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Faith and Fate

Author's note: Every detail of this story is a piece of my soul. I got the inspiration from various aspects...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

Every detail of this story is a piece of my soul. I got the inspiration from various aspects of my life: from movies to people I talk to but mostly it was the story of my mother. My mother had to immigrate from a young age and many emotions are involved with this concept. I also wanted to bring to the spotlight another valuable theme that is innocence. After reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, this topic became very important to me. This topic is hidden in everything from political conflicts to law to personal times. I hope that when someome reads this story, they can realize something new as well.

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Dreamlike Fantasy

     I hum New Year’s tunes as glistering ornaments like bracelets dangle on the pine tree’s inviting, open arms. With an unsophisticated amusement, I sprinkle “rain” on the tree, frolicking around as Mama shakes her head, letting out chords of joy. I encircle the tree, inhaling its sap which invades me inside, and have a link with every beautification. Wait, that smell isn’t sap anymore, its food! Mama’s putting food on the table, and I must go help her! Grandmother wheels in to the living room where we moved the dining table in.
     "I bought delicious food for us.” Mama hurriedly sets up.
     “Did you see those prices?” Grandmother asks.
     “Yes I know it’s crazy...” They go into a discussion.
     “How about not tonight?” I interrupt.
     “You’re right, Sofia. Let’s celebrate.” Mama continues plating.
     There’s that familiar doorbell again, I used to run over to it every time it sounded, like a puppy. I gesture Masha, Maksim, Artur, and Michael in with eagerness. Earlier today, I was helping her prepare for the arrival of the little one. She told me Maksim was delightfully shocked. He really loves her. Then, it sounds again and I need a moment to recognize who stands before me. “Olesa Buoyanova?” I ask an elderly woman with a brightly colored head scarf and an embroidered blouse.
     “Sofia? You’re here! My God! I can’t believe it! How I missed you and your family so much.” Olesa Buoyanova was the neighbor who always was there for me when I tripped and fell on the staircase from going too fast, she was always there to put a little sugar in our lives with the treats that made our childhood, and she was there when I needed advice and felt as if the world was falling down. Sometimes, she was the only one who leveled herself with me. I would go to her and she would explain the adult problems to me in my language. I would always have solutions to them that adults would scoff at. I fully believed my solutions would work and a part of me still does. 
     I settle at the table and feel a warm sensation especially with Grandmother beside me on her wheelchair.            “Grandmother, right there were more people last time?”
     “Most immigrated, but what matters most are how much you love the people around you not how many are around you. Understand?”

     “Yes, baba.”
I look around. Mama is always the last one to sit down after she knows everyone and everything is set. Masha is bouncing Artur on her knees and Maksim is feeding him. Olesa is catching up with my Grandmother on current events yet she lives only one flight up. Masha’s twin brother Michael, who I’ve had a crush on when I was ten, kisses Masha in the forehead. He and I were never as close, but I saw him in all the familiar places. Cupid entered our grade and it became epidemic: fantasizing, “You asked him…you asked her…you two should get married…”, and staring in the mirror a different way. Eventually, I moved on. Mama sits down and brings some Cabernet Sauvignon as Michael pours it into his glass.
     “Want some?” He asks me calmly. I hesitate and look at Mama who gives an irresponsible gesture. I haven’t had a sip since I tried a full glass of some homemade one at a classmate’s get-together in their house and became unconscious for an hour. When I woke up, I was in my own room and the first vision I saw was Mama with hands on her hips. I regretted it instantly. She told me Dorothy and Lucy called her and she had to drive across town to pick me up. When she came to the address, she saw me asleep and drooling on someone else’s dining table surrounded by a crowd of people with mixed reactions. I’m glad that was before a school break so the hot topic would die out but it lived on at home, as well the guilt my parents implanted in me. Even though I am tempted since America isn’t allowed to drink, I solemnly refuse. Besides, I’m in no rush to be an adult.

