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Her name was Sandybell.

We were classmates at the university, but we became so much more.
We became family.

She was living in a house with two other roommates.

Her room was small. Just a desk, a tiny library, and a mattress on the floor.

But for a period, it was my whole world.

When I learned that I couldn’t afford a house anymore, that I had to stop my studies and go back to Athens, she took me to her room.

We had known each other for just a few months when that happened. I spent 2 years in her room and 7 years by her side.

That winter of 2013 was so cold.

We had a tiny but warm orange duvet, its name was “Charmeleon”.

And a small heater.

Every day once I woke up, I would just sit in front of that heater for a few minutes, the poor man’s meditation.

When she got sick, the heater wasn’t enough anymore, I had to freeze everything inside me to be able to keep up.

Most days it felt like survival; when there was a special occasion, similarly to how other families would have meat for dinner, we would share a pack of Camel cigarettes.

I have a lot of memories from that winter, but I remember so clearly those days I discovered “Attack on Titan”.

I watched episode after episode, lying on the mattress with an old laptop in front of me along with black coffee and cheap, illegal tobacco.

It’s been 10 years since then.

My room is bigger. Same with the desk and my bed. But there are days I feel more cold than I used to feel in that room. But today won’t be like that.

I will work on the MSc assignment until the clock shows midnight.
And then I will watch the last episode of “Attack on Titan." Ten years later, it has come to an end.

But I am still here, and I have experienced way more wonderful and ugly things than I could imagine back then.

I am so happy that I have survived until today.

I am even happier that I have managed to grow my family all over the globe, with bonds stronger and deeper than I would have dared to dream of back in school when I was a lonely kid.

And for that, I am really proud of myself.

Thank you for reading 🪄


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