Translation Pavlo Nasada
IT COMES UNEXPECTED
Stefan Wolfrat – representative of an Austrian publishing company, 40-45 years old
Nadia Kharchenko (Netudydytyna) – a handicapped girl in a wheelchair, 19 years old
Maryna – friend of Nadia, 19 years old
Maksym – friend of Nadia, 22 years old
Arsen – friend of Maryna, 21 years old
Two dark silhouettes – can be acted by Arsen and Maksym
Two businessmen on the flight – can be acted by Arsen and Maksym
At the Airport in Kiev. Stefan Wolfrat comes to the front. He wears a suit without a tie. A coat hangs on an elbow, he holds a plump briefcase. He looks around embarrassed as if looking for something. The airport sounds are heard in the background. A woman’s voice announces arrivals and departures: «Flight 7004 Amsterdam – Kiev is delayed for two hours», «Flight 1125 Oslo-Kiev has arrived», «Check-in begins for the flight Kiev-Donetsk». After the last announcement, the person shrugs relieved and quickly leaves the stage.
In the plane. Stefan comes to the stage with a chair. He sits on the chair with his back to the spectators and opens a newspaper. Another two men come to the stage with chairs and sit in front of the first man. They make themselves comfortable. The flight attendant’s voice is heard: “Ladies and gentlemen, the flight Kiev – Donetsk is about to begin. The time of the flight is one hour fifteen minutes. Please, fasten your safety belts”. The engines start working. The two men begin to talk with each other. [They speak illiterate Russian heavily spiced by jargon]:
First. – Are you from Donetsk, bro?
Second. – Hm, can’t you see!!!
First. – I can see the soul mate at once. And the one behind us, I see at once he is not from Donetsk.
Second. – He is a foreigner. Austrian. We were on the same flight from Vienna to Kiev.
First. – Then a German!
Second. – Nay, I tell you he is Austrian. He was on the same flight with me from Austria to Kiev.
First. – Germans, Austrians – they all are same fascists. I took my wife with kids to the resort at Baden Baden. I warned her strictly to remember all the time that she is in the enemy’s rear.
Second. – Shit, and I dropped my squaw with kids in Sicily. So to say, away from myself, to have some rest from them.
First. – So how’s Sicilian mafia is doing?
Second. – Do you call it mafia? Our Donetsk mafia is real mafia. And theirs is just a kindergarten.
First. – Mafia in Donets is fading too. Before, it was better. They all changed to Versace suits and bought academic degrees. There is no one to talk to and no one to drink with as buddies could.
Second. – Well, brother, I have some pure alcohol with me – 140 proof. Let’s drink to friendship!
First. – To friendship – with pleasure. Do we have anything to chase it with?
Second. – Shit, I have only coke.
First. – Coke?! No, I pass – not with my hepatitis.
Second. – And we ask the attendant to bring some water. Listen, brother, what if we offer a shot to the Austrian? Anyway, I was on the flight with him from Vienna. (They turn around and look at the Austrian, who continues to read his paper).
First. – No! He will not survive 140 proof. It is not vodka — it is almost pure alcohol. You know, what is one man's meat is another man's poison. Hold the glass.
Second. – Well, I tell you he is an Austrian, not German.
First. – Same shit. You pour. All of them are shitty Aryans. To friendship! (They drink.)
Second. - Buddy, can you imagine? There was one foreigner who proudly show me a t-shirt saying: Now I fear nothing, I’ve been to Donetsk.
First. – I know. During the European Soccer Cup it was the most popular t-shirt among foreign fans.
Second. – Buddy, they don’t understand a shit: to visit Donetsk and to live in Donetsk is a big difference.
First. – And to live in Donetsk and to send one’s wife to Sicily – it’s not for everybody. (They drink.)
Second. – Or to Baden-Baden...
First. – Or to Baden-Baden resort. And it is so good meet one’s folk on a plane.
Second. – That’s a toast! To good people from Donetsk!
First. – Pour more, brother!
Donetsk. A large room in a city apartment. A nice looking girl comes to the stage in a wheel chair. She looks a bit sad and nervous. She quickly moves from one corner of the room to the other, as if looking for something.
