The day was a Friday, Szpilman loved Fridays because on those days he took long warm bubble baths that soothed his skin and let his whole body soak in the nice warm liquid. "Ahhhhh, this is life." He had was his hair which was now fairly shorter than it was when he originally showed up in England, he even put it back in its usual place and it felt nice. (Link at the end should lead to his hair cut that he currently has) The bubble would rub against his skin and he felt so smooth and silky, and the overall feeling of both water and bubbles made him feel so at peace.
"Mmmm...I should probably get out and get ready for the day." And so he begrudgingly sat up from the tub and began to drain the now rather cold water. As he did this he slowly got out of the bathtub and began to dry his now clean skin off. He quite liked his skin, quite liked how smooth and silky it felt. "Ah, my beautiful skin still littered with scares but still pretty." Well now at least he was very positive about things today, having himself a better day than normal.
"Well, time to go put some clothes on." And put on clothes he did, he looked like he was going out on the town from what he put on...well it was very cold outside that day, so he had gotten fully dressed in his dress shirt, vest, coat overcoat, slacks, and socks he even put on his scarf. "I might look silky but I'm warm!" Silly he did look, but oh how warm he was. So with him being warm, he decided to go read his book, which he dug out of his suitcase and began to walk by the hallway downstairs when he heard the phone ring.
Not wanting to be rude he answered the phone, and when he did he was surprised by the voice on the other end of the line. "Errm...Hello, is there a Wladyslaw Szpilman in the house I could speak too?"
The phone has been in the office which had a chair, was something Szpilman had never been so grateful for, seeing as he promptly sat down and began talking to the man on the other end of the line.
▪︎▪︎▪︎▪︎the whole phone call▪︎▪︎▪︎▪︎▪︎
"Why yes, this is him, and who might this be" he knew who it was but still.
"Wilm Horsenfild my little jew! I had two miss calls from you and wanted to make sure you're safe."
"Yes, Wilm I'm safe I was just having some episodes and could only remember jour number."
"Perfectly reasonable...but when had your English become so good??"
"Over a month in England and not learn English? You must have gone mad Wilm!"
"No not mad...just sad." His voice audibly changed as he uttered this to Szpilman.
"Why are you sad?"
"They want to force me to resign from the position of captain and take a vacation...I've been in poor mind since you left."
"Are you sure it's not your wife?"
A broken voice was all Szpilman could hear after he said this.
"Ves...ves it is my wife! She left me!"
"Oh I'm sorry...you could always secretly come over here! Change your name...and your job and things...we could open a bakery."
"What is it with you and pianos and baking?"
"I like sweets and using my fingers is all."
"Oh, I bet you're a great cook."
"Eh... it's edible...but I like my cooking."
"Oh, I know...but do you ever miss me?"
"Yes I do, you were my little light of hope while in Warsaw."
•••They continued to talk with one another about several random things, how the day was to what had happened to one another in a month. Szpilman was quite happy, what he didn't know was that Ada had gotten home an hour early and had stopped outside the door of the office, happily listening in on Szpilman's conversation. Just because she had gotten married and was a good person, didn't mean that she wouldn't eavesdrop.•••
"Well yeah that's fine Wilm...but is there anything else?"
"Yeah, are you alright? Any episodes or problems? Anything happen that I wasn't able to to help with?"
Szpilman's heart broke, he felt his pulse slow and tears prick in his eyes. God yes, he had too many problems and was still so broken. And god the number of times before and even after he knew Wilm, he was always being hurt.
"Y-yes... oh god yes! Wilm, Wilm I've been hurt so much...they...they burned me, put my star into my skin and laughed when I screamed! God Wilm all I keep praying for was for you to come in and save me... I always fucking pray for you..."
A slight visible silence washed over both of their lines, or rather Wilms end was silence, but Szpilman was crying and suddenly slightly snivelling. Wilm through about what to do to help his dear little jew on the other end of the line. It then hit him, something he heard the polish people constantly sing when he was smaller and would have to travel there.
"Hej, tam gdzieś z nad czarnej wody
Wsiada na koń kozak młody.
