Nostalgia – part 2

“The chance brought us together, but how could we not meet?
The world is made out of crossroads and every path grows with the years,
You would’ve been a stranger and I wouldn’t know that the warmth of your lips exists …”
~Damian Damianov

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Nostalgia part 1 – HERE

… The day after, my girlfriend and I spent it talking about the soldier’s green eyes and how Toma left angry and humiliated. Mimi even came up with the joke that Borislav’s green eyes, Toma’s face- yellow with jealousy and my heart- red with passion could’ve played the role of traffic lights that our town didn’t have. I knew Toma’s ego was hurt, but he didn’t think of me when my heart was in his position and I ignored his attempts to talk to me, I didn’t let even a sigh out of his mouth to come near me. There was something that Borislav told me that night,
‘ Now you got your boyfriend’s attention, the question is, are you willing to take him back after everything?’
and he was right, forgiving Toma would’ve been a sign that I’ve accepted his lies and I definitely wasn’t comfortable with that idea.

Borislav kept his promise and he and his friend drove me and Mimi to Smolyan, to see “Sea of love” with Al Pachino. They seemed to enjoy our company, and who wouldn’t? We were young, lavishing with life and laughter; and I saw what was the difference in being with a boy who had no idea about anything else but himself, and  being with a man who was no longer a disorientated teenager. It was a blessing to participate in conversations about everything else but football games, to be on the spotlight not only as a girl, but as a human being with an opinion. At the end of the night he asked to see me again the following Saturday and I gladly agreed.

By Saturday my patience was on the end of its limits, the hours seemed burdened with agony and when just before 7pm my parents called and asked me to wait for them to come back, because they’ve forgotten their keys at home, I had the feeling that the tiny crimson muscle beating with happiness in my chest wouldn’t last a second more. And I waited! Minutes! Countless! One hour, an hour and a half pacing left to right in my room, looking at the window every minute for our car to show up, sure that white hair grew on my skull and that Borislav will not wait for me. It was just before 9pm when my parents came back. I didn’t have the time to get into an argument for wasting my evening and my mother probably noticed that, she shouted after running me, amused, that I can come back an hour later.

I have no idea how I made it to the club for less than 10 minutes, considering there was a heavy layer of snow and running was not easy at all, but I made it, with cheeks in bright pink from the cold and sweaty hair under the hat that I wore. I went straight to our table in the corner. Mimi and the other girls were there and few of the soldiers sat with them too, but not Borislav.  His friend told me that he left an hour ago because he thought that I will not come. I said nothing. I couldn’t! The disappointment was beyond any words. I headed to our secret place with Mimi, a broken bench on the side of the club, surrounded by few pine trees and piles of snow at this time of year. Just to take some fresh air, to think for a second. And there he was, my soldier, sitting on the broken bench, throwing pine needles into the snow. I stopped, took a deep breath and gave silently my gratitude to whoever Goddess was in charge for the miracles. I took my hat off and fixed my hair nervously.

‘Hey soldier!’, and my voice ripped the white sulk of the winter night. He didn’t react and kept throwing needles, but he spoke, coldly as the misty, starless sky.
‘Hey trouble!’, and then silence, again. Someone’s shoes crunching the snow in the distance.
‘They told me that you’re gone. I’m sorry I’m late, I had to wait for my parents to come back home.’
‘I wanted to go, but I didn’t. I thought you are back with Toma and probably mastering the art of kissing some place warm.’, boys or men, when it comes to moments like this, they all bring pleasant flutters. Weightless, smiling I walked towards him. ‘I can’t be mastering something that I’ve never tried.’, the whispers reached out to him and I cursed the moment I confessed foolishly that I was more virgin than any other girl in the world. Seventeen and never kissed.

He turned around in surprise and finally looked at me. ‘You have never tried what?’
‘Nothing! Forget about it!’, I said, ready to walk away from the shame I felt. As soon as I made a step he grabbed me. In no time I was in his arms and the scent of the pine tree on his hands, touching my face broke down a dam brimming with fire. His fingers caught a curl out of my hair, his breath flickered on my neck and then the kiss came. Heartbeats of absence. Absence of heartbeats. His lips slow, soft, begging, coercing mine to the nebulous riverbeds of eternal thirst, and burnout followed, and infinite thrill. Flat line.

After that time was made out of weekends, Saturdays in the disco club, Sundays in Astoria coffee shop, with him, with my soldier. He definitely knew how to make a girl to feel special. There wasn’t only dancing and kissing, we talked about books, movies, politics, moments from the past, everything. Soon we stopped going to the club and just enjoyed each others company in quiet places, faraway from people’s eyes. With that the intimate moments became bold, demanding and I didn’t need to be older or wiser to know that the desires inside of me matched his longing. But for some reason every time we reached the point of extreme heat he tried to bring back the conversations and forget about the feelings. He often called me “trouble”, saying that I disturb his personality and he can’t think clearly around me, but I knew he loved being with me as much as I did.

