A short story written by Andreas Röding
Thursday, 24th of December 2020
The moment his car came to a hold, Eduard jumped right out of his leather seats, leaving the door wide open in the middle of the street. “What has happened to you? Tell me!“, he bursted out intensely, checking her car for any damages. “It’s not the car!“, she mumbled, waving him back to her side window. Looking right into her crying eyes , she started to explain. Things like “marriage, Micheal, couldn’t say yes” was the only thing he really understood. “She must be under a heavy shock!“, he guessed, lowering himself down onto the cold street in such a way, that their eyes could meet on the same level. As Anika tried to continue her story, Eduard already thought about a way how he could help her in this miserable situation. “Should I drive her somewhere? To her friends house or so?“, he started to wonder. “Sure, they had texted a bit two years ago after they had met, but when things got more serious with her and Micheal, the conversation ceased down very quickly.“, he remembered. “She had even told him once, that Micheal was not very ok with her, spending so much time on the phone, texting with the Porsche dude and company owner. But honestly, Eduard understood! He accepted her decision and reduced the time input into their conversations dramatically.“
But seeing her now in this very condition, anger started to rise in his body. “What has this idiot done to her!?“, he wondered, tensioning up his body as if preparing to hit Micheal in the face right now. “I am so sorry for what has happened to you this evening, Anika! And that I have not made it any better with my honking move back at the traffic light, but I really think that we should have this conversation under different circumstances. As far as I understand, you are physically ok, but psychological unstable. Therefore, there is no way that I will allow you to continue driving this car any further. Either you tell me where I should drive you to, or I will take you upstairs to my place.“
“To his place?“, her inner voice repeated slowly, demanding her brain to search for a picture of a couple laying down half naked on a cozy blanket in front of a fire place. “Stop it!“, she tried to stop herself from counting his endless abs one by one with her index finger and tried to focus back on the very situation she was currently in. “His words were just so analytic and logical!“, she thought and liked the way he had forbidden her to drive any further. “I, I was on my way to Kathrin, my friend.“, she finally started to give him an answer and added promptly, “But I wasn’t sure if I would really go there, anyways. Don’t want to destroy her perfect Christmas Eve, you know? But anyways, my plan B was somehow to find a kind of a cheap hotel in town.” As she had moved her head back around, looking right into his deep blue eyes again, she could see him smiling back at her. “Why are you even smiling?“, she cried out aloud, but seemed to somehow got infected by it and a very small, but clearly noticeable smile went over her lips.
“I smiled, because you seem to still care more about your friend Kathrin, than you do about yourself! Destroying her Christmas Eve? What do you expect them to do? I bet they are just hanging around on the couch, watching TV and waiting until its finally time for them to fall asleep once and for all.”, Eduard answered, trying to make her forget about the bad day, she most likely had. “Honestly, I am freezing to death out here! Therefore, please, get your stuff and we will at least change into my car over there with closed windows and the heating system running. Then, you can tell me where you want to be driven at!” He took her handbag and jacket, opening the passenger door of the Panamera for her and helped her in.
As the heating system started to do its magic, Eduard was still looking into a pair of sweet but puzzling eyes. “Was she even aware of what was going on around her?“, he wondered and thought about the next thing to do. “His apartment was only 2 minutes away, why should she pay for a hotel room, if she could also have his guest wing in the penthouse suite up in the 22th floor?“, he wondered, already close to just starting the engine and driving off. “I just can’t look at you any longer with this smear all around your eyes!“, he finally managed to say and added “You need a proper hot shower and get some rest! I will bring you to my apartment now, where you will take a shower and calm a bit down. Afterwards you are telling me, if you want to stay in my guest wing, or not. I can organize you a hotel room from there.“, he declared softly, starting the engine and rolling down the street.
“She was never even driving in one of those modern sport cars.“, she thought, while observing the lights of the street lamps reflecting on the bonnet in front of her. To her surprise, the car was actually neither too hard, nor too loud. In fact, it felt like a pretty normal car to her. As the gate to the private parking section opened rather noisily, at least her body was no longer shaking as heavily as before. Driving by the most colorful cars she had ever seen, it felt like she was cruising right through the showroom of a sports car dealership. “What’s this?“, she asked him once, pointing to a grey Wiesmann GT. “That’s something special, a German car with an BMW engine in it.”, he had replied, but her focus was already set on the next car in line.
After parking the spaceship next to another Porsche she could proudly identify as such by herself, Eduard had introduced her to Ferdinand, his dark blue 911 Turbo S Coupe. “Do all your cars have names?“, she had asked him in astonishment, knowing that normally only woman would give their cars some personal names. As the elevator door swung open, she wasn’t ready for what she was about to see. Her jaw dropped right through the 21st floor of the building to the underground carpark down below. In front of her was the number one google search of a proper penthouse suite. Huge, bright and modern with exquisite furniture. She hasn’t seen such an apartment in a very long time. Actually, since her early days studying at University. She had once worked for a company part time, visiting some of the most luxuries places with her former boss. But this apartment seemed to be differently, standing out of everything she had ever seen so far.
