As some of you might already know, I have developed a passion for the act of writing. Well, while my normal blogging days do not allow me to write fictional stories, I thought about using the current Christmas time and dedicate the whole week to the continuation of my last years CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
For me personally it is very interesting to see how I have improved my writing skills over the last 12 month. And honestly, I am impressed with the outcome. But better read it yourself!
I wish you and your family a joyful Christmas time, a happy new year and of course all the best for the future! Take care! Stay healthy! Stay at home! And share this story with the world!
Wednesday, 23th of December 2020
Like an invisible virus, the heat of the fireplace started to spread all over the wide open penthouse suite. His mother told him not to take one of those fancy apartments, but Eduard knew it better! He always did! When he recollected it correctly, his words were rather strict. “You simply do not understand this, mum!“, he heard himself saying, changing the topic to something unimportant. Indeed, his mother did not understand. He tried once to explain, but gave up in vain. Their lives have become too different to understand. He seemed to have moved on, while she was still living in the past somehow.
“Just this email!“, Eduard pulled himself back out of his daydream and forced himself to keep on working.
“Good morning beauty!“, Anika woke up from the smell of fresh coffee, toasted bread and fried eggs. Carefully she opened her eyes, allowing the sun rays to enter her world. A wooden tray packed with all sorts of breakfast items was neatly placed right in front of her side. “Breakfast in bed!? What have you done, Michael!?“, Anika asked with a laugh, trying to clean her eyes from the sleeping dust. “Ehmm, nothing really, I guess! I just thought that you would like it!” “Like it? Are you kidding me? I love it! Thank you!“, Anika responded quickly but somehow already sensed that she would regret this shortly after.
As it turned out, the concept behind having breakfast in bed was indeed a Hollywood promoted scene, which was not practical under real life conditions in any way. After spilling half the almond milk on the bed sheet covers and making crumbs all over the place, they both decided to relocate their morning breakfast to the table in the living room. “What a mess! I am so sorry!“, Michael tried to find the right words. Anika would need to wash the whole bed sheets one day before Christmas! “Awesome idea, Michael! Thank you!“, Anika responded with a laugh and added, “I guess that’s the difference between Cameron Diaz and me! I can eat, sure, but she can eat and make it even look good!” They bough laughed.
It was already dark outside when he called it a day. The MacBook got neatly packed back into its black leather cover and carried downstairs into the shear endless illuminated space. Two camouflaged douchebags were waiting already packed in the entry hall. It was his trip back home to his parents his iPhone reminded him in the early morning hours. Christmas was in sight. The time of the year when families get together, even in COVID 19 times! Due to the reason that the government had explicitly allowed family members over the Christmas days it was not only possible, but expected from him to come home after all.
As he waited for the elevator to arrive, he locked down his apartment using the touchscreen on the wall next to him. Lights out, windows closed, heating system in standby mode. “Pinnnggg“, the elevator door swung open enthusiastically. “Caput Draconis” Eduard said with a soft voice, not daring to touch anything in this public elevator. “Identification successful! Good evening Mr. Snow! Private garage is selected!“, a computerized female voice replied. It was very nerdy of him to use such a password, Eduard agreed, but the temptation to use a Harry Potter Gryffindor common room password was too much for him. “Basement nine and three quarters! Have a good evening Mr. Snow!” the voice joked over the speakers back to Eduard, who was seemingly surprised! “Hey, the new update can be hilarious! Welcome to the 21st century!“
Wednesday, 23th of December 2020
It was their third Christmas together. Well, depending on the interpretation of the word, together. Indeed they started dating two years ago during the Christmas time, but got together only a few weeks later in the new year. Her mother was right, he was the perfect match. Kind of attractive, intelligent and standing with both feet right on the ground. Simply put, a normal guy she hadn’t had in a while. In fact, her past boyfriends were always somehow strange, weird, or extremely out of place in her life. Michael was different, though. Sure, he was! He was always caring and trying to make things even better. He had ideas, he would refresh their relationship from time to time and even surprised her with his crazy ideas when she was not expecting anything. For example today with the breakfast in bed situation.
But nevertheless, she was the one in the relationship that started to feel differently about it. Was he really the guy she would marry one day? The one she would have kids with? The one she would spend the rest of her life? Sometimes she wondered. It was always he that actively worked on the relationship! It was he that would say sorry if an argument went too far. But it was never her! She did not need to fight for anything. Michael was always giving up on his point, making it too easy for her to win the battles. Sure, at the beginning she really liked this! She felt accepted, loved, she felt like a little princess. He would literally lay down to her feet and do anything for her! She needed to lie, if saying that she hadn’t liked it in the beginning, but nowadays, something started to change in her mind.
