The Door



Fragment from my volume: The Door and other extraordinary stories

Hurry up; shouted my mom, father is already at the car. Let's not keep him waiting… I know he doesn't like it, I added, jumping two steps at a time, laughing. I was happy. We were going to visit Grandpa, in the countryside. I was fed up with school; I could not wait for the vacation. The vacation! The big one, an entire summer of freedom. Ever since I can remember it, I'm spending my vacations at Grandpa. I did not meet Grandma, she was no longer alive when I was born, but every summer, in the evening, when we light a fire in the backyard, while we are cooking the bard, I ask Grandpa to describe her to me, to tell me about her. How was Grandma, Grandpa? I ask him. His face lights up and I can read in his wrinkles how his love for her remained the same. The most beautiful girl in the village, what am I saying, of all the villages around! Put on your safety belt, says mother, before father starts to step on it. I listen to her. We leave. I wave to our house, I will only miss it after a while, then it will pass, I have friends with whom I can play in the countryside during vacation as well, as I have here those from school. Here I have the computer and the games that we share, there I have the forest and the hills, here I have the swing in the courtyard and the tree house, there I have dozens of nest of birds, which I will explore, however without touching them, one year I almost started a fight with a guy, who knows where he had come from, who ruined a nest, we all banished him, we called ourselves “the defenders of nature” we liked to imagine that we were more than persons who loved it, we were its protectors if we had to, when someone would escape our guard, the justice makers.

The car was eating the road and dad said we must enjoy the highroad as long as it lasts, because the moment we were to enter the countryside road, which is longer than 12 kilometers, the good times are gone. Dust would lift a meter high, maybe even two, behind the car, you cannot open the car's window, you cannot go too fast, because there are huge holes, thank God it's not raining, then it gets even worse, the muck is immense, God forbid to get cut in a moor, when are they going to bituminize this road, dad is wandering, as every other year, without waiting for an answer. He knew that there was none.

Grandpa's village wasn't quite close to us, that is why we used to stop on the road, for a touristic halt, a cabin in a fir forest which would arise on both sides of the road for several kilometers. Here I was getting juice, mother tea, and father a coffee. Each time it was the same, and I liked that. I knew that everything was in its place, in a natural order. I also knew that that was how we were going to find Grandpa, just as we had left him, just as joyful, with tears in his eyes, this time tears of joy for seeing us again and that I'm going to stay with him again for almost three months, when leaving, tears of sadness, the most difficult time for him is after the spring vacation, as it is followed by the longest period in which he has to stay alone, however he never displays his sadness, although we know it, we feel it, the joy on the other hand, yes, with all his heart. After we move a little bit through the fir forest, we go on further, joyful and stretched. There isn’t that much to go, but considering that the last section is that extremely difficult road, time-wise it will take us as long as it took us to get up to here. Overall, it will be almost three hours, if everything goes alright. And there's no reason why it shouldn't.

We arrive at around three, just in time to sit down to eat. Grandpa is waiting for us in front of the gate, on the bench. The moment he sees the car far away, he gets up and gets ready to hug us. Dad lets me get down before he turns the car around, therefore I have enough time to jump to his arms. Hehe, look how strong you’ve become, says Grandpa. Soon I won't be able to lift you. I laugh and I don't believe him: he says the same thing every time. And I know that Grandpa is strong, He's used to lifting big logs that he brings for fire before every winter, he's used to working hard on the field, to pull hard on the mower, to bring, every day, food and water for the animals, and he will be able to lift me until I will be big enough to be ashamed of him doing it. How is Lupu, is my first question. And I run fast to see my dog again, black, no stains, he shakes his tail and jumps from one side to the other, he puts his paws on me, he almost put me down, and he licks me. Lupu, down, I shout at him. But he's too happy to listen to me. I let him enjoy himself, although I can barely hold his weight.

Meanwhile, the parents and Grandpa also enter the yard, carrying the luggage. I start examining the stable and coops. The cows and horses are in the drove, the sheep are in the herd, here are only the pigs and chickens, and I marvel at how fat they are, and I spit them not to cast the evil eye on them. From here I run to the big cellar, dark and cold, where there are still apples preserved since autumn, and the pickle jars prepared by my mother never go wrong. You're still keeping this door closed, Grandpa, I shout while I'm headed to the back of the cellar, where a massive oak door prevents me from trespassing, arousing my curiosity and imagination. Of course, it's still locked. Grandpa told me several years ago, when I was old enough to discover it, and ever since he repeats year after year: I will give you the key when you will turn 18. But what is there inside? You will find out then, be patient. You would not know what to do now anyway…

I was dying of curiosity to know what hid behind the door, but no matter how much I tried searching for the key, I never found it. One could clearly see that Grandpa had hiding places that I hadn't discover yet. Also, no matter what I tried to convince him to let me take a peek, or at least to tell me what was there, no matter how many supplications, nor blackmail, he did not want to hear about it. I started believing, based on the stories I was reading, subsequently, that he was hiding a dragon or who knows what sort of monster, then that maybe it was a monstrous brother of his, but mother convinced me that Grandpa had no brothers or an unbelievable treasure, and that it is better for me not to know about it, while I'm still young and unable to keep the secret, although I had promised him that I was not going to tell anybody!

My curiosity would go by quickly, as play was more interesting, but every evening I would go back to the unopened door, if not physically, at least in my mind, I would fell asleep weaving scenarios according to which I could enter it, finding the key or simply discover it unlocked, and I would always marvel at my discovery.

This is how, in the fifth grade, I got to write my first story...


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