Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 48

 

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BUT THE WORLD GOES ROUND...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

Tadek Vangard had impression he will never acclimatize himself completely in his new country.It was already the middle of December 1991 and New Zealand summer was at full swing while there in his native country,in Poland,there was winter whose freeze sculptured all varieties of avanguard pictures,Picasso alike,on every window.There,in Poland,people were skiing while New Zealanders were surfing off the cliffs,swimming in the sea or just lying on the sandy beaches,hoping to get sunburned within few hours.Walking in the streets was enjoyment too.One could see and hear someone playing on a shiny golden saxophone or on a guitar.Sometimes a clown making fun of everyone.Yet still these images were not the most important in his mind.He felt euforic when he heard the news of the fall of the Soviet Union.Revelations followed revelations.Nearly every republic of what used to be the Soviet Union proclaimed statehood.It began when the leaders of the three most influencial republics,Russia,Bielorussia and Ukraine met in Minsk,the capital of the Bielorussian republic and announced they split from the Soviet Union.Then there was nothing else but a monumental chain reaction which shocked the entire world.Russia was the first one who announced ambitious plans to transform its system into fully operational one,by implementing a sort of shock therapy which proved a success in Poland.The author of the Polish shock therapy was Leszek Balcerowicz,the minister of finance in the Polish government.Whether the Russian version might also prove to be a success time would show it.There was the impediment,the Russian leader,Boris Jeltsin,who probably partially in his mind was still a postcomunist despite that he might have transformed himself into a shaky capitalist.And he liked to treat himself with traditional Russian vodka.He was very enigmatic,grey-white haired and a tremendous personality but had also problems with his own health.Could he run the country effectively? Not everybody among the western leaders was sure of that.Besides,the communism was born,over seventy years earlier,just in Russia and it was difficult to believe it might be gone overnight.The most important at that moment was that the Soviet Union,the “evil empire”as president Ronald Reagan once said,was gone.This eufory Tadek Vangard felt would consume him to its full turn if not the problems he encountered for some time with his girlfriend.Raquel again began to behave strange.No,she was not coming home with some male strangers as it was the case some months ago but this time she was coming home quite late,sometimes long after midnight and refused to explain herself every time he demanded to know what was going on.
-“It’s late! Don’t you see it? It’s late!!”-She just said and went straight to the bed,without a kiss for him.It lasted as this already for a month or so and he felt he could no longer tolerate it.Arguments were useless.She was far too emancipated a woman to be treated with whatever arguments.
-“I’m a free woman!”-Her answer would be.Whatever further talk would be effectively cut off.He watched TV till late night and felt himself awfully,frustrated and irritated.For the first time he really thought Raquel was too difficult for him,too troublesome and giving him more suffering than enjoyment.Which man would tolerate what she did? Yet he has not really known what she did.Was she in love in someone else? When it was three a’clock night and she was still not back home he just stopped waiting for her and went to the bed.The next day,however,he decided to follow her in order to discover whether she had a lover and if this was the case then who was her new lover.He knew she usually was finished with her lectures around 2 to 4 p.m.Then she headed to the university library where she studied till the evening.At least according to what she usually said to him.Around 2 p.m.,he found himself outside the building in which she studied her faculteit and,hidden in its shadow,waited patiently.He waited for two hours and realised she must have left the building earlier.He tried luck at the university's café.He was bewildered how many students were there.The atmosphere was one of a dynamic happiness,bursting youthful energy and impression the world belongs to these young men and women.No one would be able to take away from them that incredible amounts of optimism they spread out themselves.They were the engines of the world! Tadek Vangard felt himself excited.His intuition was telling him his Raquel must have been here.Were was she? Maybe she just chatted with some female colleques who studied together with her? Perhaps she laughed while surrounded by a pack of her friends…He would come over to her,kiss her and enjoy the company of others together with her…He noticed a male and female couple at the end of one of the café’s halls.They were seating next to each other and kissing each other passionately while turned with their backs to all the other students.There was something familiar in them.Tadek Vangard began to feel uncomfortably and he realised he was sweating.The worst was already on his mind.But he still hoped against hope.A waitress was just coming in their direction,with glasses filled with some coctajl mixed with a bit of this of that sort of alcohol.She approached the lovers and stood above them fairly long time before they took their faces off themselves and looked back at her.
-“Heavens,this is…Raquel,indeed and…Johan.”- Tadek Vangard’s shock was immense.He knew now the truth.The absolutely painful truth! And the shocking one,because he never thought Raquel might fall in love to Johan Dandermond,the son of Sonia Dandermond who was sister to John Butterby and wife to Henry Dandermond,two men who died in tragic circumstances.While her brother was murdered,her husband died in a car accident.The waitress placed the drinks on the table and went away.The “lovers” in the meantime once again concentrated all their attention to themselves and gave a long kiss to each other,so long Tadek Vangard felt his love to Raquel was nearing end.For the first time ever he realised it was possible he no longer loved her.She made too much pain to him.Especially now when he looked at that perpetuous kiss,so much sour to him.No,he no longer loved her.At least at this very moment.He turned himself and went to the exit.He walked all over the town for hours,seeing practically nothing as if he were a blindman.He was a dazed and terribly lonely man.He found himself at the seaside and walked alongside it.If he had wings as Ikar had he would fly away,far away.His lips were bloodied by his own teeth.He felt himself so much a stranger on this land which he never really chose to come to.There was only one thing he still had to himself.It was his dream.His America…


