She was happy.
And so was he. Mz Dvorak was going with him – and he with her – to Margot’s birthday party.
Only two days ago, he had been to listen to ’her’ Requiem with Mz Dvorak. In his book that was hilarious. In her book, it wasn’t. The Dvorak Requiem had been an indescribable experience! With a powerful choir and music that shattered you like the apocalypse.
But they had not yet reached that stage. Margot had turned seventy and wanted to celebrate. Her husband was long dead, and the old friends became few and far between. With the Golf-Hotel, she had chosen an exquisite address. Tasty food was guaranteed. Anything else would have been a disappointment. Mz Dvorak was looking forward to it. There was nothing she loved more than eating. Of course, this had consequences! A life-long uphill struggle! Hopeless!
They had agreed on Tuesday, forty-five minutes past five in the afternoon.
The party was to begin at six.
Two hours before that, he called Mz Dvorak.
Probably still on her way. Or maybe taking a shower. He waited nowhere near long enough before he tried calling her again. Nothing!
Why wasn’t she calling back? She always did that, didn’t she?
He tried to reach her several more times on her cell phone.
He was going to say: stupid bitch. But he could not call her that, because he could not reach her. Eventually, he gave up. He was jumpy and disappointed, and went by himself …
But then, perhaps she had suddenly been called about her daughter who had cancer. Or perhaps her very ancient father finally wanted to die.
Or maybe she had to drown all this misery in alcohol and had gone to sleep next to her glass of red wine.
In that case, he definitely would not have wished to disturb her.
When he was the first person to arrive at the party – his bad conscience kicked in.
Perhaps he should have waited for Mz Dvorak a little longer, after all? She would certainly have arrived.
Margot was surprised when she saw him alone.
Neither had he brought his wife. But then that was not really a surprise for Margot, was it? Well, he was sure Mz. Dvorak was going to arrive a little later. Otherwise she would certainly have called it off. After all, her middle name was diligence.
Nobody had any doubt about that.
Even when – in between the delicious courses of the meal – everything went topsy-turvy and the guests had to do all sorts of kinaesthetic with the animator.
That was something Mz. Dvorak would definitely not have liked. Maybe she had suspected something like this? Well, that might have been it. She hated kinaesthetic like nothing else Why did you have to have flexible joints in old age?
Strange: her chair remained empty. Even though the empty seat at the table was quite a nuisance
They had not yet taken away her place setting, either.
What a strange joke of hers.
To simply not turn up.
Without a single word.
No explanation. But then, with all her reliability, she also had it in her to be stubborn. Everybody who knew Mz. Dvorak knew that about her.
This was a truly perfect party!
Everything was well organized.
Margot was at her best, and so was her charming daughter. They were both professionals. They knew how to create a party mood. He was probably the only person who got a little bit of a sour taste in his mouth when, as they finally played the “oldies but goldies” and the performers were actually the same persons as those who had sung the Dvorak Requiem.
Mz.Dvorak would probably have laughed about this involuntary comical number.
Well, she was good at laughing. She definitely was!
And then the evening was over. And Mz. Dvorak had not turned up at all.
What a pity! He went home all by himself and smoked a cigarillo. He also indulged in a glass of red wine.
At long last: she called: A little late, aren’t you, my dear Mz. Dvorak! But it wasn’t her at all.
She was already dead.
Her son had found her while they were eating the second course at the party.
He had climbed into the house via the balcony, because the central key had been in the lock from the inside.
Mz. Dvorak had been sitting on the steps. One shoe was already at her feet.
Then she had leaned against the wall and remained sitting in this position.
For an entire night – and a day.
Heart failure. Dead within seconds.
Her old dog had kept vigilance.
He was deaf.
He would not have been able to hear ’Her Requiem’…
(Translated by EG)