“Change” (by Xenia Gianakis)

The phone rang but nobody answered it. This was indeed a change…The telephone has never been left in the office to ring twice. His heart was beating stronger than the sound of the phone ringing over and over again, till the moment Eugene opened the door and saw Dimitris standing on his chair, in front of his cute sign with a marker on his hand correcting the word “Tomorrow” to “TODAY!” (all in capital letters).

Today was the real keyword for Dimitris, the one that could unlock a door that remained shut for many years. This reminded him of the single most important milestone of his life: His father’s death. He always wished things would be different between him and his dad, but unfortunately, the “tomorrow” proved faster than him…his dad died, leaving Dimitris unable to establish contact with him. He always said that tomorrow things would be better for the two of them, but…

So, there is only “today” and nothing but today. He turned his head calmly, gave Eugene a steady look and said:

“Get me Kyriopoulos over the phone. I expect him tomorrow morning at 9.00am in my office. Oh, by the way…I wanted to tell you ever since this morning that even if there is no tomorrow, and we still have today… I wish to say: Thank you…for all those years…I am grateful!”

Eugene, calmly , shut the door slowly behind her, finding it hard to conceal her surprise but also her happiness at the same time.

Dimitris picked-up the phone and realized that it was his own gorgeous Mary in the other end of the telephone line.

“Yes Mary…it’s ok…tell me…what happened ? What is this important matter that you wish to share with me?”

“I have to see you in person. You can hardly believe in the change that just happened in our lives! I am so, so excited… Dimitris, do you love me?”

“Don’t become sentimental Mary! You know that I love you! What is it all about?”

She can not be talking about changes today…how can it be? he thought.

“Can I see you tonight? I know – I know…there is a game on TV…please Dimitris…what time can we meet?”

“My darling, I don’t know…shall we say around 9pm? Shall I come by your place?”

“Hmm…better not. I will pass-by yours, same time. Don’t be late! Kisses. I love you so much!”

What a girl that Mary was. She was almost 32 years of age. Pretty, chic, dynamic, decisive and successful – very successful! In everything that she did! There were times, that Dimitris felt jealous of her success but concealed it from her…she was a woman after all…she had it easier on her way to the top…travelling…whereas Dimitris in his office with a very tight job description, and pre-determined set of duties.

After he placed his last phone call, he completed his remaining tasks for the day before he finally took the way home. It was still 8:30pm and he found it appropriate to grab a good bottle of wine to celebrate what he thought would be just another promotion of his beloved Mary. He entered the corner wine store, picked by hand 2 or 3 bottles of wine and walked towards his house. It was rather dark outside, he could see people walk beside him, past him…others standing by the bus-stop…He could see them with their heads down…troubled…depressed…you could gather with certainty that they were making some kind of calculations and of course there was no space – no time – for dreaming. The kids…the special tutors…the bills…the job…it was impossible to squeeze dreams in those people’s heads. The burden of their problems was weighting down their shoulders, so that you could tell from a distance how unbearable it was…and the feelings…the pain…so much pain…so much toxicity produced from the brains of those people…toxic enough not for themselves but also for the people around them…how do they survive…what thoughts and words do they exchange?

“Dimitris…my dear…I do not believe it…I saw you coming…I just arrived…what’s wrong? You seem troubled…Come on…shall we go upstairs?”

“Oh, it’s nothing, really, don’t pay any attention…just kiss me with a sweet kiss!” he said shifting to a positive mood.

Every time Dimitris opened the door of his flat, he could see across a beautiful painting with a natural scene. The scene of the life he still missed living, coming alive each time he returned home to remind him of his dream, his beautiful farm to-be by his mind-forties, full of the green and the harmony of nature. This is how a family should live, he said, inside nature, away from the toxic, city life. Till that time, though, the only natural way of living he enjoyed was some weekends in Arahova mountain and the dreams he had in his head.

“Well, what’s the surprise you brought me in tonight, darling?”

“Oh no! I am not going to tell you that easy. You will have to find out! I will give you some clues, though…”

Mary always had her ways, to take complete control of your attention. She knew how to be the center of the discussion, how to dominate the game. She always loved having control… How could he spoil that for her…he loved her so much!

“Ok then, let’s play your game…give me the clues…”

“I expect a sentence from you that will change the lives of both of us…”

“This is no clue…”

“Come-on Dimitris…concentrate…what is missing from our relationship that will take it to the next level?”

“Our relationship? This has nothing to do with another promotion?”

“Promotion…?! Oh, you could call it a ‘promotion’!”

“For both of us…we will both get this promotion!”

“Oh Mary, when you want to tease me…you really do! Come on tell me, I can not stand these games of yours…”

“’Games’, yes, this is a clue…”

“Mary!!! I can not stand this any longer. I am filled-up to the stomach with this nonsense!”

“’Filled-up’ is yet another clue…”

“Mary!!! That’s it. Tell me what is it, because I have such an appetite for all that cheese I brought…I am opening that bottle of wine, right now!”

“’Appetite’ is also a keyword…”

“Mary!!! Is that true, you…I mean we are having a baby???”

“Yes…we are going to be parents soon…Quite a change…don’t you think?”



Translated and reprinted with her permission from her book “Champion of Life” ISBN 978-960-93-3000-8