[Stephanie] Chapter 1


Translation to English: Georgia Ignatiadi –

Illustration: Dimitra Adamopoulou (Dimi Adam)

I pound my hand rhythmically on the table. Not just any rhythm, but what I feel deep in my chest. An irregular rhythm, that of my two hearts. This is the characteristic of my people. To be born with two hearts that accompany us for our entire life. Our heartbeats do not harmonize completely , unless we feel true love or real love. It is  only then we are complete, harmonious.

Unfortunately, not everyone is in love, especially the elderly ones, so they feel empty and alone. These people, in order to be accepted by our society, turn to technical methods, those of medicines, whether herbal or not. Bad huh? And yet society brings them to such a point of despair and loneliness that somehow they need to banish that stigma from themselves

The disruptive  rhythm continues, and I have to get up to go to work. If you ask me, I haven’t been in love, nor madly in love with anyone or anything for several years. But I refuse to ask help for this. A psychologist, a friend of mine, assured me that at twenty-eight I am in a frame to love and live in harmony. But in a couple of years I will be considered old. I do not completely understand this at all, nor the narrow limits of our society.

Lately I’ve been hitting on the dating sites, where I’ve been hanging around and talking to a variety of people, women and men, but I haven’t been impressed by anyone. In fact, in recent years, I feel my right heart weaker than the left. My last adventures hurt her quite a bit and she’s been slowing down  her pace ever since.

I open my mobile to check  if Harim texted me. A friend from that dating site who considers himself a brother and a mentor and regularly sends me daily pictures of the places he travels and the people he meets. We’re playing a game, he sends me a picture with a clue, and I try to guess in what country he’s in without googling it.

“Harmonious good morning my sweet Stefania! I hope you are well today! I wish you were here with me to enjoy sake while walking the busy streets of the land of the rising sun. Come on, it’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy  today, guess where I am at! Extra sake if you guess correctly what city I’m in.”

I laugh,I reply to him that Japan is one of the trips I want to make sometime in my long life , and that next time we will surely visit together. I let him know in that I’m leaving for work and he sends me a Japanese expression. Ganbatte, which means do your best in Japanese.

So Ganbatte… I’ll try my best!

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