And No Roses for Ivana

Translated by: Ivaylo Vasilev

4.96   (110 votes)

This autumn Ivana felt the fear of death for the first time.

She was 33, without a child or a husband, and with no current boyfriend. She had changed twenty something men, but only two hung about her for a little longer.

Ivana could hardly stand the weakness of the stronger sex. It wasn’t like she was fussy, she was just independent. Since the time she was a high school student in Stara Zagora, she was used to taking care of herself and in the University of Sofia her stereotype of a vulturous young woman was even strengthened.

Men feared her because they considered her stronger than themselves. Those who actually dared to make the first step, found themselves out of her life on the second one. Ivana chose her lovers without putting too much passion in it. She believed that men are for use, most of them – only once. She wasn’t offended when some of them looked upon her in the same way. She had long ago parted with the illusions of a wretched country girl.

“A woman needs sex as much as a man does”, she used to say in times of boredom, “and she does not need to play emotions where there are none.”

Instead of making it easier to contact her, this philosophy made her an unconquerable fortress in the eyes of her colleagues from the architect office. None of them dared to climb the fortress because he didn’t want to feel like an used condom, thrown off her towers.

Ivana obtained boyfriends in all kinds of ways and places: in day bars, summer cinemas, trips abroad, swimming pools, fitness centers, even in car washes. First, they had to be clean, second – attractive, and third – not too tedious. She was rarely wrong in her estimations because she never expected too much. Least of all, to promise her the moon.

She never cared how she looked in the eyes of men. Except, perhaps, in the supreme moment in sex. She would then open widely her eyes and if the man under her was with closed eyes – he was used for the last time.

Her two longer relations were with men who often traveled. They themselves never wanted commitment, but sex and a partner to talk to at ease, without fear of screwing up. Ivana wanted the same, and that’s what made these relationships complete. For a while.

She broke with the first one after about a year, catching him in a lie. He was supposed to be abroad, but happened to be in one of the night clubs, holding a blonde. Ivana wasn’t against the change, but she was against being lied to. She threw him out of her life, regardless of the “sweety” an “never again”. She didn’t even admit feeling sour because he was a decent man. Decent for more than a year!

Thing were different with the second one. Everything was on schedule at first: robust sex, eyes opened on time, no fake moans, moving and sweating, a reasonable conversation without the usual pointless explanations, bye, don’t call me till Thursday, I’m busy at the moment, bye, and don’t you come to me with roses!

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