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The first winner from our Valentine's Day dreams competition


As promised, we are publishing the best five love stories from our Valentine’s Day competition all along this week. The first one is “The photograph of Esteban Prazská”, by Alejandra Vanessa Jurado. A picture speaks thousand words and it takes us back in time, rekindling our passions…

The photograph of Esteban Prazská

I discovered that photograph when I was a girl; I was looking through a dark red brass box, which was later used to store my picture cards of women of the world. The box was in our grandparents’ country house, in the storeroom, behind an old chest inherited from my grandmother, where my mother kept her wedding and Christian dress, and where I would also store my communion dress that year. It was a black and white photo. I examined it excitedly, even a little anxiously, on both sides. On the back, at the top left-hand corner, was a date written in purple: 16 April 1959, and a name in round letters: Esteban Prazská. I assumed this was the name of the child who appeared in the photo. I observed him for a while: a child, but how old? Nine perhaps. No idea, but a good many years have gone by since then. He was leaning on a fairly small bicycle, which had recently been decorated with coloured ribbons and stickers and newspaper cuttings and a flower — a white flower that did not appear to have been cut by him. But what most struck me was a trophy at his feet, which glistened in the sun, sending out fine, very fine, rays. I said to myself: “I bet he’s won a round-the-world bike race or he’s a pirate about to board ship.” And on saying this it looked like he was staring right into someone’s eyes, and I thought I saw a figure reflected in them. Just then my mother arrived and I tried to ask her about that very special photograph: “Who’s this child, mummy?” But she did not speak, took the photo from my hands and looked at it in silence. She tenderly moved it toward her old cardigan of white daisies. She gazed at it once again and with a shy look in her eyes stored it in her left pocket forever. That’s how I also hope to remember my first love.

Alejandra Vanesa Jurado Bueno

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 - category: w's news

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