Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 44

 

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EROS,DON'T SHOOT YOUR ARROWS AT RAQUEL,PLEASE...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

Tadek Vangard had impression perhaps he could forget the fact he lived in a land he never chose to come to.New Zealand was a strange land to him.Tremendously beautiful and incredibly peaceful,to such a measure,God’s angels would not object if He,God of course,said New Zealand is their paradise they can live in.That was true,somehow.But not in Tadek Vangard’s mind.There was something missing in his mind.A very crucial component: his beloved America,a promissed land…Could one live in a happy way if something important was missing? Not really! Only his love to Raquel kept him going on,the way everyone around did it.He would probably get himself lost in his despair without her.Their evenings were romantic and when the winter period arrived at the time there was summer in his native country and all over Europe,they often put on fire some woods in their fireplace and watched the dancing flames of the fire for hours while pursuing the art of kissing each other every time they felt a fire also within themselves.How many times they happened to be so wild in their lovemaking their clothes were no longer useful,without buttons or teared up they had no idea.Their nights were absolutely full of wild lovemaking.They treated their bodies as a sort of weapons for an ultimate enjoyment.They were tigers in the bed.Every single night they loved each other the way as if what was happening between them was the first time.They felt then as if streams of archfresh water was poured on them or as if they just were baptised and free of whatever sin.They enjoyed experimenting in sex and had behind themselves perhaps all imaginable forms of sex.It was still not enough to them.They wanted more,desired even more.They knew it was a typical characteristics not only for them but also for most young people in every corner of the globe who simply were slaves of love.They never felt ashamed,even after some kind of sex performance which perhaps could be classified as perverse.It added even more fire to the fire which burned maddeningly in their bodies and souls.They were of opinion whatever men did in their sex lives was normal as long as they accepted what they did.No one from the outside could judge,no one could interfere in whatever way.Yet there were people,especially in the religious establishments,who persued anashamedly their hatred to basic sexual needs of people.Or even worse,said authoritatively,how people could live and what sex was allowed or not.The views of the pope,John Paul II,on a number of matters concerning men and women,and especially women to whom he refused to grant freedom to decide about their most private matters,and also on homoseksualism was commonly known.The Pope was a conservative at heart and mind in such matters.The Islamic world was even more strict.Women in some countries lacked basic rights and there were cases they were killed by family members and there was no prosecution.The victims' the only “crime” was they happened to be a bit more independent,really a crime in some Islamic countries.The women in Afghanistan,ander the Taliban rule,could not even display their faces in public.Their lives were a never ending nightmare.Strange was the world,indeed!So unequall!The hell of women in Afghanistan and the paradise of such ones as Raquel,totally emancipated,in the free world.Days seemed to be much longer to Tadek Vangard than the delicious nights he spent with Raquel.Primarily,because she had to leave him every morning and go to study at the university.He tried to “kill” time in whatever way,by buying wholesale goods and sending them to his older brother,Tomek Vangard or doing some sport activities.He even tried surfing or jachting on the full sea successfully and made some friends with young Kiwi men and women who loved these sports.He visited also more often some of Raquel’s family members:from Herman and Helene van Veenen to Sjef and Marcel,and their wives,and finally even to Dick Butterby in Christchurch whom he visited together with Raquel on some sunny but very cold and windy Sunday of August.There was even some snow around the villa of Dick Butterby.His children,Jillianne and Damone were then with him and they were enthusiastic with seeing the snow.It was easy then for Tadek Vangard to make friends with them.They were curious especially how the winters looked in his native country and could not believe there was actually not winter but summer in his country.Tadek Vangard had opportunity to study the character of Dick Butterby a bit and found him perhaps a bit controversial but generally likable.He was friendly to them and tried his best to make sure they enjoyed themselves in his house.Tadek Vangard had also a few visits to Angela Butterby who insisted he comes to see her on a regular basis,at least once or twice a month.She was curious of his family he left in Poland and showered him with many questions.He enjoyed chatting with her and did not mind to narrate her a dramatic story about his family.His grandmother,Aniela Bondas, was successful with bringing up her children and all of them got education.She did only one mistake but a grave one.The mistake concerned her oldest daughter,Emilia,whom she pressured to get married to a man who was over twenty years older than she was.Emilia was at the time only eighteen years old,very shy and unexperienced.The man was not a type she dreamed about but she feared to say “no” to her mother.
-“My grandmother said to my mother…”- Tadek Vangard continued his story on one sunny day when they sat on a bench in the garden when Angela Butterby interrupted him.
