“Beyond the grey curtain” (novel)
Author : Agron Shele
For many days dense clouds surrounded the Dajti Mountain. Autumn… The rains were on the verge of the beginning of their season. I do not know why I was staying at that small and solitary cafeteria near Lana, where, except the faint environment, one could see nothing else. The first drops breathed relieved, when their long feet touched the pavement that appeared in full vagueness, from the broad background of the black glass, messy lineaments of the multitude of the droplets of water, which spread rapidly. Under the feet of the poplar, which exuberated toward the sky, was created a characteristic grey-dark carpet, generated by the mixture of the leaves with the dirty water. The twilight that came earlier, added the flux of multicolored lights of the cars in the main road “Unaza” of the capital. I looked beyond the glass, with my usual coffee “espresso” in front of me, without any objective (aimless), as the environment itself that surrounded me and I did not notice a girl staying in front of my table. I did not understand anything at that moment; moreover, I was covered by an unusual feeling of bewilderment.
– May I stay with you for awhile? – She said, and looked with an extremely suffering look.
I said nothing. Still I could not trust my eyes, when the waiter, a boy with small eyes, full of vitality, took her by the arm and spoke to her:
– Please, Adriane! Do not disturb the clients. You can sit at your table, beside the counter.
She followed the rhythm of his steps, whilst the head turned back seemed like asking for help.
– Why do you treat her that way? – I said to the waiter.
– Adriane is sick. This way she behaves with all. Sits at their table and talks nonsense.
– Let her alone, – I could say to him and, a feeling of sympathy surrounded me for that rare beauty that appeared in front of my eyes.
– As you wish, but, do not complain to me afterwards! – He said and went to the counter.
She did not wait longer. She threw a glance anxiously; afterwards she sat on the chair in front of me. Shadows of suspicion still had not disappeared. The multitude of the questions, that why was I staying still there and, worse than that, with such a person, dispersed all my being.
– You look a good person. The others hate me and they turn me out always.
– You should not think ill of yourself! – I said to her mostly to pacify her.
– You do not know me, but I deserve the greatest punishment of this world! – And tears rolled down her face.
– Drink something hot, it does you good! – I showed my care and pointed at the counter.
The waiter brought tea, while she, with trembling hands, pressed the cup. So fragile a creature, so sweet, did not deserve this destiny, which had thrown her beyond the life and dragged her in the endless roads. The regular lines of the body, the round and white face, the curly hair over the shoulders, still showed the luminous look of the past.
She stood quiet, subdued, the same as that statue in the course of construction, which waits what shape it will be given. She cast any skeptical look and shriveled within the endless anxiety. Her lips trembled, wanting to express something untold, perhaps to kill the ill feeling accumulated from a time that I did not know. Stepped in the remnants of the life in the past, ruined by the fatal past, she suffered the sin she had done and slandered everywhere her lost self.
– She was my best friend. God punished me for this, – and she put her hands over the wet hair.
I handled her my handkerchief and with a rather friendly tone, I tried to somewhat pacify her, although, after each uttered phrase, broken , sometimes meaningless, expressed in the most dramatic way, I understood how life abandoned but never denied.
Adriane managed to tell the story of her pain and sorrow, expressed her heavy spiritual world, that world which intermingled and confused, in bitter memories. Her mind remained at that black night, which demolished all the social balances and kept her under persistent anxiety.
– That’s all; – she said at last and left like a shadow, through the darkness of her incomprehensibility. The burden of guilt that followed her appeared in her night dreams and plunged her into the pungent abyss. The autumn’s rain, by the means of the torrents it created, moved the multitude of the fallen leaves and, thus, gathered by the side of the sidewalk’s contour, they surrendered to the day of tomorrow to be thrown by the cleaners, as they had never been a part of the verdure of this town. She wandered in the same waters. Until yesterday, she was one of the most active members of the society, but the driving storm cast her into the tumbling abysses and plunged her in the remote places of the nights of the great loneliness. She left, lost in the emptiness of the gloomy environment. In that state, bewildered, full of sadness, walked with irregular steps, following the tracks of the remaining guilt, this great pledge, that tortured and confused all the being.
The white dreams, melted under the perplexed shadows of a life full of waves, which slandered ceaselessly its selfishness, and in all that hovel ruined fatally, remained a piece of memory, that could describe the world, the passion and the foolishness of a teenager.
It seemed that everything happened accidentally, was all this enough to change that torturing world, where the past prejudiced with all its fierceness , while the remote time mirrored in the shape of dark spots, where the look of the age interrupted at the invisible curtains of the grey weather.