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Chapter II

The Shattered Oasis

In this poignant chapter, Stephen, a brilliant, charismatic, and triumphant man, relishes over 22 years of a fairy-tale existence with his devoted wife and their five children. Their first two sons have become vital contributors to Stephen's thriving agricultural business, symbolizing their unity and shared aspirations.

However, a bittersweet event looms on the horizon as Marina, at 39 years old, prepares to give birth to their sixth child. Demosthene, the firstborn son, grapples with embarrassment, feeling self-conscious about his "older" mother having another child.

The narrative takes a heartbreaking turn during the delivery as it becomes immensely complex and takes Marina's life, plunging Stephen and their children into profound grief and despair. The loss leaves Stephen adrift, with a sense of purpose and direction slipping through his fingers.

In an act of selflessness, Andrea steps forward to adopt the newborn boy so his wife can take care of him. Meanwhile, Demosthene and Benjamin, Stephen's older children, become involved in the resistance movement, joining the Partisans during the tumultuous WWII in defiance of the German occupation.

This chapter's overarching message underscores the idea that our weaknesses have the power to turn life into a nightmare. It serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of relying on others for happiness and the subsequent risk of losing a sense of purpose and direction, ultimately leading to emptiness and loneliness as one drifts, propelled by the inertia of life's currents.

Chapter 1Joey - The Future of Tomorrow
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The future of tomorrow

by Elira Bregu

"Joey" is a coming-of-age story based on an actual diary about Joey's dangerous journey to freedom away from his older siblings' tutelage and the dictatorial regime. Failure throws Joey into new and traumatic experiences to survive in a cruel society with countless restrictions. The treacherous social environment, the imprisonment, the contempt, and the ill-fated romance are some of the obstacles the protagonist is called upon to face in his journey for a better life. Joey's life and challenges raise important questions: How will a young man with a troubled soul be shaped in an unknown society filled with prejudices, mistrust, and restrictions? Furthermore, to what extent can LOVE be a driving force towards personal and societal growth?

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