Nadia. - It has happened! What can I do? It just happened! I am not the first, and I will not be the last one. Or maybe the last one... But definitely, I am not the first ... My God, where should I drive now to? Only driving from now on. Only driving, and I never walk again. God, what can I do now? Nadia, Nadia, Nadia! Where, why, for what reason...
Unwillingly, she touches a vase on the coffee table. The vase falls on the floor and breaks to pieces. She stops still over the pieces.
Nadia. - Broke. I broke too. Now, I must try to pick whatever is left of me.
She tries to pick pieces from the floor. However, it is difficult to do sitting in a wheel chair. She picks one of the pieces and raises it over her head.
Nadia. – Little star. No - this is not a star. (She presses the piece to her breast.) This is my baby. My future daughter. If I ever have a child, it sure will be a daughter. Daughter! She will love flowers. Pink flowers. She will be running around on a lawn and call me ‘Mama, run to me, just look at the flower I found’. And I will be crying. Crying because of joy and sadness. Of the joy, that she is my daughter, and of sadness, that I cannot run with her. (She cries.) God, I want a daughter so much. If only you knew how I dream about that!
Well, enough of this! (Tries to pull herself together.) Nadia, you know that if you cry all the time, soon your tears will turn into flooding covering the Niagara Falls. (She tries to make a joke.) But you would like to visit Niagara Falls yourself some day. Of course, you want. And you can always cry a little. Tears do not leave stains. And no one except you will know about tears. Everything is OK, Nadia, everything is OK!
From one side of the room a doorbell can be heard, and from the other - a phone call. Not knowing which way to go, Nadia stops the wheelchair in the middle of the room.
Nadia. - I hope my tears have dried. And it is so good, when someone calls you. And it is so bad when everybody does it at the same time.
After a little deliberation, she moves to the phone, but they have already hung up on the other side – a busy tone can be heard. Then, she quickly drives to the front door. She unlocks the door. A somewhat frightened Maryna enters the room, she carefully closes the door and anxiously looks around.
Maryna. - Nadia, are you alone? (She goes around the room, as if she is looking for someone.)
Nadia. – All by myself. Hi, Maryna. You're so alarmed, aren’t you?
Maryna. - You think you're alone. And maybe you're not alone?
Nadia. - (offended) Well, you just look around. Maybe, you find someone.
Maryna. - (Hugging her friend.) Nadia, forgive me behaving like a fool? I feel I go crazy soon because of all that!
Nadia. – Because of what, Maryna? What happened?
Maryna. - (She put her head in her hands.) Sorry, Nadia, but you better don’t ask. Otherwise you will say that I'm crazy.
Nadia. - (Hugging her.) What happened my friend? And I never will tell you something like that. But anyway, why you have tears in your eyes?
Maryna. - Nadia, I came to say farewell.
Nadia. – To say farewell?
Maryna. – Arsen and I, we decided to go to Donetsk.
Nadia. - Why? When? Why?
Maryna. - As quickly and as secretly as possible. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after tomorrow.
Nadia. - Why this rush? After all, did anything happen? And where are you going to go?
Maryna. - 80 kilometers from Donetsk there is an ecological village, where people live in conditions of wildlife - without electricity, without gas, without any signs of civilization. I and Arsen have also decided to go back to nature.
Nadia. - Maryna, but it is an escape!
Maryna. - (Pauses) You may think so.
Nadia. - But what you escape from?
Maryna. – Please, do not ask.
Nadia. - But if somebody is looking for you, they will easily find you there too.
Maryna. – Arsen and I are aware of this. But we hope that there they will leave us alone.
Nadia. - Maryna, who are they?
Maryna. – Please, do not ask because now I will cry again.
Nadia. – Then, let's cry together.
Maryna. - (Impressed and holds back.) Do you really cry, too?!
Nadia. – Did you think I was made of steel like my wheelchair? Yes, Maryna, I too sometimes cry. However, usually it only happens when no one can see. Just before you came I wiped my tears.
Maryna. - (Perplexed) Well. .. a ... why did you ...?
