Ella (Chapter 5)

The house had concrete walls, stone floors and a butterfly roof line that comprised two linked pavilions with living spaces. Usually, houses have temperaments, vices and virtues. They look upon the world with almost human faces. With one storey above and a basement, Ella’s and Alexander’s house had a vaulted roof making a parabolic arch.
At right wing was the dining room, the first bathroom and the garden. The dining room was located at the front of the house having at the bottom, a vertical window, offering a real view of the mountain peaks. The windows were cut out of the form contradicting the conservatory atmosphere created by the people living in that place and, for this reason, generating controversy. The other wing had the living room, a little bedroom and a little kitchen. The living and dining rooms were filled with beautiful antique furniture, dried flowers in vases and ornaments providing a cozy atmosphere. The meals were served in the dining room at a charming mahogany table which was able to seat either ten or twelve people. Both rooms were decorated in a blend of medieval and renaissance styles. They had a few remarkable wall paintings. The wall shelves also blended nicely with the furniture. The little garden was situated inside the house near the dining room having some exotic shrubs and fruit trees making the atmosphere to be calm and fresh.
Alexander and Ella thought that the garden was very important because they lived near the town and they needed to compensate for the adverse effects of smoke emitted by cars and factories. Raising fruit trees, shrubs and vines in containers was a great gardening adventure. Bringing a miniature exotic garden right into the house helped them to create an indoor serenity garden room where they wanted to escape for some quiet. The living room was very important because it was where they watched their television programs,listened to their music and entertained their friends. The bright kitchen had walls of pastel shades and a tiled floor. The living room opened outside to a little stone terrace and a small pool. The little bedroom, exclusively for Alexander and Ella, was decorated in shades of beige and peach.
The indoor materials used, including wood, bamboo and glass made the home to have a good lighting, insulation and plumbing, as well as a passive cooling design. The house had another bedroom, a second bathroom, the storage room and the laundry room at the upper level. The laundry room with a counter, a sink, a big fully automatic washing machine with plastic drum and a lot of washing utensils was perfectly situated near the bathroom. This bedroom was created for the guests coming from a long distance. The elegant lines of the house exuded a silent grace. Each pavilion contained a central core made of corrugated steel and concrete masonry concentrating most of the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems inside it. The house architecture was designed to handle the wind and snow.
He came out of the darkness. His eyes were the eyes of a feline in the night. He came holding a black leather briefcase. The darkness seemed to envelop him in mystery. She opened the door and let him enter.
”What are you doing here?”
”Nora asked me to leave our home. She couldn’t deal with her jealousy. Where is Alexander?”
”His mother is very ill and he went to the hospital to help her. He will be back in the morning.”
”Yeah,actually I knew but I quarreled stupidly with my wife and I forgot. Give me something to eat.”
Ella gave him venison to eat and after that she gave him to drink a cup of red wine to drink. There was a sofa in the living room and she invited him to sleep there. Then she opened the window. It was raining outside but she didn’t feel the raindrops. She was worried about Alexander expecting him to come home. She turned on the radio. A singer sang his love. It seemed to be an old love. She crouched in a corner and began to cry. Michael came slowly near her and started caressing her shoulders.
”Why do you cry, Ella? Do you know how to cry, little baby?”
”I feel it is not good at all. Alexander’s mother needs surgery and he is exhausted. He comes home in the morning to sleep and I must go to the hospital.”
”Let’s talk a little about us. ”Michael tried to catch her attention.” Let’s talk about my daughter.”
”It is always the same problem with your stepdaughter. I think that, assuming your relationship with your stepdaughter is otherwise healthy. You must talk with her openly and honestly about all the problems you have in common You must help her to understand what’s going on with you.”
”She simply cannot understand that another one can have a different opinion than she has on certain subjects. Mary may interact more positively with me only by asking me or maybe figuring out what I need to express.” Michael replied:
”Some persons ramp up their behavior when they feel insecure about something and specifically they ramp it up when they feel insecure because the person they are talking to is withdrawing or having a negative reaction.”
”She has a very strong personality. But she is stubborn”
Michael looked into her beautiful eyes. When she looked into his eyes she felt the same strange sensations as usual.
”The fact that she wants to involve you in her life is very important.”
Ella tried to excuse Mary. She called Alexander to tell him that Michael is there.
”She’s waiting for you to react to something that she says, maybe she’s looking for the validation from an adult to all she needs to say.” Michael closed his eyes.
”What did you say?” I called Alexander.
”Great! I think that it is very important to have a frank conversation with her, as you said a few minutes ago..”
”Do you need some coffee?”
”You must help her to understand your behavior and your thinking.”
Ella tried to continue her idea.