As he stepped into the brightness of the garage in front of him, a dark grey C63 AMG coupe, a british racing green Jaguar E-Type and an Aston Martin DB5 covered underneath a silver blanked winked back at him from their winter sleep. “Hello, hello beauties!”, Eduard smiled back at the cars but only had eyes for the Aston. The perfect drive for his secret agent like elevator experience. As he passed by numerous of other cars, ranging from sporty to luxurious and back to exotic, he saw numerous of colors and body shapes. Just around the very next corner a silver shining Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo parked next to a dark blue 911 Turbo S. “It is December, sure, but the winter isn’t really in sight, is it?” Eduard started to argue heavily with himself. Since the 911 has expanded his fleet he always struggled to take the right decision! “Ah come on! Just take the 911, then!“, the Panamera seemed to tell him. “Are you sure?” He looked back at the Panamera once more! “I will drive you next time, I promise“.
With a shouty roar the flat six boxer engine sprung into life. “This never gets old!“, Eduard thought and backed out of the parking lot. The wide tires squeaking on the sticky surface as he made the next corner. Just down the hall, to the left and up the ramp. Through the gate of the private parking section and off he goes. The navigation system suggested a decent 3 hour 15 minutes ride, but Eduard new he would be quicker. “Call mum!“, he commanded and let the car dial for him. “Hey mum! I just wanted to tell you that I am on my way!” “Hey Hey! All right! The garage is already empty!” “Oh come on! That wasn’t necessary! It’s just a car!” But his mum knew it better this time. “Just a car!“, she thought shaking her head with a laugh. All those years he had been so obsessed by this car brand and now that he owned them, hell, it got even worse. “The garage is already empty, though!“, she replied with a smile on her face and told him not to drive too fast, even though she already knew that this wouldn’t change anything! “Just keep the distance to the car in front!“, she joked, referring to his little incident he had back in the old days when studying in another town. “Come on, there was a Porsche behind me! What should I have done!?“, he always remarked when showing others the video he got from the lawyer, indicating that the car in front was going to change the lane anyways! He had lost his driver license for a month, but didn’t learn anything from it. “All right! See you in 2 hours, then! Bye!“, Eduard ended the call rather abruptly and finally started to focus on the road ahead.
She always gets what she wants. And this is the thing that changed the way she looked at her relationship. She wanted more! She wanted to fight for something! She wanted to have the struggling experience of trying to get something that would have been beyond her reach. Just for this one single time. But no, no no! Was this really it? Getting married, having two kids and living the most perfect life in the country side? Sometimes she really wondered. Especially when Christmas knocked at the door. It was always the snow that seemed to trigger her emotional rollercoaster ride. Two years ago in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve, she was sitting next to this strange guy in his Porsche. Handsome looking, neatly dressed and those eyes she would never forget. Blue like the ocean on a hot summer day. And this smell of the fresh leather in her nostrils. She could remember the smell as if she would sit in the car the very moment. The brushed aluminum, the contrast stitching on the dashboard. It was the first time she was sitting in a car like this.
“What he would probably do right now in this very moment?“, she caught herself thinking, leaning back in her living-room chair. “Properly working the hell out of him! Going through an important document that would close another success story for his company. Yes! That must be it! He must sit there at his desk right now, working as the time flies by! And I, I sit here having dinner and actually nothing else to do. Is my life really so boring? Is this really it? Is this where I am supposed to be?”, she wondered as she watched him eating his sandwich and reading the newspaper section about the people who had died in the area recently. “Is this really how my life is supposed to end? Having the perfect family life? A modest home? Two kids and a dog? Two holidays a year and gossiping with the other mums about the neighbors and unimportant stuff?
She had always dreamed about more! She thought that one day she would live the most exciting life ever! During her youth, she always had these dreams. She would do her own thing! Standing out from the masses and having success in whatever she was doing. She wanted to have a career! Building luxury homes in the best and exquisite locations on earth, but ended up doing small and simple family homes for the masses. “Traps!“, that’s how she refers to them with her colleagues at work. They do not build homes, they build prisons. Prisons that would lock people away from any opportunity to finally change something in their miserable lives. But instead, she was designing the nightmares for other people. And here she was, sitting in one of those very prisons herself, having dinner with her most perfect boyfriend.
