By Reshat Kripa
The twelfth part
– “People who have never known dictatorship and tyranny find it easy to give in to the rhetoric about freedom, forgetting the simple and terrible reality of willful oppression where it always exists”.
Giovani Sartori: “Once again for the theory of democracy”.
Memorie.al/ Robert Krasta, had made it a habit that on every anniversary of his parents, he would go to the cemetery and place a bunch of flowers on their grave. He would look at the picture stamped on the porcelain and start a conversation with them. He had been doing this habit for a long time. The conversation seemed to soothe his soul. He told them about everything that had happened in the family. Sometimes, when he found difficulty in something, he asked them for help, and it seemed to him that they answered him. Perhaps this, could be some guess of his own, yet he believed it.
Continues from the previous issue
The new year began with serious problems for the Canaj family. Agroni continued to stay in the dungeons of the Department of Internal Affairs. As for Lumto, the death of the girl had caused him a serious trauma. But if that wasn’t enough, another issue had come before him. More than a month had passed and she was not getting her period. The thought that she might have become pregnant terrified her. He spent the whole night almost without sleep.
She sat and thought about her black fate. How would it appear before the eyes of her friends and especially Agron, if such a thing were true? What should he say to them? Tell him the truth? This was impossible. Then remove it with the help of some old midwife? Who assured that such a thing would not be found out? Perhaps the old woman could not keep such a secret?! The oil covered her and she cried and cried silently for hours.
– I keep walking. I continue to live. Until when? I don’t know, she kept repeating to herself. – Is it worth it? Again, I don’t know. Rida, it’s been a month since he flew. What heaven is he in? Probably too far. Surrounded by angels. Or maybe from the centaurs that carried him so far. Rida, tell me where are you? Mother is waiting for you. I miss you, my daughter. I have no one to complain to. Ah, if only I had Gon by my side! We would share the pain together.
Your mother has another, bigger problem, my daughter. My whole-body shivers when I remember it. I think I’m expecting a baby. But he is neither your brother nor your sister. He is the child of a monster. Surely, he too will be a devil, just like his father. But you were an angel. Can I have an angel like you and a devil like him?
Mother Gjyla looked at the state of the bride with concern. She was also worried about her son and granddaughter, but it was clear that, in this situation, they had to be strong. They were not to let themselves go. The poor old woman did not know the truth of what had happened.
– Bride, collect your mind! – he said one day. – Why do you come around and whisper to yourself? Why did you let yourself go?
– I am a mother and my heart hurts for my daughter. In addition, Agroni is also in prison and I don’t know if he will come out one day. For these I cry and mourn
– What if I’m not a mother? I too lost my husband at your age and now I don’t know if I will see my son again, because I am old and I don’t know how long I will live. And Irida, was she not my niece, the honey of my honey?
I loved her more than my daughter, if God had given me a daughter. But I keep myself. Misfortunes have taught me to be strong. So should you. Don’t please those who don’t love us.
Her words somehow calmed Lumto’s heart. He would get up, do the housework and read a book. In those moments, he seemed to forget the situation. But this did not last long. The tragedy had happened. Irida was dead. There were only two lonely cuckoos left in the family, separated from the rest of the world. The people who came to them for comfort waxed and waned. There came a day when they too were finished and only those two remained, covered in pain and grief.
On a late January evening, there was a knock at the door of the house. Mother Gjyla got up and opened it. Before her stood Syrjau with a bunch of white roses in his hand.
– Order inside, – he said.
He entered as if timidly. He sat down in a chair he found in front of him.
– No, not there. Order sits on the couch.
– Thank you, but I am very well. I’ve seen worse and now it looks pretty good.
– Get up please and sit on the sofa. Insult us if you don’t agree.
He got up and sat where he was told.
– I am very sorry, – said to Lumturija. – But you have to become strong. Man must face every adversity that falls upon him.
– But can we? Lumtua shook her head.
– You have to impose it on yourself. You have to find the strength to face it. Did you know it’s been worse?
– And where can it be worse than that?
– You have it right here in front of your eyes.
– What do you mean by that?
– It’s me. Once upon a time I also had parents, brothers and sisters, grandchildren. I also had a family. What about now? Nothing. My father was shot. My mother died when I was in prison. The brother fled abroad and the wife married someone else, taking the children with her. My sister died during childbirth, leaving her husband with a five-year-old son. Out of fear, he cut off relations with me and I haven’t seen my grandchildren for several years.
