2067 Words
The next year after my father had passed on were the loneliest I had ever been. I had no siblings and no other immediate family members near my town. The house had grown so silent the first night after the funeral. All the relatives had left for they had no other reasons to stay. My father was a disappointment to all of them. He may have been a great father but he hadn't been a good uncle or a brother to his siblings and their children. His drinking and affairs had not only affected his relationship with my mother but with his family as well. No one from my mother's side of the family had attended the funeral let alone my mother, who I was not sure was still alive or not. I couldn't send a letter because I didn't know where she had gone. My grandparents, her parents, had not bothered to respond when I sent a letter informing them of the funeral. My father's parents had died a long time ago. I spent many nights unable to sleep and when I did, it was because I had cried myself to exhaustion. I was alone and very lonely at home. School had always been the same and the abundance of friends led me to avoiding going home from time to time. I got deep into drinking and smoking, something the neighbors and other country folk pointed out in whispers and gossip whenever I was nearby. 'She got it from her father,' they said. 'What a sad life,' they whispered. 'You're as pathetic as he was,' and they said to me in disgust when I was close enough to hear them. I continued on with my terrible habits for one year while I was in high school, bunking classes and hanging out with the delinquents who were the distractions I needed at the time. I always wondered how I was able to get through and complete that one year in high school, but I did and I was grateful to myself for managing to pull through. The second year after my father died, I was surprised to open the door one day to discover my surviving grandmother at the door with some of her luggage. Word had reached her side of the family that I was struggling and that my father had died, almost a year later. I was shocked to learn that the letter she sent me had never reached them; that my mother, who had been living with them the entire time, had kept the letters away from them and burned them. My grandparents never knew until then that my father had died and that I was living on my own, an alcoholic and a delinquent who was close to dropping out from school. My grandfather was too old to move around too much and had remained at home. I dropped down to my knees, bruising them in the process as I had on a short skirt, and cried for hours and hours while my grandmother got down on the floor and comforted me the entire time. I did not think that my mother's hatred for my father had reached on to me as well. I was stupid for believing that she would return to me one day. She would never have left me if she really loved me. I lived the next few years with my grandmother who helped me stop drinking and quite smoking. Home was no longer as quiet as it had been before and I never slept elsewhere since she came to live with me. My grades began to increase and I became a model student in a matter of months. And when I graduated from high school, I was so happy and proud that my grandmother had been there for me and had helped me through the pain of loss and depression. She died right after my twentieth birthday and I was once again filled with despair. I had nobody else left to be with me and staying in the house my father built had become so unbearable that I rented it out to an old couple and moved away to the city. I had in mind to visit my grandfather but I did not want to risk meeting my mother. She did not want to see me and knew where I lived if she did, but that was never the case. I had a difficult time adjusting to the city life. I used the deposit the couple paid to pay for a bed in a ten bedroom hostel. I assumed it would have been easier to live with other people for a while before moving on on my own. And indeed, I was proven to have been correct. The girls in the dorm had become great friends with me and we spent so much time together in only half a year. Six of them were college students and the other three had jobs that didn't pay enough for them to be able to live alone, hence them living in a sharing establishment. It was a small group of ten girls from different countries and backgrounds but we got along very well. There were some quarrels here and there but the problems were usually resolved before the end of the day. The nights were never quiet and no one had to have dinner alone. I was very happy, although not as happy as I had been when I was living with my grandmother. It took me six months to adjust to the city life. I had no intention of going to a college and found myself a job in a small, family diner secluded in an alleyway near the dormitory. They had become my other family. The pay was not great but it wasn't bad either. I was still receiving monthly payments from the couple in my father's house and had enough to find my own place to live. Despite that, I did not move and as a result, I saved a lot of money that I could use to get me through the next few years of my life. The first time I had fallen in love was when a man walked into the