but I could still feel, like it was today. The peace around, the peace like in a sea with no waves to disturb the surface of the water, like in a forest with no wind to move the leaves and the branches, just peace that made everything still, even my heartbeat.

The night came and found us still there on the beach and we silently agreed we’re not leaving despite the darkness around. He lit a fire and I went to the small restaurant near to get some food. Here probably is where all of you will think that the night ended with making love under the sky with stars, with passion and declarations of forever love, but no. It was just me and him sleeping in each others arms, covered with small blanket he had in his boat, until the sunrise and the morning sounds of the sea woke us up. He was the one to show me the island after I went back to the hotel and changed. He took me to the volcano and to all the museums, we went on a walk to Imerovigli and saw the sunset together, having white wine. Four days with him without even introducing ourselves with names, without mentioning facts of our personal lives, four days feeding our souls with the beauty of the island, sharing dreams, holding hands, laughing, breathing.

When the time to leave came he said he will take me to the port. There I asked him smiling: “So what is your name ?”
He came close to me, took a curl from my hair with his hand and answered: “My name is not important, just keep our time together and smile when you remember me. Who knows one day we might meet again, the world is so small.”
And then he kissed me, not with a deep kiss conquering the lips like there is no tomorrow, a butterfly kiss touching the petals of a rose with so much tenderness so it won’t ruin the colors. And that was it, we waved good bye and the ferry left, slowly but surely. I can’t explain the mixed feelings leaving the island, leaving him. I don’t want! Partly because there was a bit of sadness and I don’t want to feel darkness when it comes to him. I did as he said, I smiled every time I remembered him and not only I, my heart smiled too.

Few months later I was watching the news on Star channel, where is all the gossip about celebrities and I saw him. I wasn’t sure at first, but it was him. The news said: “The famous young writer Y.P. who lost his wife in a tragic car accident one year ago is back to his writing. Expect soon his new novel “Saving a beautiful stranger” …

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“Santorini” by Blaga Todorova

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© 2010  Broken Sparkles

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