The grass is always green on the other side but Alma felt the walls of her apartment in Trieste were less limiting then any Sarajevo open space.
She was spending days there, on Via del Bosco 20, 3rd floor. She went out in the late afternoons or evenings without leaving her neighborhood, just to visit her friends living two streets away or to the nearby coffee shop.
Her stay permit expired two years ago and this was her way of hiding.
It was a very comfortable space for her tiny body. She fed that tiny body with wine and joints, some meal from Turkish fast food and sometimes she would cook a plate of pasta.
Alma moved to Trieste with her boyfriend Paolo.
Paolo and Alma met each other while Paolo was on vacation in Sarajevo.
Alma wanted to study English and Italian literature but she left out her plan quickly because ,,party like rock star’’ lifestyle seemed more attractive.
Everything was nice while they were spending money from Paolo’s family business.
It lasted for two years of their life together. They lived in such abundance that they could afford cocaine.
Then after two years of their life in heaven, the co-owner of Paolo’s family business embezzled almost all money from business investments and vanished. Later, as they have heard , he escaped to Portugal.
That is how their ,,La dolce vita Triestina ended. The next thing they have to start to think about was : To survive.
They were surviving with some money rests from family business, Paolo worked as door-to-door solar panels salesman, their friends would lend them money but they would never return. Alma would got some job but was never able to keep it, since she was getting sick all time. Of course, all her jobs were ,,black’’. Undeclared work.
Nights of partying became nights of fights.
Paolo, had chunky shape, bald headed. Alma used to saying how bald headed men look sexy because they have dangerous look.
Their night fights almost always had the same scenario. Everything looked like cheesy theater show.
On the wall of the corridor Paolo’s and Alma’s shadows had always the same shape and same scene.
He would pulled her shirt with his chubby hands, putting her above the couch bed and returning her back to couch, yelling in his bad Bosnian language: ,,Stronza, Slava from Bosnia , you starving whore!’’
His jaw bones were pulsing, sweat drops were coming out of his bold head pores.
Her mind was wrapped in her confused thoughts. She was trying to help herself to find the ,,proper’’ words to hit Paolo back.
Somehow, out of all that confusion, the words of victory would emerged:
,, Your mother is stronza, your mother is a starving whore, a bloody witch !’’ In her emerald green eyes could be seen some amazing light, during their fights.
In one moment although numbed she could feel it how her collar is hurting a skin around her neck, almost piecing it.
,,Don’t pull that blouse , you are hurting my birthmark! Ohh, my birthmark, the only memory I have of my grandpa, You son of a bitch!’’
Fight. The only thing that was bringing them together. Their relationship tasted like bubblegum that lost its original flavor. Their late night fights usually would ended up with pointless sex. They now switched from cocaine to Bromazepam and non- quality wine.
Sour tasted wine and Albanian haze skunk were the only things that Alma was smuggling out to Trieste, thirty-five years after her parents were smuggling out to Sarajevo , jeans classic, Levi’s 501.
Alma had just one reason for getting back to Paolo, over and over again. The reason
was: To live abroad. For her it was prestigious to say in front of her neighbors:
,,I live in Italy.’’
What kind of life she had there it was for her the least important.
Her mother was as well one of the reasons why she was returning back to Paolo. She knew her mother could not take it, one more divorced daughter. In contrast with mother her father was always saying:
– ,,Get back home , Paolo is just playing games with you. If he would have been serious,
you would be married. The problem of your stay permit wouldn’t existed.
Here, you will have your job. Your will be your own boss. Please, return home.’’
Paolo would kicked Alma out of their house, sometimes. He would kicked her out with:
,,Get out and don’t come back!’’ Three or four days after, he would dial her number and mournfully asked: ,,When are you getting back home?’’
He was doing that all over again, because he firmly believed how ,,the good old days’’ will return and out of loneliness. The fist of loneliness can smash everyone’s ego. Even the strongest one.
Giulio and Fareed Andrea. Friends of Alma. Unusual acquaintanceship during train ride.
Giulio and Fareed Andrea worked railway ticket checks that day. Their regular job was train driver job but that day they were transferred to ticket checks. After a short chat, Giulio, Fareed Andrea and Alma decided to return home together. They found out that they are neighbors.
Giulio and Fareed Andrea had the same hobby. Fucking. Some people fuck out of enjoyment, some out of entertainment but Giulio and Fareed Andrea fucked to feel accomplished. Fucking for them was the accomplishment!
Fareed Andrea asked Alma to go for a drink. To piazza Reppublica. ,,One more easy woman to fuck’’. After they had two drinks, they took promenade along seaside path.
And just under the stairs, couple of meters away from the seashore. After a bit of her hand job and rubbing against each others, he fucked her. He used all of his strength to hit her interior. The fact that someone could see them in that half-darkness aroused him even more.
In one moment, memories started to haunt Alma. The memories of her eighteenth birthday.
She only had two vodkas mixed with orange juice then the waiter who worked for her father raped her in toilet of the restaurant run by her family.
In the toilet , with his hand over her mouth. The fact that someone could caught him out, made he feel more aroused. No, he was not scared. Alma feels the same guilt. Even today She thinks how if she only have had one vodka instead of two , things would ended up differently. The waiter later confessed everything, to Alma’s father. He said he is not sorry and how he will repeat everything . Alma’s rape has not been reported to the Police. As her mother said: Let’s not shaming out family.”
Alma and Fareed Andrea became friends. The situation looked perfect.
In front of that poor Alma, Fareed Andrea seemed to himself A GREAT MAN.
He taught Alma to speak Italian language. He was buying to her gifts and everyday things.
They were spending their afternoon naps together, listening Shopen’s music .In the evening would returned to Via del Bosco 20, two streets away.
