TE21 Serbian Moments

Nikola Tutek

The Widower

“No, stay. I’m sure you’d come back anyway,” said Gerda and continued after a short hesitation “I’ve known Aggy since we were kids. We grew up together. We loved together.”

was dying. Gerda and Egan allowed a longer pause, and the music was the only thing they could hear. “Itwas toomuch for her, all this…Me, and… thegreenvelveteen. This was no place for her. You know. Aggy is very sensitive. She married that awful man Domino. She needed his destructive power to break away. But we never stopped seeing each other.”

“Are you from Romania as well?”

“No,” Gerda laughed, “That was silly gossip. We came from a town two hours’ drive from here, down south. We were kids from poor working families. When Aggy heard the Romanian gossip, she decided to play along. She liked the idea of finally being different.”

“You still meet?”

“Naturally. She is the love of my life.”

Gerda sipped some tea and Egan did the same.

“I see.”

“We were best friends. Then lovers. Then we realized we both had to leave. She had to leave the town, and I had to leave my body. These were opposite directions, but we decided to travel together anyway. Can you follow me?” Egan waved his head as a sign of insecurity and his eylike somehow finished on Horus again. “I couldn’t love her as a man because I hated myself. Once that was changed, I decided to love her like awoman loves awoman. We packed, and we left. This town was far enough for Aggy, so we stayed. We invented this future-telling thing.” Some light from the street managed to squeeze between the velveteen sheets and enter the darkened room. The afternoon

“When Domino died, he left considerable debts. I saw no other way out but to go to the Barn and offer myself to Toots. That worked for a short time, but Toots was unbearable. He was abusive, and he treatedme likea freakof nature. I brokeoffwith himand started working onmy own, here. Of course, Toots got pissed off. He sent Meno to reason with me. I threatened him I would disclose all of my customers from the Barn, all of them. Soon that idiot Meno got himself killed. Toots left us alone.” Gerdacoveredhermouthwiththepalmof herhand. Shepaused as if trying to stop the words from coming out her mouth.

“I secretly made photos with some of my customers.”

Egan looked deep into her eyes. Then he took the last sip of tea



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