Sunday story/ For Germany, driver!

2023-11-19 17:26:00, Opinione Agim Xhafka
Sunday story/ For Germany, driver!

Lexi was taken early in the morning. He had to catch the van from the northern city because at 9 o'clock the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the regional hospital would start. He ate two spoons of yogurt with some bread crumbs in it, drank the medicine and after looking around the silent apartment, he closed the door and went down the stairs. The daily cough embraced him from the very beginning. Strong today and for a moment we lost our minds. He held on to the railing and said to himself:
- Lexi, not today, don't leave me without going to the ceremony. That I long. A lot of merchandise. I will meet my friends, colleagues, those I worked with for so many years. I won't see the river, the forest, the city...
And Kola, like his best friend, ran away somewhere, away from Alex.

Slowly he reached the van. He was tired because he was already 82 years old. Thank goodness it was light weight, otherwise it would have stayed on the bed. He used to listen with his ears. They told him about a simple camera, but he couldn't afford to buy it. From which a palo pension provided. He really worked for many years as a doctor, but half of his life went to prison.
As soon as he said the word prison, his beautiful wife, son and daughter, a smiling and full of gas family came to mind. Until one dinner, two policemen came to the door, they shouted, you are under arrest, you will come with us, and that night the riot started.
They accused him of agitation and propaganda. You said at Ethem's house that foreign blouses are beautiful. You boasted about Italian football in the cafe. You sang a Yugoslavian song and you raised French films to the sky. A full year of the investigator. He found out that his brother, an engineer, had also been arrested. One afternoon he receives a letter for his signature, his wife asks for a divorce. He signed it immediately, so that the children are not mistreated, he thought. And the years flew away in the gallery high among the mountains.

After the end of the ten-year sentence, they re-sentence him, as if he had told someone that prison soup will kill us. Another ten years...
No letter or news from the family. A young prisoner had told him that the girl had become a nurse, the boy worked in construction.

- What about the wife, my wife? - he asked.

He did not answer. Maybe he's married, it hit him like an arrow. He didn't think he would get out of prison alive. That's why he often wished that she would get married and maybe get someone wise and prudent to treat the children well. Years passed and... one morning the order came to release all the political prisoners. Aleksi did not believe and instead of biting himself, he bit his friends. Until the Sheriff slapped him back. It hurt, he was happy and shouted:
- I'm alive, I'm free.

He didn't wait for a car at the turn. I walked further down the mountain. He was afraid that a second order would return him to prison. A chrome Skoda ran over him and the car looked like a turtle to the city. He ran to the door of the house, screaming. Silence, an old woman poked her head out from the next door.
- I love Sofika, Dritan and Blerta.
- There is no one there, they left by boat, they were at the German embassy for some time. Now I have no idea, she said and closed the door.
- I'm Aleksi, Sofika's husband.

But no answer from the other side. Later he found a hammer at the barber shop downstairs and kicked the door down, got in and ..passed out. When he came to, he was in the hospital. Where he worked for so many years. They recognized him and treated him well. They fed him and he ran straight to Tirana. There he met his brother, he had been released a few years ago, he was working at a glass factory. But he hoped that the bad days are over for them.
And indeed, after a few months, Alexi started working in the ministry. They loved and respected him. He ran away with longing from the town where he raised a family. He learned that the children were in Germany, in Cologne, as well as the wife. She begged the minister if he could get her a visa, he sent her with a service and the plane ride was for her like she was walking on a wire at high altitudes. He was releasing so much adrenaline that he said he was really dying.
The boy and girl met him at the airport. Grown up and beautiful, very beautiful. The three of them were crying and happy. He saw in them many of his features. My son, my daughter, spoke incessantly. That's what he said to himself every day in prison before going to sleep: "Good night my good family!"
- What about Sofika?
- Mom has been dead for three months.

He became confused and sat down on the adjacent bench. He learned that he had a hellish life. Thanks to her communist family, they did not take her to hard work, but everyone fell in love with her beauty. With threats, provocations, blackmail. Until he couldn't stand it anymore and when the children went to work, he locked himself in the house and didn't come out until the day they barely took him when they entered the German embassy. Then she calmed down in Cologne, but she felt guilty about the divorce request and thought only of you, father. It seemed as if she tightened the noose that the security put around her neck. Then he lost his mind, we put him in the hospital until one day where he found a razor, he cut his veins. The
three of them cried at the airport. Even at home. So a week passed, consoling each other.
Aleksi returned to Tirana and his passion for work began to be forgotten. The girl and the boy made the documents and took it with them. He was getting old, children became children. He was happy among them and stayed there for several months, then in Tirana among his tribe and friends. So a few years until he turned 82. A phone call the day before yesterday warmed his heart.

- We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hospital. - We are happy that he is coming.
He answered yes, without thinking. He was saying these things to himself in the van, when he heard:
- We arrived, uncle. Are you coming down? He asked where the "Roma" hotel was and started heading there. He had come early. I'm drinking a quiet coffee, he thought. As soon as he entered the lobby he read: "50th Anniversary of the Hospital" He was sad and took a table facing the door. When he sat down, he was grabbed from behind by Faiku, the first director. They looked at each other, both old, but happy. After some conversations, he sees some young girls full of health and youth.

- This is now the director of the hospital, - said Faiku. -She is Paulini's daughter.

Paulini was the colleague who spied on Alex, who put him in prison. He frowned, he didn't shake his hand. Then came many others. Here is Ylberi, the witness who pretended to praise French films, Alexi was saying. Now he boasted that he had retired, but they took him for consultations at the American hospital. All those who took him to prison came for the ceremony. His face shone with health and his teeth with a smile. Finally, the minister entered.

-Socrates' granddaughter, do you remember? - asked Faiku.

-Which Socrates?
- Head of the Branch, that of the police.

Alex was furious. That ugly man who beat him every night with his leg pulled from a chair appeared in front of him. He got carried away and went out. He started to hurry. On the way he asked someone:

- Where do the vans leave for Tirana?

He pointed his hand at the river and Alex almost ran. Neither the cough nor the heart bothered him. Just walk and walk. It seemed as if he was living yesterday, as if those two former policemen of the dark night would appear in front of him and shout loudly: "Come with us to the branch!" You're under arrest, under arrest!"
She got old, but time hasn't moved at all, she said and got into the van.

- Where to uncle? - asked the driver.
-For Germany, son!
The passengers laughed. The driver said:
- We are all for Germany.

Put into gear and the van started walking to the river...

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