Eleven Minutes PDF By Paulo Coelho

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Eleven Minutes Novel Story

‘Don’t delude yourself. He flies off to Brazil whenever one of his dancers gets married, something which seems to be happening more and more frequently.

He knows what you want, and I assume you do too: you’re probably looking for one of three things – adventure, money or a husband.’

How did she know? Was everyone looking for the same thing? Or could Vivian read other people’s thoughts?

I’All the girls here are looking for one of those three things,’ Vivian went on, and Maria was convinced that she really could read her thoughts. ‘As for adventure, it’s too cold to do anything and, besides, you won’t earn enough to go off travelling.

And as for money, once the cost of room and board has been deducted, you’ll have to work for nearly a whole year just to pay for your flight back home.’


‘I know, that isn’t what you agreed. But the truth is that, like everyone else, you forgot to ask.

If you had been more careful, if you had read the contract you signed, you would know exactly what you were getting yourself into, because the Swiss don’t lie, they just rely on silence to help them.’

Maria felt the ground shifting beneath her.

‘And as for a husband, every time a girl gets married, that represents a great financial loss for Roger, so we’re forbidden to talk to the customers.

If your interests lie in that direction, you’ll have to run great risks. This isn’t a pick-up place, like in Rue de Berne.

Rue de Berne?

‘Men come here with their wives, and the few tourists who turn up get one whiff of the family atmosphere and go looking for women elsewhere.

I presume you know how to dance; well, if you can sing as well, your salary will increase, but so will the other girls’ envy, so I’d suggest that, even if you’re the best singer in Brazil, forget all about it and don’t even try. Above all, don’t use

I got paid yesterday, barely a tenth of what we agreed, the rest, according to the contract, will be used to pay for my flight and my stay here.

According to Vivian’s calculations, that will take a year, which means that during that time there’s no escape.

And what’s the point of escaping anyway? I’ve only just arrived. I haven’t seen anything yet. What’s so awful about having to dance seven nights a week?

I used to do that for pleasure, now I do it for money and fame; my legs don’t ache, the only difficult thing is maintaining that fixed smile.

I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.

Maria chose to be an adventurer in search of treasure she put aside her feelings, she stopped crying every night, and she forgot all about the person she used to be; she discovered that she had enough willpower to pretend that she had just been born and so had no reason to miss anyone.

Feelings could wait, now what she needed to do was to earn some money, get to know the country and return home victorious.

Besides, everything around her was very like Brazil in general and her own small town in particular: the women spoke Portuguese, complained about men,

talked loudly, moaned about their working hours, turned up late at the club, defied the boss, thought themselves the most beautiful women in the world, and told stories about their Prince Charmings,

who were usually living miles away or were married or had no money and so sponged off them. Contrary to what she had imagined from the leaflets Roger had brought with him,

the club was exactly as Vivian had said it was: it had a family atmosphere.

The girls described on their work permits as ‘samba dancers were not allowed to accept invitations or to go out with the customers.

If they were caught receiving a note with someone’s telephone number on it, they were suspended from work for two whole weeks.

She doesn’t want to go back to the club, she wants to go home, but she has to go back to hand over the fifty francs, and then there’s another man, another cocktail,

more questions about Brazil, a hotel, another shower (this time, no comment), back to the bar where the owner takes his commission and tells her she can go, there aren’t many customers tonight.

She doesn’t get a taxi, she I walks the length of Rue de Berne, looking at the other clubs, at the shop windows full of clocks and watches, at the church on the corner (closed, always closed…) As usual, no one looks at her.

She walks through the cold. She isn’t aware of the freezing temperatures, she doesn’t cry, she doesn’t think about the money she has earned, she is in a kind of trance.

Some people were born to face life alone, and this is neither good nor bad, it is simply life. Maria is one of those people.

She begins to try and think about what has happened: she only started work today and yet she already considers herself a professional; it’s as if she started ages ago as if she had done this all her life.

She experiences a strange sense of pride; she is glad she didn’t run away. Now she just has to decide whether or not to carry on.

If she does carry on, then she will make sure she is the best, something she has never been before.

But life was teaching her very fast that only the strong survive. To be strong, she must be the best, there’s no alternative,

From Maria’s diary a week later:

I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body. All this week, contrary to what one might expect, I have been more conscious of the presence of this soul than usual.

It didn’t say anything to me, didn’t criticize me or feel sorry for me: it merely watched me.

Today, I realized why this was happening: it’s been such a long time since I thought about love or anything called love.

It seems to be running away from me as if it wasn’t important anymore and didn’t feel welcome.

AuthorPaulo Coelho
Language English
No. of Pages153
PDF Size1 MB

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