This is a continuation of the posts titled, An Untitled Novel About The Long Road of Hope.
[ Chapter 1.1 is here. ]
On the road of despair, one freedom may be purchased for another freedom. But true freedom cannot be purchased without hope. Just like a purchased kiss is not a kiss.
Because a purchased kiss does not fill the heart.
Just like purchased kisses, stolen pleasures and comforts gather shame and jealousy like roads gather dust. Where hope grows fruit and thanksgiving, despair gathers shame and jealousy.
Despair grates the stoney ground of a broken heart with broken, screeching plow shares. It makes a God-awful commotion that tastes like the greasy, black smoke of burning plastic. The sound can be so horrible that you have to press your hands hard against your ears, eyes, mouth, nose and soul. All at the same time!
Without hope, there’s no other way to avoid it crawling into your skin and spreading across you like a creeping, malicious intelligence.
As Lumi and the others approached the west wall of tires on Stirbei Voda and Berzei, they saw three plumes of black smoke rising from around the Park.
Shots from AKs rang out. The gate opened enough for them to pass in. Noah met them with his grandson, Jacob.
Lumi informed Noah that Captain Brighton and the other eight men did not make it out. That it was an ambush. Those were Brighton’s last words.
Noah nodded his head in understanding. He told them that Gates 1, 2 and 3 had been under attack since shortly after they had left on their mission. They lost twenty or more men and women at the gates to sniper fire.
Children had set the walls on fire. Some of those children were recognized. No one dared to shoot them. When parents and grandparents came out from cover to call to their children, they were sniped.
Wall 1 on Elisabeta Regina was still under siege. Teenagers were trying to climb over the wall.
“There’s seven armored humvees with heavy caliber guns waiting down the street. They’re waiting for the gates to open up,” explained Noah.
Lumi told Max to take care of Violeta. Then she ran off with Grace, Eduard, Valentine, Cristian, Decebal and Remus to defend Wall 1. The others guarding the trucks met them there.
Noah, Jacob, Max and Violeta went to Monte Carlo. Max and Violeta were amazed they had a working elevator. It took them down three levels.
“Wow!,” exclaimed Violeta.
The elevator doors opened up to a beautiful lobby with running waterfalls and plants. There were three rows of cots. Doctors and nurses attended to the sick and injured.
“It’s what’s left of a caravan,” explained Noah. “They didn’t make it as far as you did. These survivors were spotted on foot near Piata Victoria.
Noah called a doctor over to check on Violeta. They took her shirt off and saw that she was covered with mosquito bites and scars from the lash of a whip.
“Please Mommy, I have to get back,” Violeta said as she started to cry. “If I don’t get back soon, I’ll be punished.”
“You’re safe here, Violeta,” Noah said with a big, warm smile as he offered her a lollipop.
You’re going to stay here with your mommy, me and Jacob.”
Jacob looked at her and winked.
“Nooo, Mommy, I have to go back. Please take me back! I’m not supposed to be here!” Violeta shouted as she punched Noah in the nose. Noah’s nose started to bleed as he stood up.
Max restrained her as Violeta’s hysterics grew more pronounced. She kicked Max and tried to bite Max’s hands.
Jacob was laughing. “You’re in big trouble, V! Big, big trouble,” he told her.
“Enough Jacob!” yelled Noah.
The doctor administered a sedative and Violeta fell asleep.
Max broke down in tears as she held Violeta tightly and she sank to her knees.
“What happened to my Violeta!?” she wondered outloud. “She was a gentle and quiet girl.”
Jacob slapped Max’s face and her sunglasses flew off.
“That’s enough Jacob!” yelled Noah and he grabbed Jacob by the collar of his shirt and shook him hard. Jacob was laughing.
Jacob looked up at Noah. “Don’t ever do that again, grandpa, or I’ll kill you dead.”
Max woke up on a king-size bed. Above the bed was a round window with a bluish light. A white and red speckled carp flashed against the portal with a thud. Max smiled. Violeta was sleeping next to her.
Max smelled Violeta’s hair, it smelled of lavender, juniper and pine. She kissed Violeta’s forehead and went back to sleep. She felt a profound peace – a peace she had not known for what seemed forever.
