A short story written by Andreas Röding



Thursday, 24th of December 2020

Finally the city lights came into sight. Relieved she took a deep breath, trying to swipe away the most recent tear drops, that had already started to build up a thick layer of scab underneath her glimmering with the color red saturated eyes. Her body still somehow in shock. “I must look like a desperate junky, looking for the daily dose.“, she felt her makeup slowly starting to run down her cheeks, causing her face to look more like a swamp monster than anything else. In combination with her trembling knees, the shaky hands and the spineless body posture, someone could assume she must have been through the hardest of cold detoxification weeks of her life. “Was she even allowed to drive a car under these conditions?“, she asked herself coldly, pushing the thought away the moment it occurred. “She had nearly made it into town as safely as possible and seemed to have bigger problems than the police stopping her for this! This time, her whole life seemed to have crashed right into the ground. Sure, it was not their first difficult time in their young relationship, but somehow it was the worst! How could she ever look Micheal back into his innocent dark braun eyes, after all that went wrong this evening?

As the traffic light in front of her turned red, Anika slowed down her white Renault and tried to use the moment to redirect her thoughts. “Come on! Stop crying for Gods sake!“, her inner voice was raging! “Get your shit together! How old are you? Fourteen?” With the street lights illuminating the world around her in a bright orange shade, Anika carefully risked a glimpse into her rearview mirror. “Oh God! It’s even worse than I have expected!“, shamefully she moved her head out of her own sight, hoping that nobody would see her running around like a gothic cosplay character on her way to the next convention in town. “God, if you are really existing out there somewhere or above me far up in the sky! Please, make this evening finally come to an end! I have learned my lesson! I promise!“, she seemed to have found back to her faith in this most miserable of situations. “What am I even doing? Talking with God about my problems? How selfish of me! I haven’t even seen the inside of a church in years!“, her mind went on. “Why should he, of all things, help me after I have denied the most classical family life the church is propagating so hardly in their program for centuries without an end?

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It just didn’t feel right to her in the very moment, to ask someone else to help her out of this miserable situation! Should she call her mother?“, this thought seemed to reappear every now and again in between crying about the situation with her relationship and the fact that she looked like a zombie showing up on the the walking death TV series set, without any further need for a makeup artist. “Get your shit together, girl! Come on!

“Could it really be?”, Eduard wasn’t sure if he could trust his own eyes any longer. If he was right, the car next to him would be a white Renault Megane. Instinctively, he lowered his side window electrically, gesticulating towards the French car as if he would argue with it about something important. Noticing, that the effectiveness of his current actions were not giving him the effect he had hoped for, he changed the strategy and simply honked.

Anika got scared to death, as a honking sound teared her suddenly out of her thoughts. Instinctively, she floored the accelerator pedal, crossing the line of the still red traffic light in front of her. One split second later, she got welcomed to town by a red glow covering her whole face and causing her stomach to react heavily. “Wuuuuufffffffff”, Anika hit on the brakes as if her life would depend on it and came to a stand still right in time, before the second glow of the red light reached her eyes.

Not the effect he had hoped for!“, Eduard hit himself on the forehead, trying to prevent the laugh from reappearing, that was already written all over his face. “Oh my god! She will kill me!

The hell!? What was that!“, Anika’s head couldn’t decide which emotion to show first. Anger, for this idiot who was honking without any reason, causing her to nearly get killed. Or fear, because the speed camera documented one of her most embarrassing moments in life ever. “Well, at least nobody can recognize me in the picture, looking like this!“, Anika’s inner voice found a way to smile for a little moment, before her subconscious mind demanded to slamm in the reverse gear, as if she would stand on a pair of tracks, already seeing the Inter City Express closing in and backing up behind the traffic lights again, pretending that nothing has ever happened, while looking over to the car next to her with the most angry face she could make in this very situation.

Oh my god, she will definitely kill me!“, Eduard’s mind still fighting the urge to burst out into a most delightful laugh. “He was probably the eye witness of the fail of the year!“, his mind added, causing him to think about all these stupid dash-cam videos he had seen online. But the moment he saw her face, he knew, that something was wrong. From the one second to the other, the grin on his face was gone. In fact, the girl he was exchanging eye contact with, looked as if the world had come to an end tonight.

Eduard!?“, her puzzled expression was most likely not even noticeable due to her face being somehow covered in a mixture of tears, mascara and eyeliner. But even after having a second glimpse at the car next to her, it seemed to be still Eduard in his silver shining Porsche. Nodding at her over-excitedly but with a sudden seriousness on his face, that told her that he must have realized that something might be wrong. As she was reaching for the button to lower her right side window, the traffic light turned brightly green. “I will follow you!”, Anika could make out of his wild gesticulations. With a thumbs-up she agreed to the deal, putting her car into the first gear and slowly started to accelerate into the bright light of the city center in front of her.

Where should I drive to?“, Anika wondered nervously, realizing that she was not very familiar with this part of the city after all. As her phone started to ring, it seemed as if she was close to loosing it again. “Micheal shot into her mind, imagining him walking nervously in circles around his fireplace, calling her desperately and asking his future wife to come back home and give it a second thought!” As she reached for her handbag, retrieving the phone and reading Eduard’s name on the screen, she was definitely relieved. “Hey!“, she managed to say without even stuttering, but yelling into the phone like a deaf person. “Good evening, Anika“, a deep male voice replied and added. “I have seen in the look of your eyes, that something is definitely wrong here! In two hundred meters you will turn to the right, driving into the side street and park your car.In two hundred meters to the right!“, she thought. “I can manage that!“, her mind went on, even forgetting to reply him on the phone.

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The moment the white car in front of him made the turn to the right into the side street he had suggested, he hoped that she was not hurt too badly in any way.

To be continued tomorrow in PART VI, the final part for this year.

See you next time!

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