After carefully placing her handbag on the table near by, he had gesticulated towards the staircase, indicating that this was their way to go. Knowing about her interest in architecture, he continued his explanation of the apartment. “Well, generally speaking it is divided into two sections spreading over two complete floors. The first section, where we are currently standing is the normal living are I use every day, while you can find the guest wing, the home gym and the study upstairs!” “Oh wait!”, he interrupted. I have placed your handbag here on the table, but you will probably need it. As they made it up to the top, he guided her along the hall, indicating to the right for the study and another time to the left for the home gym. After the hall made a slight bend to the left, he opened a wooden door and let her enter first.
“Here we are!“, Eduard continued, switching on all the lights on the screen next to him on the wall and started to show her the place where she could stay at least for the night. In fact, the so called guest wing was a completely independent apartment itself. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room with an open kitchen and even a balcony. “Oh wow!“, was the only thing he could her from his speechless guest. As Anika started to walk around the room, letting her hand slide over the designer furniture, he walked right into the first bathroom, opened a drawer and retrieved two white towels, nearly the size of Switzerland. “These will make it.“, he said to himself, putting them neatly on top of each other on the sideboard next to the open shower. As he went back to the bathroom entrance, he switched off the main light of the room, letting the night sky inspired light concept to do its magic.
“Anika!“, she could hear him calling her name from one of the other rooms and took the path back through the walking closet where she just came from. Eduard was standing there in the middle of the room, wearing a black chino and a light blue business shirt. “Business casual at its finest!“, she could hear her inner voice melting away for delightedness. As she came closer, Eduard pointed in the direction of the bathroom door. “Mrs. Miller, your shower is waiting for you.“, he had said professionally, trying not to look too obvious at her disastrous makeup debacle right underneath her eyes, but still, she could see his amusement about her gothic cosplay like appearance. Before he left, he told her that he would lay down some new cloths outside the guest wing door and that he would be downstairs, cooking something for her. Of course he had asked what she liked, but honestly, she was not even in the mood for eating anything.
The hot water rushing down her back, felt actually for the first time in hours like a real relieve. She was just standing there for a moment, letting go of her thoughts completely. Indeed, she hasn’t even thought about Micheal one single time in the last half hour or so. Was she, by all means, now not even the one that said no to the marriage, but also moved already on in such a way, that she would stand there naked, in the shower of a stranger she felt even somehow attracted to, having not even locked the door. A sense of a guilty conscience tried to overrun her mind in a rush, when her inner voice intervened! “Stop this nonsense! What are you even talking about! You said no to the man because you don’t want him and this life any more! Why do you need to feel guilty about it?! That’s just life! Come on!” Anika took another moment just staring at the simulated night sky above before closing her eyes and just breathing in and out slowly.
When she was ready and out of the shower, the towel felt surprisingly soft on her bare skin. “He doesn’t have much guests!“, she thought, counting the softness of the towels as a clear indicator for this. As she used the other one, he had carefully placed on the sideboard for her as her mantelpiece, she walked barefoot to the entry of the guest wing, finding a collection of cloths already waiting for her down on the ground. Some t-shirts, some comfortable sports wear and even a couple of pairs of socks. Honestly, she was impressed by the variety. While deciding on her outfit for the other part of the evening, she counted the fact that there were absolutely no female cloths beyond the selection, as another circumstantial evidence, that he must be still single. In fact, there were no private pictures hanging anywhere in the areas of the penthouse suite she had already seen so far. “Well, just ask him, if you really want to know!“, her inner voice suggested and directed her arm towards the t-shirt with the Porsche shape imprinted on the front. “He will like this one!“, her inner voice continued, searching again for the right picture to underline her point. “God damn it! Stop this, Anika! You can’t just start fantasizing about this other guy two hours after you have split up with your ex!“
As she came down the stair case, still letting her hand follow the shapes of the designer furniture wherever she could, he had a short look at her and nearly burned himself at the hot pan. “Hopefully she hasn’t noticed his faux pass, as he let go of the spoon, which was crashing to the floor making a metallic sound!” Relieved, that Anika didn’t turn around, he got another spoon out of the drawer and continued to stir up the vegetables in the pan. “You want something to drink?“, Eduard suggested, pointing to a refrigerator that had a transparent glass cover and revealed an impressive wine collection. “Ehmm, water will do the job!“, he heard her firing back from the other side of the room, while looking at the pictures hanging there on the wall. “But it’s Christmas Eve, you know?“, he answered quickly, trying to test her psychological stability. It must have triggered something inside of her, causing her to think at least for a very short moment about her boyfriend, kneeing down in front of her with these huge expectations in his eyes. “Oh right!“, she answered, then I want a cup of tea!
“God does she look good in this lousy outfit!“, Eduard found himself tearing her t-shirt apart in his mind. “The tea is almost ready!“, he said, breaking the silence that had overcome the room. “You want your tea getting served near the fireplace?” he continued, having a reason now to look at her without feeling guilty. “Sure why not!“, she had replied, already taking a seat on the comfortable looking designer couch. “Just push those documents away!“, he suggested, as he watched her thinking about what to do with them. “And here we go!“, Eduard walked across the room carrying two white cups of hot tea in his hands. As they sat there next to each other on the couch, she would finally have the time to explain it all…
To be continued …
… somewhere in the future.
See you next time!
And this is it. The end of my second Christmas Special. Thank you for reading!