Czule żegna się z dziewczyną,
Jeszcze czulej z Ukrainą.
Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły.
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku."
Szpilman's small snivels and crys began to come to a slowing halt as he heard a sweet and very soft voice at the other end of the line. He knew this song, it was a beautiful song that spoke of a man leaving his homeland to go and fight, he never realized this until much later though, he had begun to dislike it from the Russian soldiers singing it...but it would always hold a good place in his heart and make him feel wonderful at times, mostly due to his mother had sung it.
"Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły.
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń
Wiele dziewcząt jest na świecie,
Lecz najwięcej w Ukrainie.
Tam me serce pozostało,
Przy kochanej mej dziewczynie."
Wilm's voice sounded beautiful, how his voice quietly hit the notes like the softest tunes on Szpilman's lovely piano. How each little note and world became perfectly articulated, so he couldn't help but quietly join in as well.
"Żal, żal za dziewczyną,
Za zieloną Ukrainą,
Żal, żal serce płacze,
Już jej więcej nie zobaczę.
Wina, wina, wina dajcie,
A jak umrę pochowajcie
Na zielonej Ukrainie
Przy kochanej mej dziewczynie.*"
Szpilman slowly stopped singing as did Wilm, when both parties had stopped they felt an odd joy fill their chest as one of them spoke.
"Your voice is beautiful, but please god be safe...I can't have my sweet baby jew going off and getting hurt."
'I'm his sweet baby jew?' "While I was still I Warsaw you should have just cleaned me up and used me as a trophy...say I'm a very special jew."
"No...no because zhen others would want you and no one can get near my jew unless they are especially nice...and no one is over here."
Szpilman let out a small chuckle as he felt his body relax while listening to Wilm's voice.
"Rember that time I found you drunk? Drank my last bottle of wine? Aaah...it was the good wine too! It was for ceremonies!"
It was Wils turn to start laughing and yes he couldn't forget the one time he saw Szpilman angry. "Ves, ves, I remember...that was three months after I gave you my coat, came by to help you."
"You're so sweet...how did you get caught up in the world you work in?"
A long silence on the line told Szpilman that Wilm was in deep thought. "I'm...I'm not sure how it all began just that one day I was a happy family man and then the next I'm in the Nazi party at the captain ranks."
"It brakes my heart knowing that we could have potentially been good friends...maybe you could have come seen my sh-" Wilm cut Szpilman off with a very true statement. "I've already seen and heard you play the piano, you played it for me when I was watching over you..." "yeah...yeah I guess I did, huh?"
They both knew their time on the line was coming to an end, both knew that if they weren't careful they could get into trouble so instead, they gave each other a callback time and hoped for the best.
"I wish you luck Szpilman if you wish to talk call me."
"Yes, I'll be safe Wilm, and you be safe too the Russians are getting bad as are the English or so I heard."
"I will...but I might take your advice...now what's the magic words?"
Damnit not this again...he calls him his captain one time while in Poland and now that's all he wants to hear. "Goodbye, my dear little captain."
"You know full well were the same hight!"
"Goodbye Captain Wilm Horsenfild be safe please."
"I will...and goodbye Wladyslaw Szpilman, you be safe too my little Juden friend."
With their final goodbyes, they had hung up on one another. Both being in a daze between reality and a clouded bison of euphoria. The feelings were mutual to a degree but they would be lying if they said they didn't have some sort of love for one another. Whether it had been a deep bond that made while in Warsaw, or if it was meant by faith that they meet. They weren't sure but damnit they lived one another's kindness and partly lived off of talking to one another...good the phone bill must be high now for both of them.
▪︎▪︎▪︎Ada the small Shelby snoop▪︎▪︎▪︎
Szpilman happily exited the office after having simply stayed at the now hung up phone. A dreamy look in his eyes and a smile on his face as he exited and was greeted by a very peculiar sight. Ada had been downstairs looking up at him with a concerned look on her face. (Although we know what she was doing he doesn't) "Szpilman are you okay? I came home early and heard you on the phone then heard you cry, sing, and then talking again...most of it I didn't quite understand through."