I myself live in a hut on the outskirts of the city. I work in the agricultural enterprise and with the little money I get, I barely live. In front of the hut I planted several types of flowers. I have a passion for it. They are the members of my family today. I am not married. When I got out, after twenty years in prison, I couldn’t decide to get married. So, my only pleasure remained the flowers. I made this bouquet from them. They are roses that bloom all year round. I brought them for the house flower. Although she is no more, she remains the flower of this house. A flower that will never wither.
Syrjau was silent. The two women looked at his suffering face and realized that there were far greater disasters in the world
– Thank you very much! – finally said Happiness. – Tomorrow these roses, I will show Rida, that she was really a rose.
– So, I tell you to be strong, — Syrjau continued in his low and persuasive voice. – You are young. Agroni will one day be released and you will give birth to more children and then the memory of Irida will turn into a beautiful dream of the past.
Syrjau got up, met them and left.
– Don’t forget what I told you, – he said while running away.
Both women were speechless. His words seemed to have struck their hearts. Surprisingly, they felt calmer. He had been right. The world was big and the disasters, although they were so big, still found a solution.
– Did you hear that? They are the golden words of a wise man, – said mother Gjyla.
– What about me, where can he find the strength of that man?
– We have to find him. We have to find it together.
– I can’t, mother, I can’t.
The next day Lumtua went to the cemetery and placed the bunch of flowers that Syrjau had brought. End of January and period did not come. This convinced Lumto that she was pregnant. A criminal’s child was growing inside her. Now she was sure of what had happened. He had to make a decision.
The girl was approaching her forties. Preparations had to be made to commemorate that day, to welcome those who would come. Then he would see and act, as was most reasonable. One day, being in a bad state of mind, she went to her friend Anita’s house to find some peace. He did not find it at home. The next day, when he met him, he asked:
– Where were you last night?
– We were at my mother’s, because we had poisoned the house for the turtles.
A thought flashed in the mind.
– Maybe it’s a bit too much for you that we also have bedbug.
– Posi, I will bring it tomorrow.
The next day he gave Lumto a small bottle of poison.
– It is very strong. Pour in five liters of water and spray the rooms.
– Thank you!
On the fortieth day he got up early and went to the cemetery.
– Wait for me to come too, – said mother Gjylua
– No, you’d better stay here, because someone might come and find no one.
In the cemetery, he knelt by the girl’s grave and placed some bunches of flowers, which he had bought in the market. He was looking at the picture on the granite slab he had just placed and tears were streaming down his face.
– Irida, aren’t you bored waiting for me? I will come mother’s daughter and we will be together forever.
He got up, wiped his tears, kissed the picture and went home. I didn’t cry anymore. All day she waited for the people who came and, in the evening, she locked herself in her room, where she stayed for about two hours. Then he returned to the kitchen, where Gjylua’s mother was also, and handing him a closed envelope, he said:
– This letter is for Agron. I’ll give it to you when you get out of jail.
– What is this letter, my daughter? Yes, you are much younger and you don’t have to give it to me who is old and I don’t know if it will live or not until then!
– Yes, nono. You will live and give him this letter. I wrote it for him.
– Why do you say these words to me, my daughter? What are you planning to do?
– Nothing, but I feel that I have evil in here, – and he pointed to his stomach with his hand. – I don’t have it very long. I will be reunited with my daughter and I don’t want to leave without telling my husband the truth.
– Collect your mind, my daughter.
But she spoke no more. She left and locked herself in her room again. Mother Gjyla thought that she had it from the pain that arose from the commemoration of the forties. Tomorrow this would pass and in time everything would take its course. Lumtua returned again, set the table and ate dinner in silence without speaking to each other. Then he got up and when he went to the door of the room.
– Good night! – said mother to Gjylos in a strange voice.
The next day, mother Gjylua got up early as usual. He made the coffee and was drinking it. She remembered the words the bride had said to her and felt a disturbance within her. He looked at the clock. It read a quarter past six. Why was the bride not getting up? She usually got up before six o’clock. On the seventh he left for school. He got up and knocked on her door. No answer. He knocked again and called:
Again, no response was heard. He opened the door and went inside. Lying on the bed was the bride, dressed in a black dress that she had made on the occasion of her daughter’s death. A pale look had covered his face. On the lip a row of foam Went and put his hand on his forehead. He was cold as ice. Mother Gjylua trembled. Next to the body he saw a small empty bottle. He smelled it. He realized it was poison. There was a puddle on the dresser. He read:
Don’t accuse anyone. My life had no meaning anymore. Happiness.
