Behind Closed Doors




Here are two stories that escaped from behind closed doors and captured my heart.


A Door Opens

In Athens there was an old woman who every morning stood on her balcony, dressed in black while silently watching the world go by.

One morning something stirred in her. Without an umbrella she ventured into the rain and walked for hours smiling at strangers passing by.

An old man carrying a newspaper and a small bag of oranges, took notice and struck up conversation.

Words must have been bottled up for many years, as they spoke for hours, not noticing as the rain seeped through the cracks of their wrinkled faces.

She invited him upstairs for a warm cup of coffee. He shared his oranges, she shared hand drawn pictures of her family.

They read the newspaper and spoke of politics, their upbringing in Athens, and how they survived on rations during war. They laughed at jokes that only their generation could understand.

That night, in her bed, while asleep, she passed away.

Every morning the old man can be seen in front of her building watering her plants.

Every day he walks for hours, tips his hat, and smiles at strangers passing by.

A Journey From the Abyss

There was a homeless girl who slept in a park in central Athens. She loved to read and had a talent for finding what was lost. The owner of a café took pity on her and offered her a job as a waitress. There, she was befriended by a customer who was a very prestigious man.

He gave her shelter in return for her companionship and looking pretty while he hosted big parties at one of his many homes. But his wife soon discovered her, and she found herself back on the streets.

Numb and void of thought, she walked slowly from the upper suburb back into a world where the streets are narrow, the trees scarce, the air heavy.

Suddenly a dog ran passed her, his leash dragging behind him. She grabbed him just moments before he jumped into traffic.

The owner saw this and he thanked her profusely.

He had lost his wife to cancer five years earlier. He asked her to nanny his seven-year old daughter.

They soon fell in love and married.

Years later he lost his job. With only 300 Euro, they boarded a ferry for Kea island to live with his grandparents.

Grandma was mostly blind. Grandpa was grumpy because he lost his keys.

But a breath of life awakened their weary souls as their silent home transformed into a whirlwind of activity. The roof was fixed, the house cleaned, the wilted garden revived and Grandpa’s missing keys were finally found.

When the nights were warm and the air fragrant with jasmine, pine and sea, they sat on the front porch and spoke of Mediterranean legends, pondered over the future, and debated what to make for dinner.

The grandparents have since passed away.

The dog became a proud father of four healthy puppies.

The couple, who for so long struggled to conceive, are now expecting.

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