Victoria Groshovyk, 16, Kalush

I always hated my life but now I love every minute of it. 12th December I was involved in car accident. Accidents have taken many lives but I’m still alive and today (13th December) I make a new life for myself because I have decided to love my life as I could lose it.

So I woke with a start. The cock was still crowing. I live in a small purpose-built flat with my father. My neighbour Victor, who has always been a model of healthy living, has a cockerel, which we call Peter. Peter the cockerel lives on the balcony. I love him because he always wakes me up in the morning. My neighbour loves animals so much. He has five cats, a dog and a parrot called Polly. Victor always does exercises while his wife makes breakfast for all their big family in the morning. Today is the 13th and it’s Saint Andrew’s day. The night before some young women in my country put pieces of paper on which they have written potential husbands names under their pillow, then first thing in the morning (13th December) they take one out, which reveals their future husband. My future husband will be a man called Max. Ha-ha! I don’t believe in it but I do it every year. It’s only for fun. I was looking at that magic paper with a name and laughing at it. Then my dad cooked breakfast for me but as I was late in getting up I didn’t eat it. I wanted to take the lift but somebody had entered before me. I lowered my head because I was upset. But suddenly someone jumped back to try and hold the lift for me. It was a handsome boy whom I had never seen here before.  I found myself mesmerised by his eyes. I bit my lower lip…

‘Hello. How are you?’ I could not hold from saying it to him.

‘Hi. Thank you. I’m good,’ a small voice said . The softly spoken words were almost drowned out by the sound of the lift. ‘You live here, don’t you?’ he asked.

‘Yes, I do,’ I answered.  We spoke on the way to school and now I know he is Max and yes, it’s very strange. Max has settled here recently.

I love my school and I love my teachers. I learned everything from them. We had vechornytsi at that day. It’s a tradition to celebrate Saint Andrew’s day. Every class had to sing a carol and the best singing won a prize (candies). And my class was the winner! We sang my favorite carol called “Sleep, Oh Jesus”.  I believe in God and I love him.  My mom and I started to go to church when I was a child. I keep on going there. I just like to believe in something greater than me. I pray every day.  Sometimes it just makes me feel better when I pray.

I met Max when I was coming back home from school. It was a pure accident that we met again at that day. He wanted us to go for a walk but bad weather deterred us from going out.  So we spent our time in my flat with my dad and neighbours. We had fun and I think I like Max. Maybe he is my future husband and this strange Ukrainian bewitchment is true…


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