Become a Fan
By Jack Kuperman
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
The window was shut to keep out the cold. It was warm and nice in the room. I sat near TV with Arthur. We drank beer and talked about what happened during the last month we didn't see each other. He told me about his family, parents, kids.
Later, I don't remember why, Arthur told me that he is afraid of roads. I didn't understand how this could be, after all he worked as a driver.
"Hear this story." He stopped for a moment as if recollecting something and continued:
"There was a young girl in my town. Her name was Jenny. She had a friend who loved her very much. She loved him too, but it took her three years to become sure she wants to marry him. But now, that she decided, she didn't want to wait and they decided to wedd in two months.
One day in midwinter, they decided to meet near the courthouse to prepare some papers for the wedding, and from there to go to order a place for the event.
Her friend came early and waited for Jenny. She was late, but he was used to this and didn't care. Suddenly he saw her on the other side of the street. He made a hello with his hand. She answered and laughed.
Then she ran to the middle of the road, but there she stopped because cars went by. When the road was empty of obstacles, she began to cross. Suddenly from behind a corner came a car. Jenny jumped backwards on to the traffic island. Withoun noticing she bumped into somebody. It was a young man who lost his foot and fell into a puddle that was there after the last rain shower.
Splashes of water went in all directions while the man tried to rise from the puddle and it was so funny that everybody began to laugh. Even Jenny, though asked to be excused, couldn't but burst into laughter. But the street light changed to green and she ran to her friend.
The man rose from the puddle, all wet, with red face and angry at all the world. Especially at Jenny. He wanted to revenge. He was not ready to forgive her for throwing him into the water. But even more, for making a mockery of him.
He followed her to see where she was going. He traced her everywhere until the evening, when she returned home.
This man, his name was Harry, had all the day to decide how to take revenge. He discovered that her her friend worked In the municipality. The next day he met mayor's second and told him that Jenny's friend demanded to be bribed in exchange for issuing him a business permit.
After three days of inquiry, the friend found himself without the work. The injustice hurt him so much that he decided to sweeten it with alcohol. Very quickly he drank too heavy to be the same man. His mood was very dour all the time, he shouted on Jenny more and more, almost always without any apparent reason. He couldn't find any work and this made him even more stressed.
After three weeks of such behavior Jenny canceled the wedding. She was very sad. Her friend deteriorated so much in this short time. She was lucky that she didn't marry him yet. How wrong she could be in understanding people.
Suddenly she saw a smile before her eyes. She lifted her head and saw the same man whom she threw into the puddle.
"Hello. Once more, excuse me. I am sorry. I didn't mean to bring you down."
Harry said: "Do you know what? Tell me how much you are sorry while we drink a cup of coffee."
"Oh, no. I prefer not to."
"Then you are NOT sorry." His smile convinced her.
During the conversation in the coffee shop, she forgot all her problems. She liked the guy. And it was really obvious that he liked her too. Jenny felt good. They went out together and drove to her home.
Two months later they decided to wed. But Harry suggested he would arrange everything himself.
One evening, when Jenny was alone, the doorbell chimed. She got to the door. There was her old friend.
"Go away, drunkard."
"I am sober. It is two weeks already that I do not drink anything. I wanted to talk with you."
"I don't have anything to talk with you about." And she wanted to close the door, but his leg was inside the room. "Well. But do it really quickly. I don't have all the day for you." She went to the living room.
"Don't marry Harry. It will be a mistake."
"How dare you! Get out from here." And she pushed him towards the door.
"But I love you!"
"I don't care! Go!" And she closed the door.
She ran to the bed, fell on it and began to cry.
When Harry returned home, she was already calm and her eyes were not red. She didn't want to tell him about her old friend. She waited until he sat on the sofa, kissed him and asked: "So, how does it go?"
Late into the night, they talked about their wedding.
Time passed quickly, and after two months they married. She danced all the evening long, smiled to everybody, but in particular to Harry, her husband. She did not want to go home, but rather dance and dance.