”Do you have daughters?” Michael asked her smiling.
”No, do you really have one?”
”I love Nora.”
Michael kissed Ella on the cheek.
”There must be somewhere a journal where she writes about her thoughts. Try to find it. You will understand her better than before.’ ‘
Ella told him becoming suddenly very confused.
”It’s so disappointing when a negative reaction can be the only reaction someone ever provides. Don’t you think so?”
He came closer to her, few inches away from her face. She felt nervous. He touched her skin gently.
”It sounds like you don’t like her. Maybe that’s not true, but if these kind of feelings can make living together a challenge she can pick up on your weakness saying: ‘I can’t stay any longer in this situation.’ You had married her mother and you came into her home and into her life. Maybe she really wants you to like her exactly how she is. ”Ella became slowly insistent.
Michael held her hand until her sorrow went away. After a few minutes he released her hand. The way he looked at her was very strange. It was like a connection.
”It’s possible that her friends do not really understand her like her family does.” Ella continued but he didn’t seem to pay any attention. She wanted to understand his mind,especially when he hid himself behind his own words. Yet, she continued:
”You ‘re not a stranger. Imagine that you’re her she needs a real might try to change you when she connects with you. I promise to talk with her.”
”Thank you” Michael became completely absent.
In that moment Alexander came into the house. He looked very exhausted but Ella felt that his love was very strong.
”How are you,my love?” Ella embraced him strongly. ”I will go to the hospital. Michael is here with you. Go to sleep, my love.”
”Aren’t you afraid of the consequences when you write some articles,Ella?”
”I believe in this necessary suffering for the cause of freedom and justice, Michael.”
”It must be always a balance between the security of the people and their fundamental rights.”
”The preservation of the rights and freedoms of the individual are very important. Think a little bit to our ancestors who died for our freedom and our nation.” said Alexander.
”We need democracy and freedom and this is why the words are sometimes very important.” said Ella.
”I think we should do the things we love even if it is very hard to do this. It is very important to love what you do and to have a motivated passion for doing it. In a society where we spend more time at work than at home we must be content with our jobs. ”said Alexander. ”Are you going or not to the hospital?”
He looked at Ella with kindness but he was very irritated and very tired.
”I go now, bye!” said Ella closing the door behind her.
”Let’s go to sleep, Michael,I’m very tired.”
”Me,too. Can you talk with my wife? She’s going crazy sometimes.”
”Didn’t she call?”
”Not yet.”
”Don’t be so will call tomorrow. Have a good night!’
In this perfect school there were sixteen kids in every class. This way the teachers could give each kid an individual education. A strong teaching environment was really needed for this perfect school. The materials that had to be absorbed over a year should be planned out into equal shares. By the end of the year, the students comprehended the bare basics of each section of the subjects learned in their class. That way, the lessons could never be forgotten. The teachers encouraged the ideas of the children. Sometimes, for some reasons, teachers blew off the kids’ ideas, even they might be right. This perfect school had younger teachers because they understood what was going on in a teenager’s world.
Mary looked like a primary schoolgirl and she used to stay up all night studying. She needed some color to her skin because she was very pale but her black eyes and her black hair made her to look very beautiful. Her hair was always like she touched an electric fence but it smelled like lily.
Susan, Mary’s friend,told her:
”What’s the problem with your stepfather?”
Susan looked like a boy because she didn’t wear jewelry or earrings. She had green eyes and a blond short hair. She was poorly dressed but she carefully chose her colors.
”There are some few feelings worse than the feeling you have sometimes when your parent is not interested in you or what you have to say. And I have that stupid feeling when everything I say is less important.” said Mary.
”Everything you think is very important. Something strange happens here because I have new ideas but the people at school don’t want to talk with me and don’t want to share my new ideas.”
”They base their beliefs on their own personal experiences which can be completely opposite of what you experienced or what you believe.” said Mary.
”You’re like me, and I know that you want to share these exciting new things. I feel stuck in this school with no other friends except you and all these evil teachers. If love can awaken love, then love can awaken goodness.”
” The goodness may awaken the love, but it may also awaken the resentments. Sometimes,Susan, I don’t know why I like so much to be exactly,I need to feel my loneliness. I like to peer into my inner world, thinking about myself, about life,and about others. I like to understand myself.”
”I don’t see anything wrong in this.” said Susan
”I am a person, after all. I earn in a school attempting to get my exams. That’s more tailored to my personality, I think. I don’t know why most people are shocked when they actually get to know me or my situation.” said Mary.
”You are so funny, I didn’t know you were like that. Who told you this? It’s not true. And try to think a little,we all have strengths and weaknesses, no one is perfect. We may like some people because they are good or we may dislike this persons because they present a contrast to our being. We need to love people around us and we need to accept them such as they are. And this love can become our resurrection.”said Susan.