Violeta woke up an hour later. She gently pried Max’s eyes open with her fingers.
“Open your eyes, Mommy. Open your eyes! It’s time to wake up, Mommy,” she said as she giggled.
“A few more minutes, chicken,” Max said.
Violeta let her sleep another 5 minutes. Then she gently pried Max’s eyes open again.
“Mommy, I love you.”
“I love you too, chicken,” Max replied.
“Mommy, I’m hungry.”
Max looked around. There was a small dining table in the room. On the table was a covered tea pot, a pitcher of milk, and three covered plates.
“Ok, let’s see what we have to eat, chicken.”
Violeta slid out from under the bedsheets. Max’s heart sank. Violetta’s body was covered with mosquito bites and scars. It wasn’t all a bad dream.
“We have donuts, Mommy! Yeahhh!” Violeta said as she uncovered one of the plates.
“We have cookies, Mommy! Yeahhh!” Violeta said as she danced.
“And we have meatballs. That’s for you, Mommy,” Violeta added.
Violeta poured herself a glass of milk, took it and a handful of donuts with her as she explored the room.
“Mommy, we have TV! Yeahhh! ” Violeta exclaimed as she turned on the TV and cartoons started to play.
“Mommy, we have Tom and Jerry! Yeahhh!
“Maybe, this is a dream,” Max wondered.
Violeta went into another room and flushed the toilet.
“Mommy, we have a toilet, a shower, and a ja-cuzzi! Yeahhh!”
Violeta came running out of the bathroom and jumped into Max’s arms. She gave Max a hundred kisses.
“I love you, Mommy!”
“Mommy, I had such a bad dream. Promise me that I won’t have bad dreams again.”
Max held Violeta tight. Violeta whispered softly in Max’s ear.
“Mommy, I dreamed that three men came and killed grandma while we were in the park. They beat her with a pipe until she didn’t move anymore. I was screaming at them. They wiped her blood on my face, Mommy.”
“It was so bad, Mommy.”
“They put me in a bag and took me away. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared, Mommy,” Violeta whispered as she cried.
Violeta wiped away her tears, went to the table, poured a cup of tea and brought it to Max in bed. Then she got a doughnut and brought it to Max.
“You can have one donut, Mommy. Because I’m very happy. Because I’m a very generous…”
Violeta remembered something about her bad dream:
“There was a bare-footed man in a white suit, Mommy. He said he came to take me back to you. I went with him in a big white car. It was a very, very expensive car, Mommy.
“I saw you many times. We went for many rides. I saw you crying in the park where they killed grandma. You were so sad, Mommy.”
Violeta paused as she noticed a tear slip from Max’s eye. Then she continued:
I saw you putting my picture up on a street corner.
He told me that you blamed me for what happened to grandma. That you were very angry with me, Mommy. I was so sad.
The last time I saw you, you were with some friends. You got into big, white trucks. I tried to call out to you, but you didn’t hear me. And then the big, white trucks drove away.
I was crying and the bare-footed man said that he was sorry for me. That you didn’t want me anymore. That’s why you went away in the big, white trucks. But he said he’d take care of me and everything was going to be ok.
I don’t want to dream bad dreams, Mommy. Please, Mommy. Make them never come again.
Violeta saw something brown and fluffy under the sheets. She reached for it and pulled it out.
“Teddy!” she cried out in delight. Teddy smelled a little like he had a bath in myrrh and mint.
“I knew it was just a dream! Just a bad, bad dream, Mommy!”
“Teddy, I missed you!”
“Teddy, why didn’t you protect me from that bad dream!?” She scolded the Teddy bear.
Teddy blinked with surprise.
“Teddy is a bad Teddy,” Teddy said with regret.
Max didn’t know what to think of Teddy being there. She hadn’t seen Teddy since she packed Teddy in a box and put it out on the street. That was three months after Violeta had gone missing and her mother had been murdered in the park.
Next to where Violeta had found Teddy was a Tiffany blue envelope.
Max took the envelope and opened it.
I told you that you would find Violeta. Your faith has made it possible.
Oh – Teddy has been waiting for both of you to come home.