diner one day during my shift. He was so handsome that the first moment I saw him, I couldn't help but watch him for over a minute. He walked and behaved so naturally but to me he seemed charming with everything he did. His dark hair was very beautiful, his face so handsome and his green eyes so enticing. However, he was too old for me, at thirty-five years of age. I was almost twenty-one, making about a fifteen year difference between us. He was dressed very casually in a gray shirt and washed out jeans with sneakers, like the delinquents I frequently hung out with during my terrible year in high school. I worked at the restaurant with the two daughters the man who owned the restaurant had. He was a chef who worked in the kitchen with his wife and the daughters and I were the waitresses. The oldest was twenty-four years old and the youngest was my age. There was a son as well who was seventeen. He and the twenty year old would exchange shifts when one didn't have any classes at college and when the other was busy at school. It didn't take long for the oldest, Mary, to notice the way I gazed at the man when he entered the diner. It was half filled with customers and she recognized the look in my eye from across the room while she was taking orders. The news that I obviously like the man spread so fast to the younger sister, Anabel, that I was surprised when I went into the kitchen to find the younger smiling slyly in my direction. I had been working there for only two weeks and Anabel informed me that the man would frequent the diner about once a month. Mary had managed to catch his name and I had a long conversation with her as we were closing up that night. He was a Sosha, an accountant whose parents were from Russia. He never spoke much and usually dined on his own whenever he didn't bring a man along with him, whom they assumed was a co-worker. The two had only managed to catch his name and could not tell me much accept for the fact that I would only see him again the next month. At that, I found my heart drop to the bottom of my stomach. I, along with the sisters, could not believe how deeply I had fallen for a man I had never spoken to and had only seen for a half an hour. Mary, believing my affection to have been infatuation, told me that I would have forgotten about him come a week or so. I thought so, too, as a way to help ease the yearning I felt. We were both wrong because everyday I found myself incessantly turning to the door whenever someone entered the establishment. I was greatly disappointed to see that it wasn't Sosha. I was told many times that he came around only once a month. Still, I stubbornly expected him to appear at a random time one of those days. Mary started to worry about me as I was evidently upset. It didn't sit well with her that I was in love with an older man. Most men were already married at that age and though she had never seen a ring on his finger, she couldn't help but try to make me avoid getting my hopes up about him not being married. I spoke about him constantly. About how handsome he was and how I desperately wanted to see him again. Each day, Mary began to worry more. I was in desperate need of affection and I was searching for it from the wrong person. She asked some of her male friends whom she thought were good looking to visit the diner every once in a while, an attempt to get me to fall for someone closer to my age who she was certain was not married. It did not work, or rather, it had an effect that lasted only a day. I went on one or two dates while I waited for Sosha's return, but the men had not been enough for me. I was so distracted and deep in my thoughts. The men were only there because they were doing Mary a favor, but they felt disrespected when I hardly paid any attention to them. I never went on second dates with either of them. Eventually, Mary gave up on the idea of setting me up with someone else and of meddling. What I felt was genuine and there was no changing it. She didn't try to change my mind again. I continued about my days at work and my nights at the dorm, the girls also being aware that I was happier than usual and suspecting that I was in love. 'Finally,' they commented. Most of them had been involved with men at some point since they moved into the dorm and I had been the only one to wait the longest before finding someone I liked. Many questions were thrown my way and all I could tell them was what I learned from Mary: his name and his occupation. One of the girls had recognized the name. There hadn't been that many successful men from Russia at the time and it took her a few days to find a magazine that featured him in an article. She had asked her boyfriend to keep an eye out for any news about Sosha and he was the one who found a newspaper from a few months back that contained his face. I was delighted and ecstatic when she gave me the paper. He was the exact same man I had seen at the diner. His dark hair and eyes were so mesmerizing. I ended up tearing the picture out of the newspaper and kept it with me at all times. I looked down at it with happy eyes random times at work and kept it under my pillow when I slept, hoping to dream about him. Sadly, that never happened.
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