She is a bit more than seventy years old. She has grey hair, a frightened look and is a bit hunchbacked. She is thin. When you see such a person like she is, you have a feeling that she is constantly afraid of something. She is not standing
in the middle of the room, but hiding somewhere in the edge of the room or behind the door. In summer, you can smell her. She stinks, although she washes herself every day. She is dressed horribly. Always something that she got from other people who were already old, or two little or too big… She never wears new clothes or something bought for her. Whenever I saw her before, she was quiet, but always like a grey mouse… invisible. She was there, but nobody saw her. When she was twenty years old, she was very beautiful. She had a boyfriend from her village. He was all over her and wanted to persuade her to come with him abroad, cross the Atlantic into Canada. I don’t know why she didn’t go. Maybe she was afraid to leave her beloved father and mother, her sisters and her country. Or maybe there was already her future man around… In any case, her suitor went to Canada and married another girl there.
She stayed here and married another man who circled around her. They got a job in a factory and lived in an old house, which he inherited and which was always threatened to fall apart. They had two children. Nobody liked him, from the bigger family, but they didn’t have guts to say this aloud. Also she said that he beats her. Soon it was clear, that he was alcoholic, like his parents were. She was living as a grey mouse. The kids grew up and went to live on their own. They both retired. Because she was telling how he beat her, her sister got a flat for her. But she didn’t want to go there.
She went back to him again. She told the family that he was drunk every day and that he apologized when it was over, but the next day continued the same. But after she was seventy years old, he beat he so hard, that she ran away to her son’s house. And she didn’t go back. She doesn’t have any assets, not even her clothes, but she has her life and she is free.
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