Illustrated image for article Agreement with the Enemy - Shared Apartment (3.)!

Agreement with the Enemy - Shared Apartment (3.)

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We used to go to Brdy a lot. Beautiful location with beautiful forests. Tramps very popular areas with a lot of camps and settlements, which were suffering from the regime of that time. There were mushrooms everywhere that year. After Cernobyl, they just grew like crazy. When you walked through the woods, you weren't allowed to look underfoot. Unless you wanted to look for fried mushrooms.


I didn't even notice how he was gradually trying to change me into his own image. I was young and inexperienced, and he was thirteen years older. Yes. In a way, more experienced, though in hindsight I have to say, as to what.

It wasn't long before we started living together. My cousin lent us an apartment he didn't need.


He moved in without a single penny, with a bag of torn shorts and socks. I was a little taken aback, but the stories of the divorce, how he had nothing left, were touching. It wasn't until later that I found out he'd simply laundered the money out of sheer joy of living together. I simply won the biggest jerk poll and was able to feed him enthusiastically for a month as a reward.


There was no money to spare. I was living paycheck to paycheck and his attitude threw a pretty good-sized pitchfork into my budget. Then I had to divide the money into individual days so that I had something to put in the pot. The first month was really tough. Sometimes I would budget a nice five Czech crowns a day.

God, I was stupid! I even saw it as a kind of challenge. I should have kicked him out right then. Why didn't I? What do I know?

Stupid, brain blackout, fear of loneliness, waiting for a miracle, all of it?


The apartment was nicely oriented. There was a little church in the mezzanine where the organ played every Sunday. It was romantic. And a pub just around the corner. That's where he spent all his free time. He drank Major League and became jealous.

He'd mapped out exactly when I came home and started watching my arrivals. Out of love for me, of course. By the time I got there ten minutes later, he thought I'd popped out for some casual sex. Probably during the tram ride.


He was the first guy I ever lived with. I didn't have much comparison, so I tolerated his lecture on how to do what and how to behave and not behave. And I stupidly said the killer line to him. "If you feel like I'm doing something wrong, just tell me."

So never, ever, ever say that sentence! Every chance he got, he'd beat me over the head for saying...


Every morning I drove with my daughter from Holešovice to Strasnice to kindergarten and back in the evening. We spent many hours on the road. Then a hot dinner, cleaning up... It was rarely as he imagined.


When he took a drink, he became aggressive. It was like a seesaw. Endless mentally taxing conversations in the evening, apologies in the morning, admissions of error, declarations of love. And so, in between cooking, darning socks and mending those torn "shitty" socks, I convinced myself that it would get better. That things would gradually settle down and then everything would be sunny.


But it still wouldn't sit down. He loved me more and more.

  1. I'm sorry. I couldn't tell you I wasn't ready for a love this big.

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Background Photo of the author Hana Vondráčková!
Picture of the author: Hana Vondráčková!

Hana Vondráčková

Kostelec nad Labem, Czech Republic

Writing is a therapy for my aching soul and a bit of an escape from reality....

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