'Of course I'll do it for you', winked Madam Katarina at her only son in law. In a crafty voice and set of teeth that gleamed longer than it took her to slip his Kodak film in the slit of her mink coat. Although a sizable woman, added to by a fur hat and carry on, she at once spun on a high square heel and turned her beam to the check-in official.
Zoran lingered at the sparkly international hall. Squinting at the nostalgia one always feels at Departures, but soon recalling that all its blinking lights and female voices and happy bustle, sweetly remind him of champagne. This time he would jot it down on a napkin with his directorial fountain pen. After all, his wife didn't expect him to rush home without smelling the roses. Or was it, he wondered-that he liked to make her wait?
Something red-hot suddenly went back up his throat and into his head.
She not only knew that he wouldn't be at home yet, but Zorana prayed that he wasn't, as she pulled the handbrake in their driveway with her last angry strength. If she could only take a half an hour's nap before his celebratory arrival, hopefully not bringing along his employees and friends again.
Indeed the first step into their lavish, eco-friendly house, with the rarest view in the city of the river and garden, made it clear why the other female doctors could never understand what she had to complain about. 'A tall, dark and handsome, alpha male who gave you all this?!' they screeched like a chorus of plucked parrots. 'Whose biggest sin is that he can't get enough of your body even after two kids dropped your boobs and belly to the floor?!'...
She lost all chances of explaining any nuances right there, now she had to hear their pain, now she was the enemy. It never was easy for her to find a confidant of her intellect, let alone a woman who didn't drop her as soon as she met her husband. But her own famously divorced mother, surely she should be on her side...Zorana hoped as she dosed off, her boots still unzipped.
'Oh but of course it is possible Herr Zunnicker, nothing whatsoever is impossible- if you desire it. And if you know how to do it. Now tell me, will a thousand suffice? Common, take Shmutzy to that seaside she wanted...' extended Madam Katarina, cash in hand, in magic unison with her right haggling eye.
'Nein, nein, nein Madam! I will abzolutely not do it! Maybe you can break bearing walls in your... your La la land! But here we don't make our houses collapse on our head!' shouted the aged builder for the first time in his life. Almost, she rooted, smashing the bearing wall after all, as he and his tools banged out. 'Well I finally got a rise out of a German', sniggered his sassy former employer hiding her arrhythmia from herself, sitting down at her biedermeier desk, slowly like a plump old cat. She picked up the handle of a wired phone. 'I'll show you Impossible', she hissed.
He wouldn't dare disappoint his mother in law, his fellow dreamer, biggest believer, investor in his architectural firm. Her only heir in overcoming the laws of physics through sheer imagination and willpower! What could possibly prevent him from answering her call?
Zorana woke up to the sudden shrill of a plate falling down. Night fell on her like blindness, until her younger daughter, sheepishly opened her bedroom door. 'Did I wake you mommy? I was preparing you dinner!' she exclaimed with the polite but proud positivity of her father. 'Where is your dad?' Zorana crackled through an arid mouth, still not raising her eyes to the light, frowning at the floor. 'Isn't he at work on one of his late shifts?' her daughter answered learnedly. Before the fact that she wasn't the one posing the question this time, started to scare her almost as much as her mother's snarling self-restraint.
Zoran didn't answer the phone. There was no French 'Bonsoir', nor 'Salvador Dali, what can I do you for?', 'I've been waiting for you at the movies, that's where I've been'. Not even the ultimate surrealistic dare he made her fulfill-'I've got two tickets to Amsterdam, how fast can you drop the kids off and fly?'
Nor was there 'Madam Katarina, it's you! I mistook your voice for a Mademoiselle!' There was just sudden blackness and an eternal beep, damning the living forever for having had such home entertainment.
Katarina flew back as soon as she heard it. Her fur hat crooked, strands of thin hair falling out of it, her face pallid as mortar, her coat weighing like death upon her shrunken shoulders. The customs official stopped her immediately, asking in no two words where she got the mink. 'Have some respect!' she whizzed through wails 'My son..in law...died...on yourrr airrrrport!' Her wrinkled hands falling through her cursed invisible pockets in search of its now hopelessly irretrievable receipt.
'I'll help you find it Mother', an angel suddenly appeared, more beautiful and poised than she's ever noticed her to be. Her short hair was now emphasizing a perfect profile, and her oversized shades finally found their occasion in concealing a widow's eyes, with a symbolic diamond tear in the corner. She understood at last, why her son, in law, could never leave her daughter for any mistress.
'What's this?' Zorana whispered, discovering a bulge with her surgeon detection. 'Where, what?' gasped the old woman until she saw a black roll of film in her daughter's palm. 'Oh my God, my God, it's Zoran's, it's Zoran's! He asked me to develop it in Hanover when he saw me off at the airport!!!'
'You must have misunderstood Mom, why on Earth would he have you go through the trouble of doing it abroad? When he could have developed it right here,' she dismissed, not even dignifying it with a question mark.
His funeral arrived, in his fashion-late. Giving Zorana time to determine not to die on it. Just not that day, just don't give him that satisfaction. She tightened her cat eyes and her lips, every time she wanted to scream, and took out the photos, one by one, to remind her of why the bastard didn't deserve it.
A voluptuous redhead curling around him. Long red nails piercing his chest and his buns. Yet all she could see is his round warm shoulders, and wonder if any man on Earth would ever have his sinewy horse's thighs.
Glittery blue make up soiling his softest cheek. A sharp red tongue, exactly as he despised, could never love the smell of his unwashed teeth in the morning, bits of coffee trapped in the hairs of his moustache.
Doggy style with an ugly bitch.
Oh why did she stop kissing him, why did she never want to let him pictures of their passion, why did she make him degrade himself this way? How cruelly he has suffered her eternally cold commitment. She deserved to be left, even in this most cowardly fashion!
A strange man interrupted, with a hand of his condolence. He approached her ear, conspiratorially, explaining that he is an airport waiter. And placed a dirty, moist napkin in her hand. She shuddered, pulling off her shades. It said something, erratically, falling down:- 'You are the only woman I never conquered'.