”Buddha promised Nirvana to those who could abolish the hate. Christ promised the kingdom of heaven to those who could be completely full of love for the mankind. The religious freedom is necessary for the peace and stability.I don’t know why some people are afraid of solitude. But I’m not. The solitude is for meditation.” said Mary.
”Some people are afraid to be alone with themselves. Therefore,they need to be involved in many activities.”
”Sometimes I need to be a different person more thoughtful, more empathetic, and more compassionate than before. I don’t know why I have these feelings sometimes.” said Mary.
”I want to be extremely beautiful and extremely insightful. I don’t know why I can’t always get what I want.”
”Well, I think you should ask yourself about this. Trust your judgment more often. You are intelligent. You need a preparation to self-improvement. Self-confidence is extremely important in every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it.”
”Self-confident people inspire confidence in people around them. You’re right. “said Susan.
“I just want to get past this overwhelming attitude of struggling with all through my life.I am thinking of my stepfather,too.” replied Mary.
”If there is a problem, then there is always a solution to it. Generally,the problems are not permanent. Why don’t you call him Michael?”continued Susan.
”I simply cannot. I don’t like him at all. I still don’t understand how my mom can love such a guy.
He’s a manic-depressive person who loves himself. Imagine a guy like him. His teeth are sharp and so horrible that they’re like a shark’s set of teeth. His lips are coffee-black. How can she kiss him and make love with him?”
”I think that you feel hurt because you love him a little and you think that he doesn’t love you, but you must begin to love yourself, and take care of yourself more than usual. It’s important to have your own standards and self respect. So, even if you think that the problem is about getting self-esteem, the most important thing is to have self-value. You are who you are,Mary, and what you need to do with yourself is to nurture that person within you.”
”Maybe you’re right,Susan. He doesn’t let me say what I think. There is no freedom of thought until thought is revealed as speech. I feel imprisoned.I need a relative equality between me and him but he doesn’t seem to understand this.”
”Yes,my dear,I need first of all why do we need this? Because freedom is necessary for the evolution. Dan is still your boyfriend?”
”No,we’re not together any longer. Now I believe in sexual freedom. Why do you ask me?”said Mary.
”I was just curious. I skipped History. Tell me what do we have to learn for tomorrow?”
”Let me think a little.” She opened her book. After that she said: ”Look, we have to learn about the goals of the liberation struggle and the effects of the war on individuals.”
”It will be interesting to read.” said Mary.
”I think so. But I am a peaceful person. I don’t like the war.”
”Tell me, do you still love Tom?”
”Yes, I do, why do you ask me?” said Susan.
”Just because I want to know why do you love him.”
”I cannot find the right words to express what I feel for him. I love him because he’s the most amazing friend I have ever known. He’s charming, smart and he has a great sense of humor. I feel so happy by being with him. He made it through my wall and he threw my mask out. He accepts my imperfections and appreciates me for who I am.”
”He’s a great guy. See you tomorrow.”
Susan went right to the poor households where the families were living in an atmosphere of hurt and tears. There she really experienced what is called four walls, more exactly, her room. All the poor households in this part of the town depended heavily on wood and other biomass fuels for cooking. These families had the stoves and used clean fuels because the prices are relatively low.
The poor parents had a smaller choice of primary schools for their poorest pupils are likely to be accepted by the local schools. The women usually had four children. So they had more mouths to feed than usual. For the impoverished families, having a secure and comfortable home to raise their families meant to find the best way to bridge the gap from poverty to a normal life.
In the working poor families the lack the earnings necessary to meet their basic needs made life to be a struggle exacerbated by soaring prices for food, gas, health and education. These working families were forced to spend more than half of their income on housing, and nearly thirty percent for health insurance. One in four families was headed by a lone parent and they lived in poverty or below the poverty level. Lone mothers frequently borrowed money. Usually, families and their consumption decisions were neglected and they relied on money help from the others, Susan was a poor girl belonging to a poor family.
She knew that the poor people had small pockets and big tried to understand the rich people who could be so selfish sometime, thinking of exploiting the poor families, without realizing that they destroy lives. The poor persons were those who battled to survive among the rich and lived their lives to help others who needed help and hope. Sometimes they were not able to rise out of poverty all their lives. And there were some people climbing out of welfare, drug addiction and homelessness. No one really knew them and for the most part didn’t care.
Her brother, Sam, never was at high school, he washed cars but did not own one. Their father was not in their life because he was an alcoholic and a drug user. He didn’t have a job and he didn’t have a steady place to live. Their mother forced him to leave the home because she didn’t want a bad influence around her kids.

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