But the hour came when there didn't remain any guest. They went out to the street, entered the car and got home. Jenny went up to the apartment. Near the entrance door, Harry suddenly beat himself on forehand recollecting something. He said that he has forgotten something in the wedding place and he would be back in no time at all.
Jenny entered, went to the bedroom, lay on the bed and smiled. She was so happy. She has found the man she loved. They will live happily forever.
Jenny arose suddenly. Looked at the clock. It was after three, but Harry was not in the bed. She stood up and began to look for him all over the flat. He wasn't there and she began to feel bad. She called the weddings place, but of course, this late she didn't get any answer. The she called her best friend and she suggested that Jenny call the police.
There they told her not to worry, and that may be Harry just was delayed in some place. If until the morning he will not return, then they will start to look for him.
Jenny didn't want to get this as an answer, but she couldn't do anything to change it.
She did not close her eyes all the night.
In the morning, the police began to search Harry but without any results. In the meantime, Jenny began to hear all sorts of not so pretty rumors about him. She didn't want to believe them and hoped Harry will return soon.
More than half year she grieved until her friends felt fed up with that and started to nag her to go out and have some fun.
In one of the parties, she met her old friend. He was prettier than ever.
"I heard what happened to you. I am sorry."
"Leave it. I do not think that you are really sorry. Apparently, you were right about Harry. He wasn't a good person."
"I know. It is he who framed me at my work. It was discovered when they did some more investigation. I am to be blamed for all this. I should persuade you not to marry. How can I atone it all?"
"Very simply. Marry me."
"Oh, I am so sorry. Will you marry me?"
"Oh my darling! Gladly!
But this was not as simple as that. There was a vague possibility that her husband was not dead, and therefore Jenny had to wait for seven years. And if until then he would not be discovered, only then she would be permitted to marry.
Her new-old friend was ready to wait those years. If he wanted her, he would wait. And in the meantime they lived together and were very happy.
Seven years passed. Tomorrow they finally will marry. Very expensive price she had to pay for her childish error, but tomorrow this will be rectified. She could hardly wait. Meanwhile, they went to the restaurant for the last time as an unmarried couple …
At the same time, Harry comfortably sat in the airplane seat flying to Jenny's town. He had very good mood. Tomorrow the seven years would finish. Jenny thought that she could marry, but what a surprise it will be for her when she sees him.
He already saw her surprised face and smiled to himself with satisfaction. Yes, he avenged himself properly.
But this is not the end. After everybody will know that he is alive, he will go away for seven more years. This, oh yes, this is his retaliation. And in the time that Jenny will suffer and will not be able to marry, he will have pleasure with many girls. And this is even better, to live with them without marriage!
In the morning, he arrived to the destination. Suitcases as usual were delayed, but he didn't care to wait for them. He had time until the evening. He rented a suite in the hotel and invited there a girl. He will have a sweet wait.
It's seven p.m. already. Business is business. He paid to the girl and dressed up. Suit, necktie. Properly dress for the wedding. The weather was good, and Harry decided to stroll a little.
In one of quiet streets, two men suddenly assailed upon him. They wanted to rob him. Harry did not agree to this and they all started to bicker. Harry saw light go on in one of the windows in the building across the street. In another few minutes, the police arrived. They took all of them.
In the station, the police officer that brought them, said to the duty officer to write that this is an event of robbery and lead them to the waiting room.
In another ten minutes arrived an inspector and started to clarify a matter. Harry said that HE was robbed. But the robbers claimed that the reverse was right.
The inspector requested to see the police officer that brought them, but it became clear that there was a rioting in the demonstration near the municipality and all of the police officers went there.
And the inspector too had to go out. He put all of them into a cell and nothing helped Harry. The inspector said that he will be back very soon and went away. However, he returned only towards the morning. Only after another hour Harry was released. What could he do? Jenny was already married.
