Books and dreams - WeFree

Books and dreams

Posted on Posted in Stories

Marta is sitting comfortably on her chair, in a studio apartment that smells like a mixture of moss and cat food. She holds in her hands her new school diary;
she has just begun her first year of middle school. Her mom went out tonight, like every night, she went to dance with her slightly odd friend, while her dad is at work.
Marta sits there smiling at her new sequel of a book called “little women”, bought that afternoon with her savings of the month.
She lives between the pages of that book, almost bigger than her, traveling, exploring, and falling in love. Just like the protagonist of her book.
Her belly begins to rumble, she opens the fridge exhuming a mozzarella that has survived from a period of famine. Her park friends ring at the doorbell, but Marta doesn’t want to play.
She likes to stay there, in her perfect world, made of paper, ink and fantasy.
The years pass by, Marta grows and with her does her desire to learn. She shares this with her best friends, passing unforgettable days with them.
One day, shortly after her eleventh birthday, she receives unexpected news. Mom and Dad have broken up. Mom met another man; she decided to move to Milan. And Marta has to go with her.
Milan is a city rich in culture, lively, always on the move. People “run” with Milan, always perfect, always “IN.” But those whose cases are perfect, easily judge those out of their canons, excluding them, for fear that tolerance is seen as a sign of weakness.
Marta came from a small town near Trento, lost in the mountains. Usually dressed in clothes of second / third hand, living with her mother who suffers from depression and can barely support herself.
She feels the weight of prejudice and marginalization with such an intensity that almost takes her breath away, and makes life impossible, convincing her of the idea of being completely wrong.
There’s no one who opens her eyes, no one who makes her realize that society is the wrong one. Only her books accompany her, giving her moments of freedom and hope.
But when one grows up, things change. That fairy world is slowly dodged by realism, from the obligation to compare with the real world, that Marta cannot stand. The problem is her being fat and ugly, she will always remain alone.
Maybe if she becomes thin as the models on TV she would manage to not to feel wrong and alone. She doesn’t eat anymore and falls into anorexia.
Maybe with joints and beers she can succeed in silencing those voices, that like knives stab her in the chest making them become hums just for a few hours.
She starts her first year of high school, so does her transgression as punk with her first piercing in the face. If someone dared to say anything against her she would be violent.
She was unrecognizable, another Marta. But at home no one would notice, let alone her mom. She had no time to notice.
Only with her books she could still be herself, to travel in her world and in her dreams. Then, like any teenager, love comes to upset her life.
Luca is not beautiful, but it is an alternative punk with a strong character and the girls are attracted to him, he certainly isn’t unnoticed. There are rumors of him, saying he smokes heroin.
One gray and stale Sunday afternoon, like many others, Marta is with her friends in one of the occupied houses of the industrial zone, she sees Luca with two other friends locked in a secluded room of the abandoned house.
Marta asks if she can follow them, as if nothing had happened. She already knew what she would find.
She’s there, in the middle of the circle, her fear is immense. She studies the movements of the others, and when the tin foil comes, her heart beats intensely.
She repeats the procedure pretending to be an expert; she then feels the smoke entering into her lungs. Immediately after a feeling of peace that pervades the entire body, Luca looks at her in disbelief, she returns his gaze.
She feels important, without limits. But she doesn’t know that that gaze will pay her with her own life.
Once you’re in it you don’t even realize how heroin binds you to her as a steel chain, covered with silk. You cannot live without it.
There’s no more weight of other’s judgment, let alone the need to be looked at and to have other’s attentions that are never enough. With no interests and passions. No more books. Just you and “her”.
She didn’t even care about Luca anymore; she entered a new world where her only thought is how to get money for another dose of heroin. Gradually she loses her last friends that remained, along with her interest in studying.
She finds herself alone. And only then did she realizes her biggest nightmare had become reality.
One day as many others, surrendered to her empty life, in her own mourning she meets an old friend of when she was little. As they talk she learns his story, a difficult story that she doesn’t imagine how similar it is to her own.
The difference is that her friend is now fine; his smile conveys calmness and serenity. Marta has a feeling of envy, but at the same time a sense of hope comes back to her. Maybe someone has sent him to her; perhaps fate wanted their encounter.
That very hope has a name: Sanpa.
You can hear the clicking on a keyboard, two bright eyes behind the screen of a computer carefully reading the words that slowly appear.
She has a sweet and serene smile, two bright eyes that have a world inside, made of fantasy, just waiting to be discovered.
It’s been 3 years now, in her arms there’s still the sign of pain. Whenever Marta looks at those arms her mind returns to the past.
She picks up her book of “Little Women”, browsing the first pages she continues to dream …
She is there, immersed in the pages of the book. Traveling, exploring, falling in love. Just like when she was a child … With only a difference.
Every time she looks at those arms she finds strength in her memory to fight because she’s happy now, she no longer wants to lose her desire to dream.