-“Thus Emilia is your mother!…" Tadek Vangard smiled to her then.
-“Yes,she is…But before it happened,my grandmother tried to convince my mother with all sorts of persuasions the man is the best one she can have,because he has his own house and even a sort of his own business,selling many things people need in their households.My mother gave in and she got married to the man,Jozef Vangard,despite that she has not loved him.The marriage was difficult from the start.Over few years they got four children.The youngest,Lucyna,died when she was only fourteen months old.She died of tuberculosis.One of the kids was my older brother,Tomek and the other one was my younger brother,Robert.When we grew up we were proud of our mother because she was strikingly beautiful and every man in the village,called Orlica,looked with some sort of strange desire in his eyes at her.We,the children,witnessed violence nearly every day in our house.My father was very oldfashioned and,according to him, a wife should always serve her husband.Shortly,they hated themselves to a highest degree.My mother grew determined not to succumb to my father's threats.Her character changed diametrally.The shy girl entering her adult life was gone.She became a woman fighting for her rights.It was not easy in a communist environment and in a small village we lived.The village was situated in the lower region of the Carpathies,west to the Tatra mountains and the region was called Beskidy.The mountains riched no higher than one thousand and five hundred meters above the sea level here and were full of all sorts of trees and some wild animals.Orlica as well as other villages in the region stayed plus minus five hundred meters above the sea level.It was the southern part of Poland,a thousand kilometres south from the Baltic Sea,the Polish sea window to the world.As I said,my mother was unable to do much,despite that the villagers symphatized with her.She was too poor and too dependent on my father.There were no recources of support on behalf of wronged women within their families at that time.Communist government had other priorities.Wanting it or not my mother had to stay with my father.She has done it mostly on our behalf,her children.Numerous times she escaped with us from our home,either to our grandmother’s house,situated in Knurow,near Sucha Beskidzka,forty kilometres away from our village,Orlica.Sometimes she was escaping with us to our neighbours or some villagers,often in the middle of the night.The horror lasted for years.We,her children were stricken but,somehow,were used to what we witnessed.It was our world.As children who grew up in a violent family we scaresly imagined there could be some better way of life.My father sometimes tried his best and apologised to my mother.He was ambitious and ran his private business determindedly,despite affronts from the servicemen of the communist regime.If not the violence at home he would be considered as a hero somehow.It certainly was unusual to keep going as a businessman in a communist country Poland was.Perhaps he needed love and support from my mother and instead saw nothing but hate in her eyes,what made him behaving in a violent way…Nobody knew the real truth except of them,my mother and my father.Whatever to say,my father shouldn’t have to choose a violent way of dealing with my mother and should have understood she was over twenty years younger than he was,had dreams of loving someone she would accept and in the meantime she lived with someone,her husband,whom she hasn’t accepted totally.This marriage was a legacy of an agreement between my father and my grandmother…”
-“Oh,it was indeed a grave mistake on the side of your grandmother.I’m so sad.”-Angela Butterby said then.
-“My grandmother knew it and she faulted herself for it,her life was also poisoned because of it and there were arguments sometimes between my mother and my grandmother after which both stayed in their arms and cried for hours.My grandmother,I’m sure,despaired because of it,when she was left alone.Whatever to say,she wanted the best for her daughter.”
-“She should have taken into the account a marriage without love is worth nothing.”- Angela Butterby answered then.
-“Oh,she had so many other important things on her head! She ran her family without any help from anyone!Try to raise eight children,with no income in your pocket!What she did is a typical mistake poor people often do.They do whatever agreements to escape their poverty.Without thinking about consequences.”
-“How has it ended all these?”- Angela Butterby asked then.