His heart went from feeling nice and light to heaven and filled with dread. "It was...it was errm...a...friend."
"What kind of friend?"
"Just a friend Miss Ada." He was acting to odd...too out of it for it to just have been a friend, and she wasn't even there half the time so she never really knew what all he did. "Well is it a boy, girl, jew, polish, german, french what are they?" Szpilman began to tap his foot in an irritated manner as he heard her speak, a sudden need to drop this topic and move on from it filled his chest and made him feel more in control of himself. "No...you don't need to know who they are, what they are, or what they do...all you need to know Ada is that they are nice." Ada knew patients, she had grown up in the Shelby household and had a troublesome husband, who gave her Karl...she knew patients. But just because she knew of it didn't mean she could hold her tongue for long, or that this sudden secretive outbreak made her blood boiled less. (Ah yes the Shelby temper...the worst kind of temper.)
"I'm sorry...your living in my house for free...the most you do is clean and have mental breakdowns, and I get to wake up to that sometimes...just because I've had a brother who's dealt with this doesn't mean I like it." Her voice came cold and made Szpilman sudden confidence leave him completely. "Well, I still have a right to personal life."
"I'm sorry what?"
"I said. I. Still. Have. The. Right. To. A. Personal. Life."
"Once ageing, my house, for free...for a solid two mothers almost...tell me who the fuck you were talking to."
She couldn't help it, couldn't help the way she acted on instructive behaviour for when she felt out of control. It was always either hit and yell or cry and drink. This time it was hit and yell at the poor man before her. Once again she deeply regretted the aftermath of having pushed him against a wall to yell at him, but you can't just say, "Oh I'm sorry I did that, sorry I hurt your feeling but let's go back to trusting me with you 2 mental disorders yeah?" No...no that's not how life worked, and not how life worked for Szpilman who had pleasantly of horrible experiences in his life, but when he felt too attacked and too overwhelmed by life. He would runoff. How do you think he started piano? He would run off to his grandparents home to play there and relax during the school weeks of being saddened and stressed. (Back then he had bad anxiety poor boy has always had issues.)
"You... you're not nice." His voice came out chocked and broken sounding as his eyes began to tear up and she realized that having a temper wouldn't always get the answer you wanted...especially with Szpilman. "No, listen...listen Szpilman I'm sorry I yel-" he made a sudden dash upstairs and was quick to lock his bedroom door as he tosses a thing if clothes, the coat, his other pair of shoes, his books and some other things into his suitcase and then ran. He ran out the door, practically drove down the stairs and out the door into the cold evening air. (He had put his shoes on and hat, along with unlocked the door..)
"Szpilman wait! I'm sorry I did those things just come back we can talk it over!" He could hear her voice, but his body keeps moving on its own. His breathing circulated in and out and began to burn after a while, his feel keep hitting the sone path he was currently running on with his suitcase in hand. And he wasn't sure where exactly he was running to, only one place came to mind and that was the bakery. So he ran there, hoping for the best outcome all while having hot tears running down the side of his face.
"Sir? Mr Alfie? Are you by any chance here?" Szpilman had gotten into the bakery, which was, in fact, open but looked very dead and deserted. The once calm atmosphere was replaced with an oddly eerie one that made him frightened. "Ummm...Excuse me? Ezsuse me is anyone here?!" His voice came more loudly this time and seemed to get someone's attention seeing as a back door off the side opened up and a man who wasn't Alfie excited said door. "Who are you?" "I-I'm Szpilman...I came to see if I c, c, cold work h, here..here yeeeeaaaa!" He was suddenly picked up with his arms being squished and carried down into the dark basement like an aria that held very little lighting that did scream murderous and eerie death light."
"Postaw mnie! daj mi spokój*!" Szpilman was visibly panicking from not only trashing in the mans very strong grip but also his overall way of dealing with a stranger seemed horrible. "Olly, What the actual FUCK! Are you doing to this poor boy? Brought him down here for what reasons exactly?!" He soon enough was placed on the ground once more but was held in place by the man, who's named appeared to be Olly. "He wants a job."