But he still could attempt something …
At eleven and fifty five minutes, a television van stopped alongside Hilton. Young girl and a guy with a camera entered inward, rose in the elevator to the seventh floor and banged on the third door to the right.
No one answered. They banged stronger. The guy activated the camera.
They heard steps from inside and the door opened. There appeared a half-drowsy man. Inside, in the bed, they could see a woman's face. The girl from television began straight away: "How is it to marry a married woman? Aren't you afraid of the law?"
She tried to enter into the room but the man pushed her out. So, she shouted to the woman: "Why couldn't you wait for the abductors to release your husband?"
But the door closed before her face. She banged a few more times, and after that, she understood that it wouldn't open, asked the guy: "Did you catch the entire interview?" "Yep." "Good, this will suffice. We will make up the rest of the conversation."
They both left.
Jenny lowered a blanket from her eyes and looked at her husband. He went to the radio and activated it. They sulked.
The news time came:
"… And now to the event of bigamy. On the wedding night, the husband was kidnapped. The woman in the meantime decided to marry. The helpless husband succeeded to free himself alone and will sue his wife …"
Jenny fainted. Her husband did not try to arouse her. He only sat near her, caught his head in his hands and groaned.
He arrived to the court alone, Jenny was brought from the jail by police officers.
He had a headache from all the dirty reports and the questions of reporters who ambushed him everywhere. He wanted this nightmare to finish. But they still had to go through the trial. Almost certainly they will lose because newspapers already guessed what punishment they will get.
The trial began.
Between the first things that the judge said, was a reprimand to the press on their help to create a prejudice.
And then they started to bring witnesses.
Harry told to the court how much he loved Jenny and what a blow was it for him when terrorists kidnapped him. But when the defense counsel wanted to clarify where they held him, Harry stuttered something and said that he is not on the trial here. He summarized his testimony by stressing out that the important thing was that Jenny did not want to wait for her husband.
Jenny tried to explain that she could not know that Harry was kidnapped and thought that he became involved with underworld. But then the prosecutor accused her that she tries to incriminate him.
More than three months dragged the trial. The stormy discussions, contradictory articles, gossip in the city. It was not a simple case.
But lastly Harry won. It was decided not to serve a criminal claim against Jenny and her second husband, but to cancel their marriage. Harry is the husband by law. And Jenny must go to live with him.
Harry exited from the courtroom very content. He decided that the next time he would return several days before the end of seven years in order not to waste once more time on trials.
On the stairs to the building waited reporters. He answered all their questions and in the same time began to cross the street in order to catch a taxi and go to some prostitute.
Suddenly he heard noise from the rear. He turned back and saw that all the reporters ran towards Jenny. Harry pointed to her and burst in laugh. He laughed at her because he saw her second husband tailing behind, not daring to get near.
Suddenly, behind the corner came a car. Harry felt how his leg slides from the curb edge and he falls backwards …
Jenny did not come to the funeral. She was busy to clarify whether she must remarry or the cancelled marriage returned into effect automatically. In the press, they called it "yo yo affair".
Whoever had a surplus time, commented on the case. Half the state was in favor of new wedding, when the second half was divided in their opinions between letting them continue the marriage and prohibiting them to live together.
They wanted even to establish an enquiry commission, but lastly arrived at the golden solution - only she will remarry. He will be considered married.
On those words, Arthur made a long pause and sighhed. I asked: "That's it?" "Yes. That's it. And here is my wife."
I sat in the corner and looked at the couple. They embraced and kissed each other like a couple of doves. You could think that they have married just yesterday.
I asked Arthur quietly: "It's her? Jenny?" But he only smiled.
When she entered the kitchen, Arthur asked me: "So, what do you think about the story I told you?"
"Always be aware of safety on roads?"
And we both began to laugh.
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|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|Some people will go for revenge a long way, but this man Harry had no marbles at all to be scrambled, he was a very sick puppy!
Very good story.