We are three sisters; there is Sapho, Slavica and I.

Sapho is the youngest, she plays hand ball and goes out with men, many men, she has the disease of modern living, hopping from dick to dick, all in hope not to stay alone or at least leave this wretched place. I, Afrodita am her older twin, we do not look much alike, but we feel, I do not speak, I never have, and I am not stupid I just have a physical problem of not speaking.

Slavica is our older sister, she is thirty-five and has been on a methadone therapy for nine years now, she is fine, she cooks, I clean and we keep the household going.

We live in Titov Veles, it is Veles now since Tito is gone, between ourselves we still call it Titov Veles. There is a lead factory Tito build in the time of communism or social democracy as he called it, the factory is in the center of the city and is polluting us all. Kids with two heads and seven fingers are being born, middle-aged men die prematurely, women get cancer.

I live in a community that is slowly dying and I only wonder when my turn will come. I am a virgin and 27, I am not a virgin because of my inability to speak, I have had many opportunities but I have not met the right one. Anyway, I do not like anyone plus we are busy at the moment looking for a suitable husband for Slavica. By me she is the most beautiful woman in Titov Veles. Our parents are not here, well our father died as soon as our mother left.

Now it is Sapho’s turn to leave, she spends most of her Mondays waiting at the Greek Embassy in Skopje. She is almost there, she says.