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Adi & Praja 040

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 6

Issue 40: The divorce

At the end of the day they all went home, the colleague came also to their home (where she had never been before), for just ten minutes. After eating some chips she said goodbye, kissed Shano on his cheek, and went to her own house – wherever that might be.


(The Divorce)

That night, when he was upstairs laying in his bed, a big quarrel developed between his father and mother. They rarely quarreled about anything, and then it would be only for a while. But this went on and on, and had never heard his father shout that loud and his mother cry so desperately. He did not dare to go down, because he did not like people hurting each other’s feelings. Next morning when he woke up his father had gone to his work and his mother was still sleeping. She had not made breakfast and he went to her bedroom to see whether she was ill. She said she would come out, and after 15 minutes she gave him his breakfast. She herself did not eat though. Shano was silent first. But then he asked his mother: “Mama, why were you and daddy shouting like that yesterday night? – You love each other, don’t you?” First his mother said nothing, and silence followed. Finally she said: “I only want to say … you would not understand anyway”. “Ma, I can understand everything in the world.” Please tell me. Another sDivorceilence

followed. Then she said: “I am going.” “Why? Where are you going.” “I don’t know yet. To another place in the city, or perhaps to my mother in my own country. I will see.” Shano said: “Will you take me with you?” She answered: “We can meet each other sometimes. The lady you met yesterday will now take care of you as your mother. But I hope you will not forget me.” And she cried. He put his arm around her shoulder: “Of course I will never forget you, and I will come wherever you go. Moreover I don’t like that lady.” And he added: “But why? Don’t you love daddy any more? – You both always told me that you loved each other and that your whole life you would do everything together.” She said: “That I thought also, that we would be together always, forever. But now your father loves that other lady, and he is so much in love that even when he kisses me, he thinks of her. Moreover it is better for him. He can become better accepted in the society when he marries a ‘normal’ woman. The people won’t regard him as ‘different’ so much anymore. He can get more ‘normal’ children with her.” “Marry!” shouted Shano. He is married to you, isn’t he? And he promised that he would be true to you until you died!” “Yes he promised,” she said, “but it doesn’t come true. I always believed him and trusted him.” She was staring into infinity. “I don’t know what I am going to do. I will try to get the job for whole days from then on.” “From when on!?” asked Shano? She said: “Well. First we will have to fill a lot of papers and talk with authorities. And I will have to find a new house.” “I will go with you,” Shano said. “No,” she said, “that is not possible, because your father will tell the authorities that it is all my fault, because I could have only one child, and that you need a father as well as a mother. If you would go with me there would be no father for you, and moreover my salary would not reach to give you good education, even if I work the whole day.”

The woman now came more often, and often father would stay away for whole nights. She was always nice to Shano, and bought him very expensive presents for which he had not asked. But he hated her, because Shano understood very well that this woman was the cause of all his mother’s misery. A lot of things were going through Shano’s mind that year. He became thirteen, and got the latest technical things, like a glittering record player with all the nicest and most exciting records from the lady. The hi-fi stereo cost ten times the amount of the present his mother gave him: a new and vary fancy light for his bicycle. He liked the light more than the player, but of course players you use all the time, and bicycle lights only occasionally when he had to go somewhere at night. So of course he soon ended up spending much more time listening music than with the light. Moreover he had so many records now, that he could sit the whole day on his room and forget his gloomy thoughts. But while laying in bed, or even when in the forest, there was time enough for the gloomy thoughts to emerge in his mind – and he became more and more open for the gloom and sometimes felt totally left alone and useless. His father, who had always been a good man and who had always taught him to always speak the truth and never to do harm to other people had now betrayed his mother, what meant that he had lied all these years when he said that people should never lie, and he had hurt his mother more than any other human being in the whole world. His mother would leave him soon, and he would have to live with that bitch which had clung herself to his father. He talked about his thoughts with nobody, but at school there was a strong decline in his marks. He just could not concentrate anymore, and it didn’t bother him anymore anyway.

AP 40 Suitcases all packed

Suitcases packed

Then came the day that his mother packed her suitcases (she had told him only yesterday that she would leave tomorrow) and left. He could no longer deny the situation for his school friends and had to tell them that his parents had separated – though he did not tell why. Some had pity with him, or feigned to have pity. Other had right away laughed at him and said: “That happens when you are ‘different.’ That happens always. She had found a flat about 45 minutes away from the old home. In the weekends, that means one in every two weekends, he could visit her and stay overnight in his mother’s flat. He loved her as always, but she wasn’t his old mother anymore. Often she was sighing and looking tired and much older. After one and a half year she decided to go back to the country were she was born – Shano was now old enough, she said – and she went back to live with her own old mother and her three sisters. She had a brother also. She promised that as soon as she had money she would pay a trip for him, if his father allowed, so that he could visit her in her home-country. No event in his life scratched deeper in Shano’s soul than at the moment he saw his mother off at the airport. She cried, he cried, and they embraced each other for a long time. Then she suddenly turned around and walked to a place which was designated “customs.” She did not look around anymore – to Shano’s great pain, though he could understand her feelings. He saw the plane take off, and then was quickly taken home by his father and his new wife and their one year old girl. For this single opportunity, they had come to wish his mother the best.

