Sometimes a great love comes with a breakup. It has to end. Everything’s going well, you’re living happily, and suddenly it has to end. You realize breakup is staring you in the face.
And you still love. I cried, I cried, I’m still crying. I couldn’t understand why. My eyes were gone, that’s how puffy my face was. I was 26 at the time. We were going to go to a wedding together, then we were going to get married. He was older than me by about 10 years, he had a good, respected profession, I probably climbed too high up the ladder in Uzdin. She laughs. I didn’t want to say one bad word to him about this decision. But on Sunday, I decided to go to that wedding that we were supposed to go to together. I wanted to dance. I wanted to see him one more time.
And so I went. People were dancing in a circle, in a horă, he had his sunglasses on, and when the horă turned, he faced me and he saw me and his face went white. Even the sunglasses went white. That’s all it took for me to move on and stop crying. It was hard for me, I had to study, I wanted to go to college, and I was so easily hurt. Since I didn’t lose my mind then, I told myself, I would never lose my head for a man again. But before we parted, this was before ’81, I dreamed that we were in the city of Zrenjanin, it was me and, to my left, a child with blond hair, big shoes and thick feet, with socks one, and next to him a man, I didn’t see his face. The blond child walked between us, and at one point the child shook the man’s hand and said to him: … I am yours, why don’t you want me?
We were standing at a traffic light, waiting for the light to turn green. That was my dream. I got up, I told my mother what I had dreamt, that it was a blond child. And years went by, we broke up, like I told you, just like that, and then I met David’s dad. And I told him that you and I are going to have a baby, but he didn’t want it. He didn’t believe me. But I didn’t forget about the dream. Years went by and David, our son, shows up. We weren’t married yet. Things were going pretty well, but I knew that with or without him, the child was mine to raise. David’s father fled the war, he went to America, I was pregnant at the time. He was going to come back and we were going to get married, it was only normal. David was born, we spent the first two years without him, without my husband. With or without him, he had already changed his mind, the marriage didn’t happen and I took my baby and we went to our house, to my mother’s house.
I don’t regret the choices I made, but I never had a regular life. My mother supported me and the child. And so did my father. My parents were already old, but my son brought great joy to the house. I didn’t feel complete, that I can say. But I was able to live like that. What could I do?
David’s father was everything a woman could want. He knew how to treat women. Especially since he’d been married before. I was the same. That’s why all the odds were in our favor. But it wasn’t meant to be. I was 38 when I had David, and I hit 40 without a man by my side. I didn’t want to humiliate myself, to beg for something or someone. In time he understood that he had been wrong, that I was a good mother and that I didn’t lie. But he died.
My child suffered a lot. He didn’t deserve this. I didn’t want to hurt him.
Photo credit: Diana Bilec
English translation: Cristina Chira