TE21 Serbian Moments

Nikola Tutek

The Widower

all today. Come in.”

“Actually, I came because I’m looking for a woman.”

Shewore a bathrobe. Egan presumed she just had a shower. She showed him into a room, smaller in size, with walls covered in green fake velvet. Faux velvet or velveteen is how they call it. For some reason, Egan knew that. The room was mysterious and dark. That was all gone when Gerda turned on the light. The fake room , Egan thought. Gerda offered him a seat and promised to provide coffee shortly. She fulfilled her promise. The sweet smell of coffee. She satdownonanarmchairopposite Egan and crossed her long legs, that protruded behind a small, round smoking table. “Nothing much, really. Nothing. I wanted to know about myself.” Egan wasn’t satisfied with his opening. He was too anxious to tell the truth, and he was even more terrified of the idea that the fortune-teller could sense that. He looked aside and stopped his eyes on velveteen. What gave him confidence is that he knew enough about Gerda as well; he knew what the town knew. He had heard the gossip, and he was free to decide to believe it or not. Egan returned his eyes to Gerda. She had strong veins bulging out of the skin of her hands, from her fingers to her elbows. She smiled. Her face looked fragile but her eyes harsh and cold. Even when she smiled. “So, what did you want to know, what’s bothering you?”

“Has she gone missing?”

“No, she’s here alright. I mean, in the city. I think she might have been a customer of yours.” “Oh, no, no, no. Stop it right there,” Gerda said putting the coffee cup down on the table, “No way I’m gonna give out info on my customers. Not in a million years.” Egan closed his mouth tight and stretched the corners of his mouth. He lowered his eyes onto the pulsating black circle in his coffee cup. “Knowwhy I came here. Aren’t you supposed to know stuff like that?” Gerda launched out of her armchair and shouted, “Out! Out of here!” showing towards the door with her finger. Egan released the coffee cup from his fingers and got up. He made a step towards the door. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Don’t know what got into me. I apologize.” “Anyway, how come you didn’t know?” ‘Know what?”



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