When Cinni met Levy

Lost and Found Blogfest

The Love Lost and Found Blogfest is hosted by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out and Guilie Castilol-Oriard of A Quiet Laughter, and co-hosted by Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey. and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Participants share a poem, story, essay, or song about love lost or found.

This scene takes place on 5 May 1942, as young soulmates Levon Kevorkian and Cinnimin Filliard meet for the first time. Cinni has just seen her on-again, off-again, no-longer-so-secret interfaith boyfriend Barry kissing his boring new girlfriend, and she’s shut him out of her heart for good.

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From across the room, Levon’s eyes latched onto Cinnimin on the davenport, and his heart fluttered.  This pretty American girl obviously wasn’t Armenian, but he had a strange, uncanny feeling she was someone special.  Perhaps his parents and grandfather had been driven out of Turkey, and he and his siblings had come to America, just so he could meet this girl.

“Tiffany, can you introduce me to the one with curly hair?”

“What?  I doubt she wants to meet a brand-new immigrant.  And why Cinnimin?  How about my cousin or their other friend?”

“I can’t explain, but I sense something really special about her, and she’s got a more natural beauty than the other girls.”

Tiffany looked over at the three girls commiserating on the davenport.  Though both Elaine and Violet were spoken for, Cinnimin was still single, as far as she knew, and didn’t seem to have a crush on anyone special at the moment.  It couldn’t hurt to at least introduce her to Levon.

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“Cinnimin, this is Levon Kevorkian, one of my guests.  He asked to meet you.”

Cinnimin glanced at the boy with the foreign name and noticed he had a very sincere face. “Do you speak English?”

Levon’s tongue was like lead.  He tried to nod, but found his head immobilized too.

“Yes, boy?  You wanna talk to me?  I don’t read minds.”

He managed to open his mouth, but nothing came out, too paralyzed by intimidation by this pretty American girl.

“Well, can you speak English or not?”

Levon finally found his tongue, praying his basic English wouldn’t fail him and he wouldn’t accidentally blabber in Armenian or Bulgarian. “You are extremely beautiful.  I can tell you have an extremely beautiful mind too.”

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Violet and Elaine burst into giggles.

“Oh, so you do speak English.” Cinnimin glared at Violet and Elaine. “Please excuse my friends.  They’re not as mature as I am.  Violet in particular has very poor taste in boys.” She smiled at him. “You’re cute.  Can I call you Levy?”

“My family calls me Levoush.”

“Oh, that doesn’t sound very American.  If you’re here to stay, you need a proper American nickname.  What’s your middle name?”

“Mandarias.”

Cinnimin grimaced. “That sounds even more foreign.  Please, can I just call you Levy?”

“You don’t like my name?  I have very nice, traditional Armenian name, and I didn’t think it sounded too foreign.  You have strange name I never heard.”

“My mother named me after her favorite spice, but she couldn’t spell it properly.  I’m so used to writing my name that way, the so-called correct spelling just looks wrong to me.”

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Tarchin is the Armenian form of her name,” Tiffany provided from the background.

Levon ventured a shy smile at Cinnimin. “When we add tarchin to our food, we say it’s like adding love to the food.”

“You’re pretty eloquent,” Cinnimin said, feeling his dark eyes burning a hole in her soul. “But everyone needs a nickname.  Don’t you think Levy is a cute nickname?”

Levon finally nodded, hoping “eloquent” was a positive word.  Now that the ice was broken, he figured it couldn’t hurt to ask a slightly personal question.

“You have boyfriend?”

Cinnimin jumped up, her heart racing. “I’m sorry, I must leave.”

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16 thoughts on “When Cinni met Levy

  1. I know next to nothing about Armenia, so this was fascinating to read. Would love to know more. (I’m with Levon, though… “Levy” just doesn’t do it for me. Then again, different times… 😉 ) I’m rooting for the couple!

    Thanks for being a part of the Lost & Found hop 🙂
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  2. Did he scare her off already?! At just the mention of the word “boyfriend”?? I can see her point! 🙂
    Really nice story. I was very invested in it. I like how you portrayed Levy. Such a sweet genuine boy.
    And those old time Valentines sure brought back memories! I remember when we had to go to school with Valentines for everyone… Do they still do that??

    Great post for the Love Lost & Found!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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  3. I still don’t like Cinnimin very much, but at least this time I think I can understand why she’s set off running at the mention of that sensitive word ‘boyfriend’. I think Levon is a much better name than Levy, for the same reason we named our son Jeremiah and not Jeremy.

    I love the word “tarchin”, and the Armenian custom that goes with it. A spicy addition to the tale, just like those wartime Valentines.

    One question, though – how does Levon know how she spells her name when they just met?

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    • He doesn’t know how she spells her name. She volunteers the information as a way of telling him a little about herself. Though when it comes to her names, she’s prouder of the story behind her middle name, Rebecca.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it would be more powerful, then, if she talked about her middle name, even if she doesn’t give away those special origins. Of course, if she’s nervous and not sure of herself with this boy that she’s clearly interested in, it would make total sense for her to refer to the spelling of her name when he hasn’t seen it written.

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