The River

Since she began to walk she has been all the time walking by the river. It is a river with twists and turns, and sometimes it is very straight, with trees like umbrellas over the surface of the place, and with many, many different landscapes. So varied, like life itself.

She was nineteen once. Full of hopes and dreams, but there was a war. It doesn’t matter if it was a small war or a big war. There were dead people and young dreams scratched and scattered in the sands of the river. Melina loved a young man who was full of dreams of liberty and equality. She followed him. The police followed them. They were in a boat. There was gun fire. A shot hit the back of Melina’s boyfriend. He died before they got to the other side of the river, so they threw the body out of the boat to speed their escape. She had to fly. She couldn’t come back or she would be put in jail. She went overseas. She had her dreams shattered. There were no more dreams.

Melina went to a very far away land. She knew nobody there. She did not know the language, she had to learn it. She was a refugee. She had to gain her position in this new society. She cleaned floors to survive and feed her baby girl. She talked to her daughter of the father she lost before she was born.

Melina was a good looking woman and she got married again, she did not have to work again, her husband was rich. Melina’s daughter was accepted as a daughter by this man. There were other children in the house. Melina gave birth to three other children. Melina was never completely happy. She was always thinking of the past, her past…

Time passed, the government changed and Melina wanted to visit her country of birth. She went by herself. She saw her old house, her old school, but no one of her old friends were there. They had continued along the river, and none of them stayed in the old neighbourhood. One day, before returning to her husband and family, she found the house where her old boy friend used to live with his family and an old lady was seated on the side of the road.

– Hello Melina, how have you been?

– Do you know me?

– Yes, I do. I am your old boy’s friend mum. Louigi waited for you for
many years.

– What do you mean? Louigi was killed, when a gun shot got him in the back.

– No, he survived. When you and the other friends threw him out of the boat to escape, you saved his life by leaving him behind. He was helped by some fisherman and returned home. He did not know where you went. But after many years and because you did not return, he is now a professor. He teaches international law at the university and he got married. He is happy. He continued to follow the river of his life. Are you happy?

Melina did not answer… Melina returned to her own family and husband and decided that the past was in the past, and she decided to be happy with the river that she chose to follow.


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