Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

 

 

You're my best friend forever,Tadek!...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

 

He felt exhausted when he returned from Nepal.Steven Mac Dantosch and Melissa Charleroi waited for him at the Zaventem Airport near Brussels.It was already late evening hour,close to midnight,so they brought him to his house and said ‘goodbye’.
The next day Tadek Vangard learnt much more about the repercussions of everything he was through while in Nepal.Helene and Herman van Veenen were no longer in Belgium and they moved,practically overnight,to Arnhem,a town situated close to the German border.He had a number of encounters with the Belgian police officials who wanted to know everything about the circumstances of his earlier encounters with Carlos,the assassin.He had no choice as to call to Herman van Veenen and ask him to contact CIA headquaters about it.As soon as it was done the undercover Belgian policemen stopped disturbing him: no phones and no visits took the place any more.There was only one telephone call,from someone who said he was high ranking intelligence official based in Brussel,who informed him they are trying to catch the ‘big fish’ and the Antwerp’s offices of John Ruchter were sealed off.But it was all they could do.Carlos disseappeared.The family business of John Ruchter changed hands in a record fast tempo and the new owner was someone who called himself Osama Ben Hadi,an incredulously rich Saudi Arabian who had US passport and was naturalised in Israel some time ago.There were not any bad records against him,so neither Interpol nor CIA and the Israeli secret services could do anything.
In the meantime he has got also a message from Charles van Veenen,who was a brother of Herman van Veenen.He and his wife Marillion moved to Belgium and stayed actually in a s’Gravenwezel villa,not far from the place where Herman and Helene van Veenen lived so far.Tadek Vangard felt astonished and it was difficult to him to believe that anybody could emigrate out of such a country of very many wonders as was New Zealand.Yet he remembered that he himself did it.Even a paradise could be not enough! He promised to come and was happy to hear that nearly all family members will attend,including Herman and Helene van Veenen.He asked whether also his friends,Steven Mac Dantosch and Melissa Charleroi can attend.They were invited wholeheartedly so Tadek Vangard waited impatiently for the nearest Saturday,desiring to see all of the people he shared so much friendship and memories with.
Most of the time he stayed in his house,locked in one of his apartments,and spending his time on reading books,watching TV and thinking.The world was turning round as always,far from perfection.There were people in this world who could never learn from history.He heard for example about yearly anniversary celebrations organised by neofascists on behalf of Rudolf Hess,the world criminal from the inner circle of Adolf Hitler.He committed crimes million times bigger than the crimes committed by single murderers,who end with death penalty in the USA,because he was responsible for the deaths of millions of people during the II World War.Yet he was sentenced only to life inprisonment and treated as a…God by the European neofascists,after he committed suicide in 1987.The neofascists were stronger and stronger,their influence growing and their propaganda slogans harsher and harsher,all directed at the poor immigrants from the third world.It was the case especially in Austria where Freedom Party of Jorg Haider went from triumph to triumph and in Belgium where the so called Vlaams Blok anashamedly mistreated verbally all those who should,instead,be supported and integrated to the Belgian society.Famous was the decovery of finding Adolf Hitler’s manifesto,Mein Kampf,in the car of one of the leaders of the Vlaams Blok.Similar neofascist movements spread in other germanistic nations,such as the Netherlands,Denmark and Switzerland.
What was wrong with the people of Europe? Could they really learn nothing from the history? Was history nothing else but a visious circle of events repeating themselves over and over?
Why people of the so called Western Europe were so unfriendly towards their fellow Europeans from the Eastern Europe? Why they disregarded all those who were less or more coloured,from all the other regions of the world?
The most paradoxical thing was that not the largest country as Germany but the smaller countrise as Austria for example had the largest amount of neofascists and haters of other races.The smaller countries with germanistic populations were like hienas,the most blood thirsty.Perhaps this phenomenon could explain why someone as Adolf Hitler came not from Germany itself but much smaller Austria.Germany actually was a modern country,the most modern in Europe,most vanguard and most tolerant.So...perhaps there was a green light for all of Europe in that last years of the nineties,the last years of the twentieth century.