     A few hours had past; we dined, laughed, and did a mixture of both. Everyone is in the living room. Artur is standing near the tree. Grandmother is watching the bleach-blonde boy with pleasure. He pulls on the tree with all his might and it tilts. Grandmother shouts and rises from her wheelchair as the tree swings back, not falling on him. Everyone gasps including herself. Mama gets up quickly and holds Grandmother’s waist while she is still standing. “Rosa, you don’t have to. I’m back.” She declares and everyone claps. It’s a miracle and it happened because of that little boy.    Soon, we go to greet midnight from the town park. I fix my ski hat as I glance at the sky full of stars- same ones as in New York.
     “Starry nights mean destiny is lighting a new way for you.” Masha elbows me. “I wonder what it is going to give me,” I put my hands in my pockets and observe again. There are the kids cheering on the sleds- Masha was right-, neighbors dancing and dressed up in whatever fits their imagination, and snowflakes are coming together to make a white blanket.
     Amidst the snowflakes stands a young man in a trench coat, looking around casually. His face, which is one-thirds covered by the ushanka he’s wearing on his head, seems so familiar that I get a pinch from the inside of my stomach. It’s a baby-tiger like appearance. I try to examine him some more without getting closer. He turns to me like an owl and his intensely unique stare protrudes my soul before I panic and turn to Masha. For a while, we talk, we watch Arthur play in the snow, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s still looking at me. Before I make up my mind to turn around, Masha tells me something like a ventriloquist. “Sofia, someone’s been watching you.”
    “What? Where?” I turn as she tells me not to.
     “A stranger standing by that decorated pine tree,” she says as I subtly glance that direction and there he is again.
     “Should I come up to him? He seems our age and…”
     She gets cautious and hesitant like Mama does, not saying anything until she’s sure. Her protective side shines through her once more. “Just because he’s our age or seems our age? Are you serious?”
     “It’s not just that…I have this sudden urge to do so.”
She purses her lips. “Alright but be very careful. You know, he was walking around, not taking his eyes off you. Call me if anything, you hear?” She asks like a sergeant. 
    I take a deep breath and the snow crunches as I boldly walk over to the tall figure. As soon as I begin walking, he darts a glance at me with that distant look again like he knew I was coming, like he was looking from the corner of his eye. I am thisclose to turning back but remember Masha’s words yesterday and know I would regret not taking a chance. I get closer and hold on to my head as I realize who it might be. “Alexander?” I hold my breath, hoping that it’s him.
“Sofia?!” He sounds questioningly, excitement arising. 
     “Yes! It’s me. Wait, Alex Kaplan? It’s you?! I can’t believe it’s you!” I call out and come over to him. I feel his hands hitting off the snowflakes off the back of my jacket, and wrap my hands around him. We stand like that for a couple of seconds.  “You look so different, Alex.”
     “You did too, no wonder I didn’t recognize you.” I think of the other musketeer who hasn’t seen him.        

     “Masha!” I run over to her, pulling him behind me.
     “What happened?” She glances defensively at the “stranger”. I tell her who it is.
     “Alex?! Our Alex?!” She speaks with him before introducing him to her son and fiancée. “Wow and on New Year’s?! Who can believe it? What brings you here?”
     “I…it’s a long and heavy story. I’ll explain later. ” He waves his hand in the cold air and squats down to Artur. He gets up as I stare at him, still stunned he’s here. He’s here. I face him and tell him to sum his story up as Masha joins the rest of the crowd. “Okay. I came to New York for a job and in wants of finding you, went to your address, and your father told me you were in our old town, so I came.”
     “You were looking for me? You came all the way to Minsk for me?”
     “I missed you. I’m glad that I’m here with you, now.”
     “Alex…how did you find my address?”
     “Through the letters we sent each other.” I notice a baby golden blonde cowlick underneath his hat.
     “You kept the letters?” I say with amazement. I was about to burn them but came to my senses that I was insane and shelved them without another word.  He nods. We converse and as I am talking with him, I don’t think about anything else but the present moment. Finally, ten seconds till the long anticipated midnight. I feel like jumping up and down or dropping down to make a snow angel. 
     “Alex, did you ever kiss anyone on New Year’s?” I say biting my lip and cross one ankle over the other.
     “Not romantically, only family, you know what I mean.”
     “Are you stating a fact or giving a suggestion?” I ask as he gives me a look that I read as do you know what you are talking about? “Never mind,” I mumble and feel like making a hole in the snow to bury myself in.
    “Both.” He says steadily, but fearfully looking away and hiding his hands in his pockets.
     “What? Do you have a lady?”
     “The only lady I have is in front of me.” I learn he forms dimples just like I do, he leans closer to me as my heart starts beating so fast I’m afraid it’ll get tired, and the tips of our sloshy boots touch. A spring of excitement bounces up in me and I feel warm.  I instinctively lean my head which he is holding, and he does the same. My eyelids go down and he kisses me as 1926 slowly arrives upon us. I feel the blue and red rivers of my body flow through me. I look at him again when we let go. I realize that I just kissed someone I haven’t seen in five years. But he’s Alex: the one who was modest and different from all the other boys but loyal once you got to know him. Alex: the one who would give you his shoulder anytime if you needed; I longed for that shoulder the most when I came to the states. Alex: the one who taught me everything I know so far about first feelings. I’m in a daze until the fireworks take up the sky with a boom and I dare to look at him. 
     There we are: Masha, me and Alex on the playground once again. I look up to the third floor of Grandmother’s building to see them waving, I swing my hand high and bring it down to slap my thigh. I wonder how long they were watching for. I bring the group closer together as people begin to smooch, sing, strum whatever instruments they brought with them, and dance.
     At 1:00 in the morning, I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t unglue my eyelids. I am entering a trance when hear voices around me but all I do is curl up at the spot, somewhere unknown but with a silky texture. Through my trance, I am in another place and I envision my New Year’s Eve on repeat but I don’t mind because I have blissful memories. I hear a firecracker outside and jerk awake. I am in what is our living room. I am not in my pajamas but my formal clothes. All the lights are off in this room. Mama is nowhere near but the sheets on the other side of the wide unfolded couch are ruffled. I hear talking in the kitchen. I don’t usually get up in the middle of the night, so I unknowingly drop back down on the pillow. I floor tiles groan and creak and look around, cautiously. In the blackness, a figure comes near me. It’s not Mama or Grandmother because the body shape looks different. “Ssh …sleep” a male voice tells me. 
     “Who is this?” I say drowsily.
     “What in the world?” In a dreamlike fantasy, I sit up. “Alex? What’s going on?”
     “It’s a snowstorm outside so your mother let me stay. I was on the other side of the couch and got up just now to get some tea. Want some?” He asks as I shake my head. “Anyways, I’ll leave. I apologize for waking you up.” He turns towards the exit.
     “No, no. I’m fine. I slept well. What time is it?” I turn on the table lamp and pull up my sleeve but my watch isn’t on. He settles beside me in the dim light. “I took off your watch and put it on the coffee table.” He checks the time,    