Nadia. - I am probably a fool. I imagined myself to be a mother with a little daughter. But tears do not leave stains. I cried, but it’s gone.
Maryna. – And you imagined Maksym as the father? ..
Nadia. – No, I did not.
Maryna. – Don’t you like him?
Nadia. - I do. But I do not want to ruin his life.
Maryna. - But he loves you.
Nadia. - I know. That's why I want him to be happy.
Maryna. - And what about you?
Nadia. – Life can go on without me. You see, and even you with Arsen move to some ecological settlement. Without any ties with civilization. But enough is enough! But since we did not start crying together, tell me, please, what happened.
Maryna. - Nadia, they are hunting for us.
Nadia. – We all are being watched. And very closely. And we all know about that.
Maryna. – No. They are no longer watching us. They are hunting for us.
Nadia. – Please, explain.
Maryna. - It is impossible to explain. You need to feel it.
Nadia. - By the way, where are Maksym and Arsen?
Maryna. - They requested that they come to the council session. Deputies wanted to know what kind of youth organization exists in Donetsk with this strange name ‘Young Ukraine’.
The Other World. Darkness in purple tones. Two silhouettes appear near the stage. One is gray, the other is black.
Gray. - Two of them have already cracked. They escape to an ecological settlement.
Black. – For how long?
Gray. - They say forever.
Black. – I do not believe. They just want to take a break. And then they again will continue their subversive activities. Do we have our people in the settlement where they are going to stay?
Gray. - None. Moreover, it is very difficult to watch them there as there are no signs of civilized life there.
Black. - I want to know all about them there too.
Gray. - Everything will be arranged as soon as possible.
Black. - What else?
Gray. - We managed to obtain a document developed by this informal social group. It is a draft state program to combat childhood alcoholism in Ukraine.
Black. – Is it something like the Prohibition?
Gray. - Much worse, my boss. They propose to move all liquor stores outside cities, and sell alcohol between noon and 8 pm.
Black. - It's something like the system in Sweden.
Gray. - They forget that they live in Ukraine and not in Sweden.
Black. - We will quickly remind them about this fact. What else?
Gray. - Well. My boss, our biggest problem remains our most acute problem. I mean that little cripple in a wheelchair, who actually started the whole organization.
Black. – And you failed to isolate her?
Gray. - There was a small problem. She is expecting a visitor from Austria.
Brown. - Why?
Gray. – It turned out that our little cripple can write not only laws but she is also a literature talent. Just imagine, she wrote a novel and sent it to a competition in Austria and won. Now, the Austrian has brought her the award. You understand that at this stage we cannot interfere. There might be an international scandal.
Black. - We do not need international scandals. What is the novel about?
Gray. - We do not know yet.
Black. – What is the title?
Gray. – We do not know either, but soon we will find out.
Black. – Find out. Immediately.
Gray. - It will be done, my boss.
Nadia’s apartment. The doorbell rings.
Nadia. - Maryna, please hurry to open. It is our guys coming back.
Maryna. - (She runs to open the door.) I do feel they are going to tell us some story...
She opens the door and steps back in surprise. Stefan Wolfrat enters the room.
Stefan. - Hello!
Maryna. - (Scared a little.) Hello, but who you are and who do you want to see?
Stefan. - (Friendly) Can I see Nadia Kharchenko. I came from Austria to see her.
Maryna. - (hinders him to proceed to the room.) From Austria you say? Show me your ID, please.
Stefan. – Are you Nadia Kharchenko?
Maryna. - (aggressively) Let’s say it’s me. Can I see your ID?
Stefan. - (gives her his passport) And I thought you would look a bit different.
Nadia. - Maryna, who's there?
Stefan. - (Happily) So you are not Nadia?
Nadia appears in her wheelchair.
Maryna. – Here’s a strange person, Nadia. He says he is from Austria. (Returns the passport.)
Nadia. - Are you Stefan Wolfrat?
Stefan. - And I hope you are Ms. Kharchenko?
Nadia. – O, God, Maryna, we have a guest from Vienna! Please, come to the living room, you should not stay at the entrance. Maryna, can please arrange a tea set.
