by Rory Hinchey
Buddy Boy met Agathe while taking an English course in university. He had never before seen a woman so naturally lovely. Her dark brown hair verging on the cusp of a deep red poured down her slender figure, nearly concealing her blue-green eyes. While Buddy Boy (at this time in his life) normally went through great lengths to avoid bothering other people, he could not help himself but to strike up a conversation with her. Wondering whether or not he had made a mistake in pursuing this girl, he felt redeemed when, during the next lecture, she opted to sit in front of him rather than on the opposite side of the room.
Over several months he managed to overcome her awkwardness, reassured by her graceful smile and a laugh that was surprisingly hearty for an otherwise mild-mannered girl. In spite of her quiet nature, Agathe proved to have a very fiery personality, fueled largely by her acute manner of situational observation. They quickly became a couple, and it was only short months later he asked for her hand in marriage. Buddy Boy and Agathe were made husband and wife on March 25, 1977.
Still a struggling animator, Buddy Boy was more than a little concerned when Agathe announced she was pregnant with their child. While the news certainly served to increase his broad drive towards success, he had never anticipated that prosperity would come so suddenly - less than 2 years after Josef's birth. The rewards of Buddy Boy's cartoon wolf, an illustration now revered the world over, included multiple awards and a large financial return. But rather than settle on what he had earned, or pursue his art any further, Buddy Boy decided he would do the sensible thing: abandon his career as a cartoonist, and put his BBA to use in an appropriate business context. Thus, in January 1982, he purchased the floundering Nemeja Holdings GmbH, and renamed it Buddy Boy Enterprises.
Agathe was at first thrilled by the good fortunes bestowed upon her husband. The years leading up to 1981 had been lean to say the least. But she had remained steadfast in her loyalty and love, only too pleased to spend many of her hours at her part-time filing job while Buddy Boy pursued his irregular freelance illustration work. Nor did her devotion waver at any point while living in their two-room flat, the small space plagued by drafts and vermin. For the family of three, there was always sunny walks in the park, pleasant evening meals, and weekends together. Fostered by her warmth, in his early infancy little Josef had already started to develop a personality of his own. Indeed, what was lacking in life was quite apparent, but it was greatly overshadowed by the close bonds she perceived between the members of her family.
It was without difficulty that they left the flat for good, yet Agathe realized as they settled into their new villa that the relocation signified the end of an epoch. Indeed, Buddy Boy's work now transported him outside of his home; to the office, to conventions, on long train trips for business purposes abroad. With the same drive that had seen him through his impoverished days as an animator, Buddy Boy slowly transformed the lagging company he had purchased into a formidable business entity. Agathe, however, did not relish the changes in the same way as her husband. While she was appreciative of her new surroundings, the large house felt very empty, with Buddy Boy either somewhere else tending to business concerns, or at home with his mind always on something other than her.
As a life routine emerged for him during the months that followed January 1983, Buddy Boy could not fathom why, despite his pleadings, Agathe would not make avail of their new prosperity. She was free to do anything she wished, to join him in the operations of Buddy Boy Enterprises, to finish her schooling, or even to begin a firm of her own which he would happily fund. From Buddy Boy's point of view, Agathe's lack of enthusiasm was most pronounced in her unwillingness to play ball so far as social functions were concerned. Yes, the wives of his business colleagues were often dull and conceited, but was it that terribly difficult to feign even the slightest interest in their idle chatter? After all, he asked very little of her otherwise.
Eventually coming to eschew his frustrations, he became largely indifferent to both her tears and her lack of ambition. It came as no surprise to Buddy Boy when she filed for separation in 1988. They divorced in February, 1989.
Following the finalization of the divorce, Buddy Boy's communication with his ex-wife was limited only to the absolute necessities concerning their son. As Josef progressed through gymnasium, the discourse between Buddy Boy and Agathe gradually came to terminate entirely. It was now many years since he had last spoken with Agathe.
In spite of knowing very little about her now, he was confident that her life had hardly changed in the past two decades; surely she was still as lacking in ambition as ever, pouring all of her energy into some low-wage menial job unworthy of her talents. After all this time, he could never understand how a woman so clever, and still quite lovely in appearance, could actively decide to make so little of herself. While (much to his dismay for Josef's sake) men had drifted in and out of Agathe's life, all of them leaches, she had never remarried.
Buddy Boy felt thankful every day that his eldest son was not only seeking his masters in business, but had also expressed polite yet sincere interests in future involvement with Buddy Boy Enterprises.
(The Buddy Boy Chronicles continues next month with Lena)
* Names, personal details, and certain details have been intentionally obscured in order to preserve the anonymity of the individuals discussed herein.