Fotis narrates the story of the lucky charm with ‘2015’ written on it, which begins with a phone call on an early December morning in 2014. At first, he couldn’t recognise the voice coming from the other end of the line, asking him where he went to elementary and middle school. Later, the voice told him that they used to call him “big ears”. Then, Fotis immediately understood he was speaking with Nt., an old classmate of his, whom he hadn’t seen for 45 years. Nt. explained that, along with their old classmate, I., they had gathered a list of names of the people they graduated elementary school with.
Imagine that we were together from the first year of elementary school all the way through to the sixth year and then went to middle school together as well.
Nt. continued saying that they were thinking about contacting all their classmates, in order to meet up and get to know each other once more.
So, Fotis tells us, 20-25 classmates gathered at a taverna in Galatsi and Nt. had brought some lucky charms, like this one, to hand out. Ever since that day, Fotis and Nt. kept in touch. Their point of reference was Nt.’s factory.
In August 2018, Fotis became homeless.
It was August when I lost my daughter and when I lost my mother, and it was also August when I was left to live on benches.
When, at some point, he had his belongings and phone stolen, he found a phone from a couple who were friends of his and he called another old classmate, G., to ask him for a sim card. G. brought him the sim card and, having seen that Fotis was homeless, he called I. to discuss how they could help. I. contacted Nt. and Nt. gave Fotis a place in the factory, with a bed, a small fridge and a toaster.
Fotis arrived at the factory on 29 October 2018 and stayed there for two and a half years. On 5 November of the same year, he started working at Shedia, after a couple’s recommendation. He left the factory in 2021 when he entered a housing programme and found an apartment with subsidised rent.
After moving out of the factory, they kept seeing each other. Fotis would pass by the factory and they would talk regularly on the phone. One day, he received a phone call from a girl who worked at the factory, whom he got to know during his stay there. She told him Nt. had had a heart attack.
I’ve kept this as a memento, as a, let’s say, amulet, because it reminds me of my friend. It was the first gift he gave me when we reunited after 45 years and I have kept it, together with my daughter’s silver jewellery, as an amulet.