*


Raquel Hendrics and Johan Dandermond were in a full swing of their love.A kiss alone could keep them at their table for quite a long time.They were indeed in love.They reached for their glasses and sipped the contents.
-"Johan,I think I no longer love him.”-Raquel said while turning her head towards the window overlooking the far away landscape of the Wellington harbour.The Victoria University was situated high above the city.The view was fantastic.
-“You mean Tadek Vangard?”- Johan Dandermond asked rather foolishly.
-“Yes,him”
-“Strange,because you have always,till now,told me you love him.”
-“Yes,I've loved him.But for some time he became so much suspicious! He’s asked too many questions.And I hated it.I’m not a thing to belong to anyone.I’m a free and emancipated,modern woman.Besides,I think I got fed up with him.”
-“It’s because of me,I think.My magics got over his ones.”-Johan Dandermond joked.
-“That’s right! I love you more.You’re my sweetie,total sweetie…”- They began to laugh and moment later kissed themselves once again,with their usual,a very long kiss. Then they again sipped their drinks.
-“Besides,I hate when he mentions the United States.You know,he is crazy about it.Nothing but America and America.He’s never really accepted New Zealand.”- Raquel Hendrics continued her story.
-“Why don’t you kick him out then?”-Johan Dandermond asked her.She bursted with laugh before she answered him.
-“Don’t be so unwise,Johan.You know that we need alibi.And,besides,I still haven't let him known I no longer love him.”
-“Raquel,you’re really sure we have to do it?
-“We have not any other choice,Johan.From what we’re going to do depends our future.We can’t wait I don’t know how long.Thirty years?...Forty years?... Jonathan,this are ages! Don’t you think so?”
-“But Raquel,this is my…mother.”
-“Don’t be so childish,Johan.Mother or not,she has lived long enough.She doesn’t need more.”
-“O.K. But…will you be with me?”
-“Of course.We have together devised our plan and together will execute it.”
-“Well,Raquel,I do what you want me to do.You do it and I do it.We don’t back down.We have to think about our rosy future.” Raquel Hendrics kissed him spontaneously.
-“Johan,you’re great! It’s you,indeed,whom I love! They shook their hands to cement their partnership and once again gave themselves over to the wonders of their kiss.Time did not exist for them.


