Short Story No.6: Agnieska


by The Eaghams

The depiction of London in this piece, explores the Eastern European tribes. This short story is the  most satirical of the pieces the author has written from the collection. By turns, thoughtful, fun and vivid, the characterisation in this piece is among the author's strongest.
She was calculating with her money and shopped at The Pound Store, where there were warehouse prices for quality brands, brands you would feel awkward or disheartening to pay less for, the reverse of a generous tip, goods were flogged to the flock. She wore a skimpy dress and was wafer thin like a model. She drank lots of coffee from her portable coffee maker, she knew how to make the perfect blend for herself and for after Sunday dinner when the relatives were invited round. The Europeans knew the subtleties of fine blend coffee, that the Americans crassly imitated and tried to monopolize.

Her brother was a mechanic, he fixed cars in his workshop. There would be techno blaring out from the radio, when they were not listening to classic hits of the DJ's playlist. His overalls were not for any purposes of fashion. He would drink beer, race and jump the traffic lights in his secondhand beat up motor. He would loiter in the parks drinking beer with company of bottles, heads and shoulders digging in the crates, the lot of them. There was an Eastern European store that arrogantly sold sausage and soups in East London, full of residents from Pakistan, India, Shri Lanka and Bangladesh, a mixture of legal citizens and illegal immigrants. Her relationships were complicated and involved detailed arrangements. There was a proper regard for books and culture that they had grown accustomed to from their cultural backgrounds in Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
The history was remembered in the 18th Century architecture that remained and was still in active use. They grew up listening to classical composers and because of such an environment they would always be saying the word 'beautiful' in their conversations. Yet she made short arty films associated with Europeans, symbolic but always of an ambiguous morality. The reels ran for almost 20 minutes, submitted to the course administrator in good time, typing up coursework at the University library 'till dawn. The monochrome of contemporary art she read of seemed vague once more with an excess of notions that were affectations of expressions, rather than statements of truth.

She cared for social ettiquette and presentation of the cultural kind and smiled sweetly. She hated honest talk and felt embarrassed at people who were not as busy or active. She could not look them in the eye, especially the knowing honest kind, introverted. Or the male who excessively daydreamed, unhardened by responsibility. She loved bearded men with dashing manners. She hated men who were talkative in a discursive manner, devoid of any lively pranks and humour. Her man had to be heavy with struggle so she could smile condescendingly at them, someone not as heavy as her would frustrate her, but had a possibility of winning her over, but she knew it was out of the question in these instances for her, not her brother's friend. Because she knew she was out of his league. Different leagues sometimes cannot compromise and it was his call. She had to settle in hating him to keep boundaries and maintain the social structures that are stable. She therefore hated him because he was unattainable and decided she was unsuitable. Her self image was strengthened in feeling and style from the odd combination of designer wear and cheap dresses from Eastern Europe. She clearly fitted in with her crowd, her people. She only said a passing hello to her neighbour Mustapha, who played rap records late on the weekends.
Other groups of nationalities, races, were a jigsaw. She felt uncomfortable when she saw someone who was dressed loosely for the competition it presented. Those who acted more at ease with themselves, their fuller dresses, who were bubbly as champagne. She was domestic in her cleanliness, and schedules ran her life after a while, instead of the other way round. She would get caught in a rut unable to get round to changing things as required. Her great grandfather was of the royal lineage in Poland. She wanted to make her own way in the world. 

She was a meticulous person who not stop mentally comparing prices and people and the feelings they exuded as their true worth. Not everyone was cut from the same cloth, but everyone could dress however they wished. Some dressed in power suits with shoulder pads, making impressions count for a lot or to express what was embodied and understood within? Some dressed from their socially privileged status, in keeping with their environment, of friends and acquaintances of their circle. Some imagined and created their lives, others thought uniformly and conventionally. Some traveled, were upwardly mobile, some frequented the same circle, day after day, their phones fired with text messages they were darting back and forth. Some retained their originality, rather than discover it, which could stand through the most diverse of people and meetings of minds.

1. Mustapha
2. Actor Dude
3. Boy from Bath
4. David
5. Imitiaz
6. Agnieska
7. The Workplace
8. Jack and Joseph
9. On Motivation
10. Angela
11. The Deep Sea Diver
12 After The War
13. Nigel, Samantha and Luke
14 James Changzhu
15. Ali and Some Books
16. Joe Bloggs
17. Naveed and Rupesh
18. Lionel
19. Abdul
20. Ajaz
21. Mr Jameson
22. Little John
23. Adventures of Zhi Xin
24. Dave and 'Jim'
25. Timothy

© Zubyre Parvez 2017 All Rights Reserved

The EaghamsWRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Eaghams.  His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams

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