– Why did you do it, my daughter?
He began to cry softly so that no one would hear him. He kissed her forehead and tears were streaming down her cheeks. She had no daughter and Lumtua had become her daughter. Then he picked up the phone and called the Home Office.
They came right away. They took the body and took it to the hospital. The autopsy showed that he had died of cochineal poisoning. The coroner observed that there was a nearly three-month-old child in her womb. Lumton knew him very well. He also knew her character. He thought that something extraordinary must have happened, something incredible. Therefore, in the relevant minutes, he did not write anything as far as he noticed. They brought him home again. Mother Gjyla did all the honors. The next day they buried him next to Irida’s grave. Skenderi, although he was notified, did not come this time to participate in his sister-in-law’s funeral.
Mother Gjyla was left alone. Misfortunes had followed him throughout his life. But they had made him stronger. He went to the dresser, took the picture where the son and his wife and daughter had appeared and said:
– Congratulations and Irida, rest in peace! Agron, I will not leave alone. I’ll wait until you come back. This is Lumto’s bequest and I will keep it. He kissed the picture and two tears rolled down his cheeks. She wiped them off, put the picture in its place and went back to her room.
Chairman Petriti was thinking in his office. In front of his hands, there was an investigative report, which Demiri had handed over to him. It was Agron’s minutes. He read it and thought. In it, the entire hostile activity of the group of six people, headed by Stefan Gjoka, was described in detail. Their main accuser was Agron Canaj, who had signed that document.
The chairman knew that among those who had denounced were also two employees of the company, Resul Sulejmani and Ibrahim Mehmeti, but their names did not appear there. They were kept to be used on another occasion. For this turn, Agron’s signature was enough. Other witnesses would be found. The goal was achieved. With this, it was shown to his minister that the effective of the Branch, which he led, was performing the task in the best way in the fight against foreign appearances and hostile activities.
Of course, in this regard, Demiri also had a merit. He was able to extract from Agroni the statement they were looking for. On the basis of that statement, the arrest of the responsible persons was also carried out. Their unmasking in the eyes of the working class was done. So far everything had gone well.
After a few months, when the investigative process was finished with the depositions of others, a judicial process would take place, which would be remembered for a long time. And he would also have a merit for this, as the head of that institution. Of course, it was a great discovery. This thought bothered the sedra. Maybe with this stone career paths were opened for higher, in the ministry.
Meanwhile, mother Gjyla had arrived at the Department of Internal Affairs. He asked to meet Mayor Petrit.
– Tell him that the wife of the war martyr, Bexhet Canaj, is looking for him, – he told the guards at the gate.
They replied that the mayor was not there
– Then, I will stay here until he returns.
Demiri and Ilia came near lunch. When they saw mother Gjylon they turned yellow in the face.
– What does this devil want here? – they said to each other.
Then addressing her:
– Why did you come?
– Who killed my daughter? – cried the poor mother.
They started talking to him to calm him down. But she persisted. A policeman was forced to alert the mayor, who ordered him to be brought inside.
– Why are you worried, my mother? – asked the chairman.
– They shot me in the heart.
– Do not worry. Agron will soon appear before the court and if he is innocent, he will be released. In our country, no one is punished for nothing.
– I did not come for my son.
– For whom did you come then?
– For my daughter, son and daughter-in-law.
– What do they do here?
– Didn’t you find out anything?
– No, – he said, playing the role of the defendant.
– They don’t live anymore.
– Condolences. I didn’t know anything.
– I am looking for the cause of their death inside your offices.
– In our offices? Why?
– Your officers took them and brought them here. When they left here, the girl was mad, while the bride was quite deranged. After a month, the granddaughter jumped from the hospital balcony, while the daughter-in-law ended her life these days.
– When did this happen?
– The night of the anniversary of the liberation festival.
– Who were those officers?
– I don’t know their names, but they were now excluded.
The chairman thought. The mother wanted an answer and he had to find such a solution, so as not to cause a scandal in his offices.
– Go home and stay calm, – said mother to Gjylos. – This work will be solved by me.
Mother Gjyla left somewhat calmed by the president’s words. He worriedly began to think about what had happened. It was a serious event that, if found out, could cost him his job. It is true that he had told her to act as she saw fit, but he had not told her to include a child in this dance. Now the word could be spread throughout the city and the scandal would spread. It was necessary to act quickly and calmly. Knock on the gate. – Come in! Memorie.al