*


It was well after midnight.Sonia Dandermond could not get asleep.She could not understand why her son was coming home so late,already for some time.She was worried for him,naturally.How could she be not worried when two men in her family,her brother and her husband lost their lives? She knew her son was influenced by Raquel Hendrics.It must have been her,the beauty,who was turning her son to a nuts.She did not like Raquel Hendrics.The young woman was definitely too independent and strange at some times.That young gentleman,Tadek Vangard,might have had problems with her.Sure.And now this.Her own son was in love in that woman! Sonia Dandermond felt herself enraged also because of another problem.Her boyfriend,Jack Waugh got himself so drunken last evening he was now sleeping like a dead man in the neighbouring sleeping room.She never got married to him since her husband died in a car accident.Despite this she loved him.She loved him to such a point,maddening indeed,she kept him with her despite his alcoholism.He tried hard to get himself rid of that his personal plaque but always,after some time of drinking no alcohol,he returned to it with a vengance.There was again this sad u-turn last evening.Sonia Dandermont was unhappy about it,because she needed him now at her side.She wanted to be loved! She was still not really old.A woman in her forties,desiring as much as then when she was in her twenties! The window was open and fresh air was her lullaby.Oh,how she desired him to be at her side right now! He was of her age and still handsome,tall,dark haired not only on his head but also on his entire body and blue eyed.Yet he slept now like a dead man.She would pour on him a basket of water and she would still not succed to wake him up.Yet she would never do it while he was drunken.Love with someone who actually was drunken was a nightmare.Obscure,rude and simply terrible.Finally she felt the sleep was overcoming her.She felt relieved about it.She woke up feeling a terrible pain.Was it a dream,so bad? Why so much pain? She open her eyes.Above her stood her own son,Johan,with a kitchen knife strangely bloodied all over its sharp edges.Next to him stood Raquel Hendrics.Her eyes were strangely cool.Sonia Dandermond noticed blood was getting off her body,just below her heart.She touched the wounded part of her body.She looked at her fingers.She could not believe what she saw.It must have been a terrible dream.A horror over horrors.She wanted to wake herself up,to end this nightmare.God,she was awoken! This was real! She felt she was weaker and weaker.And she knew now she was dying.
-“Son…”- She whispered.-“Son…Why have you done this to me?...Why?…” But she did not hear the answer from her own son.He just stood above her,with the bloodied knife and looked at her strangely,with wide open eyes,one possessed.
-“Son…Say it’s a dream…Say it’s a very bad dream…”_She whispered to him.
-“No,mom.This is your death!”- She finally heard the voice of that unknown man who was her own son.He must have indeed been in a demoniacal possession!
-“Oh,son,it can’t be!...You’re my son,I’m your mother!”- She felt so weak! Her son stood above her,with the bloodied knife in his hands,and while looking at her was further and further,and faster away from her.Everything was a roundebout,a final one.The pictures of her entire life danced in that roundebout,faster and faster to a maddening point.But finally everything once again became soft and she noticed the white curtains at the open window were dancing in accordance with the blows of the wind,that wind of the perpetuously windy Wellington.She realised she was getting asleep once again and she knew this time it was forever.
-“Raquel,I can’t look at her.”- Johan Dandermond whispered.He knew his mother lived no longer.The expression of her open eyes terrified him.As if God alone appeared in them.
-“Johan,pull yourself together! We have no time to loose!”-Raquel Hendriks warned him.
-“But …her eyes….I feel as if they put me on fire…”
-“Then close them!”-Johan Dandermond did as Raquel Hendrics ordered him.He closed the eyes of his own mother.
-“Johan,we have no longer time…”
-“O.K.,O.K....” They placed blood spores on the pyjamas of Jack Waugh who,still drunken,slept with a stony sleep.They threw the pyjamas next to the body of Johan’s mother and then the bloodied knife on it.There could be no hesitation and no doubt whatseover on who was the killer.And then they just got out over the open window.Out to their alibi.They had already an apartament in a hotel downtown Wellington,reserved,and it was easy to get there without being witnessed by anyone.


*


In the morning,unbelievable images shocked the inhabitants of the estate of Angela Butterby and soon afterwards the entire New Zealand.Images of dead Sonia Dandermond were shown over and over on all TV news.And also the images of arrested man,Jack Waugh,still drunken,who,without any reasonable doubt was the killer.He was assisted by a number of mundured policemen.
-“I haven’t killed her! I’ve loved her!”- He shouted feverishly when he was brought to the police van,handcuffed. Early in the morning,Raquel Hendrics appeared in her house.She did not say hello to Tadek Vangard,looked strange and behaved strange,locked herself in her bathroom and stayed there for hours. Tadek Vangard packed himself in the meantime and by the time she got out the bathroom he was ready to go away.
-“I know,Raquel,you have another lover.Besides,I no longer love you.Time for me to go away.”-He simply said. She made strange mimics,somehow shocked and surpriced,and Tadek Vangard had impression he noticed some fear in the expression on her face.
-“How do you know?”-She asked.
-“I saw you and Johan kissing each other yesterday at the university’s café.”
-“Oh,that!”-She answered strangely.
-“Bye,Raquel.Sorry that it ends like this.”- He said and reached for his luggage.
-“Bye.”-She answered but looked strangely exhausted.It made Tadek Vangard think.It was a strange day.His definite goodbye to Raquel and the death of Sonia Dandermond,the Johan's mother. Tadek Vangard just went outside and got inside a taxi which was waiting for him.This episode of his life was over!.…To be continued…Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail address: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or: clubbers@funworld.be
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