Viktor and Milana

Milana met Viktor the evening she attended a small concert on Strossmayer Square in the old part of Zagreb with her friend Maja. They were sitting and chatting in a row of wooden tables and benches, spreading down the long narrow square, when Viktor and two of his friends asked to join them.

The crowd was loud and relaxed, beer was flowing from the tanks. Jazz, streetlights, and a warm summer breeze infused this July evening with life. They stayed and chatted until life and music on the square subsided and people started to leave. Viktor suggested a rock bar called Titus as their next destination. On the way, they entered a dark narrow street and were hit by an unpleasant odor. Milana covered her nose and felt her stomach churn at the sensation of heavy air filling her lungs. Viktor made fun of her snobby gesture. They reached a nicer part of the old town again and Milana felt that she could breathe. Yellow streetlights were glowing and illuminating the old buildings. Everything was peaceful and Milana knew she would remember this moment forever. She was aware that they stood at the very origin of the city of Zagreb, already proclaimed as a town in itself back in the 13th century. Throughout centuries, millions of people had walked on the stones beneath her. There was something impressive about standing in a place with so much history.
As Milana was time traveling in her mind, Vikotor touched her shoulder and brought her back to present. The chemistry between them was obvious from the way they looked at each other.
They reached a street called Mesnicka, and on number 47 they entered Titus Bar. It was a Wednesday night, and the bar was empty, illuminated by dim yellow lights. They sat at the bar.
“This is my favorite place” he told her.
“It’s one of the rare places that plays great rock music and regularly hosts young and old incredibly talented, unaffirmed musicians.”
This was the kind of place Milana would probably not enter on her own. That is what she found so fascinating about meeting new people. It always felt like entering a new world. She was now curious to learn more about him so before leaving they exchanged phone numbers and agreed to have coffee sometime.
The following sunday morning Milana went to Hemingway bar to write. She had become a regular because there were many things she loved about this place. The interior design included elements of rococo style, with white as the dominant color, broken down with gold details – lamps, cussions and picture frames. The walls were decorated with black and white photographs. One she particularly loved was that of Hemingway himself. On one occasion, when she was about to pay for her drink, the waiter said :”Your drink is already payed for by a gentleman who already left.” This made her feel like a character in a scene of a black and white film. Milana looked at her phone and thought about inviting Viktor for coffee. She decided it would be interesting to see him in this environment which she sensed would not suite his style. “I’m in Hemingway. Wanna come over for a drink?” she texted. Another reason why she was in love with this place was that through the window she had a beautiful view of the The Croatian National Theatre. The HNK as the Croatians called it. The theater also operated as an opera and ballet house. It was built during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I by two famous Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer. Looking at the theater Milana imagined the operas, ballets, plays and famous national and international artists this magnificent place had gathered over the years. A theater really was a place where dreams became reality. She looked at her phone. There was still no message from Viktor. She wondered if he would reply and decided to wait 5 more minutes.

-Lana

Milana, en assistant un soir à un petit concert sur la place Strossmayer à Zagreb avec son amie Maja, a rencontré Viktor. Elles étaient assises et discutaient  dans une rangée de tables et bancs en bois, répondu le long de l’étroite place, quand Viktor et deux de ses amis leur ont demandé si ils pouvaient se joindre à eux. La foule était bruyante et détendue, la bière coulait dans les réservoirs. Ce soir de juillet où le jazz, les lampadaires et la brise chaude infusaient, ils sont restés et ont bavardé jusqu’à ce que la musique et la vie aient disparues de la place.
Viktor proposa un bar rock appelé Titus pour prochaine destination. Tous partant, sur le chemin, ils entrèrent dans une rue sombre et étroite ou ils ont été frappés par une odeur désagréable. Milana a soudain couvert son nez, la sensation de l’air lourde remplissant ses poumon, elle senti une forte lourdeur a son estomac. Viktor se moquait d’une attitude snob. En atteignant un plus joli coin de la vieille ville, Milana pouvait enfin respirer. Les lampadaires jaunes brillaient et éclairaient les bâtiments anciens. Tout était paisible et Milana savait qu’elle allait se souvenir de ce moment pour toujours. Elle savait qu’ils se trouvaient sur les origines même de Zagreb, proclamé ville des le 13ème siècle. Elle ressentait l’histoire dans l’idée de tous ces millions de personnes qui avaient marché sur les pierres sous elle, tout au long des siècles. En sentant Viktor lui mettant la main sur l’épaule, elle retrouva ses esprits et quitta ses songeries. Dans leur regard on sentait entre eux le début d’une attraction.
Ils sont parvenus à une rue appelée Mesnicka et sont entrés au numéro 47, au bar Titus. Ce mercredi soir, le bar était vide éclairé par de sombre lumières jaunes. Ils se sont assis au bar.
“C’est mon endroit préféré”, lui dit-il.
“C’est l’un des rares endroits qui accueille régulièrement de nouveaux musiciens et  joue le genre de musique que j’aime. Du vrai rock »
C’était le genre d’endroit ou elle ne sera pas entrée par elle même. Ce qu’elle trouvait fascinant dans le fait de rencontrer des gens c’étais que ce-là lui donnait l’impression de rentrer dans un nouveau monde. Elle était maintenant curieuse d’en apprendre plus sur lui et avant de se quitter ils ont échangé leur numéros de téléphone.
Le dimanche suivant, Milana est allé au bar Hemingway écrire. C’est ce qu’elle faisait depuis un certain temps parce qu’il y avait beaucoup de choses qu’elle aimait à cet endroit. Son style rococo, avec le blanc comme couleur dominante, ventilées avec des détails en or, ces lampes, ces cadres et ces  murs décorés de photographies en noire et blanc correspondaient a elle même. La photo qu’elle aimait particulièrement étais celle de Hemingway lui-même. Une fois, au moment ou elle était sur le point de payer son verre, le garçon lui a dit: “Votre boisson a déjà été réglé par un gentleman qui est déjà parti.” Elle se sentit comme dans une scène d’un film noir et blanc. C’était le genre de chose qui ne se serait probablement pas se produit au Titus bar. Milana, en jettent un œil sur son téléphone pensait a Viktor . Elle décide de l’inviter pour un café en pensant qu’il sera intéressant de le voir dans cet environnement qui ne lui est pas familier.
«Je suis au café Hemingway. Tu veux venir boire un verre?” elle a envoyé un texto. Une autre raison Milana aimait cet endroit était que, a travers à la fenêtre, elle avait une belle vue du Théâtre National Croate qui dans son programme incluse les spectacles, le ballet et l’opéra. Le Théâtre a été construit par deux architectes viennois Fellner Ferdinand et Herman Helmer, durant le règne de l’empereur austro-hongrois François-Joseph I . En regardant le théâtre à travers la fenêtre du bar, Milana imaginait des opéras, des ballets, des pièces de théâtre et des artistes de renommée nationale et internationale que ce lieu magnifique avait rassemblés au fil des années. Un théâtre était vraiment un endroit où les rêves deviennent réalité. Milana regarda son téléphone. Il n’y avait toujours pas de message de Viktor. Elle se demandait s’il allait répondre et a décidé d’attendre encore 5 minutes.