I found him on a street corner in a box. He was looking for you both. He was very sad.
P.S. Never lose faith, Max. That is something that cannot be found so easily again.
Max wondered what had happened to him since he left Cacica on foot months ago.
She remembered John’s Father fondly. He told her that first morning in Cacica by the flowering Linden trees that she would be reunited with Violeta. She could almost smell those flowers now.
At the time, his words were strange to her because she didn’t know the man and he couldn’t have known about her loss. But he said it so confidently; it gave her hope and peace.
“I love you, Teddy!” Violeta said and gave Teddy a big hug.
“I love you too,” replied Teddy.
On the way to the bathroom, Max noticed that the three framed pictures on the wall were of her, Violeta and her mother. She smiled. She wished she could give John’s father a hug and a kiss.
“You’re my angel!” she said to him in her thoughts. “My perfect angel from God!”
The bathroom was magnificent. There was a large marble wash basin with all kinds of cosmetics and goodies.
Max inspected each one. Bulgarian rose soap, Facial soap from Bulgaria’s Holy Lake, and perfumed lotions for hand, body and face. Facial scrubs, masks, night cream and eye cream. Make-up, eye-liner, and lip stick. Perfume and more. It was just like heaven.
She stepped into the shower. She turned the lever and laughed when warm water came out of the shower. A tall bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magical Mint Liquid Soap, shampoo and conditioner and other things were on a shelf inside the shower. She turned on the radio: Moby’s Lift me up played.
Travelled through hell, oh how we felt.
Lift me up, lift me up…
“Mommy, I’m watching cartoons,” Violeta said as she peaked into the bathroom. She was dragging Teddy by one arm.
“Ok, chicken,” Max replied. She closed her eyes and breathed a heavy sigh of thanks and cried tears of joy.
“Lift up your hearts to God,” Teddy said. “Let’s give Him thanks and praise!”
“You’re silly, Teddy,” replied Violeta and giggled.
“Teddy is non-stop silly,” said Teddy in a whisper.
Loudly: “Teddy needs a hug! Hellooo… Teddy needs a hug!”
Violeta gave Teddy a hug.
“Thank you,” said Teddy.
“Teddy, I’m trying to watch cartoons…” Violeta scolded Teddy.
“Teddy is a bad Teddy,” Teddy said with regret and closed his eyes.
Max took a long, hot and steamy shower. She hadn’t had a shower for twelve days. The water was brownish as it came off her soapy body. It felt so good to get clean again. The mint soap tickled her skin.
She shaved her legs, scrubbed her body and face, and trimmed her nails. Wiping the steam off the body length mirror, Max took a look at herself as a woman. She was beautiful.
Max had forgotten that she was a woman. She had been the broken-hearted mother for so long.
“Chicken?” Max called out.
“Yes, Mommy?” Violeta replied.
“Nothing,” Max said with a big smile.
In the room, there was a wardrobe with some lingerie and clothes for her and Violeta. She put on skinny jeans, a tee shirt, and a fur lined sweater. It was very cute. It fit perfectly.
Max dressed Violeta in jeans, a tee shirt and a turtle neck.
There was a knock at the door.
Max opened it to see Lumi and Grace. They had big smiles on their faces.
“Wow, Max. You are one sexy babe,” said Lumi.
And look at you and Grace! You two are so hot!
Both wore jeans and high heels. Lumi’s blouse was a semi-transparent, traditional, hand-embroidered shirt that was very princess-like. Her earrings glittered like diamonds. Grace had a baby blue cotton ruffle cardigan sweater that showed cleavage and her belly button.
“Noah’s waiting for us in the atrium,” Lumi said.
“Haide! Let’s go,” Max told Violeta.
Lumi scooped Violeta up into her arms and gave her a kiss.
Violeta looked at her with one eye and then another.
“Mommy, she’s very pretty. Like a princess! But there’s a problem. She’s from my bad dream,” said Violeta matter of factly. “I don’t know about this…”
They all laughed.
Moby, Lift Me Up
The next chapter section (1.11) is [here]. Enjoy!
Your feedback (comment) means much to me.
29 April 2011
Copyright 2011 by Stan Faryna. All Rights Reserved.