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The Age of Guilt

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She forced herself to wake up and she would force herself to do whatever she had to do for the remainder of the day. She would dress the kids in a hurry, make them breakfast, take them to school, go to work where - to put it briefly - she'd suffer for ten long hours, come back home late in the afternoon and cook lunch for the next day, since her husband didn't want to eat the same food two days in a row, clean the house, help the kids with their homework, scold them - even though that made her feel terrible - because they'd have made mistakes and they should do well in school, call her mother and endure her ramblings about her blood sugar levels and her latest medical test results, but mainly about the latest vacation she'd go on with her friends (even though she needed her to wash the dishes or read a story to her little devils). Then she'd listen to her husband whine about his boss, and at night she'd shut her eyes in exhaustion for a short break from this inc…

Halcyon Days

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The last couple of years have been hard on me and it was the first time that I had gone through something like that. Up until my forties my life had been good, without many ups and downs. I grew up in a wealthy family, without any tensions between its members. I was a good student and quite popular at school. I went through college easily and I was quite skilled at business, so I opened a company that was doing well. It took a lot of work, but it was a labor of love. I lived in a condo in a wonderful building on the beach and I had a good and beautiful wife. I thought that we had a successful marriage up until the day when she announced that she felt unhappy living with me for years now. There's no reason to describe that conversation in detail. Besides, I was so shocked that I only remember it vaguely. However, I will never forget the look in her eyes when she told me that I never gave her anything.           A few months later the recession hit my own company as well, so I was f…

The Next Corner

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He spent most of his childhood with his grandparents. When he mentioned this while talking with people that didn't know him all that well, he could see the pity in their eyes since the first thing that they assumed was that he was orphaned at an early age. Most of the time he would use the same words to explain. "No, no... I haven't lost my parents. My father was in the Army and he got transferred all the time. My mother was, and still is, a painter. They thought it best that I lived with my grandparents so that I would grow up in a constant environment. My father's father was also in the army, so my father often recalled how horrible it was, having to switch towns, houses, schools, friends every couple of years. They did come to visit the occasional weekend and I would spend the holidays at whichever house they lived in at the time." The people he was talking with would then seem relieved because surely they would be at a loss for words had he told them that his p…

A Path Amongst the Trees

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Every morning he goes for a walk down a path amongst trees. It's a small trail in a park at the edge of town, where he can see some greenery, listen to the birdsongs and stop thinking about his life for a while. Let's start from the beginning. The young man who likes to walk down this path without thinking about his life is an unemployed nurse in his late twenties, who has recently broken up with a young hairdresser and who lives with his retired father and housewife mother in a relatively small apartment. In addition to that, his grandmother who weighs 260 pounds moved in with them recently because she can't walk anymore, so he is forced to sleep in the dining room, on an uncomfortable sofa, since his grandmother wanted to have her own room and that was the term they agreed upon if he wanted her to give him her pension. So, you could say that he rented his room to his grandmother. That rent is his only source of income since eighteen months ago, when his short term contrac…

A Trip to the Zoo

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I woke up in a bad mood this morning, without knowing why. My wife was waiting for me all dressed up. She had made my favorite breakfast. "Hurry up, love", she said, "we 're going to be late". "Where are we going?" "To the zoo." But of course, how did I forget? They had arranged it weeks ago, with her best friend, her husband and their six year old boy. I think that my wife was even more anxious to go there than the boy and I couldn't understand why. Often I would give up on trying to understand her and this was one of those times. So, one night, when I was watching the news, I mumbled in agreement when she asked me to go with her to the zoo because we are a couple and it wouldn't be right if she went on her own. We pay for our mistakes and now it was time for me to pay for the fact that I chose to waste one Sunday rather than listen to her whining. But now that this Sunday has come, I wished I had thrown the remote control at the wall …