“It seems to be now the moment of my first day of 10th grade when I was standing in school’s playground anxious to see my classmates again. It was the beginning of the autumn, but outside was very cold. On that cold weather I was not in the mood for that speech about a new year of school, but our teachers considered that nothing should stop that festivity. I and other two mates eluded from that brain washing ritual and we went to smoke because it was too cold. One of my mates called Tudorel from 12th C grade is tall and so dark haired that girls were dying for him when he was passing by them, and the other is called Răzvan and he just started high-school in 9th G grade.
Răzvan was having a big head and nerd glasses, but he was the most idiot person I knew. He was idiot back then because now he is a big farm owner in Dolhasca and he has a lot of money. However, even if he was idiot and ugly with his curly hair that we nicknamed him „Oaie Belgiană” („Belgian Sheep”), he was having more success with girls than me. He was „a good boy” and ostensibly girls like good boys.
We got to the back of the apartment house that was across the school and Tudorică gave us cigarettes for free.
‘Belgian,’ he said to Răzvan after he handed him the cigarette, ‘what would say all those girlfriends that you’re speaking highly of if they found out that their good boy is smoking with the bad boys at 38?’
38 was that area behind the block where were coming all those strange people to smoke during the breaks or during classes. I don’t know why is it called like that, but I also think that there was none in this school who knew why. Tudorel always pretended that he knew the answer and he said he was going to tell me one day.
‘They are not going to find out, Tudorel.’
‘Do we make a bet?’ Răzvan looked away at my friend to see if he was playing with him or he was saying that for real.
‘We don’t make any bet because I am going back. It is the first day and I don’t want my form master think that I am a professional truant.’ , he said after he saw the serious look on his face and he threw the cigarette making off like he has never been there.
Tudorel was my mentor since I’ve got to high-school and I’ve tried to conquest his girlfriend. After I’ve been beaten by him for four or five times and I haven’t stopped my attempt, he considered interesting my insolence and then he took me under his wing. He was having all the qualities of a mentor, he was conquesting girls continuously, he was passing with honours, besides he was a respectful ragged in the district. The last one quality was the main reason why I chose to be his disciple. I was wanting…no I wasn’t, I was obeying him and if I was disobeying him he was going to beat me till I couldn’t be able to get up a week. I disobeyed once, I disobeyed twice, for the third time and so on till I lost the number of the beatings. After a while I had sown my wild oats because I haven’t had any other opportunity.
I owe almost everything to Tudorel, he made me someone. When I have got to high-school for the first time I could barely read. I was full of hormones and desperate of girls that were out of my league and I was also after vagabondage. I was stealing money from my mother’s bag and I was spending them on cigarettes, till one day when I got caught. No, not my mother caught me, Tudorel did. He has beaten me so hard that I was unconscious for about two hours. But this moment has been before the 10th grade. Back then I was trained and obedient enough not to get beaten.
I don’t know what I was thinking of back then, but Tudorel finished his cigarette like it was ice-cream and outside were like 40 degrees, while I smoked not even half of mine. He said nothing. He just sat there leaning against the block’s wall with his hands in the pockets of his washed-out jeans waiting for me to finish. He was staring at the sky. I always thought that he was insane and that when he was staring at the sky he was in his madness. But I’ve never told him that.
I had finished my cigarette for a while now, but I didn’t want to talk to him because I was afraid of him, the insane one. I have had certain talks with his other half and I was not in the mood for one then. Fifteen minutes have passed, then thirty minutes, then almost an hour and he was still staring at the sky.
‘Tudorel, do you want me to leave you alone?’ he looked down at me and watched me surprised. I would never forget that look, the look that confirmed my suspicion that he was insane. He stared at me like I’ve never been there, like he didn’t know me.
There haven’t passed so much time till his expression was lucid again, his dim eyes were clear again under his slightly frowning eyebrow. With his specific calm and without saying anything, he started walking towards the school, took like twenty steps and then stopped. He didn’t turn around but I knew he was waiting for me to move and to follow him.
That strange episode perturbed me and I was going to bring him to account for that moment after classes, but when we got into our classroom it wasn’t necessary anymore.
My new form master was the one who took the place of that witch of Popovici, who old woman who couldn’t hear you even if you were using megaphone, the old woman who was flunking out one by one, the woman who was gutting the life out of us and the one who was making you damn that Romanian Language was a compulsory subject.
My new form master was Yeva Petrov, a Moldavian woman who just finished Literature University, a beautiful blonde woman with an aspect of a Russian girl risen in province. Yeva was the greatest love disappointment of my mate Tudorel.”