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TWO STORIES

ONE

She was so pretty when she was young. The boys would stop dead on the sidewalk and stare. I’d be so proud to have her arm wrapped around mine, her head held high and her hair flowing in the summer breeze. You would never know from the photo but she had the most beautiful flowing locks back then. It all seems so damn long ago. A different time. A time of innocence.

When I came back everything had changed. The war changed everything. What they did to us out there. How could anyone ever understand? Your Grandmother really tried. She said all the right things.

But honestly? She never saw that look of hate in their eyes. The things they did. Dear God. Boys no older than you are now. It was easy for us to take our hurt out on our loved ones. Too easy.

You would have been about four or five months old when I took this. You’re indirectly in the picture,. Funny huh? Grandma is looking at your Mother, holding you in her arms. They made an effort that day. A real effort not to fight. Your Grandmother was old fashioned. She thought your Mom was out of control; letting different boys walk her home each night.

We never knew your Father, but then you know that.

Your Grandmother and I raised you. Your Mother ended up moving away; she went up state. At the time I blamed her. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Christmas 1977. It was before your Mother left. She had been to a concert the night before. She was hungover. Your Grandmother was asking her how she got home. I’m glad her black eye isn’t visible.

Regret and repentance. I do try nowadays. Since your Grandmother passed away I quit the booze and started going to church again. Maybe some day I’ll actually see you again. I often wonder what you are doing with your life. I wish I had an address to send this to son.  I miss you.

Your Grandfather.

Story by Steve Ward

TWO

Hélène est une rêveuse. Elle se décrit comme étant une femme de marin. Elle passe des heures à attendre, assise sur le bord de son canapé, du matin au soir et du soir au matin. Une horloge inhumaine qui tourne autour de son corps devenu roc.
L’odeur des bottes restées humides emplie son petit déjeuner. Le froissement du ciré annonce la dernière tartine et le goût du café se pose sur le baiser à la médaille de Santa Clara.
Sa vie se déroule dans ce temps maritime. Ces yeux sont cernés par tant de regards. La petite voile titubante devient floue dans ses allers et venues, épuisée par tous ces frissons, signes du risque du non retour. Des cliquetis rythment ses pas, elle chasse les nuages, voile le soleil, aplanie les mouvements de marées.
Les jours et les nuits, dans ce jeu de cache cache, structurent sa solitude. Son secret, bijou solitaire.
Une question revient par vagues: Ses yeux vont ils un jour se noyer dans les flots? Elle n’ose pas les fermer de peur de rater le retour de son amour.

Story by Lefrere Sylvie

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