[Stephanie] Chapter 2


Translation to English: Georgia Ignatiadi –

Illustration: Dimitra Adamopoulou (Dimi Adam)

” Buy Lovlavie today and feel the harmony within! “

An ad out of many outhere. Pharmaceuticals have become rich. Every each one of them make money out of taking advantage of  people’s needs. A pill a day keeps the doctor away. There is no shortage of herbal products either, but that is another story. They are the so called illegal due to their side effects. They create various problems on the body, such as dizziness, vomiting, even a permanent lack of reality. You remain a plant in short like the onces you consumed. Truth or lies? Right or wrong; I often wonder if it was the solution to my problems.

I continue and watch TV to spend some time until I fall asleep. The movie is indifferent but at least it has a great protagonist. The classic romance, I love no one, no one loves me, but I find the perfect man and we bring each other in harmony  in the end. I soon fall into Morpheus’ arms and put all worries aside.

A few days later

“Harmonious good morning my sweet Stefania! I hope I can become the reason you smile today! I am sending you my positive energy and love, from the depths of Mongolia. I can’t describe into words the scenery of nature I stare in the last days and the people I met over here. I will stay for a little while. I will contact you as soon as I have internet connection. Many kisses! Harim”

Harim lives his life to the fullest. He knows what he is asking for and fights for it. He finds jobs in the countries and places he visits and earns his living. He is very intelligent and hard working. He fills his Instagram with beautiful photos of himself in the company of various people he knows. But does that matter? Upload photos? Or communicate and get in touch? I had asked him once how he is so optimistic and sociable. He replied that it is in his nature. “This is how I was born” he answered.

I’m ready to start my day. I have been living in Athens for the last ten years, since I started studying Business Administration. But now I work in a large bookstore. The salary is normal, I get paid overtime, and I get  discount on books. Good for me, since I spend two hours a day reading. I imagine the worlds and live through the stories. It’s magic! Another secret for me. I write, under a pseudonym of course, on a website with romantic stories. Successfully I dare to say. To any psychologist I told this they would always have a lot to say. You write about what you want to live etc etc etc, but I enjoy it. It feels good to take readers back in time with women full of confidence going after what they want. But okay, the psychologists have a point too…

I look in the hall mirror before leaving. I see a young woman with her whole future ahead of her. Her brown hair falls loosely around her shoulders, and her green eyes sparkle with energy. “What a wrong image I show to the world” I think and walk out the door.

My daily route also includes taking the metro. People avoid looking at each other, and everyone is either listening to something or check their cell phone or just read. There are a few who are alone with their thoughts, and stare out of the carriage window. I wonder what they see since we are underground. Perhaps they think they see, imagine meadows and valleys, inside the Athenian metro. I don’t know… I imagine myself looking at them discreetly as if I don’t want to be I do not want to be misunderstood. Maybe this is a good romance idea. Two people meeting on the subway,  exchanging glances, shyness from the man with the woman making the first move to approach him. The doors open and doom separates them, and… and… I’ll think about what’s next, I ‘ll figure something out…

My employer, Madeleine, equally alone in this society for several years, lost her other half in a car accident. A sad story since it was her own fault. Iris and Madeleine loved each other more than anything else. But one night on their way back from a night out, Madeleine runs a red light, and a truck crashes into them. As you can imagine, it was tragic.

“Now I live as a half…” she told me one day after telling me her story. “I’m simply standing here just so Iris won’t be forgotten,” he told me plainly. That’s why the bookstore was named after her beloved one.

The day passes quietly. The clientele in the store is normal, although in a few days the frenzy of the holidays will begin. After all, Christmas is coming, and hyper-consumerism at its best. I turn off the lights and lock the shop. The light of the sign of the opposite pharmacy that stays overnight informs me that today is the 5th of December. The days passed and I didn’t take it for granted… Soon my symptoms will begin… The symptoms of lack of sexual contact that afflict those who are not in harmony… I have to find Kostas! I think as my hand goes straight to my cell phone.

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