Santa Croce (2017-...)

The italki class

A short story by S. for his English teacher Lorraine

At that time, a long time ago, my life was very good. I lived in Sintra, Portugal, in a little luminous apartment but for me it was a palace. I used to teach English lessons online and I had twentish students from all over Europe. I was happy, but at that time it wasn’t so obvious to admit to myself. Of course we are never happy in a complete way, because we are missing the 360 vision and we can only see a little portion, but now I can say that it was a beautiful life. On Thursday I used to go to Lisbon by train, and I had English class with a group of migrants in a ruined palace close to Rua Augusta. For the night I came back to Sintra tired but happy, with all those stories, with all the energy and the passion of these poor and unlucky people. I met my boyfriend and we spent time watching old noir movies or listening to him singing and playing guitar. The rest of the days I had my Italki classes with very different people from different cities all over the word, but mostly from Europe. Was it boring some days? Maybe. They were just middle-class people dreaming about a different life, and thinking that English could be a key to enter this fantasy new life. Was it possible to change their lives or was it just an illusion? Hard to say. I was just an English teacher, not a key. But for all of those students I could see on their faces a different dream, maybe not a clear dream, but just a shadow of it. They were just normal people with normal lives, like everybody. One of them, S. used to tell me a lot of incredible stories about himself. He was 40ish years old, and he spoke from a nice apartment in Florence, Italy. Apparently he was a writer, another day he was a stand up comedian, and on other days he was a poet. One day he told me about a poetic night with over fifty people watching him perform some ridiculous stories. I thought that all of those stories were bullshit. Nobody would pay one euro to listen to this guy, I thought. Maybe he was just a mythomaniac. His English level was so bad, although he thought he was a new Shakespear. One day, I remember because it was Thursday and after the class I had to go to Lisbon, S. told me that he had to quit his class because he had to go to Stockholm. Why? Are you going there for vacation? No, he contested, I’ll be there for the Nobel prize. Ha-Ha, I said. C’mon, is it for a vacation? Tell me the truth, just this one time. But he was crazy, and he didn’t admit that he was. We started to insult each other and we terminated our class for that day and forever. The day after, or maybe two, I saw in all the newspapers and on the internet that stupid guy and his stupid face on the stage of the Nobel Price Academy. 



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