They shared a very similar way of thinking. Karel being a creative and open minded soul had no difficulty befriending Leon who was a writer. Running away from the society and vanishing for a couple of days was something his family was already used to. And Karel would never ask him questions about where he had been hiding. It was easy for these two to share a raffish apartment with other creative minds as they were all alike by nature. It was the old part of the town in which they had decided to lead their bohemian lifestyle. Dim light shining from three tiny oil lamps, two portable grey radiators and an old dirty red rug which always reminded of spilled whiskey would have been the only things to create the special atmosphere, but since Maria was there the true essence of the place was based on her character. Even though her kind eyes would let you sense how caring Maria is, she was a woman of a strict character. As she represents the definition of a charismatic person, the dusty apartment was well known for its ability to gather the most artistic personalities within its walls.
These people never bothered about catching up on their sleep. Long nights were spent writing stories, secret love letters, poetry, playing guitar tunes, leading philosophical conversations. Ambience was irreplaceable as smoke from cigarettes, cognac scent, zealous laughter and glowing sidelong glances were always up in the air to create a giddy breeze. It was never cold even though the wooden framed windows would not resist the cold air breeze come in. You would often meet new people, other bohemians, hanging around the flat and their age would diverge. The only person newcomers would fear yet admire would be Maria. Domesticity was always there and even though no one knew who owns the place, everybody say Maria as the centre and the keeper of their common stove. Being a mother to everyone residing there, she, of course, had to be responsible for the order. And maybe that is why she only spoke when it was necessary.
It was not usual for a creative soul to use the apartment for selfish reasons. More likely it was fate to force you go there. And therefore people felt like they owe something to those walls, that old rug, the aura and the muse of this apartment. To give the place a greater value and meaning, Maria would keep the original of one's work. Not that she examined what was left behind after ones goodbyes. No, Maria would find rolled up notes here and there, all covered with black ink. And then she would collect whatever was found in one of her cupboards. It was an unspoken rule not to completely disappear from the place; everybody knew that something had stay.
If you went there today, you would find an established museum and Karel and Leon as its owners. You would see paintings hanging on the walls. Those also were passed to Maria in order to collect. Under glass poetry would lie and never sent love letters would reveal the truth. Stories on yellowing squared paper would let their characters live on.
This was an apartment to bring minds together. To share experiences and inspire.