"Job...I thought you were staying at Ada's place?"
"N-No...Niiiiiieeeeeee." his voice barely came out considering he was heavily sobbing and crying now. Tears streaming down his face as his eyes began to burn and his face turned red. His breathing came in short gasps and his nose was running as he tried snivelling at it. Nothing really worked through and he looked over all pathetic and was practically begging them to not kill him.
"Kill you? What the fuck are ye on about mate??" Alfie only got more loud cry in response and more snivelling. The snivelling, however, did become a problem once he started to uncontrollably hiccup and gag at some points. "Jesus fucking christ someone gets this boy some water! I don't need him throwing up all over in my fucking still room!"
Alfie wasn't nice...Ada was but he didn't want to go back there yet. So instead he took his time sipping the water and listing to Alfie's nonsense as he slowly began to feel very calm...a little to calm like he had been given a mixture of things to make him calm. "What's in theh water?" Yep definitely a little too calm. "Oh don't worry, it's not poison, no...no...just. a mix of herbs and things to make you calm the fuck down." And it did make him calm down from crying but he soon found himself feeling sick once more and still having to empty the contents of his stomach. "Fuck it was supposed to help you relax and sleep mate, not fucking Pokeball over the place." He was puking in a bucket but damn Alfie was mean.
"Now one of two options now that your better and calm...you stay work, and basically do as I tell you, or you leave and nevah even come back 'ere again unless it's for bread mate...and I'll take off that discount." Szpilman was too drained of life to care about discounts, to scared to stay, and to disoriented to even understand everything the man said to him. All he knew was it was either stay or leave. He left and stabbed into the streets of London as he fanned himself with his hand. Yes, it was very cold, so cold infect that when someone took a breath, you could see their breath leave a fog behind in the air...but he felt a sudden wave of uncomfortable heat and fever was over him. Like the sun had been beaming onto his skin and was walking through a deserted wasteland that was also cold.
He didn't know how long he was walking for, how long he had begun to feel disoriented, or even when the panic had started but God it made him run all over the place like an absolute madman. He had been walking down the street when he felt a sudden uneasy feeling, so he picked up his pace a little more. This helped some but soon, once again someone had done something as dumb as simply screaming at someone else and then he heard something loud and painful to hear. 'I'm going to fucking die if I don't find someplace to stay!' He wasn't, but god his mind wasn't taking no for an answer and had him running full force into the nearby allies, streets, and even roads.
So how exactly had he wound up faint out in the middle of a road and a car stopped in front of him? Simple really over exhaustion from having been panicking and also having become very ill from his uneven breaths and heartbeat. (It was normal was just beating to fast from his sudden panic attack)
The car that had stopped for him seemed nice and normal, nothing too nice or anything but then again he nearly had his eyes open and could fuzzily hear two to three voices emerging from the car.
"Well, who is the drunk fuck?"
"He isn't drunk Arthur, he's just barely conscious, doesn't even smell of anything besides...vanilla?"
"What kinda bloke walks around smelling like vanilla Thomas!?"
"I'm not sure bu-" Szpilman had suddenly been turned over by this strang and mysterious man. But once he looked at Szpilman he felt his blood run cold. 'He looks just like Luca...but he's dead and this once barely conscious.' Barely conscious and his breathes were pretty shallow as well. "Arthur come over here and help me him into the car! John puck up to his suitcase."
From what little Szpilman saw he could tell one was very tall and has a mustache, the other very short and clean shaving with a strong smell of whiskey on him. And the third ones that he could tell more about was the one holding him. He had icey blue eyes that forced Szpilman's eyes open and look at him. Wich, he didn't mind except he was well...very unwell this day. "W-we...were em I? Who are you..." he managed to get a few words out of his mouth but not many. "You're in London were going to take you to Birmingham to my house and were the Shelby brothers, I'm Thomas the one behind you helping you up is Arthur the one you can't see but can hear is John..." Szpilman gave a weak nod in response as he was suddenly hoisted onto his feet and was carefully guided to the car.
