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Alexander Lyutov


Dear Elena,

There is money in the left drawer of the desk. This is all I have been able to squirrel away through the years. Spend it reasonably. Part of it is for Marianna, she will soon have to pay for her next semester at university. Kiss her! And buy yourself that red coat. It fits you. May be you will only have to turn up the sleeves of the garment. Just a little. Give last year’s brandy to your father. Tell him to mix it with plenty of water, because we distilled it too strong. Keep a bottle for the grave diggers, though. Do not invite many people to my funeral, only the closest friends and relatives. Ask Sotir and his brother to help you with the casket, for it will be very difficult climbing down the stairs with it. Cover the grave with white marbled cement and do not plant flowers - they want too much watering, don’t bother.

Tell Milan that story was a misunderstanding. I did not know the contract was not signed by him. Tell him to excuse me and forgive my overreaction. Return the books I borrowed to the public library. They are three: one is by Dostoevsky; the second is some science fiction book; and the third I cannot recall, but you will find it.

Your diplomas and whatever other documents you will find in the middle drawer. The bills for electricity and telephone are also there. Promise me that you are not going to mislay them somewhere, because then you will be in big trouble. Oh, this month the collector did not come - they postponed the due date to the 30th.

Keep my watch, the one with gold-plated chain, the gift from my colleagues for my jubilee. With God’s help, one day you will give it to our grandchildren.

If Petrova tells you something about me, don’t believe it. Whatever she says, don’t believe her. If you take a vacation in Sozopol, toss a coin in the sea before leaving - there, from the high rock, do you remember? Where I lost my lighter.

Well, this is all.




Elena folded the letter and placed it back in the envelope. She glanced at her watch. He must be in Greece by now. Did he take the insect repellent she left him at the top of the fridge? They say the mosquitoes are terrible in the olive-groves.

And a large tear ran down her cheek.



© Hristo Karastoyanov
© Vesselin Vesselinov, J. R. Hasbrouck - translated
© E-magazine LiterNet, 01.09.2008, № 9 (106)