He boarded a plane to Budapest
and arrived in the morning hours.
The matchmaker's office was in a fashionable
quarter in Buda, the hilly side of the city
on the left bank of the majestic Danube.
She was rather old, but the prospective bride,
Julika, was fairly young.
The first meeting between the wife candidate
and the would be bridegroom went quite well.
Julika had an amiable face.
Her blue eyes twinkled with spirited curiosity.
Her flaxen hair was shimmering in the sunshine.
She was a educated and, besides Hungarian,
she spoke fluent English.
On the first day that they met,
Julika came dressed in a flowery cotton shirt
and a blue denim skirt hanging gracefully
from her well-formed waist.
She wore flat-soled leather shoes.
'So what would you like to do today? ', he asked.
'Let's go for a walk', she suggested.
They passed some old streets and found themselves
strolling on the right bank of the river,
near the Margit Bridge.
It seemed to them that time was flying by
at a fast pace and they became hungry.
They stopped at a small and cosy restaurant
to eat dinner.
The spent the following day in picturesque Buda.
They climbed up the stairs to the Fisherman's
Across the broad ribbon of the Danube,
the bridges of Budapest
--and among a row of elegant houses--
the neo-Gothic Parliament building
came into view on the other side of the river.
And then evening descended
with the city lights flickering
in the balmy summer air.
'Well, would you like to come with me
to my place? ', he asked her.
Julika blushed. For a short spell she seemed
to be lost. But then a timid smile rose at the corners
of her lips. She gave him a silent but inquisitive look.
Still, she seemed to hesitate.
'All right', she said eventually.
They spent the night together.
In the morning they ate breakfast
in the hotel restaurant.
And then it was time to leave.
Julika came to see him off at the airport.
When they said their good byes to each other
Julika began to cry.
Plenty of water flowed down under the bridges
of the Danube since then.
But he did not forget her. Her memory is etched
deep into his soul. Her smile, her tears, her embrace
keep haunting him often.
Yet the acorn did not grow into oak.
Ardent passions had dimmed through the years,
the flames of romance had ceased burning
through time and distance as prickly dilemmas
eclipse the potential fate that burgeon
in the throbbing arena of life.
Yet quivering memories continue to soar
like oscillating bubbles.
They leave the earth behind,
traverse the cosmos slowly
and evanesce somewhere in Cassiopeia.