How old people are depends on what happened to them, not on their age. So much is happening to me. Too much!
I toss about my bed and count my lovers rather than the sheep: Milan, Beda, Leo, by Egon I drop off to sleep.
Restored by a good night-rest, I rush into the morning room, leaving Rosa in charge of my luggage as Leopoldine von Zwettler advised me to do. We eat our breakfast and toss pleasant nothings into the perfumed air hasty to pick our former lives up, let the recent past vanish, yet aware it can’t be done. Nobody enters the same river twice, my grandfather taught me.
“I’ll take care of the car. Better start early so we don’t miss the flight.”
Surprisingly peevish for a perfectly trained young gentleman, Leo is standing up to go.
“Poor boy! How heartrending it must be for him to take leave of his lovely fiancée!” Leopoldine von Zwettler comments on her grandson’s odd behaviour.
“How sad, indeed!” My grandmother’s eyes are brimming with tears.
A worldly young lady I suppress a mischievous smirk. Poor Leo, indeed! How exasperating! His parents are having their breakfast in bed!
“A telephone call for Fraulein, the gentleman didn’t give his name!” The beetle-browed Rosa announces sternly.
“I’ll take it in the hall.”
I ask to be forgiven and go to brave my mysterious caller.
“So it seems, I was a bloody nuisance last night. Sorry, girl!”
“It’s quite all right, Beda. How do you feel?”
“Couldn’t feel better. When shall I see you?”
“I don’t know. I’m about to leave for Prague.”
“OH! I’ll come to the Nice airport then to wave you off.”
“Don’t! I hate good-byes!”
“Irene!” My grandmother’s voice is needle-sharp.
“No time to chatter on the phone! Fetch your coat! We’re leaving.”
“Sorry, Beda, see you in Prague.”
I hang up and fade away not to give my grandmother a chance to grant me one of her memorable talks on etiquette.