My love has been unfaithful. I suspect Penelope Ora in the second violins is the object of his affections but I know Natasha Zonk on the cello also cannot be trusted. I have placed an agent on the inside of the orchestra and she is slowly closing in on the truth.
As we sit at the cafe window, well apart from each other, our gazes fix firmly on the streetscape in front of us. It is imperative that we do not draw attention to ourselves as she reports on her progress.
“The trick,” she begins, “is to find a break in their routine, the tiniest variation in their pattern of behaviour can lead you down a murky laneway to the scene of the crime. Trust me, it happens all the time.”
My sleuth stops to slurp on her double iced mocha with extra cream. “He’s been a tough nut to crack, though. Back and forth from that rehearsal studio like a windup toy. Very single minded about it”
I listen intently to each word, gripping my coffee cup with such force that I am scared it will break.
For so long I have wanted to know the truth, yearned to be a fly on the bedroom wall, to throw damning photos on the coffee table and send my wayward love into exile, to ponder his betrayal and then beg me for forgiveness.
But I know he is weak and the women of the Berlin Philharmonic string section are notorious. So I will, of course, forgive him in the end. Still, I insist he confesses and repents before we can move on.
“What about Elizabeth?” I ask.
“Elizabeth?” my spy repeats uncertainly.
“His wife!” I nearly turn to my private investigator, stunned that she does not seem to
know about the wife.
“Yes, his wife. Didn’t you read my notes? He is married to Elizabeth Venckheiser, the concert pianist. I looked her up on Wikipedia. Dreadful photo, I can see why he strays. They have been together for over twenty years, only one child, but they have always had the music. If Elizabeth ever finds out about Penelope or that whore Natasha Zonk, I’m scared it could break her. She’s only just beaten breast cancer. I put all this in the notes!”
“Oh, that Elizabeth.” my agent replies dismissively. “Yeah, nuh, she’s not in the picture as far as I can see.”
My heart almost breaks on the spot. Not in the picture? His wife? Poor, talented, faithful, cancer riddled Elizabeth? Surely he wouldn’t just discard her? Not my love, not my darling first violinist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra!
He seemed so kind in the video, sitting patiently behind Marius Kleft, that German virtuoso clown, as he launched into a completely over the top interpretation of Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor.
It had taken me quite some time to find a YouTube clip of this much rated performance, but as Kleft began his characteristic rocking, backwards and forwards with the music, I found myself looking around the scene for some distraction from the theatrics. And that is when I saw him.
There, behind the orchestra’ guest artist, sat my one true love. He was clearly in the first violinist’s spot but his face was often obscured by the writhing Kleft. Every now and then, his wiry salt and pepper hair and World War One moustache would come into full view with a large, bulbous wine nose protruding above.
I was transfixed and transformed and fell immediately and completely. I’ve heard people say you can find your soulmate at the most unexpected moments but I never imagined that here, in the midst of all the Youtube trash and squalor that I struggle to ignore, I would find mine.
Then, only moments into our newfound bliss, my darling suddenly turned his gaze from the idiotic Kleft to somewhere across the room. I was intrigued. What had caught his attention? Had someone collapsed? Was the completely over-rated guest pianist about to be pot shot by a terrorist?
And then my angel said something. Beneath his drooping gray moustache, a single word formed on his lips and pushed gently, secretly, out towards an unseen person on the other side of the room.
I had to replay the YouTube clip several times to be sure of what he was saying. But soon I was in no doubt. It was, indeed, the great composer’s name.
My sweetheart mouthed the word with great exaggeration, so it could not be misunderstood. Then he gave a paternalistic wink and a nod to the unseen person across the room.
My elation at finding a new, true love dissolved immediately and a familiar nauseous knot of suspicion and anger took its place. How could any musician talented enough to be playing in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra not instantly recognise such a famous piece of music? Why would my darling need to provide any type of explanation for Kleft’s encore performance?
Deep down I already knew the answer. My love’s behaviour was so typical, so familiar. I had seen it again and again in my nightly trawls of the internet. He wreaked of the recklessness and delusion of a middle aged man, pathetically caught up in the presence and thrall of some stupid young woman. Desperate to impress, driven to dominate, my dearest was clearly forming the intention to seduce.
I had to know who was on the other side of the room, who was standing in the way of our happiness?
I searched the internet for other footage of the 2015 Kleft concert with the Berlin Philharmonic. I found shots from the audience, far away in the gallery. I came across the program and plenty of promotional material but I could not find an answer to my question.
Night after night I searched; feverishly, tearfully, relentlessly. I collected enough information to begin my dossier, noting each step in my darling’s career, his marriage, and poor, dear Elizabeth’s battle with Cancer. Constantly, I returned to the clip of Marius Kleft’s final encore performance and the magic moment when my truest love revealed himself to me.
Eventually I decided to research the structure of a philharmonic orchestra so I could understand which instruments sat directly opposite the first violinist and who could have been in that first row of musicians, able to catch my love’s eye and discern his whispered message?
I soon narrowed it down to the second violins and the cello section and then turned to the 2016 membership list of the Berlin Philharmonic to locate the Jezabel.
The profile photos of Penelope Ora and Natasha Zonk made me feel sick. Their devious, come-hither smiles were unmistakable. Their home-wrecking intentions were clear. But soon it would stop. Soon, with the help of my private eye, we would wipe the smiles from their faces.