Παρασκευή, 31 Αυγούστου 2018

THE VOICE UNDER THE LEAF - I/III - THE YELLOW SCARF


“The scarf is definitely the only accessory a woman will ever need” the saleswoman said arrogantly and Fevronia felt ashamed at least since she was not aware of such fashion rules.
She had seen it in the shop window. It was a dark yellow scarf with a large palm leaf printed in the center. It seemed so realistically painted that she looked at it for long and she did not hesitate to enter the shop just to have a closer look at it. She tenderly caressed it and every word coming out of the saleswoman’s mouth got deeper in Fevronia’s bag, finally found her wallet, got to open it, took out the money and left it on the counter. She knew deep down that she would never wear it.
She came out of the store and put her sunglasses on. Even though those were the first days of September, the sun still burned, a reminder that the summer was still here with everything that has brought along with it. That summer had brought for Fevronia her cat’s death. She was old and she could no longer see but she could talk to her until her last days. She had found the cat on a similar hot afternoon under a large palm leaf in a plot in the neighborhood. When the grown-ups were asleep she would go outside to explore the world that, back then, covered the block. The cat meowed in agony under the leaf, she was hungry and scared and small like Fevronia. She took her with her wanting to protect her. Her parents liked the idea of their daughter’s bond with the kitten, perhaps because Fevronia was already seven years old and had not spoken yet. The doctors had not found any pathological causes and they had attributed it to psychological ones. They had recommended patience and composure. 

And they waited. They assumed that school would be a breakthrough since she would make friends. So they never objected to her carrying Mafka on her lap on her first day at school. She was white with a black head and “black headed” was a big word. From that first day until the university the cat never left her lap. She was a part of her and everyone had to accept it. Fevronia never spoke to anyone but she didn’t have to. The truth is that she had found her voice through the cat. The cat always answered instead of her. This was her voice, the transformation of her thought into strength and courage. Mafka answered to the children’s bullying at school, to the teachers when they wanted to examine her, to her parents when they asked of her to pick up her toys. Fevronia looked like a ventriloquist who, instead of a wooden puppet, had a cat in her lap. That was the voice that came out of her insides. The only voice. 

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