by Kate Korneeva 

Our son is ten. I have never been his wife. I cried an ocean of tears when we broke up just a few months after I gave birth to Simon. I just could not believe and accept that it was even possible. “No, no, no, no, no, it could not be like this” – that was all I was able to say back then. I raised our son alone. I’ve gone through many months of hard work on myself in order to accept, to face up to the loss of him, to his betrayal, to being a single-mother and bringing up our son on my own. The only thing I desperately wished for over more than ten years of my life was to forget him, to erase even a trace of him in my life, to close this door and no longer remember anything about him and that period. It was inconceivably hard to be thankful to him for those days, for my orgasms and the feelings I experienced when I was sitting close to him in his car, when I saw his face light up as he saw me approaching; to be thankful for our beautiful son talented at sculpting like him; thankful for making me a mom. I guess I will always remember all that. And who knows, probably, I will always remember the rage and pain when I let myself trust my intuition, telling me he cheated on me with her. It was inconceivably difficult to forgive him and her. Now I know it for sure: forgiving and letting go of others is for strong people. For really brave and courageous people able to face up to fears and personal demons. I guess I will always remember all that. Maybe I will remember thousands of other things I will have to pass through because the story goes on. Because he is and will always be the father of my son, he will become the grandfather of my grandchildren! When I became aware that this story will always go on and on and on in the future generations of our grandchildren I was surprised and even shocked! Whenever we are together or apart, close or thousands of miles away, we are connected for hundreds of coming years, forever and ever by the family lines of our son and our grandchildren. It was inevitable.

Was he the price for having my son, for my parenthood, for anything else I still have to discover? I still ask this question. Was he the price I had to pay? Was he my unconscious choice to get pregnant and give birth to the child? Was he my lesson to be learned? Will I ever find definite answers to any of the questions? Or should I simply start over with a clean sheet of paper?

P.S. When I look at my son I smile and I can say it loud: He is worth any price! I love him.

P.P.S. I believe I will stop asking myself so many questions one day. I will turn this page and start another. I will learn why and for what. I will delve into the reasons and will discover and accept the meaning. I will understand why it did not last, and our breakup hurt me so much instead. I will stop asking why it took me so long to accept and see the real, not ideal person, why I made him ideal and put him on top, why I assigned characteristics to him that he did not possess. Answers will come and satisfy me. It is inevitable because I am asking and looking for answers, and I’ve gotten some so far.

We both were born and raised in ordinary families. Our parents were not saints. They had their shortcomings. They did their best, although it could be pretty freaky sometimes. They couldn’t do more or less, better or worse. They did what they believed was good for us, on behalf of their children. Now I cannot blame them because I am a mother and I made my own mistakes too. I regret, but it’s too late, I cannot change the past. At those moments I was absolutely sure I did the best I could for my son. So were they.

It became obvious at 4 or so that he was good at sculpting. As a gifted child, his destiny was determined after he was taken to sculpture school by his parents. God was merciful to him also. Now I guess it saved him. His father was more than strict with his children and wife. Being brought up in the atmosphere of punishment and humiliation made him be what he has been and is now. I had heard some details of his childhood, but ignored them before the relationship got stuck. Just two years ago I dared to ask his mother why she divorced his father. Her story made it clear why he could not be a devoted father to our son, why he could not take responsibility for financial and other duties, why he could not find peace with any woman and money. He witnessed too many family scandals, too much punishment. His mother was not able to protect him because she was the prey herself, as she continued to live with her husband for 15 years. His parents divorced when he was 14 and he stayed with his father. And even now when he earned money, has built a beautiful house and has become a famous sculptor, after so many things he has overcome and achieved, his father still treats him like a little boy, with no pride, no respect, no love; and he cannot become aware of it and stop. He easily turns into a 5-, 10- or 14-year-old boy when his father starts to speak with him.

(…to be continued…) 

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Kate Korneeva

One We – Kate Korneeva (transposing emblem)

Instability or Flexibility – Kate Korneeva (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Chelyabinsk, Russia – In the forest – Mikhail Galyshev (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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