Everybody goes to the living room. Somewhat intimidated Maryna begins to prepare tea.
Stefan. - Well, Nadia, and I came to present you your reward.
Nadia. - I knew you would come. But I did not know when exactly? Why didn’t you tell me. Frankly, I'm amazed. But I am happy, too!
Stefan. - I'm sorry. I wanted to make a little surprise. (Looks guiltily at Maryna.) But it seems I did it wrong.
Maryna. – What if I leave you alone, because I do not understand anything, and I even feel stupid and impolite. (She brings a tea set to the table. She addresses Stefan.) I am sorry, I was so inhospitable.
Nadia. - No, why! Let me introduce you to each other. Stefan Wolfrat, publisher from Vienna. Maryna, my best friend. Maryna, I'll explain everything to you.
Stefan. – Better, you let me do it. For you to know, Maryna, our publishing house holds annual competitions for the best literary work from Eastern Europe in the German language.
Maryna. - Wait, wait. So you write novels, and I am your best friend and I know nothing?
Nadia. - Sorry, Maryna, for keeping it in secret, but I can hardly imagine that I would be successful.
Maryna. - (Offended) Well, you could at least tell me something.
Stefan. - Maryna, your friend was really successful. The jury unanimously recognized her novel to be the best this year.
Maryna. - (Vexedly) In other words, Nadia, you're a real Netudydytyna.
Stefan. - Excuse me, is it something that I don’t understand now?
Nadia. - Stefan, you speak Ukrainian so wonderfully.
Stefan. – The same way, Nadia, you speak German. However, contrary to you, I am twice as old, and due to my age I also speak Polish, Slovak, and Czech languages. I can reveal another secret. In addition to the publishing business I also teach. I am a professor of the Slavic philology.
Nadia. - How wonderful! Stefan, but you probably did not understand the word Netudydytyna?
Stefan. – Sure, I didn’t.
Nadia. - Netudydytyna is my pen name. Friends gave me the name.
Maryna. – They called her so because they had reasons for that.
Nadia. - Yes. Netudydytyna is my mother's maiden name, which now became my pen name.
Maryna. - Although our Nadia is a true Netudydytyna by her nature.
Stefan. - Yes. I know that Ukrainian last names can be very interesting and witty.
Nadia. - And this is our guys. They are just incredible. You will see for yourself. Maryna, will you open the door?
Maryna. - Yes, in a moment.
She opens the door, and excited Maksym and Arsen rush to the room.
Maksym. – And how can you discuss anything with such people? They look like they arrived from another planet.
Arsen. – First of all, they are not people, they are deputies.
Maksym. – Aren’t deputies people?
Arsen. - No, people are people, and MPs are MPs.
Nadia. - Guys, we have a guest from Austria.
Only now, the confused boys notice Stefan in the room’s corner.
Stefan. - Hello! My name is Stefan Wolfrat.
Maryna. - Well, do not keep mum. (She introduces them) Maksym. Arsen. Stefan came to Donetsk from Vienna to present the literary award to our Nadia.
Maksym. - What award?
Maryna. - (Laughs) Literary award.
Arsen. – What for?
Maryna. – A novel titled ... By the way, what is the title?
Stefan. - It's title is ‘Habsburg Brothers. Year 1939’. Nadia, have I betrayed your secret?
Nadia. - (Laughs) You gave it away, Stefan. But since you're already here, it is no longer a secret.
Maksym. - (Low mood) There you are. So you have secrets from us.
Maryna. - Maksym, do not frown like that. Nadia herself did not believe in her literary talent, and therefore she did not tell us. Is it true, Nadia?
Nadia. - Indeed, guys. It was as writers like to put it the test of the pen.
Stefan. - (Amazed) It is amazing. When reading the novel I would never have thought this was your first work.
Nadia. – Actually, it was.
Maryna. - Guys, you do not stand like you are being proposed to. You better sit down and drink some tea with our guest.
Maksym. – What if we come later.
Nadia. - And later you will come too. And now I urge everybody to the table.
Everybody takes seats at the tea table, Maryna serves the tea.
