Beda handles the driving wheel as skillfully as he masters the keyboard when playing one of his minor pieces relying on his rare music sense like a trickster on his charm.
The sky above Las Vegas is hazy. The sun, rolling in a splash of mauve vapors, is not yet decided whether to make an appearance.
I ease myself into the seat free from my insoluble past. I feel like eloping; a happy ending to a tangled drama. We are listening to an astounding tape. My tape! Beda’s morning gift! A stupendous Errol Garner’s stunt performed for a couple of his friends and never put on the market. A treat for the Chosen Ones, now in my sole possession. A priceless gift whose cost has to be yet figured out.
I touch Beda’s hand for reassurance and his smile buoys me up.
Ours was a strange wedding night. Cuddling up to each other, we listened to the Pied Piper’s song, not minding the shrill ringing of the phone, tearing into Errol Garner’s blithe humming. His brilliance, reaching for joy, never evokes disasters and dread. When Beda plays his hands zoom through the key board like two racing cars hitting smash into each other.
Shuddering, I reach my arms after the sweet, mellow air streaming down the open roof. The highway runs smoothly forward under the wheels of our silvery car. We are on our wedding journey and “happy” means “together”. I wish we would be driving on and on, listening to Garner’s sunny music, existing from this moment on, Beda and I, an ever-lasting couple, where “Beda” spells “the only man of my life.”
“Isn’t it wonderful to have this balmy weather in January, Beda! Just imagine the freezing sleet on the pavements of Prague! I hate the cold! I love being with you! Don’t you ever leave me!”
“No chance, girl!” Beda grins, his old Frog-Prince self again and I kiss him smack on lips to change him into my Prince Charming not minding the frenetic hoots of the approaching cars, objecting to Beda’s delirious swirls.
“Get lost, you morons!” I stick out my tongue at them.
“Just drive and kiss, Beda! Don’t mind them.”
“Right you are, girl! There is no time like here and now. Never look back! It’s just a waste of time. Anyhow, we don’t remember the past. We imagine it.”
We are driving through a drab shanty town; pawnshops, cheap eateries, and trailer-parks’ wasteland strut about in shameless abandon. Las Vegas is a mirage left behind. I shudder as if a black cloud obscured the sun.
Beda puts his hand upon my eyes shutting the gloom out.
“We are in Henderson, girl,” Beda’s kiss rouses me from my slumber.
“How about stretching out our legs?”
I agree enthusiastically. This little town with its gingerbread sweetness is a sight for sore eyes. I love cute beauty-spots where life flows to a happy ending with an unhurried smoothness.
Hand in hand, at an amorous promenade pace, we stroll along the high street, bordered with two rows of quaint dollhouses. Their trim flower-gardens in full bloom are blessed with happy company of lazy, plump cats licking their whiskers on homely sun-porches their round, hypnotic eyes lost in feline dreams.
At a whim, we enter a snug coffee house. Not because we are hungry but to fence us in and blend with the romance.
The cozy round table under a billowy muslin curtain, bedecked with a crisp tablecloth, is set for two. Beda holds my chair with the gallant ease he had been trained for in Mirak’s dancing classes. I regret I can’t acknowledge his fine style smoothing an ample silk skirt over the seat and aligning my legs in a sweet, ladylike manner under its folds.
We sip rich, hot chocolate from frail bone-china cups trimmed with ladybirds courting blushing rosebuds. We feed each other’s sweetness-craving mouths with bits of creamy cheesecake splashed with juicy raspberry topping.
“It would be lovely settling down in this charming little town!” I purr seductively, my honeyed lips reaching after my sweetheart’s mouth.
“Let’s go to a Realtor’s at once!” My beloved agrees in the same breath.
We run to an agency a few steps afar. Of course they have heavenly cottages for newlyweds!
And off we go in search of a loving home for two and, - why not!- for three or more, God willing, in case a couple of alley-cats in needy circumstances would show up at our doorstep!
As it was written in the stars we happen upon an ivy-cradled cottage cuddling up to a blossoming lime tree where swallows have built their trim little nest under the cover of a thatched roof swaddled in topaz-green moss.
We take delight in a pond flowered with water-lilies sheltering a couple of frolicsome gold fish and a melancholic frog eagerly expecting a Princess’ kiss to become her one and only beloved Prince Charming.
The rosy-cheeked realtor, her silver hair pinned up into a stately bun, a Fairy Queen in her private time, leaves us tactfully alone so that we connect with our new home and with each other.
“Take your time, children! Don’t hurry love up. Just drop the key into my box if you haven’t found what you are looking for or stay forever, if that’s your wish.”
She vanishes into thin air and Beda takes my hand and leads me into the bedroom in the attic where we make love tenderly and fiercely, loftily and humbly reaching out for heaven and earth.