     “When did I fall asleep? I don’t remember.”
     “Remember we were all sitting in the living room after you invited me to your place? You came closer to me, I put my arm around you, your head seemed heavy, and before I knew it you were asleep.” He slaps his knee.
     “You don’t say! I was so comfortable. Can you believe tonight? Full of surprises.” Grandmother stood up! She was on a wheel chair since we left.” I stop for a moment wonder if our leaving had anything to do with her health. 
     “Yes, I saw this feeling written on her face that I saw growing up with you, you know? Her spirit is back.”
     “I know. Then, I saw you and we-” I point to my lips. He smiles and nods.   

     “…How did you feel? I mean, we are childhood friends that haven’t seen each other in years and now what are we?”
     “I don’t know what are we now but that was a nice kiss.” He says bashfully and puts down his mug that he was holding. “What about you? Did you like it?” I nod and respond in the most hushed voice possible.
     “You don’t have a boyfriend, right?” He asks.
     “What? No.” I giggle.
     “I want to be yours.” Even though his tone has not changed, it seems so sudden and his pupils dart towards me.
     “Wait, what?” I feel the blood rush through the top of my torso.
     “You not only my best friend, but first romance and will be my last.”
     “You love me, Alex?” I ask breathlessly.
     “Yes and you are actually the one who taught me how.”
     “Really? Did it help you in life?” I try to keep the conversation levelheaded as I face the most expressive guy I’ve ever talked to and utter words I didn’t think I’d utter for years.
     “I wouldn’t be here right now if it didn’t. I came here for you.” He brings his chest in, in fear and excitement all together. “What about you?”
     “I am very flattered but we are from different states, it simply can’t happen.”
“It’s happening now, isn’t it?” He asks as I nod and smile. I give him my warm hand.
     I see a gleam in his almond-shaped eyes which are on me. He’s gazing at me like no one has ever gazed before. “I want to be with you right now, if you let me.” I hesitate before speaking. Car lights shine on the walls, dogs begin to bark, and gradually the world begins to wake up or go to sleep- either one, its New Year’s! I clutch his hand tight. How I missed him. I was thinking about him until I started overthinking, I spent nights going flipping through memories in my head until my pillow was stained with saline, and I went over so many times how I was going to act if I were to ever see him again- and this is nothing like it. Even after five years a trace of him was still left with me. Finally, he’s here! Physically! In front of me!
     “Alex, I am so glad you’re here. I love you.” I throw my arms around him, passion giving me valiance. I realize what a peaceful dawn this is. I feel our cheeks touch as he hugs me back. His skin is clothed in soft cotton and smells the way his home used to smell. Each home has a different aroma.
    “ Da, moya dorogaya.”
     I stare at his profile with admiration as the sky begins to gradually tint. The lilac hue from behind the window reflects on his creamy beige face, sparsely dotted with facial hair like ants. His steep jawline goes down to his Adam’s apple that seems almost hard to carry. He’s not just my best friend anymore, but a handsome young male. I come closer to him.
     “This is what it feels like.” I see every pore and millimeter of his face. We each open our mouths slightly. It seems like to make sure the crevices of our sweet lips fit, we press them together hard. All the clocks in the world seem to stop.

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 10 Next »

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This book has 4 comments. Post your own now!

KMG28 said...
May 22, 2016 at 5:34 pm
Thank you for commenting!
Suzanne said...
Apr. 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm
What a magnificent job you did writing this many chapters long love story! There was suspense, and young romance, perfect combination. Your descriptions of feelings/emotions very realistic. Congratulations! Suzanne
alemargo said...
Apr. 19, 2016 at 10:03 pm
very beautiful and touching story
ALEMARGO00 said...
Apr. 19, 2016 at 9:19 pm

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