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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Part 2: Leonie’s fireflies (from the series My Lovely Ghosts)

When Leonie was a little girl, the only person she truly loved was her babushka. Both of her parents were working abroad seeing her twice a month. As a child she always felt like she had lost her parents already but she didn’t care that much because she had her Russian babushka.
Babushka came to her life straight out of nothing, like a gentle breeze into an empty room. Before her arrival, Leonie was only surrounded by fairies and little grumpy goblins in her big lonely house. Her babushka brought all sorts of unimaginable and magical things into Leonie’s life. She couldn’t speak any language but Russian, she was scared to death of washing machines and she only hand washed the clothes. Leonie loved the smell of their bathroom when babushka did the laundry in the bath tub stepping on the clothes. Every night before babushka went to sleep she was writing a long love letters to her dead lover. When Leonie asked her, why she wasn’t writing anything to her grandfather, babushka replied that people are usually not married to their true loves. Leonie used to wonder why in the hell would you rather marry someone else but your true love. Leonie’s conclusion was that grown-ups were silly.  
Babushka put the love letters underneath her pillow so the ghost of her dead lover could collect them and had something to read and dream about. Leonie saw her lover’s ghost once, when he woke her up, begging her to explain her babushka that he had never loved her and if she could please stop writing him letters because they disturbed his peace. Leonie didn’t have the heart to tell her such a thing, so she always sneaked into babushka’s room when she was asleep and took the love letters away. Babushka always got drunk on vodka in order to sleep well and wake up happier so her sleep was very heavy and she had never noticed what was Leonie doing with the letters.  When babushka woke up and found out that the letter was gone, her life made so much more sense than before.
When babushka died, Leonie’s heart cracked. It was almost Christmas. Leonie climbed on the roof of her house with thousands of babushka’s love letters. It was quiet night covered in gold when Leonie was throwing the letters out of the roof. They flew a little then burst into innumerable fireflies and the night became a day.


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