prose

Mira Petrović: Anything Could Happen

Mira Petrović was born in 1989 in Split. She holds a degree in English language and literature and Italian literature and language from the University of Split. Her short stories have appeared in various online publications. She lives and works in Split as an English language teacher.

Petrović’s story is not the typical tale of forbidden love and lust. She explores passion and longing from two opposing perspectives. On one side stands youthful worldly openness and on the other the intense frustrations and disappointments that come with unfulfilled desires at a certain age, further compounded by the constraints of small town mores.

Read her short story, Anything Could Happen, below.
Translation by Nikica Mihaljević.



 

Anything Could Happen, by Mira Petrović

Translated by Nikica Mihaljević

 

Diana is driving a hundred kilometers per hour, on a narrow road with tight corners, she is racing, yelling, thrashing about her arms. Her body is a grimace of pain, it is the embodiment of chaos, with tears in her eyes and a burning desire in her womb, blazing in flames of her own self-destructive rage.

 

Diana is actually my mother’s best friend—the one who changed my diapers when I was a baby and helped me with school work whenever my parents wanted to have a few hours for themselves. “We have to let them loosen up,” she used to say to my puberty self—thinking that I did not understand what she was talking about, while she explained math and grammar rules. Diana was a jack-of-all-trades, there was nothing she did not know. But the thing that had always impressed me was actually her drawback. “I carry the curse of a smarty pants,” she said during my graduation party, “because those who know everything do not have anything to focus on, they scatter in all directions and they break into a million pieces which, all together, do not make a whole.”

 

Diana’s personality has been shattered in a million of fragments that are flying right now in front of my eyes; for the first time this morning I understand what happened on prom night, when she was talking about the broken puzzle of her being, as I watch, fascinated, her skin dissolving and getting lost in the space between us, filled with hidden feelings.

 

I hate my life, Diana is shouting through the decomposing shroud of her bright red lips. I hate you, she is saying, as she is driving like a raging ox, grazed by a bullet that has only irritated her more, and I offer myself as the only target of that amplified rage knowing I will certainly get hurt. Diana is a fury on wheels with hatred as fuel, and at least part of this aggression is about me and her murderous gaze callously rips my skin off while my body is getting ready for the slaughter. I instinctively hold on to the seat even though I am not afraid, since deep down maybe I wish for death, I wish to die for a moment and then to be reborn, clean, with an amnesia that erases the adverse traces of the past and writes new stories on the white paper of conscience.

 

“Stop the car,” I say to Diana, but Diana is not listening to me. Diana has that crazy look of a wounded animal that is running away and has no place to go. “Stop the car, Di, please, we’ll talk.”

 

Diana is laughing, she is screaming and squealing. “You are too young,” she says, “a talk won’t help, a talk will only screw up things even more.”

 

In front of us, the road is empty, at the same time it is an expression of monotony and a glorious road sign to a new opportunity. There is almost nobody driving on this street and that’s the only fortune today, the fact that there are no potential victims of Diana’s anger and me as a passive participant of her crime and of our wild story. But the supporting role I chose for myself this morning is now slowly starting to annoy me, my lethargy begins to bother me and, because of it, I slowly start to seethe, to boil over, to rage; I am angry with myself because I stubbornly follow fate instead of resisting it, I am angry because I have decided to go on this trip and because I didn’t tell my mom the truth, because the truth is always hidden somewhere in between the lies, like in a game of detection that only the greatest minds, like Sherlock Holmes and doctor Watson, can afford to play—not my mother and me.

 

Read the rest here.

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