Disclaimer: Inspired from some true incidents. The Characters portrayed in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance of the characters to an actual person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Today 13th November 2016, 16.40 hours
The ambulance arrived a few minutes back, they were carrying my body in a stretcher. How I wish I was left alone at the eastern banks of Vltava. I knew I am no more in the world, I wanted to tell them to take me to Jolana once. I tried calling one of the men, he was busy in taking me in to the vehicle!.. I am dead!, it took a while for me to realise
7th August 2015, 17.45 hours
The hotel manager of U Maliru, the finest and the oldest hotel, at Prague rushed into me to check if everything was as I had planned. I said “naprosto bezchybné pánové” [absolutely flawless gentleman]. This is a 6th century building with an amazing architecture which had a mixture of aesthetics and grandeur. People of Prague had a great chut’ [taste] when it comes to the place they live and the food they eat.
My phone rang just as I was sneaking through the window, gazing at the passers-by. Dr. Rehor it was.
“Stanislav, is everything ok?”
“Perfektní” [Perfect], I replied “Great! We should be there on time. Hope this works and may the god be with you”, he hangs up!
“Sir, would you like to have a look at the table” asked the číšník [waiter]. He was well dressed and was quite old.
7th August 1952, 18.30 hours
I was walking across the Vltava on the Charles Bridge. According to me Vltava is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The view it offers from Charles Bridge can make anyone happy but at that moment, I couldn’t enjoy the serenity the place had to offer.
“It’s not working out between us any more Stanislav. We got to move on. mějte se”, the last few words she spoke to me.
I stood at the centre of the bridge with the gracefully crafted ring in my hand. For a moment, I thought of throwing it to the Vltava.
I walked quietly observing the musicians and bands that kept playing on the banks of the bridge. A few more minutes of walk brought me to U Maliru. I enjoy being at ancient places. This restaurant which was established in 1543 has been my childhood favourite. As I entered the place, I saw that the restaurant was lit with lamps and people were in celebration mood with a few of them already on the dance floor. No wonder that they were as we had won 7 golds in Summer Olympics at Helsinki, Finland.
The restaurant was almost full and the manager requested me to wait for a while. He went inside and came back in a few minutes.
“I am extremely sorry sir; the restaurant is full as we have a guest reservation by a friend of Emil Zátopek. You might be aware of his triple gold in the recent Olympics, sir. However, there is a lady who had checked in to one of our tables and she is fine with you sharing the table with her if it doesn’t bother you”.
I would have refused the offer on any other day but today I had to look for peace of mind and didn’t mind the piece of table she was ready to share and accepted the offer.
The waiter walked me to the table and got me seated. She was sitting opposite to me with the jídelní lístek [menu card]. I couldn’t really see her face and I started to gaze outside the window. I somehow like observing the passers-by. They all come in to our lives and are a part of our lives but have no role to play or rather the role they play is much insignificant to us but overall as per the chaos theory they all make us what we are, while I kept swimming in my philosophy, I heard a silvery voice “Omluvte mě”[Excuse me] “Would you like to look at the menu card? “ she asked. I had a clear view of her while she offered me the menu. She was looking like a perfectly crafted Czechoslovakian sculpture. She didn’t have a very fair complexion but had all the grace dripping down her face. The reflection of the yellow lamp glittered on her lip gloss which made an imaginary ring around her nose. Her flaunting hair had an aroma which spread its fragrance within the reachable perimeter. In short, she made me forgot what had happened with me a few minutes before and in fact she made me forget what I am in less than a few fraction of seconds. Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor was playing in the background. I liked his music a lot particularly the way he used his flute.
“Jolana”- She smiled introducing herself, the voice seemed to me as if it came via the flute.
“Stanislav”- I replied.
“Jolana, will you marry me?” was my first ever sentence of our conversation.
The waiter had just placed the 2 champagne glasses and looked in to our eyes and wished us Santé!. He was French, the French have a great tradition of looking in to each other’s eyes before wishing Cheers! [Santé – wish you good health]. After picking the glass Jolana and I looked at each other to wish Cheers!
16th April 2015, 19.00 hours
“Cheers!”said Jolana while we just started to have our supper. Life with her had been the most beautiful thing which had happened to me. We both didn’t have children. We had no time to give love to anyone else. Jolana and I had a lot to agree upon and disagree upon as well and that completed us. Jolana was the prettiest lady I knew and I ever would know and she grew more beautiful every passing day!
Before we could finish the meal, she fainted on the table. I called the ambulance and rushed to the nearest hospital. I felt adrenaline rush in me thinking I would behave to spend the entire night in the hospital waiting area. This is the first ever night I had to be away from Jolana since we knew each other.
17th April 2015, 9.45 hours
“Dr. Rehor, what has happened to Jolana? I went to see her this morning and I found her staring at me as a stranger”, I inquired him with a brittle voice blended with tears
“She has Alzheimer Mr. Stanislav. It’s very strange that she was normal till yesterday, but the studies I made on her show that she had developed this since long. Normally a patient with Alzheimer tends to have slow decline of memory. We can admit her but you will be allowed to meet her only once a day as she has to develop some sense of people like us around her”.
The next couple of days were the most challenging days of my life. I waited for 5.30 AM everyday when I get to see Jolana. With each passing day, I lost hope that she will ever remember and recollect me. She couldn’t even remember my name. Dr. Rehor took very good care of her. He had dedicated his life towards the profession of medicine. He lost his parents during World War II. The unavailability of a doctor that time to save his parents made him become one and serve his countrymen. He in fact did not marry.
One day, while listening to my stories he interrupted and asked about how I met Jolana. After I described him, he mentioned that it was the most cinematic introduction he has ever heard / imagined. He then suddenly advised, “why not we recreate the same atmosphere. There is a very little chance that she might remember. There must be at least one moment in a person’s life which will stay deep in their brains and I believe this may be one”
Today, 7th August 2015, 18.15 hours
The manager had paid great attention in recreating the space as I wished. As per our plan, I was sitting on the table just behind where Jolana would sit. Dr. Rehor will bring her, make her sit and talk to her as she recognises only him for the moment and then I’ll get to them with the glass of Champagne.
Dr. Rehor and Jolana came in, the music band was playing Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor in the background. People around the table spoke about Emil Zátopek’s triple gold and what a legend he was. They both came in and got themselves seated. Jolana was just sitting behind me. “I remember something of this place Rehor” she whispered, I could still feel her voice as if it comes from the flute played by the orchestra. I stood up, took the champagne glass on the plate and walked briskly to their table.
I placed the champagne glass on the table and wished Santé! looking in to their eyes, she picked one glass, toasted it up and said, “Will you marry me Rehor!?, see this time I was the first to propose”
I walked back smiling at them! and this time I did throw the platinum ring into Vltava, who then happened to be my newly found love!
Today 13th November 2016, 13.55 hours
“Mr. Stanislav, Jolana passed away a few minutes back”, informed Dr. Rehor over the phone.
I never saw her since last August. Dr. Rehor kept updating me about her condition. He took great care of her!...