I'm writing a fragment of a much larger story with certain reluctance. In most parts, it still remains a mystery refusing to unravel. On a few occasions I dare to think that I might have found the answers to my questions but not with absolute certainty.
When my second husband and I got married three years ago, we decided that, having spent quite a long time teaching, we were ready to take up a new challenge and start our own business (we would be teaching in the morning and running a bar-restaurant) at night. We bought the business from a distressed acquaintance of ours who, after ten years, wished to "take it easy" for a while. I instantly fell in love with the place which had a hundred and fifty year-old history behind it. It used to be the home of a Turkish family which had lived on the island for over 200 years. The first owner's son had, at some time, turned it into the first Turkish restaurant in town introducing its eastern dishes to the Greek inhabitants. Then the restaurant changed hands when the first owner grew too old to run it and after all these years, here we come in the picture to buy the business but not the land or the construction on it. That still belongs to the same family.
Just to acquaint you with the place I will just say that the house remains as it was, built of stone in a c-shape. On the front, there's a busy road and at the back there's a 600-square-meter yard where everything grows and flourishes! That includes a 150-year-old vine, numerous trees and an amazing collection of plants and flowers.
During renovations, I would spend endless hours in that yard listening to every sound, touching every single flower cutting every dead leaf. I feel a very close connection to nature and always believed that if you stand still for a while, you will hear it whisper back to you. So, when my husband asked me to name the place, I felt that the place had already chosen its name and that was and still is "Anima" from the Latin word which means life/soul.
When renovations finished, I was responsible for decorating it and, having discovered some antiques in one of the store-rooms I decided to give it an "eastern touch" (carpets on the walls, large cushions on the wooden floors and such). Old mirrors and candle holders were once again polished and added to the rest of the decoration.
The first couple of years Anima was everyone's popular meeting place and everyone wanted to work for us. That, of course, came to change... It was at around 7pm one day when I was parking my car outside. During weekdays the only ones working there were the cook who came at 4pm for an hour and a half kitchen preparations and then back again at 8 and a bar-tender (apart from my husband and myself). As I came out of the car, I noticed that every light in the bar was switched on (the dimmer was turned to maximum) and the girl who was working inside the bar that night, was sitting outside with the front door open.
I froze for a moment as I realized that something serious had happened. When I finally approached to ask her what was wrong she started crying and telling me that she feared I was going to laugh at her. I managed to calm her down for a while and persuaded her to get inside with me. When inside, she finally let on that she had been hearing crashing noises coming from the kitchen and the bathroom and that she had, at some point, felt like something had passed in front of her.
I asked her to direct me to the place she had heard the sounds in an attempt to see if she would stick to her story and all this had not simply been a panic attack. She pointed towards the kitchen and the bathroom again but when I made my way towards that direction, she fled towards the front door once more. Having inspected the kitchen and finding nothing more than a few pieces of broken glass on the floor, I proceeded to the bathroom with my patience running thin because of that girl's childish behaviour. I was absolutely convinced that she must have placed a drinking glass too close to the edge of the kitchen table and had then knocked it over. But, upon entering the bathroom, I felt my heart coming to a halt as I noticed some more pieces on the floor and, as I turned my eyes to check around, I realized that the pieces had fallen off the bathroom mirror on the left. I gained some courage as I, for an instance, "captured" the logic behind the phenomenon and yelled at her to come back in.
"I found the suspect" and smiled to Elisavet who was now half way in. "Help me collect the pieces". She asked me what I meant and I told her that the mirror in the bathroom had somehow broken and that these things happen when objects wear off with time. "As for the kitchen, you must have knocked off a glass or something" I added to hear her deny the accusation. "I was out here when I heard the noise in there! And I felt like this cold wind passing by me, almost through me! Oh, I'm never coming in here first unless one of you is here already!"
I gave up the effort to calm her down and I proceeded to clean up the place myself but as I entered the kitchen again, I felt like something was watching me from a corner. I attributed this feeling to an influence her panic had on me but, just to be on the safe side, I kept talking with her as I went about my business. I collected the broken glass and started making coffee when I felt what I can only describe as something had sat on my chest making it difficult for me to breathe. I pretended to ignore the feeling and in less than 20 minutes the cook arrived accompanied by my husband.
Time passed with all of us running about to welcome and serve the customers but on our way back home I felt my heart pounding as my husband told me that he was really fed up fixing "that freaking mirror for the third time". He was convinced that the cleaning lady had been careless with it. It was at that when I realized that, had the cleaner broken it, Elisavet would have seen the glasses as soon as she entered the bar and even if she had missed it, the cook who had previously been there to make preparations for the night, would have cleaned them up before coming back at 8.