Stefan. - I want to apologize again. It seems I imposed myself in the wrong time. As you say – like snow in the summer time.
Maryna. – Yes, they do say this. But you are the most welcome guest.
Arsen. – Oh, yah. Visitors from Austria don’t come every day.
Nadia. - (Pensive) Like snow in the summer time... If only you knew how I love white fluffy snow. And not because I can only watch it from the window in the winter. Simply, I remember well when I was a little girl myself happily sledging from a hill ...
Maksym. - (In a bad mood. Stands up.) Well, I will be going. I finished my tea.
Maryna. – But it is hot, isn’t it?
Maksym. - It was hot. It was, because I have already finished it. Arsen, are you going with me?
Stefan. - (Rises to his feet) Sorry, better I leave. You have other things to take care of. I will come back some other time.
Maryna. - Stefan, do you have a place to stay?
Stefan. - Yes, Donetsk has very nice hotels. Perhaps, it is legacy after the European football championship?
Arsen. – That’s true, too. Football is not only the favorite game of millions, but also of millionaires. As a result we have nice hotels. Let’s go, Maksym.
Stefan. - No, no, my dear, I am leaving. As you say, one needs a break after the being on the road.
Arsen. - Stefan, we live here in the neighborhood, and you live in Vienna. See the difference? So I and Maksym come next time. See you! (They go to the door.)
Maryna. – See you. Nadia, I will join the guys too.
Nadia. - (She puts her hands to her head, as if she quiets pain. But she quickly pulls herself together.) Wait! I ask everyone to stay. And you Stefan too. I want my friends to share the happiness. The closest friends. I want Stefan to see how good you are. Don’t be shy, please. It so rarely happens when people come together in such a beautiful group.
Maryna. - Maksym, what tea did you drink? Hot?
Maksym. - Hot.
Maksym. - (Laughs) And now, you will drink some cold tea. Everybody, come quickly to the table.
Nadia. - Stefan, stay with us for a while, please.
Stefan. - (Slightly hesitant) Okay! But I thought that you would like to discuss something about your organization ...
Nadia. - Exactly. And today we have a truly memorable day. Authorities finally got some interest in what we do. And they requested that the most active members Maksym and Arsen come to the session of the regional council.
Maryna. - Come on, guys, tell me. What did you come up with?
Maksym. - (shy) We have not come up to anything.
Arsen. – Mostly, deputies were saying that they did not understand why we had established the organization ‘Young Ukraine’. And one old communist said: "Can you imagine that all these young people not only do not drink and do not smoke, but they speak only Ukrainian. They are some fascists.’
Maksym. - Then again, I came up to the microphone and literally reminded them of the Hitler’s directive of 1942, which said: "We must reduce Slavs to a sign language. No hygiene. Only alcohol and tobacco, alcohol and tobacco. "
Maryna. - And what did they say?
Arsen. - Then the old deputy screamed again: ‘You see, I did tell you that they are fascists. Hear, now, they cite Hitler."
Nadia. - All is clear. There was no dialogue. Stefan, do you understand anything of what was said?
Stefan. – I can guess at least. Excuse me, but since I stayed with you, tell me, please, what kind of organization is this?
Nadia. – Once, I addressed a leader of our region with a question. Ukraine is one of the most socially vulnerable countries in Europe. We are in the top of various rating, like AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, abortions, child alcoholism, and many other evils. And I said that we need to inform people how to prevent all these dangers. To which, the leader replied that everybody likes to give advice instead of doing something tangible. After that discussion, I and my friends decided to establish an organization that would inform young people about all these risks. In order to do something tangible.
Maryna. – We decided to show an example and abstain from alcohol and tobacco.
Stefan. - Amazing. And what do you do else?
Nadia. – We educate about the risks in social networks, we write articles for all possible publications, we even distribute leaflets.
Arsen. – And after the leaflets appeared, authorities got interested. But as you can see, the dialogue failed.
Stefan. - I do not understand. But you are doing a good job!?
Nadia. - Stefan, believe me, we do not understand much either in this situation. But we decided to stay on the track. Under any circumstances.
Arsen. - And even in any weather. (Everybody laughs).
