Lori has been writing fiction since she first caught the writing bug at age nine.
From Part 8
Anna Wronski is seen by Dr. Rafal Ptak, head psychiatrist of the hospital. She has another psychiatric crisis later that evening and he returns to the hospital to find out what's going on.
Meanwhile, Gita questions Ula about what happened to her mother when she disappeared. Ula has very little except she found a receipt of passage on an ocean liner. But the date is odd and Anna's name is not on it. Ula and Gita decide they should hire a private detective. When Ula sees her attorney about settling financial affairs, she asks for a referral for a private investigator. The referral is to Sasha Mazur.
Prayer for the Journey
Gita's stomach was as chilled as the early morning frost as she and Aunt Ula left for the train to Kraków to see the private detective, Sasha Mazur. 'Could it be my Sasha? If it is, what will it be like to connect with him again? How much will he have changed? Will he tell me why he seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth when I was fifteen and falling in love with him?' Her anxiety rose to new heights as the questions stacked up.
Ula turned the car on and waited for it to warm up. She looked at Gita and saw her anxiety.
"Gita, honey, let's pray before we take off."
"Sure, go ahead Aunt Ula."
Ula took her hand and squeezed it. "Oh, our Father, You are a good God. You love us and we love you. You know where we go today, and You know what lies ahead. We trust you, Father, to give us peace, strength, and wisdom for whatever happens. Let Gita and I both feel Your presence as we go on this unknown journey. You lead, Father, and we will follow. In Christ's name, we ask, Amen."
"Amen," agreed Gita. Okay, Aunt Ula, let's do this." She looked resolutely ahead, ready as she could be to meet whatever was to come.
Kraków and Sasha
The train trip to Kraków was actually quite fun. The ladies were getting away and enjoying the scenery. At one point the levity and general positive conversation dissipated and their thoughts turned to the appointment later that afternoon with Sasha Mazur, the private detective Mr. Gorski had referred them to. Ula had so many questions like Gita, but her questions were different. Was this Sasha Mazur related to Judge Jakub Mazur, the corrupt Judge and the only man who could put Borys into a grip of fear? But Mr. Gorski did say this man has an exemplary reputation and success. Ula was worried about what they would find. She knew Borys was behind Anna's disappearance. Her cheeks flushed with shame, despite it was not her fault in any way.
"Aunt Ula? Are you okay? Your face suddenly became flushed."
"Yes, my little pearl. I'm fine."
They arrived at Glowny Station and caught a bus to the ancient Old Town. They were both awestruck. Neither had been to Kraków before but had heard much about it through the years. It went back centuries.
They found their hotel and rested up a while, then walked to the market district and past the famous Cloth Hall Sukiennice Museum in Old Town. Sasha Mazur had his small, modest office a few blocks away. Gita's heart roiled with so many conflicting emotions she didn't know if she could continue. Ula was pretty apprehensive as well, but they looked at each other, took a deep breath and knocked on his office door. A young, pretty woman greeted them and invited them in.
"We have an appointment with Mr. Mazur," Ula said.
"Yes, he's expecting you." I'll let him know you're here."
Gita took Ula's hand trying to stay standing. What would this be?
And then Sasha Mazur stood in the doorway of his inner office and greeted them warmly. He looked casual with no suit coat, wearing only a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
"How do you do, ladies."
"I'm Ula Kowalski," Ula said, extending her hand. "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Mazur."
Gita scrutinized his eyes, his hair, his body language. His eyes were a brilliant blue, and his hair a dark auburn. He had a distinguished beard, so she could not see the small scar on his chin, nor the dimple on the left side of his face. But his eyes were unmistakable, as was his posture, and his long slender face. And the voice. It was her Sasha. Oh, it was her Sasha.
"This is my niece, Gita Wronski," Ula said. She subtly took Gita's hand.
Sasha froze, eyes riveted on Gita. He was at a loss for words for a moment. He found his breath. "Gita Wronski? Gita, I can't believe it's you."
Gita wanted to run away, yet she wanted to run into his arms. The electricity between them was unmistakable to Ula. She stepped aside in case they wanted to embrace. But they didn't.
"Gita, I can't believe it's you," he said again. "To this day I think of you every day."
They no longer knew or cared that Ula was in the room. Gita finally spoke with tears erupting down her cheeks. "Sasha," was all she could say. The room was silent but a million voices, a million memories filled their minds. Finally, Ula cleared her throat. Sasha looked at Ula and back at Gita. "Forgive me, Mrs. Kowalski. Please, ladies, do come in. He extended his arm toward his office and they walked in. He pulled up two chairs and seated the ladies, not taking his eyes off of Gita. Ula felt like leaving and returning sometime later without Gita. They needed to talk first. But she remained.
"Well, I guess we should talk about why you two are here. What can I do for you?"
Ula felt awkward but asked anyway. "Mr. Mazur, are you the son of Judge Jakub Mazur in Warsaw?"
His eyes grew dark and he scowled.
"Oh forgive me, Mr. Mazur," said Ula, "I should not have asked that."
He looked down at some papers in front of him then back at Ula. "Yes I am and I hope you won't hold it against me."
"Of course not, Mr. Mazur."
"May I ask how you know my father?"
Ula told him the history of her husband and his father the judge, then about how it came about that Borys died.
"I'm sorry for your loss, Mrs. Kowalski. And I'm sorry if my father was somehow responsible, in whole or in part."
"Thank you, sir."
"Are you here about your husband or my father? Or both perhaps?"
"No. Actually, we are here about Gita's mother, Anna Wronski. She disappeared back in 1939. Gita wants to find her."
He looked to Gita. "I remember how deep that wound was for you, Gita. I will move heaven and earth to find her. I will find her, and I'll stake my life on it."
Gita's dam of tears burst. Sasha's heart broke for her. Ula rubbed her back and cooed comforting words.
"Don't cry, Gita, I'll find your dear mother, I promise," Sasha said again.
Gita quieted and Sasha and Ula talked about his fee and expenses and they discussed any clues. She told him about the passage receipt to America and the general history of Borys and Rufin's relationship with each other and with both of their relationships with Anna. At his request, he asked Ula for the receipt which she provided. He drew up a contract and had Ula sign it.
"I'll get on this right away. Mrs. Kowalski, might I have a word with Gita alone?"
"Oh, of course," she said, picking up her purse and standing. She left the room quietly, glad to be free from all the emotional energy in the room.
Gita and Sasha stared at each other awkwardly, then they both started to talk at once.
"Excuse me, Gita," Sahsa said. "Please, you go first."
"I just want to know, Sasha, where did you go, why did you disappear?"
"Oh, Gita, it's a very long story. Why don't we go to lunch tomorrow? Your aunt can come. I don't mind her being there."
They made the arrangements. He would come by for them at noon.
Sasha took her hands and kissed them. "I have so much to tell you," he whispered.
© 2017 Lori Colbo