“He’s there again playing that friggin toy,” said Arete sitting up in bed.
“It’s an accordion, a child’s one. And you’re just in a bad mood because you drunk too much last night, as usual.”
Arete looked at his wife but she had her back to him. Had he been able to see her face he would have seen an emptiness in her eyes that resembled the darkness at the bottom of a disused well.
Arete stunk of drink and cigarettes. He didn’t shower. He coughed as he struggled with his clothes, opened the shutters to the window and yelled at the beggar boy below: “Move on! Why do you have to play here every morning? Move up to Kriezi, you’ll earn more there!”
The boy ignored Arete as he did every morning. Arete laboriously dressed for work. Too much booze and the loss of all their savings to pay off his gambling debts had left him a broken, nasty replica of the man she married.
She would leave him soon. Perhaps even today? It would be easy to walk to the train station. She didn’t need much, a change of clothes, the last bit of money her father had secretly given her. She had enough for a train to Paris where she could work in her cousins restaurant.
Suddenly, she noticed the accordion boy had stopped playing. She rushed to the small balcony and looked down to the street below. Arete was talking to the boy. ‘Bastard’ she thought. She rushed to put on her clothes, ripping the button off her jeans in the process. She ran down the three flights and onto the pavement. But the Athens street was now busy and she was forced to stop. She looked through the pedestrians and saw Arete, he was going through his pockets. He then dropped some coins into the boys jar. The boy smiled and thanked him with a nod.
It was only then that Mia, Arete’s wife, recognised the melody. It was the song played at their wedding. The one they had danced to at the end of the night. She stepped back and watched her husband walk off towards work and knew then, deep down inside, she would never leave him.
©DMM #inspirational_photograph by my great IG friend: @tsitsicos 💙🙏