It Was Freedom I Was Interested in
Coca N.

It was in ?77, when after three years of vain attempts of visiting France, I finally got a visa and left for Paris for a month. There, all by myself, I enjoyed everything so much. I understood a lot of things because I knew French quite well. I thought of my two daughters, whom I considered beautiful and clever. One had already been admitted to faculty and the other was in high-school and I thought of their ?great?future as compared to the future of my friends? or acquaintances? children there. It was my first journey to the West, as I had already been to Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This was what determined me, in fact, I thought bitterly and regretfully to the chances the children living there had and what a pity for my children whom I considered superior as being highly educated and informed, but I knew very well what a dull future they would have. That was all about. The decision was not made then because I have never thought I could leave the country. I knew everything from magazines, I knew them from discussions but living there, day by day, in the same house with a little girl being the same age with my elder daughter, I realized then that my daughters would have the right to something better.

            It was only after four years, in ?81 that I made up my mind to leave; it took me quite a while to decide. I then came back from Paris, as a proof that I had never thought of leaving for good. I could have written to or I could have called my cousin in America and ask her to invite me there and to stay there for ever. Yet it took me such a long time to decide because there was something which worked somewhere underground, without being clear; it kept on working and suddenly, one day, it materialized. That was the way it happened.

            The decision was made in the very last year. My husband had left for America thinking of not coming back , but he came back because he realized it was very difficult to be an immigrant being deprived of all the professional rights and to start from minus because we had nothing, we had zero. My financial position was good in Romania. It was a problem that didn?t frighten me at all. I had completely left aside this idea. I remember a lady in America who, later on, did me a favor in Romania; she went to my house and returned being utterly taken aback and saying: how could you leave such a house and such a position and come? That is I had everything from a needle to what was well to do, because my husband would go to congresses abroad, things like these. I was living in Pajura then.

            The decision had been working in my mind all the time because that?s the way great decisions work. For example, the same thing happened when I gave up smoking; I had thought for about a month that I ought to give up smoking and one day I didn?t smoke any longer. I know the place and the moment. I had an altercation at home after my husband?s coming back from America and that was the very moment when I thought: ?It?s now or never?. I asked for another invitation from my cousin. Nobody in my family knew about my decision until I got that invitation. It was then that they learned, that is I talked to the girls. I asked them if they agreed or not. Catrinel was to graduate faculty in a year or so and Nelida was graduating high-school. If they hadn?t agreed I would have left just for a short visit and I would have returned to Romania but in one and the same voice they agreed. Catrinel was more reserved, that is wiser as she should have been. She is four year and seven months older than her sister. Catrinel told me: If you think it is possible, that you will succeed , stay there, otherwise, come back not to get ill?so she was very wise while Nelida said from the very first moment: Leave mother and don?t come back?

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