Maryna. - Friends, let's sing our favorite song for Stefan.
Nadia. - Maryna, please, bring me the guitar.
They sing the song "Heels". The stage gradually darkens.
In the street. Semidarkness. Gray and black silhouettes come to the stage from opposite sides. They freeze. Maryna runs to the stage and nervously moves in circles as if looking for someone.
Maryna. - What happened? Something did happen! Arsen, dear Arsen, where are you? What happened to you? I cannot find you anywhere. (She stops as if noticing the silhouettes) Fear. I feel gray and black fear around me. My God, it is so terrible! Arsen, dear Arsen, where are you? (Leaves the stage)
Gray and black silhouettes come together on the stage.
Black – What happened?
Gray. - Nothing happened. A small accident or even a trifle thing happened to her boyfriend.
Black. - But I liked so much what she said about fear.
Gray. - Yes, boss, you always said that it will be OK when fear would drive people.
Black. – There will never be OK. It will be as it should be. But we have been distracted from our business. I am interested in the book that will be published in Austria.
Gray. – It is nothing special. It is a small sentimental story from history written by a woman.
Black. – More details, please.
Gray. – Well, I can describe it quite briefly.
Black. - OK, just the most important things.
Gray. - Two Habsburg brothers from the royal family go to the First World War. One serves as an officer of the Polish Legion, the other serves in the Ukrainian regiment. After the war, the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed. One brother devotes his life to Poland, the other – to Ukraine. At the beginning of World War Two, Gestapo detained the Archduke Habsburg in Poland and asked him who he believed he was: Pole or German? And he answered that he is Pole. And he was sent to a concentration camp. The other brother found himself in a similar situation, but that time it was KGB, and he said he was Ukrainian. And he was murdered in the KGB dungeons. This is just a brief story, but the novel is quite long.
Black. – It is a very bad novel, very bad. It turns out that the cripple made an effort to make Stalin and Hitler look equal. And now they erect monuments to Stalin in our country.
Gray. - And those who protest against the monuments are put to jail.
Black. - Well... (Pauses.)
Gray. – What can we do now, boss?
Black. – You give me a copy of the novel. I read it myself. And then we will decide.
Gray. – Is it all we can do?
Black. - So far, yes.
Nadia’s apartment. Stefan sits at the table. Nadia looks out of the window.
Stefan. - How did that happen?
Nadia. - Stefan, it comes unexpected ... First, you feel astonished and then you feel pain. Or vice versa.
Stefan. - And then?
Nadia. - And then a different life begins ... One does not want to get used to it for a long time, but in time one takes the new track.
Stefan. - You wrote that you fell from horse and hurt your backbone.
Nadia. - Yes, when I was twelve.
Stefan. – Did you like horses?
Nadia. - I liked the wind when one sleds from a hill, when one rides a horse, when one climbs a high mountain.
Stefan. - And now?
Nadia. - And now I like rain. I love my friends. And do you know why?
Stefan. - Why?
Nadia. - Because they also like rain so much. (She laughs.) Therefore, all of them have crystal pure souls. Rain washes off all that is bad.
Stefan. - Why did you pick the Habsburgs for your novel?
Nadia. – Please, note Stefan that not all of them – just two brothers.
Stefan. - Yes, one of them devoted his service to the people of Poland, and the other – to the people of Ukraine. It is indeed an interesting story. But why did you describe only one day of their life?
Nadia. - September 23rd ...
Stefan. - Yes, 23 September 1939.
Nadia. – On that day, troops of Hitler and Stalin held a joint parade in the occupied Brest. It became clear that Ukrainians and Poles become oppressed peoples. The Habsburg brothers meet there for the last time in their life. They discuss the fate of Ukraine and Poland, and decide not to betray their ideals under any circumstances. And they kept their word. When Gestapo detained the Archduke Habsburg in Poland and asked him who he believed he was: Pole or German? And he answered that he was Pole. And he was sent to a concentration camp. The other brother found himself in a similar situation, but that time it was KGB, and he said he was Ukrainian. And he was murdered in the KGB dungeons.
Stefan. – What was the most touching for you?
