Wednesday, 7 October 2009

In the midst of life - Slide-show-girl

It all started on a bench in a public park. I was in my mid-thirties and it was Summer.

Sitting on that bench, I was busy sorting out and inspecting color slides in order to put them in specific order for projection. A park bench is certainly not the best place to do this but I needed open air.

While doing this and fuzzing around with the slides a girl came and sat down near me and started to read a book. From time to time she stopped and looked into the distance and we came to talk. We talked a lot, probably more than an hour and before leaving I had an invitation for the next day to come to her place and show her my slides.

This I did - I mean the coming - but, as far I can remember, I never really showed her those slides. But I stayed there for the night and next morning at breakfast she told me her story.

Ten years ago she was going to be married. Everything was arranged, papers, the ceremonies at the town hall and in the church, dinner, everything. Three days before the fixed date her fiancé met her somewhere in town and told her that everything is off. No reason given, no explanation, just the statement, "I'll not see you again in this life" he told her.

Naturally, she tried this and that but to no avail. She never managed to find out what has happened and she had to face it alone.

This kind of broke her. For ten years her life was limited to her studio apartment, going out only for work and for buying food and other necessities. "What did you do all this time", I asked her. "Nothing, just sitting there or playing the piano for hours".

"Play something for me" I said, "Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, whatever you like. "No, she said, and then she added "I play only Dvorak". I asked why but there was no clear answer, as far as I remember.

During the week that followed we saw each other nearly every day. "You are the very first person that came here after my failed marriage", she told me. But she must have been ready for something else some time before. She had published an advertisement in a newspaper asking for someone ready to go with her to the USA for a months' holiday, on shared expenses. And she got a positive answer because there was a Dutchman ready to go with her. Departure next week.

"Don't worry, she told me, I'll be back in no time".

The first half of that month I was away, too, crossing Iceland with a bunch of backpackers. Coming home, I started waiting. At the appropriate time, probably a little too early, I made my first phone call. Nothing, not yet back. Some days later, I called again and was amazed to hear "no connection under this number". This same evening I went to her place: her name on the apartment was gone. Then I managed to talk to an old lady living next door. "Oh, she moved out some days ago."

She had vanished without leaving a trace. I was not broken but certainly shattered. I talked it over with some friends and she became "the slide-show-girl" whenever the subject was raised.

More than a year passed and one day, in an inner city street, I hear "Bonjour, Georges" : my slide-show-girl! She told me Part 2 of the story. During those holidays in the United State States they decided to live together and back in town she married right away. When I met her she was certainly six months pregnant.

Happy end.


  1. This is a very touching story. Two lonely people find each other. Then one of them finds another one whom she finds more 'suitable' and moves on without a word. The end really completed the story.

    Georg, some day you must tell us where you were in life when you met her...

  2. Comme le dit Vinod, c'est une très touchante histoire.
    mais je te connais.
    Tu sais faire parler les gens et te les attacher.
    Tu la revois encore?
    Tu es un sacré confesseur george!!!!!!!!!
    bises à Elisabeth

    Pardonne moi de ne pas t'avoir joint la semaine dernière dans le cantal. J'étais Auver-bouqué.

  3. Wow, such a story I loved it. It looks like a movie. Do anyone know what happened to her first fiance who left with "maybe in another life!!" ??
    Backpacking in Iceland ha, sounds so adventurous ...

  4. To Vince
    Hey patate, ça s'est passé dans les années sixante-dix! Elle a peut-être trois enfants, des varices et est divorcé depuis belle lurette.

    To Hiva
    Well, I don't know more than what I have said. As to the Iceland trip, maybe I write about this one day because we came back a little starved. There was a mistake about the rations. You can do this trip every day, especially now, the Islandic money moved into the cellar: should be cheap compared to the Canadian Dollar.


  5. What a heart touching story. Gives me and my lonly romantic heart a little hope today. thank you.
    wish you a beautiful day today, Georg!

  6. et alors?
    bises à Elisabeth

  7. Do I sense a heartbreak there... well, life does dole those out,doesn't it... especially when one is young and the heart raring for emotional entanglements. A closure of some sort may have eased the pain, but eventually time does the trick and another goes into the annuls of heartbreak history :)
    Thanks for sharing this Georg.

  8. What an odd romance you have had..
    Like some strange movie...
    Is there any tenderness in your heart for her? after all these years? or is she just a character in the story of your life?

  9. To Geisslein
    Thank you my dear. The story seem to touch you.

    To Id it is
    "Entaglement" is certainly a good word for this strange story. Right now it is just a souvenir, it happened so long ago.

    To Sorrow
    To tell the truth, I had forgotten all about "slight-show-girl" for many years. But now, the story coming again to the surface, I wish her all the best. Therefore I said "happy end". What I don't know, naturally, is what happened to her as the years went by. I don't know what she is doing right now, every thing is possible.


  10. salut george!!!
    comment vas tu?
    j'ai parlé du cantal sur mon blog tu sais?
    bises à elisabeth
    biss dann meine freund.

  11. That was verrrry interesting Georg ... by the way, how are you? Thanks for your email ... I'll write an email soon

  12. To Chackavak
    Thank you, my dear. I am in top shape right now, got a new paraglider and have just had my first flight.
    Life is great.


  13. Wonderful, I love happy endings.
    What a lovely story.

  14. Hello Exseno,

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, lovely story, invented by life. I have great admiration for people able to invent good, long, captivating stories. Right now I am reading a kind of thriller written by Elisabeth George, an US American writer. Incredible.


  15. Hi, I just happen to drop by on your post and don't regret finding your blog :)

    Your story is very direct and plainly written. It lacks emotion of making it a love story. Seems you just wrote it in flow without taking care of emotional aspects.

    Sorry in advance if you fine me abrupt.


  16. Bonjour Kulsoom,

    Thanks for commenting. On the contrary, I appreciate; this IS commenting. It has never been my intenion to write a love story,this is not in my character. I think I am more something like a chronicler, writing what happened not what I think and feel about it.

    You are always welcome.


  17. Les histoires de jeunesse sont toujours étonnantes!
    J'ai beaucoup de mal à lire l'anglais (je l'ai appris oralement avec des libanaises!!!) et à la fin je n'ai pas tout compris.
    Je sais tu vas me dire "enclenche la traduction"... Oui, mais comment faire des progrès si on a tout toujours tout prêt?
    Un gros bisou

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