Sunday, 17 August 2014

Going Home - Tornando a casa - Part two

The outward journey was getting more difficult for Vladimir. He found it hard to resist the pleading eyes and desperate looks from the people who saw his lorry as a bridge to freedom. This time he had nearly got caught  The customs' officials at Calais had taken his number plate and he knew that next time they wouldn't play so dumb. They would be searching and shining their torches all over the place .He didn't like to think of what his life would be like without this job The money he took home meant that his family were able to stay together in the small town where he and Inga had grown up. His grandmothers had both told him to keep his family together. They told him it was the most important thing he could do for them. When his mother's mother, Lucica, was a young girl, just fifteen she had been forced to marry his grandfather Tomas. Many times she had tried to run away to go back home, but in the end she had been made to accept her destiny. Vladimir's grandmother was one of the lucky ones. Tomas was a hardworking and loyal husband, he did all he could to make his grandmother happy. His other grandmother had  had an even more difficult challenge.. When Vladimir's father was born restrictions were placed on the people and she was never allowed back to see her family. She cried so many tears and her heart broke knowing she would never see her little brothers or her parents again. As the years went by her sadness increased and even now tears would fall at the mere mention of her long lost relatives..Being a long-distance lorry driver made him feel free.While he was on the road he felt safe. His cab was like a personal universe where no harm could come to him. He kept his passport and all his papers in a pocket that Inga had made specially. He knew how important they were.
On his outward bound  journey, he  was a man, taking a lorry load of goods many miles and then bringing another lorry load of goods back. But on his way home he was a hero, a provider and a protector. He had made a lot of friends among his fellow travellers. Many took the same routes and would try to share the same overnight stops. He was always happy to see Salvatore, a Sicilian driver who would entertain everybody with stories about his family and Sicilian songs. This was his first time at the Aire du Beausoleil and he didn't recognise any of the other lorries. Vladimir walked towards the bright lights of the Cafè, pushed open the door and breathed in the welcoming smell of strong coffee.
The view from Beausoleil service station on the motorway

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