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Contemporary

Peter lies in a semi-dark room, and the quiet music coming from the speakers slowly draws him into the world of Smetana's Vltava.

Slightly bouncing water over the rocks on a quiet summer day.

Clear blue water splashes greenery all around the river.

The faint sun warms and softens every drop.

Suddenly here and there a drop of rain, but it does not bother the course of the river that slowly goes on.

The breeze, which has only been blowing so far, is slowly increasing and bending the blades of grass next to the water.

For just a moment, everything calms down again, like a lull before a storm.

Then the bigger drops and the stronger wind raise the waves that bounce faster and faster.

The water is getting darker, almost black. Muddy dark clouds pour summer rain on the river and the surrounding area.

And just as it started, it calms down in an instant.

The clouds part and the sun shines again on the river which calms down and returns to its steady rhythm…

Music has always affected him like this. Since when does he know for himself. He sees everything through it. These are the only moments when he can take a deep breath and at least for a moment forget about everything that is happening around him.

And they have been trying to take that away from him for many years. He knows very well what family is and what loyalty is. He had heard it countless times before, but where was he? Where is what fills him and makes him happy?

He has been working in a family business for years, he has never made it a problem, only now he is already suffocating it so much that he does not know if he will welcome every next new day.

Whenever he mentioned his dreams, his father would just smile in his face and wave his hand. " Noone does not live from dreams," he would say and go to work.

But he dies from suffocating dreams, he would think, though he had never dared say it out loud before. Why everyone had always considered him more joking when he wasn't.

Maybe someone can live life like this, maybe he could, but why all this? He knows that father will be angry, his mother will cry somewhere where no one sees her, and his sister and brother who have had their families for a long time and do not live with them just look across at him.

He also respected customs, because the last one in the family always stays with his parents. He just couldn't help but ask why it had happened to him.

He didn't want to be ungrateful, he had so much that many didn't, it just wasn't crucial to him. These were all earthly things and meant nothing to him.

He also knows all his responsibilities for today, he just can’t bring himself to get up from this room and this corner of the universe surrounded by the music he loves so much.

He loves. And that's a weak word. Music permeated all the pores of his being, maybe he needed another one. It doesn't really matter. He never needed words for something he felt, especially not for music.

He may not go to work, but he will have to admit to his parents, no matter how difficult it may be. Today could be that day. He is as good as any other. He knows it will hit them all, but he no longer has the strength to go against himself.

Even as he walks around town from his apartment to his parents' house, he's not quite sure how the conversation will go, but that doesn't stop him from constantly spinning all sorts of scenarios in his head. It just doesn’t help at all, but it still can’t stop. His parents weren’t bad people, they just limited their little world to work over the years and saw nothing beyond that.

Least of all he wanted to hurt them. Nor diminish their merits for his life or the successes of their and other children. Only, he was different, he wanted them to see it. He wanted recognition from the people who love him the most and who are closest to him.

The mother is in the kitchen and the father is watching a series. Maybe it's better that it's just the three of them tonight. Well, even before they sit down at the table, Peter says "I'm resigning" from the door.

Maybe those weren’t the right words, maybe he should have been a little more subtle, a little prepared, but it didn’t really matter anymore. Words are just a means of expression, and he wanted to express himself in another way. Now it is only up to them whether they will open their heart and understand it or… He is ready, so he just stands and waits.

The father is still silent and watching TV. Peter knows that's not a good sign. The mother pretends not to hear anything and talks as she sets the table. He's not sure if he should sit down or leave, but he can't help but stand buried in the place by the door.

In fact, he has no strength to explain or argue anymore. He repeated the same thing enough times. No sense in telling you now - I don't wanna ruin the suprise.

He sits down at the table though and the three of them eat. A heavy and gloomy silence loomed over the three people who were supposed to be the family. Who should have an understanding for each other. So why does only he feel guilty?

Neither mother nor father are old people, they are in their best years. There will always be someone to help them, all they need to do is let him fly.

After dinner he sees that there is no point in prolonging the agony. He gets up, kisses his mother on the forehead and nods to his father who doesn't even look at him. He leaves the house where he grew up and goes for a walk before returning to the apartment. No matter what happens from now on, he is finally free, so he takes a few deep breaths and smiles.

Life awaits him, finally…

November 27, 2020 17:17

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