Helen and Andrea are sisters; both in their fifties. A small quiet local café in their neighbourhood is where they meet for coffee every single Sunday morning to share their news. Helen has moved in her mother’s 27 square meters flat, almost 4 years ago. By moving in it means that she put a sofa that turns to a single bed next to her mother’s couch that she also uses as a bed for the last 35 years and the small coffee table. Helen got married right after school the man who gave her a greasy piece of pizza every Saturday evening while passing by with her girlfriends on their way to the movies. Next, marriage and immediately work at his pizza place.
“I never thought of myself as an employee”, she says. “It was our own business, our family business, my business too. I never got paid, I was not insures and I never took a single day off, we all lived from this small pizzeria. And no, I never thought about any other future. Now couples sign all these pre-marriage contracts, or at least that’s what they show on TV, but who actually thinks of “future securing” when they are in love and about to get married? Well, not me anyway, I never did.”
Helen’s husband asked for a divorce almost 4 years ago. He met a younger woman who …maybe came for a greasy slice of pizza on Saturday evenings like she did and he decided that he wanted another chance in love before it was too late. Since her husband owns the pizzeria and the small apartment above, Helen all of the sudden found herself in her 48 years, divorced, unemployed and actually homeless. Now she is 52 and she’s back with her mother, unable to find a job or settler.
“It’s unfair. Just so unfair. Why? I never stopped working for almost 35 years. I never saw my children growing up. Others did, not me. I was always working. And now …just look at me. What am I supposed to do? Who is going to hire a 52 year old woman soaked in grease, with pink burn-marks all over her hands? They didn’t give me a job when I was 48, why would they hire me in my 52?”
Her sister shakes her head and lowers her eyes. She feels ashamed and it is obvious, even though she wants she cannot help her sister.
Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!