Martin was madly in love with Elisa. She was beautiful, friendly, and happy; she had many friends.
He loved her smile and how she made him laugh at the most ordinary things in life. It made him feel free from his fears and shyness that locked him in his world of dark and sad thoughts. With her, everything was light and joy.
Martin finally decided to propose to her. He told her he had something important to say and would wait for her in front of the café where they met for the first time.
He dressed elegantly in a white shirt and a blue velvet bow tie and went to the meeting place to wait for her with the engagement ring box in his pocket and a small bouquet of roses in his hand. But she preferred to continue her happy life surrounded by friends from whom she could choose whom to have fun with every night, and she didn’t come.
Martin phoned her, but she didn’t answer. He left her a message on her voicemail: “I’ll be waiting for you.” The day passed, the night passed, and she did not come, but Martin remained with his blue bow tie and his bouquet of roses standing at the café door.
The days passed, rain and snow fell, winds blew, the sunburned, and he continued at his post waiting. Elisa came closer to see the show everyone was discussing, but she was careful that he didn’t see her. And she laughed bitterly at her faithful lover who had not understood that she accompanied him because it made her sad to see him constantly alone, but she had no feelings for him.
Years passed, and Martin was still at the door of the café waiting. By then, Elisa had managed to escape her stormy third relationship and was devastated. She went to the café to see if Martin was still there and found him in the same position with his flowers and bow tie. She approached, but he no longer recognized her.
She was no longer the happy and smiling girl he was in love with, but a broken and sad woman who did not know how to speak to him or ask for forgiveness for having stood him up twenty years ago.
Years later, when loneliness bit her soul, Elisa returned to the café. “I am very desperate, she told herself, when I go to seek company with a madman who has been standing guard for decades over a lost dream, who has lost his mind many years ago.” She headed his tired steps towards the forbidden street towards the café and realized it was too late.
Martin had died that night standing at the café’s door with his bouquet of withered roses, his white shirt, and his blue bow tie. And although it may seem incredible, Elisa shed the most tears for him.
Text: Olga Brajnović
Foto: Artur Tomasjan