Nadia. – Mostly, I was impressed with their cultural level. Just think what spiritual values should one have to sacrifice one’s life for other nation’s freedom. Austria should be proud of having such children.
Stefan. - Unfortunately, many people in Austria do not even know about that.
Nadia. - Unfortunately, in Ukraine, in fact no one knows about that.
Stefan. – Nadia, the Board of our publishing house decided to help you to go to Vienna for treatment.
Nadia. - I cannot afford that. And there is no big chance of success.
Stefan. – In view of your illness, it is true there is not much chance. But some chance still exists. And we are going to cover the cost of treatment.
Nadia. - That's why you came personally.
Stefan. - Yes.
Nadia. – It is very kind of you. I almost fainted. There are chances for sure! Thank you a lot, dear Stefan. But ... I should refuse. Max Frei wrote that everybody leaves forever. We do not come back. Somebody else comes back instead. If I go to Austria, I will return a different person in any case. Would my friends or my city accept a different me?
Stefan. - They will be only happy for you.
Nadia. - And the things we do together... That’s why we like each other. You know, people often like each other just when everything is bad.
Stefan. – It means that it is not so bad if people like each other just when everything is bad. Actually, your book about Habsburg is exactly about this.
Nadia. - And my favorite movie by Wim Wenders Wings of Desire is about that too. You remember how angels reported to each other about these things: "The old man read Odyssey to a child”. The little boy did not even blink ... Or a girl reading a text message in the street, she laughed and pressed her phone to her heart ...
Stefan. – Or a woman who closed her umbrella in the rain in order to get wet... Nadia, I also liked that episode in the movie about angels.
A long doorbell and a rattle.
Nadia. - (Concerned) Let me open the door.
Stefan. - No, wait. Let me open it. (He quickly goes to the door)
He opens the door to the apartment, and Maxym almost carries the half conscious Arsen, and Stefan helps to bring him in.
Nadia. - What happened?
Maxym. - (While putting Arsen on the bed.) We were distributing leaflets calling to defend the Ukrainian language. Suddenly, some men attacked us and began to beat us mercilessly, saying, "That’s what you get for your language." We could not defend ourselves as they outnumbered us, and besides they had sticks and chains. It is a total miracle that we managed to escape. And I brought Arsen to here.
Stefan. - (He touches Arsen’s stomach.) It seems his kidney is hurt. We should immediately call the ambulance.
Nadia. – I will call. (Grabs the phone.)
Stefan. - I do not understand that. Ukrainian is the state language in this country, isn’t it?
Maxym. - Yes, but in Donetsk and in many other regions you cannot buy any Ukrainian newspaper, you cannot watch any Ukrainian TV program, and you will not hear a single word in Ukrainian on the radio. This is contrary to the fact that the in the most recent polls 91 percent of Ukrainians stated that they respected the Ukrainian language.
Stefan. - But then this a linguistic ethnocide!
Nadia. – Ambulance will come soon. You are right, Stefan. There is no country in the world where they would treat their native language the way the Ukrainian language is treated in Ukraine.
Stefan. - And what did you say in the leaflets?
Maxym. – The leaflets say more than 45 times in the last 400 years they tried to restrict the Ukrainian language in its historic homeland, but it anyway survived and became the native language for the majority of the Ukrainian people.
Stefan. – And that’s it?
Nadia. - And that UNESCO declared the Ukrainian the second most melodious language in the world after Italian.
Stefan. - And is that why your guys got beaten with chains and sticks? It’s crazy!
Maryna rushes in and immediately goes to Arsen.
Maryna. – Arsen, my dear Arsen, what did they do to you? Are you OK? Are you hurt?
Nadia. – Don’t worry, Maryna, we already called ambulance.
Maryna. - Yes, I saw ambulance and police at the entrance.
Maxym. - Police? But we did not call police.
Everybody looks at each other in surprise.
On the plane. Nadia and Stefan are on the plane. Two businessmen from Donetsk have seats behind them.
First. - Brother, do you see my stout belly?
Second. – I don’t see any belly.