In the opinion of Tadek Vangard the USA was still the ideal for the entire world.There lived people from all over the world,who had exactly the same rights,including participating in the elections to the Presidency and Congress of the United States.In many European states naturalised foreigners did not have voting rights and were put effectively into second rate status within the countries they lived in.This was the case in Germany,Belgium,Austria and practically in every other European country.The glass curtain still hanged above Europe like a doom of the lady death.
There was yet another problem,a worldwide one.It was the terror,a deadly weapon used by the fanatics who hated the modern,liberal world of the western societies,as represented by the United States and Western Europe.They swore death to America and were seeking ways to harm the superpower which,according to them,pursued its hegemony to such levels as causing poverty in entire regions of the Middle East,Asia,South America and Africa.They swore to Allah to fight America and Israel until they could win.Some of their grievances could be understood but certainly not the methods they used to achieve their goals.Killing even one single person was an evil act,an act against Allah.So,it looked,most of the new sort of terrorists appeared to be spreading in the islamistic states,such as Pakistan,Afghanistan,Iran,Iraq and even Saudi Arabia.
Tadek Vangard had black humour when he arrived in the house in Braaschaat where Steven and Melissa with her mother and brother lived.But once he saw them and had an opportunity to talk to Melissa’s mother he regained his mood.
An hour later they were on their way to s’Gravenwezel.All the guests were already present and Tadek Vangard saw that even Herman and Helene van Veenen were there.He greeted with them enthusiastically and introduced Steven Mac Dantosch and Melissa Charleroi to them.Helene van Veenen made an angelic smile to them:
-“Tadek,I’m so happy to see you again.And...I’m happy to see your friends as well!”
She gave hand to Steven Mac Dantosch and kissed Melissa Charleroi on her cheek.Marillion approached them and greeted with her characteristic,cool mannered and full of style way.
-“Oh,Tadek,we didn’t see each other already for so long! How are you? “
-“Thrilled,Marillion! I just happen to be among the living! I escaped Carlos nearly by a miracle!”- Tadek Vangard answered.He engulfed her arms and gave a kiss to her.
-“That Carlos,I hate him! You tell us later more about it.I have to welcome guests and play the lady of the house,you understand.”
-“I do,Marillion.Don’t bother.”
Tadek Vangard felt incredibly impressed.All the ladies looked like angels who descended from paradise to this event.Helene Van Heenen was an angel of a sparkling beauty,but Melissa Charleroi was as much a beauty and fresh in her looks to an uttermost point.Marillion was a cold mannered beauty,as if she were a reborn Marlene Dietrich.The other ladies in the house were also sparkling.Nothing but wonders and wonders.Men assisting the ladies also looked great,in their expensive clothes,shaved and trying their best to show off the right doses of their masculinity.They were succeeding in this thanks to the women they shared their lives with and who accompanied them.It was no a secret that a presence of a woman at the side of a man,made him looking much more attractive than if he were alone.Tadek Vangard was happy to see all of them,all the family friends he met before:Hans van Veenen,the godfather of the family,William Andressen,a cousin of Helene’s husband as well as other cousins:Bert Missott and his wife Francoise,Louisse Delaney with her handsome friend she called Reny,Valencie,the sister of Louisse Delaney,with her husband,Frank van Barrer,Lizolette Brown with her husband,Johan,Tom,Luco,Rudy,Caroline,Chris,Harold,Darn,their girlfriends and in case of Caroline a male friend.Harold and Darn were sons of Louisse Delaney,one already married to Shannon and having a baby son and the other one,Darn,having just a girlfriend who was expecting a baby.There were many other guests,not necessarilly family members.Most probably some of them were business partners.
The party was great,unforgettable,full of carellesness,laugh,jokes and of course,coctajls of unspoken taste and dance on the dancing floor which was breathtaking sometimes,especially when Steven Mac Dantosch danced with Melissa Charleroi.Applauses were endless. Tadek Vangard had some talk with this or that person,and he adviced Helene and Herman van Veenen to be extremely careful.Nobody could know where they lived because only then there was a chance that Carlos could never find them.After a while he would perhaps forget them.They advised the same to Tadek Vangard but he just laughed the idea off.
-“I’m not going to live like a rat,just because I’m threatened by that guy!”- He announced matter of factly.
There was a sparkle of fear in the eyes of Helene van Veenen.
-“Tadek,what about your castle in England? Are you going there?”-Herman Van Veenen asked him.
-“Certainly so! But right now I don’t know when.You see,I’m scared of the British customs”.
-“Don’t be afraid,Tadek.Everything’s O.K. I‘ve contacted my friends at CIA and they in turn with their colleagues at MI6. You won’t have any problems this time.”
