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  • Aynur Zərrintac

The pair of father’s socks

She stared out of the window plunged in thoughts. Large hails trickled down the glass, leaving a thin and limpid path behind them. The street of Aghdam was again covered in the rain peculiar to this city. She turned the sock doll in her hand once to one side and then the other. As she squeezed the rotund toy in her hand, the feeling of tenderness overgrew inside, reminding her of the rough hands of her father holding her close to his heart and hugging.

-My baby-girl Mehri, go find and bring your father’s sock.

Murick again tore father’s socks and threw them apart into the corners of the room. It was a habit of this cat to hide rages that fell into his paws in the deep corners.

-I found, found…

-Oh, thank you, this one is for the right foot. – The father smiled at Mehri putting the sock on his right foot and tipped off with his eyebrows while moving the toe of his left foot in the air. – And what about this one?

All of a sudden, twin braids of 8 years old Mehri rose in the air. She plunged under the bed. Usually, Murick stored the socks under the bed. But no, it was not there.

-What about the sofa? – she gave a thought and bent to check beneath it. – Not here either. She gently yanked Murick’s ear who was thrilling on the sofa and seriously get down the search mission. The left pair of socks vanished. – Murick, where is the sock? Come on, hurry to find it! Daddy is in a rush. – she said, and gently with her hand jabbed the cat to the floor.

As if it was her who lost the sock, she, spinning her braid around the finger, stood in front of her father and with a lower voice said: - I could not find it, dad.

-Ahh Murick, ahh. Well, this time he will see me off with new socks. What can be done, we will go to the battle with one pair. – said the father and took new pair of socks which grandma was holding out to him. – Look, Mehri, I do not take out the one on my foot and I wear new ones over it. But, as soon as you find the left pair send it to me by post with your mother’s help. And don’t forget to write letters.

Mehri engraved that day in her acute childhood memory. But she could not remember at all which day of the month it was. She only remembered that tears were trickling down from her grandma’s and mother’s cheeks as drops trickle down now from the window’s glass. The pair of her father’s socks was not found. Later, they received news that he was seriously wounded in the battles for Aghdara in 1992. The day news came Mehri woke up to the screams of her grandma and mother. Not having a possibility to realize what happened, she jumped in the arms of her mother and started to shout:

-I want my dad. He will return, right? He will! I promised him. I will find it.

After a week, a portrait of the soldier rounded with a black strip, found a shelter on the table in their house too. A portrait of the father, looking at others watching him, behind the glass cover with a stern face, and only smiling at Mehri.

* * *

- Teacher, what are we doing now?

Sadayl’s voice detached Mehri’s attention from drops trickling down the glass and returned to the classroom.

- So, dear friends, we asked you to bring one pair of socks.

Quickly grabbing the candy from the table and putting it in his mouth, Sadayl, outstripping anyone else, spoke up:

- I brought. As I forgot yesterday, I could not ask the home folks. So, I brought the pair of the socks that my granny washed and let dry. – he said and put the sock, which he hastily grabbed from the rope, on the table. – Well, it is a bit wet, but if I swing it in the air it will dry.

Mehri laughed. It was not the first time she encountered such a thing in the kids’ group… It has already been several years that she is travelling and giving trainings with social theatre and art techniques to the groups of children, adolescents and youth on traumas, problems or any other socially important topics. She mostly observed how participants change in the trainings involving toy techniques, how they discover themselves and become more united with their inner selves. It was more appealing to work with underaged groups. Children had a very peculiar approach to problem-solving. When they need anything, they would get it from under the ground.

-Teacher, I’m late, I’m sorry.

Ali hurriedly entered the room. He took away the big plastic bag that was on his head and put it next to the door. His foots seemed wet. But he looked satisfied. His eyes almost tapered from the smile.

-Teacher, I’m sorry for being late. I also brought. This is my father’s.

Ali harshly squeezed the man’s sock in his hand and said:

-He does not need it anymore. He has returned. He said that the war is over. As no one was giving me socks at home, he gave his to bring to this class. So, what are we going to make from it? A toy?

Mehri gazed at the sock swinging in the air in Ali’s hand and unconsciously squeezed a pair of sock toy in her hand. A sock that her father could not wear that day and much later was occasionally found in the gap in the sofa, now, with beaded eyes in her hands was looking to the sock of Ali’s father.

The story may continue…



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