Παρασκευή, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2016

LESS THAN A PEARL

  Chinatsu helped her to wear the thin white uniform and the masc. She knew that she would handle it just fine but she wanted to give an extra tone of formality. It was appropriate for the day. Today would be Akiko’s first official dive into the cold ocean. She would follow the family tradition which had only female divers in order to collect pearls. The women brought the food to the table, salty most of the times. The training would last several years. The body would learn to breath from the start, would learn the currents and the dangers. But most of all, it would learn to respect the other female, the sea, and obey her. Through the sea’s eerie and wet breath, she would listen to her own humble whispers in great patience. She would learn how to do the job, to collect the shells and put them in the basket that was hung around her neck. She would execute it with great precision and discipline.
  The two women stood by the shore. They were silent, stiff and scared. Each one had different reasons. Chinatsu was afraid because she would be eighty years old in a while. Akiko on the other hand was scared because today she turned eleven. A Grandmother and a granddaughter, identical like the frozen drops of the ocean, into which they were about to enter. The little girl, even though she had been longing for that day for so many years, felt her feet tremble, although she tried to hide it. She was about to confront an unknown world. She was too small for something too big. On the contrary, the elderly woman was upset because she knew all about it. Something else made her feet tremble. It was not the dark seabed but the silent death which she felt it approaching. She felt it hug her and the only thing missing was its strong arms around her. This was the world that she was afraid of. 
She tenderly caressed Akiko’s hand and she nodded for the girl to follow her. She had instructed the girl to obey her the minute they left the house, to imitate her. With a fade smile to each other, they gave away their bodies to the freezing sea. Akiko was hoping to find her first shell, of course, with the pearl deep inside. The anticipation of the youth. Chinatsu just wanted to have fun with the process, to get some more time. The agony of the maturity. Two women into the deep waters of time, trying to find their own treasure to keep, were playing the eternal game of fate, on New Year’s Eve, the year 28.


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