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The closed shutters

The closed shutters

Niki Blouti
21 May, 2024

In our house we always had our shutters closed. My own mother slept during the day and worked at night. She was a woman of the night. In the evenings she left us three children alone in the apartment and left for her work. I remember going out on the balcony and calling her from above to come back. I was a nine-year-old girl and fear crept into my soul every time she moved away from us.

 My own mother was sick. She drank to forget, she drank because that was the only way she felt good, she was terribly addicted to drink and so she almost never managed to be consistent with her obligations. My own mother needed our care. Instead of her making us milk, we made sure we had her coffee ready when she woke up. He would come home in the morning and wake up in the late afternoon. He was almost never in the mood. Many times she argued with us about our dress and yelled at us for going to school like that and making her a badass. But he didn't make sure that we had our clothes ready for the next day even from the evening. She was constantly lost in a world of her own that we couldn't fit into. 

What I vividly remember from my childhood is my anxiety when returning from school to see the shutters of our house open in the distance, like the other houses in the neighborhood. I remember my longing to smell the fragrance of our pot from afar, as my nose was musked and tickled by the smells of what all the housewives in the neighborhood were preparing for their own. But our shutters were always closed and no smell enveloped me while I weighed. Our mother was always still asleep when we children came home. This image has crippled every memory from my childhood. The closed shutters of our house. That's why today every morning when I open my eyes, before I even get the children ready for school, I run to open the shutters wide, so that the light and the sun rush into our house. Even in my dreams I am haunted by closed shutters and I see myself forcefully open them to invite the new day to pass into that old house of ours…”

 

 

 

Excerpt from the anecdotal short story "The Closed Shutters"

 

photo lecreusois / https://pixabay.com 

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