MY 7 CHOSEN WORDS: 1.Love 2.Stubborn 3.Dreamy 4.Fruity fragrance 5.Stories 6.Extraordinary 7.Humans lana@lestandart.com

5 Comments

  • January 18, 2013

    Mattias

    I liked the piece after Reading it slowly for the 5th time. i Think this is how it has to be read slowly cause it is subtle and cause many of us run too quickly thru Life. maybe having larger letters or spaces between rows will make ppl read it slower …how do you make stressed ppl read slower.
    The chemistry between them was obvious from the way they looked at each other. i liked that part ..and you don’t go anymore into any other details of how and why they liked each other, did they or did they not . it becomes fait accompli and it us cause attraction is in the way People look at each other – looking at each other is the proof is the definite symptom of the disease. later its cool how she Contacts him, a bit unconventional, girl chasing. and then we don’t know what happens. i also get the feeling she is happy about finding Mutual attraction, or maybe being Confident about meeting him again but the way it ends does not soudn super confidnet (She decided to wait 5 min). also i like how you “market” Zagreb, Croatia thru the text …i am analytical ..sorry if i you feel i took Your text to pieces and and i am sure i misunderstood you, apologies. i really enjoyed Writing this comment. /m

  • January 18, 2013

    Lana

    How do you make stressed people read slower…LOL! Good point…I will think about it…Voltaire said “Man is free at the instant he wants to be.”…maybe this could be applied to “stress-free” today…maybe no matter how hectic life gets, we always have the choice to take a breath, to be stress free the instant we chose to be…maybe we just need to really remeber this…
    I like how you analysed the attraction bit and the eye contact…I didn’t go deeper in explaining it, as it was lived as something instinctual and emotional (women) and I think your analytical reaction has roots in your gender ;) (men)…and I think it’s lovely how men and women complement each other…without ever really being sure if we completely understand each other :) …we bring different pieces to the puzzle… For example, from my text you put into words things left unsaid…yet when I read them, they sound very true… I love how you detect that she was between confident and unconfident about meeting him again…happy about the attraction…because that was the underlying emotion. And about Zagreb…I guess I wanted the reader to fall in love with it too…spread the “disease”… :)

    • January 25, 2013

      mattias

      loved Your comment so much. really good quote from Voltaire in his spirit.
      I like Voltaire..didn’t have the time to go deep into his works but I remember some of his quotes: live in the best of possible Words . very inspirational. and then the one about freedom of speech in line with: i might totally disagree with you but will defend till death Your right to say it….(not real wording but good guy from what i know)
      yeap i am pretty much man i guess. My friend and I talk a lot about rat race. some other friends choose to escape it.
      there is this dilemma which i for the first time formulate now Writing to you: to escape the rat race many Believe the solution is to get rich, in order to get rich you need to get clogged even deeper into the rat race at least. in case you fail i.e. time runs out you avhe simply sunk deeper into the rat race without reaching the salvation. in case you don’t sink deep into it Your chance of riches are very slim and salvation will probabl not happen. dilemma is done here, there is awhole funny twist to it all though -. the fishing anecdote. you hear it? it was when Two old man after retiring rather well of meet fishing and say thanks god we can go fishing now. the question is why did you not go fishing at once – don’t have to be rich to be fishing :) not connected but kind of…littel of topic with rat race. still wonder how is rat race treating you and what is Your take on it? hugs

  • March 7, 2013

    Nikki

    Great blog post thanks for posting

    • March 15, 2013

      Lana

      Thanks for feedback Nikki!!! :)