Alma knew she could not move with Fareed Andrea. Fareed Andrea has always thought how he deserves better. He deserves the best. He did not liked immigrant women. He knew immigrant women just wanted to get marry to an Italian man. Fareed Andrea was a son of Iranian men and Italian woman. He had a clear vision of his future with well-educated , rich Italian woman. Despite a clear vision of his future , he was spending most of free time enjoying hot asses of Brazilian men and women and other Latin American people. He enjoyed sex with those people in his town or when he could not find them, he would just travel to some of Latin American countries.
Alma fell in love with her Savior. Her hope to move in his apartment started to grow. They were spending their weekends together. They were isolated for two days, drinking a bit better wine the usually and smoking joints . He did not fuck her anymore. He entered her relaxed. She was the one who dictated the game. Skin pores of his light mocha bald head were releasing drops of sweat and looked more transparent then on Paolo’s bald head. During ,,the game’’ with Alma those drops were traveling from a top of his head down to his hairy back and evaporated in the air.
Fareed Andrea has decided. He will end up his intimacy with Alma. He came to a conclusion how they have become to intimate. He had a fear of not turn Alma into his habit or even worse , addiction. Alma did not fit into vision of his future.
He simply said: ,, We won’t see each other for some time. I will be very busy.’’
Their intimacy intoxicated her. Overwhelming hope for better future vanished after his words. She was could not breath any more. That night Alma ended up in hospital due to panic attack. The drug was circulating to her needle pierced, byzantine color blue vain, slowly returning her mind and body in balance.
After short rehabilitation , Alma satisfied her need for company, online.
She was trying to put together the pieces of herself. Those same pieces that Fareed Andrea took out of her and scattered around. Fareed Andrea missed Alma but he was defending himself from himself and saying to Giulio :
,,If only Alma was mine.. Paolo is so stupid. I would kicked her out a long time ago.’’
Paolo was spending most of his time partying with his friend Mizio. To him it was only important that Alma was in the apartment. Just like a furniture.
Alma managed to meet someone, online. A Bosnian man, working in Germany. Married, with four kids. He just wanted to refresh his life. Emin.
Emin just wanted to take some rest from his dull everyday. His visits to Trieste have become more often. Everything seemed perfect. They were meeting eachother in Fareed’s Andrea’s apartment. Candles, Fareed Andrea was giving keys of his apartment to Alma hoping that she will leave with Emin to Germany if they would meet each other more often. If she leaves he thought , his feelings for Alma will disappear forever.
Alma and Emin had three or four encounters. Mostly , they were always drunk during those encounters. Alma was dressed in black lace lingerie during those encounters just to respect the protocol of making love. Emin did not use condom. He says Allah does not like that. Emin was handsome, tall blond man. He called Alma : ,,His crumb’’.
During their three or four encounters, Alma got pregnant. Emin stopped visiting her.
For Alma kids were life an accomplishment. It was the was how she would display her in front of the people, as ,,real woman.’’
Emin was trying to persuade Alma not to abort their child. ,,It’s haram. A sin’’. he said it.’’
He will try to talk with his parents. He had a earn power to give alimony to Alma and their kid. Time was running out. Alma’s pregnency entered in fifth month. She walked proudly through Paolo’s apartment. Paolo just noticed how his ..home furniture’’ called Alma just gained some weight. ,,She doesn’t exercise or walk, no wonder she gained some weight’’, thought Paolo.
After her pregnancy entered the seventh months , Alma decided to return home. Her family will accept her. It is of great honor to take you a hand of your grand child and go for a walk. Alma’s friend, an Italian women , was trying to explain Alma why decision of keeping the child should be just her decision. Not decision of her family. Not Emin’s decision.
The only answer Alma gave to her friend was : Now, you are speaking like feminists. Feminist don’t shave their legs and they hate men. They are disgusting.’’
Alma’s body stopped to be her body since her 18. birthday. The waiter put his hand over her mouth that day and unzipped his trousers. Since then, the others decide about her body.
The reasons for her leave were the same as for her arrival. The people. If there is the spirit of province , persons live their lives accordingly to the people. If there is a spirit of liberty, persons live their lives accordingly to themselves and without: ,,What the people is going to say?’’
Fareed Andrea made the going away party for Alma. He even painted a very good portrayed for her. In his mind, he was repeating a mantra : ,,Go, Alma, go and don’t return.’’
Paolo shed a couple of tears while he was packing Alma’s things. He knew this time , she is defiantly leaving. For the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina , EU countries approved no visa stay up to three months. The last time Alma went home, she reported the lost of her passport and got a new one. She does not have to hide herself inside of Paolo’s car trunk as she usually did when she was returning home. Paolo was driving her home for the last time. It was a goodbye gift. Although she was leaving the country of her dreams.
She felt happy. She was about to become a mother. That is a serious thing.
She was hoping that Emil will divorce from his wife and she will move to Germany.
In late October morning, Alma was checking her things. Everything was packed in three middle size suitcases. Paolo is now instead of Alma putting , Alma’s suitcases in the trunk.
Alma took a backseat and was watching the gray buildings and each and every street corner. She was trying to memorized them as much as she could. Paolo was trying to make his mind empty and just to drive.
Fareed Andrea was watching from the window of his room, how Paolo’s car is slowly disappearing in the distance. He opened the window and yelled the loudest he could: ,,Go, Alma. Go and don’t return.’’
During next ten days Fareed Andrea was sitting in the angle of his room. He could feel his beard growing so fast.
He was repeating for nine days : ,,Go, Alma, go and don’t return.’’
On tenth day he exhaustively pronounced: ,,Alma, please return. Alma, please return and please stay! Alma don’t go away!’’