SHE

by Matilda Colarossi

Another endless discussion. Dysfunctional, as they all were, and silent departing.

From the next room, the words took on a familiar hue. She listened, not listening. They were always the same words. They started with “she” and trailed off into a familiar refrain which would no longer touch her.

She heard them nod and whisper. Conspiring.

She, different, and lonely, and alone. The odd one out.

No real family for her, but also no more self-loathing.

Murmurings like the tide ebbing and flowing, peaks of sound like waves splashing against innocent rocks, filtered under the door like indecorous smells from septic tanks  on cold winter days.

She laid the clothes carefully in her suitcase; she rolled thread bare socks into corners; she tucked  fake silk scarves into pockets. Zipped and closed hermetically.

She, another she was being described in the adjoining room. She, another she, was being ravaged. It was the she that had helped them get through life. The common enemy. It was the she that had made their miserable lives less miserable. The black sheep

She frowned. She put the suitcase on the floor. She pulled out  the handle. She wheeled it to the bedroom door.

She smiled. She made lame excuses for an early departure that were accepted with relief. She kissed and hugged and embraced embarrassed faces. She said “No, thank you, I’ve called a cab.”

She walked out into the cold holiday air and breathed like she had never breathed before.

Behind her, the words took on a familiar hue. She listened from the front porch, not listening. They were always the same words. They started with “she” and trailed off into a familiar refrain.

LEI

by Matilda Colarossi

Un’altra discussione interminabile. Disfunzionale, come tutte le altre, e un addio di silenzi.

Le parole dalla stanza accanto cominciavano ad assumere un tono familiare. Ascoltava senza ascoltare. Erano sempre le stesse frasi. Iniziavano tutte con “lei” e per poi trasformarsi nel solito mugugno appena percettibile che d’ora in poi l’avrebbe lasciata del tutto indifferente.

Li sentiva annuire e bisbigliare. Complotti.

Lei, diversa, e abbandonata, e sola. L’intrusa.

Non c’era più una vera famiglia per lei, ma neanche il disprezzo di sé. Non più.

Quei mormorii erano maree di parole, onde sonore che si frangevano contro rocce inermi, filtrando senza ritegno da sotto la porta come il tanfo delle fosse biologiche nei giorni invernali.

Mise con cura i vestiti nella valigia; i calzini logori ben arrotolati negli angoli e i foulard di finta seta infilati nelle tasche. Chiuse per bene la zip.

Quella che stavano descrivendo nella stanza accanto era un’altra lei. Un’altra lei quella che stavano facendo a pezzi. La stessa lei che aveva consentito loro di farsi forza e andare avanti. Il nemico comune. Colei che aveva reso le loro squallide vite meno squallide. La pecora nera.

Aggrottando la fronte, posò la valigia sul pavimento. Estrasse il manico e la trascinò fino alla porta della camera da letto.

Con un sorriso, si inventò delle scuse poco convincenti per andarsene in anticipo. Le accettarono sollevati. Li abbracciò e baciò tutti. Sui loro volti l’imbarazzo. Poi disse “ No, grazie, ho chiamato un taxi”.

Uscì nell’aria fredda dell’inverno e respirò come non aveva mai fatto prima.

Dietro di lei, le parole andavano assumendo di nuovo quel tono familiare. Le ascoltava dalla veranda, senza ascoltare. Erano sempre le stesse frasi. Cominciavano con “lei” per poi trasformarsi nel solito mugugno appena percettibile.

Translation by ArabellaBertola

Arabella Bertola, born in Vicenza, is a translator, teacher and writer. In 2011, she collaborates with the actor and director Matteo Belli in the translation of the play “Nice” by Mustapha Matura, for the Sant’Andrea Theatre in Pisa. Lover of the arts, she has collaborated with the literary blog svolgimentoblog.com . In 2014, with Amici del Castrum, she contributes to the realization of the literary fest Serravalle Letteratur@: Scrivere, Leggere, Twittare , Museo Cenedese in Serravalle di Vittorio Veneto.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeaAry

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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