Page 52 - To Family with Love
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the very beginning, while he was still learning how to drive. He exchanged the one who acted as his driving instructor and two more along the way for two packs of Marlboros. Another three had a change of heart and concluded that the war was not their war after all, and they no longer wanted to be Chetniks no matter what, so my old man let them go home. He couldn’t get rid of the last three, because they had never been to Zagreb, and since they were from Donji Lapac, God knows if they would ever get such a good opportunity again.
− And where are those three now?
− Probably in Donji Lapac, because when they entered Za- greb and a tram rushed past them, they got so frightened that they jumped out of the Jeep and ran away in fear. In the end, not a single one of them was left to at least help us clean our house or write my homework for me. The only thing left of it is the beautiful SUV in front of our building.
Of course, all of the boys immediately rushed out of school to see my old man’s spoils of war, so Pythagoras, when he en- tered the classroom, had to teach mathematics only to the girls. A dark blue Mitsubishi SUV with chrome bumpers was glowing in the sun in front of our building, to the point that you couldn’t look straight at it. It was just waiting for my squad there, waiting to arouse their envy and jealousy to unimaginable proportions. One could argue that was my greatest war triumph.
And triumph, unfortunately, doesn’t last long in my family.
Since I didn’t have the keys to that car, those colleagues of mine started climbing it as if it had yielded fruit, and just as fat Ivica hung his body on the side-view mirror, the Jeep rolled its eyes, started blinking, blazing and howling as if planes were overhead, and I, rushing to the toilet, was wondering what the hell was going on with my city and family that every single thing except for the fridge had to roar and howl and make me run to the fourth floor. My ma would scream during the day, my old man

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