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Just Say Yes
by C.R.M. Nilsson

MARY JONSON TO ANITA JACQ

You have not changed that much, have you? Still as demanding and impatient as ever. Itís been seven years, but you still seem to believe that your influence over me has remained as strong as it was.

You ask what have happened since we last met. Well, youíre surely aware that Iíve moved away from London, left the U.K. in fact for this small country called Sweden. The change is not that apparent: the people are like people are the most. But the language is enough to give anybody a headache, especially since theyíd rather have me speak English than try to learn it. I understand it well enough; speaking it is troublesome.

I expected it to be colder here than it is. The summers are actually rather warm and it does not snow in huge quantities during winter.

I donít know why I moved here. Maybe I though things would be different. But it is not different. People are the same everywhere, beneath the cultural influences: they lie to seem better in front of others, they are afraid of what is different, they hate what they canít understand. Man is a violent brute and donít tell me Iím too cynical, Nita. Iím all too aware of my flaws.

Itís surprising how you can still make me be this honest to you. You havenít contacted me in seven years: we are complete strangers by now, arenít we? And donít tell me that communication is a two-way street! I tried to contact you, but you had moved. I couldnít find an Anita Ferguson anywhere. We both know why it is. Iím a bit hurt that you didnít invite me to the wedding. Your husband is Gaspard Jacq, the exchange student, isnít he? I thought you hated him.

Maybe I can answer your impertinent, because we are strangers now and not close friends, questions after all. You asked, so donít cry to me when you realize that you found out more than you wanted to know.

I am not married as I havenít found to right one. I live in a small cottage in the Swedish countryside. It has a rather big garden and I cultivate a lot of sakura-trees, Japanese flowering cherry, in it. They are so beautiful and I wished that they would blossom for a longer time than they do. In hanakotoba, the Japanese flower-language, sakura means kind and gentle. But the Japanese watch them bloom because the flowers short bloom is a metaphor of how short life is, that it passes by too quickly.

Moving to Sweden was a mistake for my dreams of becoming an author, Iím afraid. The market is small and you can beat yourself bloody on the entrance to the publishing houses. The only things that are published here seem to be crime novels. Theyíre rather bad, too, as if the authors have only taken information from TV-series without doing proper research.

Since I was a skilled tennis player, I thought I could make it. I was close, too. Until my joints started to stiffen in the cold and the pain got to me. The doctors told me that I shouldnít play anymore, because I had become rheumatic. Maybe I should have taken up a sport that didnít put as much pressure on my joints, but I was crushed. All my dreams were crushed.

You cried when I was leaving to travel the world, do you remember? You hugged me and whispered that youíd see me on the top of the world, when we both became successful. Judging from your letter it seems like you are a frustrated house-wife and I am a bitter cripple. Neither of us succeeded.

I am so lonely here. It makes me remember what was. The kisses, the experimentation. ButÖ I loved you, Nita.

Did you love me?

Unspecified city in Sweden
June 25th 2009

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Copyright C.R.M. Nilsson 2010

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