Urška Krumpak iz 2. b je na literarnem natečaju Bodi pisatelj/pisateljica 2020, ki ga organizira Pionirski dom iz Ljubljane, osvojila priznanje za najboljše literarno delo med srednješolskimi prispevki v angleškem jeziku. Njena mentorica je bila profesorica Sonja Matelič.
Zmagovalno besedilo avtorice Urške Krumpak je navdušujoča, zaokrožena celota. Besedilo odlikuje bogato besedišče in tekoč jezik. Pripoved z dveh vzporednih zornih kotov in naraščajoča napetost zgodbe držita bralčevo pozornost od začetka do konca, zato lahko Urško pohvalimo tudi za njen prepričljiv slog pisanja.
Z vsakim odstavkom zgodbe nam avtorica ponudi nov delček sestavljanke. Glavna lika zgodbe, Noah in Lou, sta sošolca, a se ne družita. Noah je nad Lou navdušen in na skrivaj jo prične opazovati misleč, da ona o tem nič ne ve. Seveda se moti. Lou se njegovega početja še kako zaveda in prav to jo poleg ostalih tegob še bolj potiska v negotovost in nemir. Zgodba se obarva v črno. V povsem zadnji povedi besedila bralca neposredno nagovori in ga tako vplete v zgodbo, spremeni v pričo Noahovega početja in s tem poskrbi, da nam bo še dolgo ostala v spominu.
In tukaj je še njeno besedilo – za angleško govoreče literarne sladokusce.
The Big Monday
Noah slid the door back and lept onto the grass, battling to stay upright as his foot slid off a grassy mound and into some mud. He flailed about, looking for a suitably dense bush that he could pee behind without being seen. Damn it, why did it have to be winter and nothing have any leaves on? Despite the nearby streets being rather desolated, as they tend to be on a Monday night, he had no desire to encounter anybody, or indeed anything. The slightest bark or tweet could give him away. At last, he found a pile of debris tall enough to cover his bottom half, relieved himself and then returned to the old deserted hovel he’d been hiding in. He climbed back to the window where he had left his belongings and reached for the binoculars.
She had never liked January, the post-Christmas period had always made her feel desperate, lonely and miserable. It must have had something to do with the sudden absence of all the lights, the cheer, the carols, the cinnamon scent and other commercial tricks devised to make people buy too many ornaments and gifts intended for no specific individual. All these things somehow made December bearable and Christmas represented the silver lining at the end of the year, whereas January felt like one vast and long Monday. The artificial snow too was now put away and rain promptly prevailed. Suddenly there was no silver lining, nothing to look forward to, nothing but a bunch of cold and damp days. The old house outside her window filled her with even more horror at this time than it did for Halloween and its darkened windows only added up to her anxiety. And currently wasn’t a good time to feel frightened or anxious.
To him she was the most charming, stunning and divine person he had ever seen. It wasn’t just the physical aspects he admired her for; there was something about her character that immediately impressed him. Firstly, she was something fresh, for before her, their class had never welcomed a new classmate. After the initial excitement subsided however, Noah still found her fascinating and different from the remainder of the girls in their class and, quite possibly, at their school. She wasn’t the typical popular girl, but she wasn’t being neglected either. To Noah’s amazement she managed to establish and maintain neutrality among the different cliques, one of which everyone appeared to be a member of. Because his shyness wouldn’t allow him to approach her directly, Noah conceived a different approach to learning more about her. He had now been observing her window from the old neighbouring dump every Monday for three months. His mother worked night shifts during the week, so he didn’t even have to bother sneaking out, he simply headed there at dusk and returned after Lou had gone to sleep.
Lou had been a straight-A student for the greater part of her life, but here, in an entirely new environment her grades started dropping. Despite her best efforts she didn’t manage to join any of the in-groups and had very little contact with her classmates outside of school. She longed for her old friends, who were now beyond her reach. She glanced at the cinema ticket on her wall, there to remind her of the parallel universe the summer holidays seemed to have been, of the days spent carelessly among people who understood her unlike anybody before. Now, when she wanted nothing but their company, they were no longer around the corner.
In these three months he had obtained an impressive amount of information about Lou. Her father worked as a police officer, which could account for her staying at home, at least while Noah was around. Her mother seemed very warm and loving, although he couldn’t figure what she might do for a living and, even though Noah hadn’t seen him for the past two weeks, her brother also entered her room occasionally. Lou enjoyed reading, especially fantasy; she could play the ukulele and fancied watching television series on her laptop. Sometimes she would even put on subtitles and, with the room arranged as it was, she would sit on her bed with her back against the wall so that the screen was facing the window and he was close enough to watch along.
Everything had changed after Joel’s death. Her mother was crying her eyes out, while her father buried himself in silence. She couldn’t possibly imagine his feelings, especially as a policeman, losing his son to an overdose. Naturally she was devastated just as well, but she knew her father felt particularly guilty about it. Now their house seemed less like a home, it became colder, lonesome and hostile. She sought warmth, but it was nowhere to be found; not in her friends, who were at a loss for words; not in music or books. She was going downhill, the recurring intrusive thoughts were driving her insane.
And then there was Noah. She first noticed his countenance in the window opposite hers sometime in late November and since then she hadn’t been sleeping well. She had always considered her room a safe refuge from everything that was raging outside its door. The thought of being watched and even more of having been watched without being aware of it struck terror into her and she became paranoid and restless. She was afraid to look towards Noah at school, for she was afraid what eye contact might reveal to either of them.
She now reached for a sheet of paper and a pencil from her desk and set about writing, but quickly realized there was nothing to say. What she was about to do had straightforward rationale and writing would only extend her woe. There was only one thing left to do and the answer lay in her drawer.
One thing was now sure; he knew way less than he had thought. This time Lou wasn’t what he had pictured in the past months, what he was now watching was no longer a romantic comedy, but a nightmarish horror film. Still, he could not be seen, as that would surely tip the balance into the wrong direction. He could only stare and pray for the best.
Her dad’s pistol was surprisingly easy to get hold of, for he was a heavy sleeper and he would leave the weapon exposed on his bedside table every evening. Lou had obtained it immediately after he had fallen asleep and it was now inside her desk drawer. This, she believed, would end the exasperating ideas she had been having more and more often for good. Everybody else was now too distant to make her retreat from her plan. She took the gun, placed it to the side of her head, gave Noah one last direct stare and fired.
She knew all along. At once, guilt, shame and panic overflowed him, his instinct to flee predominated and he ran as never before. He knew her parents would awaken at the sound of the shot and they were probably already looking at the disaster that had happened. Lou shouldn’t have done that but, then again, neither should he. The mere thought of the consequences made him shiver and attempts at comprehension of the just seen event were flying around his head. As far as you’re concerned, he was never there.