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Aunt Maria


Jolanta Gradowicz

It was pouring down, and Paul was drenched to the skin. He spent the last day in his office room. His new boss gave him a notice… It was getting late, but Paul still wandered the empty streets, delaying his return home. He didn’t know what to say to his wife – he felt like a loser. She might think exactly the same. He couldn’t stand it.

A clap of thunder lit up a building with an art gallery on the first floor. He decided to enter it – he would look at his wife’s eyes a bit later… He had a look around in the spacious place. He was confused a little – he wasn’t knowledgeable at all about painting.

“What do I do here?” he asked himself, but in one of the little separate rooms he saw a picture with a garden in the spring.

“What a contrast to the sad, autumn day…” he smiled. Paul forgot his misery for a while. He came up to another painting. It was a painting with an older woman.

“Really! She resembles my aunt from Warsaw!” The image amazed and amused him. All his childhood came back to his eyes.

His aunt – his great aunt Maria – was a very interesting woman. She loved telling strange stories, and she always could remedy everything. Today she also could tell him something encouraging, but Maria left the world some time ago… Maria… Paul recalled that Maria liked paintings. All of the pictures in her house were something more than only pictures – each of them had a special meaning. At that time it was very strange to him. Besides, all family considered Maria to be a crazy woman a bit, not to say “a freak”.
Maria had several of her most favorite paintings, he recalled. One of them showed an old Jew with a gold coin.

“There is poverty at home if there is no Jew there” – Maria liked repeating these words always when she looked at the picture.

To cast a spell on fate… Paul began to look nervously for something. Flowers, landscapes… He moved into another room with portraits. A king, a captain… Yes! There it is! He delighted in looking at a long, black chin and long side locks…Paul left the gallery with his new picture under his arm.

Jumping over puddles, he came back home.

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