-“Well,my mother still stayed with my father and we grew up in an atmosphere of perpetual violence.When I was ten years old,my mother got one more child,a daughter,whom she and my father christened with a name:Dorota.My father became less violent but he had a new fascination:young women who were barely twenty years old,and some even younger.My mother could no longer stomach it all and went finaly to the court to fill for divorce.She got a job first as a waitress and then as a directoress of a cafe in a local,quite modern restaurant built of glass structures and situated next to a large square and oppossite a church which sprang about seventy meters up the sky.The pope,John Paul II was in that church when he was a bishop of Cracow and then an archbishop.Behind the resturant there was a picturesque park and further a crystal clear river called Sola.Around the village inhabited by ten thousand people were mountains,covered by trees.All these was our playground as well as a playground to all other children in the village.Then we grew up,my mother had a friendly relationship with our neighbour but when I passed exams to the Jagiellonian University in Cracow she happened to find finally someone for herself to whom she has fallen in love.Bolek,but in fact Wolfgang what was his real name,was three years younger than she was,tall and handsome,his mother was Polish and father German,but he felt himself at heart and mind to be a Polishman.He didn’t even speak German.They got married and my mother moved to his appartament in Katowice city,situated in Silesia region.She took her daughter,Dorota,with her.Only the fate of my younger brother,Robert,was somehow the least determined.He was left in the village with our father.Perhaps he might have felt himself to be deserted by most members of his family.Perhaps he might have despaired.Nobody knew.” -“I feel happy your mother managed to change her life for better.”- Angela Butterby concluded then.They chatted a bit more and then Tadek Vangard said goodbye to her and promissed once again to visit her sometimes.Days and months passed by and it was already November of 1991.Raquel was already on the fourth year of her studies at her university and was so busy he saw her coming back in late evenings.She was not as spontainious in love making as before.There was some change in her behaviour.One day she shocked him when she came to the house with a handsome blondman who kissed her openly before his eyes.She took him by hand,went with him to her bedroom,locked the door and stayed there with him till midnight.Then he was gone.Tadek Vangard managed to consume already half a bottle of whisky.He made an argument with her then,demanding she explain herself to him.
-“I’m a free person and not married with you as yet.”-She answered then.-“And I think I have right to behave the way I wish as long as we are not married.I feel attracted by him and,yes,I love him right now.”
-“Then you want me to go away from you?”- Tadek Vangard asked.
-“Oh,no,Tadek.I love you even more.But please understand me.I’m an emancipated woman.In my views,one shouldn’t stand against ones wishes and desires.I love you,Tadek,believe me,but at the same time have a terrible desire to spend some time with other men.I’m on fire.I hope you understand me.”
-“No,Raquel,I don’t…” When he tried to make love to her later on,she refused.He understood she had enough for this night.The blondman filled her and not only once before the midnight,which Tadek Vangard was sure to remember as a horror one.In the following days she came back to the house with some other men.Tadek Vangard thought he was getting mad.As if he had hallucinacions.He could not believe his own eyes.He began to consider leaving her.He could not stand witnessing what Raquel did,so anashamedly,before his own eyes.And she has even gone further in her perverse ways of behaviour.Once she suggested to him he joins her and her partner she just brought to the house in a common sex affair.He thought he will vomit when he looked at her partner,a dark haired horse alike looking guy,haired on his entire body.He looked back at her with disbelieve in his eyes and declined.The next day he packed his things and announced to her he is leaving her.She bagan to cry and begged him to stay with her.
-“You won’t see me with another man anymore.”- She promised.
-“No,I go!”-Tadek Vangard protested. She jumped to him and held him tightly.
-“Tadek,please…I promised I won’t do it anymore.Give me a chance…”
-“Well,let’s have a talk.”- Tadek Vangard loved her still so much he tried to give her a chance. They talked then for an hour or so.
-“I do understand you,Raquel,if you desire sometimes another man.”-Tadek Vangard said at one point.-“I’m also a modern man and think people should be more elastic towards themselves in sex matters.Perhaps I myself one day will desire another woman for a while,who knows…What I want to emphasize don’t do it the way you have done it for the last couple of weeks.It is not normal to have so many partners in such a short period of time,and all these witnessed by the partner you love the most.”
-"Yes,I know,Tadek,I’m so sorry.The more that I study psychiatrics.I think I will ask for a consultation with one of my professors…”
-"But no sex,please…”-She began to laugh,relaxed and he joined in laughing with her.
-“Oh,no,Tadek.You can be sure it won’t be the case.”-Tadek Vangard came closer to her and kissed her.She kissed him too,with some incredible passion.They made a fast number before she has gone to the university.She behaved as before in the following days.They had much time for themselves in the evenings and their nights were romantic and passionate.Tadek Vangard concluded that another Raquel he witnessed for a couple of weeks must have been treated by Eros and his poisoned arrows.
-“Eros,don’t shoot your arrows at her,please.I don’t want to loose her.I love her so much.”- He once whispered when he was alone in her house.For the first time,perhaps,he was not sure which love of his was on the top of another one: his love to Raquel or his love to America...It was possible his love to America,the promised land,descended to a second place…But one thing was sure,he would never desert that love...To be continued…Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail address: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or: clubbers@funworld.be
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