сряда, 18 юни 2008 г.

Gabriela





Joro has been driving for a full day and now he absentmindedly turned the wheel, trying to avoid the holes on the road. Bumps and holes on Sofia beltway has doubled in number after the last reconstruction. It was spring now and Joro head ached. The pain was there for two straight years now. His wife, Stanka, has left him when he became a driver of a municipal bus on the 111 line. She took their child with her and re-married a cop from the 4th Precinct.
A horse cart with three gypsies in it and loaded with old tins was lingering in front of the bus. Something fell from the cart and just missed the windscreen of the bus. Joro started swearing. This took him two years back to the day when he and Stanka had this shouting raw. The insults they had told each other then started to re-emerge in his head like badly put road signs that could not stop the bad memories at all. „Joro, I don’t want you anymore. You cannot do anything else except to turn the wheel. You can’t even earn the money for the kid, damn you! I will go and live with Mitko, he’s a cop and he knows how to make money!”
After the divorce, only the uneven contours of the route of bus line 111, endlessly winding to the horizon, kept Joro away from suicide. He started to work overtime, sometimes taking the two daily shifts for four days in a row. He worked on all holidays. Soon, his eyes rounded and stuck out of their sockets. Joro became a long and a winding road. He resembled a large insect with tentacles tightly gripping the wheel. His co-werkers started calling him Grasshopper Joro. He decided never to have a girlfriend again. At least for an year. Suddenly, something tore him away from his thoughts.
Schoolgirl:
May I come on your side of this bar!

A scantily clad schoolgirl has came on the bus on the last stop. She’s chewing a gum, makes pink balloons and looks at him lovingly. After riding the bus for a while without being noticed she finally decides to speak to the driver.

Driver:
Come on over!
The girl raises herself over the bar and leans on the door.

Schoolgirl:

You have very nice hands, they look skillful. And you turn that wheel really fast.

Joro has seen all kinds of passengers but this time he turns and has a look at the girl for the first time. Despite the heavy make-up, he manages to see that she not older than 13. he is imprased by the playful sparks in her eyes.

Driver:
How old are you, young lady?
Schoolgirl:
Nineteen.
Driver:
Come on!
Schoolgirl:
Alright, I’m fifteen. But I look older!

Driver:
Cool. But now you have to go – you are distracting me!

Schoolgirl:
So, you like me. If I am distracting you..!

Joro turns around to have a good look at her and the bus enters a series of bumps and holes.

Schoolgirl:
I’m Gabriela. And I won’t bother you anymore. I shut up..

Dangerous thoughts fill Joro’s head. He likes the schoolgirl. He wants her. The otherwise comfortable driver seat suddenly becomes uncomfortable. He’s got nowhere to run.

Schoolgirl:
Do you wanna fuck me in the ass.

The life-bitten people in the bus do not hear and do not notice anything around them. They just look out not to miss their stop. Suddenly the driver hits the breaks and passengers start murmuring that he drives as he was hauling potato sacks.
Driver:
Beat it!
Schoolgirl:
Keep your eyes on the road, driver!

Driver:
Shouln’t you be at school now?

Schoolgirl:
Watch the road, you’re gonna kill somebody. Seems to me I was wrong – you cannot drive at all.

Joro sinks into himself and forgets about the embarrassing, nasty girl. She had spit her gum into her hand and is now sticking it on the dashboard in front her. Then, she get over the bar and goes to take a seat in the back of the bus. Several stops down the road, Joro forgets about the schoolgirl and his own personal problems. The only thing he thinks about is the road in front of him...

On the last stop, during the last run, the driver gets out to buy some coffee from a vending machine. When he goes back to the bus, he sees the girl on the back seat.

Driver:

You still here?

Joro sees the tears in girl’s eyes.
Driver:
What happened to you?

Schoolgirl:
Nobody wants me.

Driver:
Go home, your parents must be worried.

A fat lady dispatcher comes to the bus and Joro stands still, startled.

Schoolgirl:

Can I sleep over in your bus tonight? Just close the doors as I am not here.

The dispatcher get on the bus from the front door and looks curiously at the back seats where Joro talks to the schoolgirl.

Dispatcher:
Did you fill your day form, my shift is almost over?

Driver:
Just a minute.

Schoolgirl:
Please, mister, don’t throw me out. I have nowhere to go. They will beat me up at home for not bringing enough money.

Driver:
How much you need?

Schoolgirl:

50 Leva.

Joro takes out his wallet and gives the girl a fifty-leva note.

Schoolgirl:
Don’t you want me to please you!?

Driver:
I’m tired. Please, get off now.

Schoolgirl:
I’ll come back tomorrow!

The schoolgirl goes, but turns around and waves him good-bye. A happy smile is shining on her face.

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