He felt lost admiring Alma's graceful walk on the stairs of the first floor. She still awakened erotic feelings within him. He craved to approach and unravel the red ribbon in her long hair. To kiss them while inhaling the scent of her hair.
She greeted him. Her sweet voice threatened his masculinity. He decided to run out of the building.
She ran in pursuit. In the courtyard, she grabbed him by his shoulder and asked: “Can we please talk?”
“About your fiancé?” he asked ironically.
“He won’t be my fiancé any longer,” she murmured.
Joey felt concerned. "Did she broke up with him and now wants me back? Oh no! I’m not going to grant her such a favor." He thought for a moment, as he straightened up his body just like a rooster.
“We’re going to marry next month.” she added softly.
He faded out. The idea that her sweet being will belong to someone else made his blood boiling with rage.
"Should I get angry or feel sorry about your wedding?” He asked angrily.
“It’s our parent’s decision. I don’t want to marry him. I love you and I wanna live with you.”
Joey couldn’t bear to hear another word from the girl who used to make his heart dance with joy. He was lost in hallucination watching the buildings dance mockingly around him and his neighbor's disparaging faces calling him stupid or incompetent.
“We had to meet by chance to say that you love me?”
“I was angry because for months you disappeared without saying a word. You were always at the farm, leaving me with the impression that you were in love with another girl. That’s why I accepted my parents’ proposal to become engaged to their friends’ son.”
He stared at her, bewildered. It seemed that the unknown, tempered with her vivid imagination, had scared and had preoccupied her with vengeful thoughts and a need to attack. Without thinking about the consequences, the girl had made a decision to change the course of her life in a direction that she did not wanted.
“Alma, I was true to my promise. In Bërzit, I wrote letters to you daily, but you still couldn’t control your wild imagination driven by jealousy? What else will I hear today God?” He asked, looking up at the sky. “Hey, Alma, you know what? Good luck in your life,” he concluded, and turned his back to leave, but she grabbed his arm and whispered:
“Please don’t go. Don’t leave me. Let's get married secretly, right now.”
“How? Like thieves, and then what, where can we go? I have neither a home, nor prosperity. What is wrong with you, why do you make me feel so helpless and powerless?”
“Please, Joey, do something to save our love.” Alma cried at him.
“Our love doesn’t need us to save it because it is not in danger. Love lives here in our hearts. Your craving to change your life is only an escape from the lifestyle offered by your parents. Because of that, you want to use anyone, even me.” As he breathed deeply caressed her locks once more and added: “For now, all I can do is keep you in my thoughts and let you live here,” he placed her hand on his heart. Then, he turned his back and left.
In an effort to hide his weakness, he started breathing quickly, but his eyes couldn’t keep back the tears any longer. At the corner of the building he stopped. His heart was beating uncontrollably. "What the hell," he thought and turned back.
Alma, seated on the bench opposite the building entrance, had covered her face with her hands and was crying irreconcilably. Joey knelt on the ground, gently pulled her hands from her face and whispered at her: “If you wanna cry, let's do it together.”
Hugging Alma, he felt like embracing the whole universe, while she gave in to his tender.
That morning, the first rays of the sunrise touched the embraced bodies of the two young lovers. They both were lost in feelings without the slightest concern if some neighbor would see them in their throws of love.
Fragment from the upcoming Novel "Evading Destiny" by Elira Bregu