Even his mother had left him now. The new wife was very different from his real mother. She cared much for expensive clothes and she would try to influence his father to buy expensive jewels for her. She still gave presents to Shano sometimes, but because he never thanked her she became irritated and stopped giving things to him. In fact she was shouting at him regularly. If his own mother had shouted – what had been very exceptional, it was always for Shano’s good: to warn him, or to express her concern about something. But even in her shouting there was always a background tone of love. But the substitute mother shouted only when she found him boring – for example if he wanted to see another TV program than she and his father wanted. She and his father were always sitting together on the sofa when watching TV, so usually he would go to his own room upstairs. But she solved that problem: She bought a big TV for him and put it on his room, so that he could always watch whatever he liked, and so that she or they could send him upstairs when they found that they annoyed them. The warmth and kindness of the old days had completely disappeared. They also didn’t go the forest of the lake or elsewhere anymore together, because she did not like the forest. Instead they would go to expensive parties. Once they had taken Shano with them, but he refused forever to go a second time. In fact she thought that the forest was full of snakes and spiders and other creatures of which she was afraid. Shano could not help thinking that he wished that it was true: he would certainly drop her at that forest. But he knew that in reality there is nothing like all that in the forest, and that it is a peaceful place, usually without quarreling people.

Slowly Shano accepted the situation and did not pay much attention in his mind to the past anymore. He would never like her, but he could tolerate her, because he was kind-hearted to people and all living beings by nature. On his room and also in the school library he read books about society, about history and politics, about wars and hatred, and how after some war peace would always come. But after getting used to that peace, people of the next or the next next generation would start another war. Every time in history meanness and selfishness and craving for power had taken over from the good people – who were perhaps less good than first expected. Still this reading had a good influence on him. He believed that all this horror did not have to continue for always, and that he and his generation would do better. Kindness and honesty and respect for other people would make the world better, and if he himself and all people in his generation would keep to these rules of behavior, wars and quarrels would become less, and finally people would live as friends all over the world. Apart from his own bad experiences, he now understood more about the suffering of millions of people throughout thousands of years, and also that most of this fighting and the wars and the sufferings had been totally unnecessary and could have been avoided if people would have used their good mind rather than their emotions of passion, anger, hated, jalousie, avarice and fear. He decided that he would belong to the better side of humanity, and never would give in to injustice and suppression to other people. He though that every being has the right to live, and is attached to life like he himself, and he would not for any reason or cause support violence and injustice. He did not know yet whether he should become an activist, or just live a good life without cruelty and violence and spread a message of kindness and tolerance to all. He was too young for that anyway. Between all his gloom there was some brightness in his mind also, some hope for a better future when he would be grown up. He was much alone now, did his homework – though without joy – and at home he would sit on his room. He would come down only for dinner, and move as soon had he had his last bite in his mouth. His step-mother (or surrogate mother he preferred to think) was a bit worried about him and said to his father: “Why is this bothersome boy always in a bad mood. It seems that his computer is more important than we are.” The father answered that he had been such a nice child when young, and that everyone had loved him, but that after about his tenth he had changed. “Maybe he thinks too much of his mother,” he said; and he thought (but did not say): “I also sometimes do, and ever more.” Shano’s mother in the mean time had written a few letters, telling Shano about her new life and asking how he was doing at school. Shano had only answered that he was doing fine, and that he loved her. In the last letter she had written that she wished to have him with her and her family, and that she had a friend who she liked and which he would also like. But the problem was that when in financial trouble he had become an alcoholic. Shano could imagine his mother’s feelings about that. She had very little money, and by no means would she be able to pay a ticket for him. She suggested instead, that if he had finished school and was earning some money he could pay the ticket himself.

It however scattered his last hope to see her anytime soon. What he did not know then that the story was not really true, and that it was his mother herself who had become an alcoholic – for which she spend most of her money, and was now despised by her sisters. But even though he did not know that, he felt uneasy, and that it wasn’t good. Much later he received a letter about this from his mother’s brother – which of course came as another shock for Shano.


(Growing Sixteen)

 Shano had very few people, or perhaps no one at all, who he trusted enough to talk to. But there was one, his chemistry teacher, a man of some 35 years old

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