In Love with the City by Sofia Gershevitskaya

It was love from the first step on the railway platform. You can fall in love with a city like you fall in love with a human being.  Deliriously.

She pulled along her weighty trunk. It was as stubborn as its proprietress. Eventually, after honey-sweet blandishments, it climbed the stairs. Travelers raced and the trunk kept on getting underfoot. “You go on a diet as soon as we arrive,” she said with a sniff.

To be honest, such a variety of clothes was needless. Don’t you prefer shameless nudity to matching garments when you smother with love? And what do you pull on in rare interludes? Perhaps, a baggy sweater, which is not even yours.

When her strength gave out, she stood still and drank full-flavored air. Delicate scents of freshly brewed espresso mixed with a piquant odor of history wafted from neighborhood cafeterias. She closed her eyes and inhaled, as if time were a meaningless number.

You may know how it feels when you nuzzle into the neck of your beloved. You lose sense of time and space. You want to inflate the reservoir of your lungs to compensate for the moments of agonizing separation. And it’s never enough.

The lethargy would have lasted forever if the trunk hadn’t brought her back to earth. It fell over on the stone pavement. “You are so naughty today!” she said impatiently. The wind sighed in the branches of yellow trees. It was chilly.

Every corner and every pathway seemed strikingly familiar. She loved fences overgrown with ivy and old Victorian houses that looked mysterious from the outside. It stirred irresistible curiosity, as if she had met a stranger and was about to start a conversation.

Finally, she reached her destination and her excitement went off-scale. Although the centuries-old house featured a stately façade of flaking masonry, it didn’t cry for a new coat of paint. It felt secure under the veil of a long-lived secrecy.

As a novice writer I beg your pardon, my dear reader. It is disgraceful of me not to introduce the main character of this narrative. I just wanted to put off the moment as long as possible, but it’s time to unmask the truth.

Will you ever believe me if I say that the character is not just a figment of my wild imagination? Will you believe me if I say it’s you, my dear reader?

You enter somebody’s life the way you enter a house. Sometimes the intrusion is pleasurable and the world turns upside down the moment you cross the threshold. There are places that leave nothing to be desired, yet the chaos prevails inside.

The street lights flickered on, throwing off the mantle of darkness. One could feel the chilly air through layers of clothes, and yet November’s temperature drop didn’t hinder people from strolling about the streets.

She rang the doorbell twice to revive the household. It wasn’t long before the place was alive with hurried steps and loud voices. “Don’t forget your manners!” she said rather strictly, but the trunk didn’t pay attention and her words hung in midair.

Gershevitskaya author photo


About the Author

At the age of nineteen, Sofia Gershevitskaya changed her life path and moved from Russia to central Europe to study Public Relations. She enjoys writing short stories because it helps her to release her thoughts and feelings. This is her first English publication.


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