“Every girl pretends she is a Princess at one point, no matter how little her life is like that”Alex Flinn

So, finally I got to win one of those 1000 characters contests and I was really proud of myself because the attendants are experienced people who publish books or work in the editorial sphere.

What’s ironical is that the theme was “Moments of happiness” and since I don’t believe in happiness, I wrote a sad short story.

Here it is, first in Italian, then in its English translation.

PRINCIPESSA

Alzo il volume della musica per non sentire le offese e abbasso lo sguardo per non vedere chi mi insulta; in classe qualcuno lancia sul mio banco un bigliettino con scritto “stramboide”, mi raggomitolo nella felpa oversize sperando che almeno i professori mi lascino in pace.

Una volta a casa, l’appartamento risponde col silenzio ad un buongiorno non dato: è tutto buio, c’è odore di chiuso, fumo e piatti sporchi; mio padre forse dorme sempre o magari è già al bar.

Mi chiudo in camera, faccio sciogliere la pasticca sotto la lingua e aspetto che la luce torni ad illuminare le stanze. Posso sentire di nuovo il profumo del minestrone della mamma e la risata del piccolo Mattia; papà adesso ha un buon odore di colonia e indossa la cravatta con i ferri di cavallo che gli ho regalato a Natale. Gli mostro la pagella e lui esclama orgoglioso:

“Brava, principessa!”

Poi mi accarezza il viso, io sorrido e continuo a farlo finché l’oscurità non si prende anche quegli attimi di felicità artificiale.

PRINCESS

I turn up the volume of the music to not hear the insults and I look down to avoid seeing who’s sending them against me; in class someone throws on my desk a note that says “weirdo”, I curl up in my oversized sweatshirt hoping that at least the teachers will leave me alone.
Once home, the apartment responds with silence to an ungiven good morning: it’s dark, it smells of musty, smoke and dirty dishes; my father is sleeping as usual or perhaps he is already in the bar.
I lock myself in the room, I dissolve the tablet under the tongue and wait for the light to return to illuminate the rooms. I can feel again the smell of my mother soup and little Mattia’s laughter; dad now smells nicely of cologne and he wears the tie with the horseshoes I gave him for Christmas. I show him the report card and he exclaims proudly:
“Brava, Princess!”
Then he caresses my face, I smile and I continue to do it until darkness steals even those moments of artificial happiness.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Ordinary Day- Dolores O’Riordan

 

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