Violeta - William Falo

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by William Falo

Tomi clenched the wheel with both hands when he drove over the railroad tracks into the Roma settlement on the outskirts of Ozd. The truck splashed through a puddle of brown putrid water that splashed onto him through the open door.

“Damn those Gypsies,” he said. The nearest house looked about to fall down, and a shredded shade fluttered in a glassless window. A lady ran out of the door toward him; he tried to drive away, but she grabbed his arm.

“What are you doing?” He asked, and tried to push her away.

“Violeta is missing.”

“Who is Violeta? He asked, and noticed that the dark eyes of the lady glistened with tears.

“My daughter. She was playing out front. Right here,” the lady pointed at the front of the house. She still clung to his arm. He shook his arm free, and unconsciously wiped it away. The lady stepped back repulsed by his action.

“I have to deliver this mail, but I’ll look out for her.”

“She has long black hair, and is only six years old.”

“Did you call the police?”

“They say that I’m crazy. It’s because I’m Roma, they don’t like to come out here.”

The silence lingered. Tomi understood crazy. The counselors called him many names when he retreated from society. They diagnosed him with bi-polar mania, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and as suicidal after his father lost his job and left for the Ukraine never to return. No one understood the pain he felt, except for his friend’s family took him under their wing.