It Was Freedom I Was Interested in
Coca N.
 

            The thought of leaving had probably crossed their minds too as it had crossed the mind of any teenager, as of any child who, in spite of  being the daughters of a professor, couldn?t afford having ,I don?t know what sono? equipment in the basement as Stefan Andrei, where they went to parties ,had. They went there because they were schoolmates learning in the same high-school, ?Ion Neculce? High-school. There they could see another standard of living but they were happy if they had a Pink Floyd record or?

            Mother was a great problem for me because she was 70 years old and she was living in Mitropolit Nifon Street and I remember that the day I got the passport with the visa I went to her. I used to visit her especially on Sundays. I would call on her and we had lunch together sometimes, but then, on the way to my mother?s place, having talked to my daughters, that is having their OK, I was thinking what to do, how to tell her about my leaving because it was a great burden for me to lie to her and tell her: I leave but I?m returning in a month or?especially that only one year or so had passed since my father?s death. So I entered and I put the passport on the table, then I put it in her hands and showed her the visa. She put her glasses on, looked at it, folded it nicely, put it on the table in front of her, took her glasses off, looked at me and told me: Coca, leave! Please don?t come back. Take these children out of the country. I will never forget that day, it was the day with the greatest relief for me greater than anything else, the fact that she had accepted the idea and I told her: Mother, if I am to stay in America, I will take you out too. And she was the first one to come to America after a year and four months.

            My cousin who is also called Coca, the one who invited me to America, had left officially, being married to an Armenian who had had the right of emigrating. The Armenians had the right to emigrate because they did not have a country any longer. They enjoyed preferential status that is they could emigrate either to Russia or to America.  She was a financial and moral support for me. I lived with her house for a year and two months until my mother came to New York. In fact, when I got to New York I was not quite sure that I would stay in New York or I would leave for Canada. I did not know English at all but I could speak French fluently. That?s why I thought of leaving for Canada, but my cousin insisted that I should remain there and the fact that there was a little bit of a family made me decide to stay in New York.

            Anyway, after a week, no, less than a week I went to the Emigration Office not to have time for a second thought. You have to drop it like a hot potato, you have no choice, if you know that you are left with something, the temptation of giving up is great. Moreover, I am fond of visiting museums and I did not go anywhere thinking that there was no reason of making haste, as I had not come as a tourist, I had to stay there for good and I had plenty of time to visit them. It took a long time to be accepted, it was a very difficult trial, but I did not like to beat about the bush?The truth is that my family had been striked. I had two uncles convicted to the Canal, father had been a prisoner for eight years and there had been many other horrible moments in my life, being withdrawn from a house in 48 hours and so on. Finally we remained in our house with the help of a worker who had got a high job. But all these were the childhood dramas of a whole generation.

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