-“Thanks,Herman.It’s nice of you.”
A while later he talked to Marillion and Charles Van Veenen.He noticed at the same time that Steven Mac Dantosch and Melissa Charleroi were busy in conversating with Helene and Herman van Veenen.It pleased him.
-“Why have you gone out of New Zealand?”- He asked his friends.
-“You see,Tadek,we also happen to have much business within the European Union and in Great Britain,as is the case with Herman.There are hotels which we have in Luxemburg,Paris,Monako,Rome.There are also real estates which we own on the coasts of Spain,Portugal,France,Belgium and the Netherlands.It was a bit too difficult for us to run it all from as far as New Zealand.”- Charles van Veenen answered.
-“But you have also lots of real estate within New Zealand.”- Tadek Vangard,feeling puzzled,tried to comprehend what he heard.
-“Yes,that’s true.As you know we have a very large family and our halfbrothers,Marcel and Peter van Veenen,can run the enterprise for us there.
-“Ah,I understand! But what if they also go out?”- Tadek Vangard joked.
-“Then it’s a disaster!”- Charles van Veenen riposted and bursted with laugh.Tadek Vangard and Marillion also began to laugh.
-“Tadek,I must tell you a secret,but please,don’t say it to anyone.”- Marillion Van Veenen said a while later.
-“What’s that?”
-“I’m expecting a baby,in eight months.”
-“Oh,la,la! My congratulations,Marillion!”
-“You promise you don’t say to anyone?”
-“Absolutely so,Marillion!”
Louisse Delaney and her adult sons with their girlfriends enjoyed themselves the most.Once for a while they bursted with such all blown out laughs the rest of the participants turned their heads to them.
-“You see,Tadek,they’re the new generation of Belgian youth.The happiest ones.”- Louisse Delaney commented to Tadek Vangard.
-“May they enjoy themselves.How is your life,Louisse?”
-“Quiet.I work and Reny also works.He is physioterapist as you know.Weekends and holidays we spend usually off the seaside in Spain.He loves duiking.You wouldn’t believe how wonderful is underwater world!”
-“I can imagine it.Besides,I saw a number of TV felietons.”
Steven Mac Dantosch and Melissa Charleroi approached them so Tadek Vangard introduced them to Louisse Delaney,Reny and their young companions among whom there were Louisse’s two sons. Both,Darn and Harold and their friends turned their full attention to Melissa Charleroi.They have already heard about her dramatic past.The bonds of friendship were nearly instant.Half an hour later they talked to each other as if they knew themselves for years.
Steven Mac Dantosch turned at some point towards Tadek Vangard.
-“We go soon to the States.”- He announced.
-“You mean Melissa and you?” – Tadek Vangard asked foolishly,unprepared for such an announcement.
-“Yes,Melissa and me.”
-“I’ll miss you.”
-“You’ll have to visit us,not once and twice but many times!”
-“I’ll try,Steven.You know that I’ve always dreamt about emigrating to America.
-“Do you still dream about it.”
-“That’s a paradox,Steven.Yet not so long ago I‘ve still thought my ultimate destination is America.But…now,here in Europe,I’m suddenly getting taste for this continent.I’m beginning to feel here the best.Somehow it isn’t surprising: Europe is where are my roots.So,in the end,I leave this matter open right now: America is still the object of my dreams but Europe is the substance of which I feel part.”
-“Hej,Tadek,dilemma indeed.I think you’ll have to come over to the States,see for yourself how is it there and how do you like it there and only then will you be able to decide about moving to America or staying in Europe.”
-“Melissa likes the idea of going to the States?”
-“Absolutely! She has too bad memories which she can’t share with her mother.Saying memories I mean her father.She must go out.It’s best for the peace of her mind.”
-“What she’ll do there?”
-“You see,my sister,Emmanuelle,is a fashion designer and partially also a fashion model. Melissa wants to do the same.We have means to help her.We’ll launch her.”
-“That’s great,Steven! And you probably are going to run your father’s business,more and more?”
-“That’s true.My father is thinking about retiring.We have a global telecommunications enterprise as well as satelitarian an TV networks.Besides,we own major newspapers and magazines in Australia,the United States and Great Britain.Lots of work,Tadek! Do you know that we have our offices in World Trade Center?”
-“The New York World Trade Center?”
-“Yes.”
-“Wow! I can’t find a word to express my bewilderment!”
-“You don’t have to.If you ever want to become part of our empire,Tadek,remember that we await you with open arms.You’re my best friend forever,Tadek!”
-“Oh,Steven,thank you!”
They engulfed themselves in their arms and stayed so for a minute or two which cemented them to each other for ages to come. No one would ever break apart their friendship!
To be continued…

Author: Thaddeus Hutyra.
e-mail: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or clubbers@funworld.be
Address: Frederik de Merodestraat 1.
2600 Berchem.Antwerpen.Belgium.
All Rights Reserved.

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