"Don't worry, we'll get some stuff in you to make you fe-"
"NIE! NIE, I, I don't need a-anything I'm fine, fine!" The brothers knew now why this odd man was in a street in London with the type of clothes he wore. He wasn't from there and had seen more horrors than all three of them combined and had been through much more than Thomas could ever have nightmares of. "Hey no, no you like tea right? Earl Gray tea? Yeah? Yeah" Szpilman gave his head a few nods as a way to agree with the one called John who was trying to distract him and also help get him into the car(yes a three Shelby job, getting him into the car.) "Okey well, I can make you some when we get home, and it'll be fine. Get you some tea and a nice warm bed...the whole work my friend."
By this time he was seated in the backseat next to Thomas who had apparently volunteered to sit by him on their ride home to Birmingham.
"Okey right, left, right, left, right...left." Arthur thought I would be a great idea to tell Szpilman which feet to use to walk would help him inside of the very large mansion of a house and it did to a degree but Arthur wound up practically carrying the strange man inside. Once inside, Thomas ordered him to go place the man into a bed, and then come back down and to have a talk amongst themselves. This, of course, doesn't take long when you have two mindedly intrigued and slightly nervous brother who want to know who this man is.
"So did anyone notice that he looks a lot like that Italian bastard?"
"Yeah, why we help him if he looked like that Luca fellow...I mean he shot Michel for god's sake!"
"Yes well...he isn't and if you notice the star on both his scarf and his coat jacket, he's in fact Jewish and might just have good English."
"But that doesn't make no sense tom...how would a jew get this mixed up over here and look that clean?" They all had valid arguments, but they were also all very tired that night, so cut the conversation off at "He's a jew and well ask it later." Yes, they called him it because well..they didn't know what else to call him.
"Alright, goodnight Johnz you too Arthur be safe and don't go off and get high or drink, go home and go to bed!" Thomas wasn't sure why he bothered with them at times...but he was still their brother and wanted them to be safe.
Out of all the rooms...all 14 guest rooms they dumped the jew in his own personal bedroom. Why? He didn't know, maybe they honestly didn't know, or maybe they did and this was a revenge of some sorts. "Hey, hey you there move over your in my spot..." the man slowly opened his eyes again and then suddenly shot up and began to look around the room, looking as if he had either lost something or cheeking for safety. "W-where? What? What the fuck?" Thomas couldn't help the chuckle that came from him as he watched this very confused man panic some and try to get out of bed, only to fall back onto the plush surface of this bed. "Hey now its okay, now I'm Thomas Shelby, I own this house and a business but I think I'd like you to work as a housemaid...is this alright?"
Szpilman slowly gave a nod and then a small smile as he began to take his scarf and most of his clothes off leaving his slacks and dress shirt on of course. "Tes...tes is fine...I'm Wladyslaw Szpilman but go by Szpilman...I'm from Poland and yes...that's about it."
"I've heard of you, my sister said you a famous pianist from over there...if you were staying with her showed you end up halfway out of England?"
Sister? His sister was Ada? "I'm sorry...your sister suddenly-" "suddenly yelled and attacked yous, yeah that happened but she also told me that you wouldn't tell her something about a phone call...and as her big brother it's my job to find things out."
"He's a nice old friend who's a polish and managed to get into a different area to call me and tell me he's safe is all."
"Alright...well come here, maybe you could help guide me through some nightmares while I fend off you as well." It was only then when the lap light went off and a warm hand placed itself on Szpilman's side that he noticed how Thomas' breath smelled heavily of alcohol. This thought made him sad, but maybe it was a drink to cope type thing, he wants sure he was tired and still panicked about things. Yet...yet having this Thomas man by him how his hand rested peacefully on his side how their foreheads unconsciously touch when they were half asleep, and how they held one another in an odd embrace. An embrace that showed protection, they were protecting each other while they sleep.
And oddly enough Thomas for the first night, in a very very long time hadn't had any nightmares and Szpilman sleeps just a little better that night than most nights.
He liked Thomas, he could get used to him, in fact, he ready was used to him after only meeting him for barely a few hours...yeah he liked this mans he really did.