Pavel Kovac is going to America (part one)

Sometime ago I started writing this short story and had only written few paragraphs when a fellow blogger kindly ‘tagged’ me in one of those motivational gestures we bloggers bestowed on each other and which I love very much -:)! In acceptance I published an excerpt from the story here. Then, as it usually does, life got on a way and I did not return to Pavel and his friend Milan until this week … but I did finish it. So here comes the first instalment of Pavel’s story. There three more instalments to follow, each of similar length.

Part One:

Pavel Kovac did not like his father. He did not like his father’s raw laughs, his confident manner, his broad shoulders and how he made everyone around him feel small. And Pavel was small. Even in his fourteenth year, his body refused to give away the delicacy of a much younger boy. His fingers possessed that peculiar fragility seen in virtuosi piano players. When he brushed strains of his straw-blond hair from his forehead, it looked like rays of sunshine shot through. Pavel’s mother called him her angel.

When he was only a little boy, Pavel’s clear blue eyes would wonder for hours over the delicate watercolors his mother painted in an abandoned room at the end of their house. He would sit quietly next to his mother’s easel and gaze into the colours’ and shades for a long time. Sometimes his mother would paint the tip of his nose crimson red, or draw funny shapes on his face and they would both laugh. She was careful to take it all off just before his father came home from his work at the factory. His father was working in a factory where they made guns and tanks. He was a very important man there and a high-ranked party official.

One day Pavel and his mother had a visitor, one of his mother’s friends from her Art School, and all three of them made lots of silly-looking purple dots and red hearts on Pavel’s face. But they did not have enough time to take it off before Pavel’s father rushed into the house. When the front door slammed open they all froze in their spots. His father was calling their names in that jovial manner that always meant he has brought one of his comrades with him to discuss some important party directions over a few drinks and a game of cards. When the door of their room burst open so did the tears in his mother’s eyes. Pavel looked up and for the first time in his life, saw workings of human geometry; when the clearly curved lines of broad laughs change into slimy shapes of disgust. His father picked him up by the collar and threw him at the kitchen sink to clean ‘this shit from your face’. Pavel could not see the sink for tears.

From that day on Pavel’s mother never used colours on his face. And Pavel learned how to hide.

At school everyone was very kind to him. He was a son of a man whose word held exceptional powers; it could send you to prison or take you out of it. Pavel’s teachers made sure that nobody picked on him or teased him about his delicate disposition. They did not want to answer any difficult questions. And Pavel hated it with as much strength as his trembling heart could muster. He saw some of his classmates hiding sniggering smiles and whispers into the collars of their school uniforms. He heard secret jokes about his girlish looks. Pavel longed for his classmates to laugh and snigger in front of him. On some days he even wanted them to punch him and kick him. But they would not. Until Milan Vargas arrived in their class.

Milan was transferred from a different school at the far outskirts of the city. It was his third school in as many years. He was expelled from each one. For fighting with teachers and causing general mayhem.

Milan was tall and even at fourteen started to develop the look that legions of females would come to recognize as devilishly charming. In vain. He had jet black hair and dancing eyes. A smile that always lingered in the corners of his lips. When he was standing next to you, shuffling from one foot to another, it was hard not to think that he was in a big hurry and really had no time to spare. And Milan was in a hurry. A hurry to grow up and go to America.

Milan’s father had been killed by communists at the end of the war while he was trying to cross the border at Trieste as a stowaway on the ship bound for America. After his mother died of grief and loneliness, Milan lived with his grandfather who had not been sober since the day they took his land and gave it to the newly established collective farm. Milan’s family was one of those with a file. To be monitored. If it wasn’t for his uncle who, as his grandfather explained, was smart enough to swap uniforms and join the communists just before the war ended, Milan and his grandfather would have been sent to reformation camps. To learn about the new order. And how to be useful and productive members of the new society. But Milan’s uncle managed to keep them safe, so long as they did not cause any trouble. Only Milan caused quite a lot of trouble. He once asked a history teacher how she knew workers in America were starving. She sent him to the school principal. He skipped from one foot to another all the way there. The principal did not have the answer either. But he did call his uncle to school.

Pavel was mesmerized by Milan. Every time Pavel glanced into his direction Milan would wink at him. One day Milan just threw his large hand over Pavel’s shoulder and called him ‘a little pal.’ They became friends. Pavel’s first friend.

To be continued …

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

13 thoughts on “Pavel Kovac is going to America (part one)”

    1. Oh my love, I am so PROUD and HAPPY that you are reading my scribbling’s! And your help and encouragement is SO MUCH APPRICIATED! I think you are going to turn into very fine editor!
      Mum
      XOXO

      Like

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