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With A White Feather

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Elena Grigorova was a simple and quiet child.

Now hearing this, many would look at me with angered faces, scold me and probably even correct me. It’s funny how the parents and classmates that always yelled at a person for how reserved and introverted and just fucking different they are, will always be the first to talk about their never-dying energy, and the flames in their eyes, after all that remains from the person is one simple “was”. But you can never truly hide away from the sickening truth. For no matter how much you strive to brush past it, it always comes rushing back at you, like a kick to the chest that leaves you with no air to breathe.

Oh, but apologies, I seem to have gone too far away from my original train of thoughts. After all, I would like to write about Elena’s life and not... not what followed after. So, where was I at? Ah, yes.

Elena was indeed a simple and quiet child.

She was born to the family of an accountant and a translator in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. From the outside, she really got to be lucky with the family she was born in- Mr. and Mrs. Grigorovi were high school sweethearts, both with an amazing sense of humour, and well-paid jobs. It’s almost too bad that she didn’t get to spend the first few years of her life with her parents.

Maria and Miroslav, her mother and father, were very hard-working people. Raised during the huge economical crisis in Bulgaria in the 90’s, they were both taught from an early age to work hard. Life in Bulgaria hadn’t been easy for them in those misty times, the same way it had been for any other country after the fall of socialism. Corruption was everywhere, they hardly had access to food, and could enjoy electricity and hot water only until 8 pm. They knew that since they both came from families from the working class in the province, they had to study and expect nothing else but pure perfection when it came to studying, outer looks and manners. And while for many the grades in high school hardly ever mattered, for the pair that was their bus ride to university, to a life filled with a little bit more money and a little bit less hungry nights. A little bit more options and open doors and much less worries for whether or not they will manage to have enough money to buy clothes when the ones they have onn their backs get too worn out to ever wear again…

University passed relatively easily and quickly for both of them. They had gotten married during it, and had their child during the mother’s last year. Life seemed perfect. Or so it looked like only on the outside. Both of them really enjoyed this new lifestyle. The capital, as sad as it is to admit did give them a sense of freedom. They had access to everything, and well-paid jobs, and oh well, let’s face it. How could a person that grew up poor, and struggled with money majority of their life give up easily on a big paycheck and a sense of security for one little baby that could only cry, poop, pee and eat? That was a question Maria oftentimes asked herself during her last month of the pregnancy. And so it was decided. 2 weeks after giving birth to their daughter Elena, the baby was sent to her grandparents in the province. The old people were no longer working and it would be a perfect opportunity for the young couple to keep their jobs and allow the levs to keep on flowing in their lives. Ah, isn’t it simply ironical to have been raised a teenager in the 90s in Bulgaria? You spend your childhood living in a fairytale where you don’t know the meaning of financial worries, and the rest of your life doing everything to win more of those addictive pieces of paper…