It was a weekend sometime in April, my parents were away and my brother and I were supposed to stay at granny’s house, but knowing granny’s weakness for me I convinced her to stay at home, telling her that Mimi will be with me. Instead I invited Borislav. I don’t know if it was the rain or the music, the neon light in soft blue in my bedroom or simply the comfort of being together, a dance on George Michael’s “One more try” led us again to kissing, the kissing was transferred on the big, fluffy arm-chair and there were hands searching for the warmth of the skin, two shirts- one in camouflage colors, one in red, flew on the floor. And kiss after kiss the desires were no longer simple and carefully measured, but mixed with curiosity and lust. I was more than ready for whatever was next, savoring each moment deeply when he stopped abruptly the kissing. He didn’t let me go, I was still half naked on his lap, his face was still an inch away from mine and our breaths- wild and uncontrollable, I thought he needed some air and I closed my eyes inhaling as much as I could from his scent when he spoke:

‘We can’t do it! It’s wrong!, he stood up in the middle of the room, nervously putting his shirt back, leaving me dizzy.
‘What? What did I do? I thought that you want me?’, and I couldn’t apprehend what was going on.
‘This is all wrong! You and I, here, alone and naked! We shouldn’t have come that far!’
His words clashed over the part of my brain where every information was received to be digested and presented to the rest of the body, to be accepted by the senses. The panic of being rejected slowly boiled to anger and there were snakes and frogs coming out of my mouth and chaotic questions. I was sure he cursed every moment when he advised me to always stand up for myself and speak out loud when I wasn’t happy, but he held my hands and said:

‘Honey, believe me, I have never wanted anyone more than I want you, but you are only seventeen and I am …’
‘So what if you are twenty-five? You didn’t force me to do any of the things that we did. I want you! Is that a crime?’
‘It is my love and there are other things that I don’t know how to talk about, not right now. Let’s stop here, let’s have a week break and next Saturday we will meet again and find a solution with clear heads.’
‘Why can’t we talk now? You are a monster, do you know that? You can’t just leave me without an explanation.’
‘You are even prettier when you are stubborn but, please, let’s leave it ’till next Saturday.’
And I let him go, but I didn’t let him kiss me good night. I cried on Sunday and on Monday, all day. On Tuesday I tried to remember every single word he said and make sense out of it. On Wednesday I hated him. On Thursday I missed him like hell. On Friday I felt like an escapee from a mental institution, mad with headache and tons of questions. On Saturday I decided that I will not go to the club and meet him. I wanted to punish him and once the idea settled there was nothing to change my mind.

It was little after 10 pm when I heard Mimi’s voice outside, under the window in my bedroom. She held a letter that Borislav’s friend asked her to give me. I saw my name on the envelope and I stared at the paper for hours before I read it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know what was inside, but I read it on the end.

“My sweet, curly trouble,

I’m sorry that I am not telling you this in person and I regret that I couldn’t say a proper good bye. My unit has been transferred to Veliko Tarnovo/ town in North Bulgaria, 450 km away from my town/.The only thing I could do is write you a letter and in a way maybe it’s better, I’m not good at saying good bye. I wish I was a poet to have the right words to tell you how much you mean to me, but since I’m just a soldier, know that you will always be that girl from Damian Damianov’s “Fairytale”, the sweet girl with the big heart that gave me comfort and love no one else ever gave me. I don’t want to promise things that I am not sure I could do, but, know that we will meet again, one day, when the time is right for both of us. Don’t ever change, keep the passion and the stubbornness and the innocence … be always yourself!

by Damian Damianov

Are you sleeping? I’m sorry if I stole your dreams that late tonight.
My soul hurts to madness, in the arms of my own loneliness.
I’m alone and I wish I could talk to someone, my lips are dried with silence.
Don’t close the door on me, I will go, soon. I came with the tears of the storm,
just to sit next to you for a while and to tell you a story,
where an ancient wiser teaches us a lesson.
There was a soldier once, wandering alone all his life, who never knew what home meant.
Instead of heart, under his shirt he had bloody, beastly knife.
He followed caravans for prey and only at the sight of the sun he hid his knife
and the knife didn’t know what rust was, the soldier was the devil himself.
But once, tired, on a crossroad the soldier fell asleep.
People passed him by and no one stopped to offer him a warmth,
only a little girl dared to cover him with leaves.
The soldier cried then, loved for a first time, his cold heart found the way to home.
One hug- turned the blood on his knife into tears.
One hug- warm like a fire, gave him what no war ever did.
And you are already asleep, and I feel the cold so powerfully tonight,
and I wonder where that girl from the story is?
She gave love to the soldier, I wish you could give me love too…

Always yours: Borislav”




"Nostalgia" by Sonam Mandal


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