First. – That’s what I mean. It took me a week to get rid of it. While my wife is in Sicily, my new secretary made me slim on an exotic diet.
Second. – Exotic diet?
First. – Yah. Avocado and egg in the morning, avocado with chicken for lunch, and avocado with cheese for dinner. And I easily lost 5 kg in a week.
Second. - Damn, I want to lose some weight too. Listen, what if it happened due to the secretary and not the diet? Ha-ha-ha! By the way, do you often change secretaries?
First. – A new one every year. It’s my rule.
Second. – And you are not afraid of AIDS, are you? You know for yourself that in Donets it is like a piece of cake.
First. – Everything is under control. I tell them to bring a certificate from a doctor that they don’t have HIV.
Second. - Shoot. And did you hear that some young halfwits tried to combat AIDS in Donetsk?
First. – How’s that?
Second. - Damn, by their own example. They neither drank, nor smoked. And just imagine, they all speak Ukrainian.
First. – How’s that?
Second. – Everybody was surprised, but they have been taken under control just in case.
First. – It was absolutely right to control them. If nobody smokes, if nobody drinks alcohol, something must be wrong. Listen, what if they are fascists of some kind?
Second. – Damn. There are people in charge who will take care of them. Look. Do you see the Austrian in front of us? It is the one, who was on the same flight with us from Kiev to Donetsk.
First. – Oh, yah, it’s him for sure. But now he is going back with a woman. And she looks quite OK. I would definitely hire her as a secretary. Ha-ha-ha!
Second. - Ha ha ha! And I tell you, you wouldn’t hire her.
First. – Why so? By face, she is quite pretty. And I like blonds, too.
Second. - Ha ha ha! But she is a cripple. They brought her to the plane in a wheelchair. You simply didn’t notice.
First. - Then she is not my secretary for sure.
Second. – And how is your wife and kids doing in Sicily?
First. – She whines everyday on phone. She wants to go back home. Damn.
Second. – That is how to do something good to women. Mine is also bothering me every day from Baden-Baden. She says she got pissed by that cultural resort. There is no one to get advantage of.(Тут він переклав, як – нема над ким отримати перевагу. Але дослівно - There is no one to spit on)
First. – Hey, look. The blond is whispering something to his ear.
Second. – Damn. She has now way out. She is a cripple and he is somebody – an Austrian. Ha-ha-ha!
First. - Ha ha ha! Our women know how to fool foreigners.
Second. – That’s true. What if we have a shot or two, brother?
First. – Don’t see the reason we should not!
Maryna enters the plane’s cabin, she wears a flight attendant’s uniform.
Flight attendant. - Ladies and gentlemen, The flight Donetsk – Kiev is about to begin. The flight time is 1 hour 15 minutes. Please, fasten you belts. For your information, we have a book of complaints and testaments. If necessary, you can use it. Enjoy your flight.
The stage darkens. The sound of roar and crash is heard, it is accompanied by curses and shouts: "Damn, brother, we are falling! It is impossible! I don’t want to die! Nadia, something happened! Stefan, hold my hand! Our plane is going to crash!"
Explosion. Silence. Darkness. Voices of Stefan and Nadia.
Stefan. - How did this happen?
Nadia. - Stefan, it comes unexpected... You are surprised first and then pain comes. Or vice versa.
Stefan. - And then?
Nadia. - And then a new life begins...
Viennese waltz. Dressed in a black tailcoat, Arsen comes to the stage. After some time, Maryna joins him in an elegant white dress. They begin to dance. Dressed in a white tailcoat, Maxym comes to the stage. He stops at the edge of the stage. A moment later, Stefan brings Nadia in a wheelchair. She is dressed in a gorgeous red dress. He offers her his hand, helping out of the wheelchair, and leads her to Maxym. They also begin to dance. Stefan drives the wheelchair backstage and returns to the forefront with a book in his hands.
Stefan. - This is a book with her novel. "Habsburg Brothers.1939" Author is Nadia Kharchenko. Or perhaps it is better to say - Netudydytyna. That's right - Netudydytyna.
While dancing, the couples disappear backstage. Stefan leaves the book on the stage, bows, and follows the young people.