Thursday, 24th of December 2020
“And you really need to go?“, his mother asked in a confused way, putting her morning coffee aside. “Unfortunately yes! The client is one of my biggest! I can not afford to let this deal burst into flames. I need to handle the situation right now!” “On Christmas Eve? Come on boy, is this really necessary?“, his dad intervened. “Yes, it is! But you will not understand, I get it! You told me to come home for Christmas and here I am! What do you want more? I will visit you again very soon, as easy as that! Where is the problem, really?! I just don’t understand!”, Eduard replied harshly not looking away from his mothers face. “Well, we can’t stop you anyways, can we? When will you leave?“, his mother seemed to finally gave in a little bit. “As soon as possible, actually! I will go upstairs, take my stuff and drive back home instantly.“, Eduard decided on the spot. “Can’t you stay at least for lunch?“, his brother suggested helpfully. “You as well? Come on dude! Do I really need to explain this a second time?!?!“, Eduard’s voice got louder now. “Ok, ok! Whatever! Thank you for your visit, honey! See you soon, my son!“, his mother finally gave in completely.
Moments later, the scream of a 911 boxer engine woke up the rest of the still sleeping neighborhood. “Call Jenny“, Eduard demanded rather aggressively, gripping the steering wheel firmly as if it would otherwise slip out of his hands. “Hey there!“, a female voice replied. It was Jenny, his personal assistent. “Thank you for taking the call, I mean it! Have you already read the email?“, Eduard responded, his voice being surprisingly friendly. “Yes, I have. But I just don’t understand! Where do they got these numbers from?“, Jenny asked excitedly. “I don’t know! But we will figure this out!” There was a moment of silence on the other side of the line. “Ehm, sorry, I meant, I will figure this out!“, Eduard continued, imagining Jenny standing disappointed in front of her decorated Christmas tree! Of course it is Christmas today, how could he forget? Work can wait! Right? Would it be too much to ask her to come into the office today? Just for a couple of hours of course? Eduard shook off his thoughts. It’s Christmas for Christs sake, I will not destroy Jenny’s Christmas because of this stupid deal. “You will stay where you are! Enjoying your time with the family and stuff! I will manage this on my own!” “Are you sure?“, Jenny asked carefully, knowing that she was walking on thin ice now. “Yes, I am sure! Just tell me where I can find all the documents!” “Ok boss!“, Jenny answered with a smile, knowing that her Christmas Eve was rescued. As they hung up, Eduard’s thoughts kept thinking about Jenny for a bit longer. He was imagining her having the most perfect Christmas evening with her boyfriend the world has ever seen. It was not Jenny that he had dreamed about, but rather the concept of having someone like her, an actual girlfriend that would spend those special days with him. “Well, whatever! I have a job to do!“, Eduard let go of the thought and overtook the car in front of him restlessly.
“Can’t wait to see your face this evening shocked in surprise!“, Michael had told her on their morning walk. “Shocked in surprise? What does he even mean?“, Anika thought. In the last two days Michaels behavior was more than just puzzling. Sure, she was used to having this over enthusiastic boyfriend, but his recent actions were on a completely different level! “What is he even doing? What is wrong with him?“, Anika continued thinking, laying comfortably on her couch enjoying a hot chocolate and her most favorite cake, Michael had miraculously brought out of the kitchen. “The hell!“, her jaw dropped to the floor. “When have you learned to bake like this?“, she added in surprise. “Well, there are a lot of things about my past I haven’t told you yet!“, Michael answered secretively, trying to get her attention. “Oh right! My boyfriends past as a secret agent for the crown! How could I forget!“, Anika responded in an ironical awe, having another sip of her still too hot chocolate. “So, tell me then! Who or what is responsible for this awesome cake?“, she asked overconfidently, knowing that it couldn’t possibly be his own creation that was sitting right on top of the plate in front of her. “Was it Kathrin?“, Anika added promptly, not giving him any time to think about a better answer. “Ehmm, maybe!“, he replied eagerly, smiling from one cheek to the other. “I knew it!“, she countered, thinking about Kathrin trying to teach him even the most the basic of things about baking and failing miserably. She probably had ended up doing the cake herself, the poor girl. “So, can I expect having the pleasure of eating my favorite cake more often, then?“, Anika bursts out into a laugh. “Every single day until the rest of your life, honey!“, he responded.
Like a knife these last words stung right into her stomach. “What has he just said? Every single day until the rest of my life?” An ice cold shower rushed down her back. She finally seemed to understand! “The breakfast in bed, watching her most favorite movies, the massage, her favorite cake, this over excitedly boyfriend.” It made click inside of her as too much blood was rushing into her face causing it to start glowing like a red tomato. “Oh my god! He will not! Fuck, no!“, panic, there was just pure panic spreading all over her body. Anika started to freak out! “No! He will not! Please, God! No! Not today!” But it made just so much sense! They were together for almost two years now. It was the Christmas time they had met. “Oh fuck! NOOOOOO!“
It must have been a new all time record. Eduard parked his car, walked past the Aston and went up into his apartment. He had stopped by the office and was carrying stacks of documents and folders into the wide open living room of his penthouse suite. A mentor of his once told him that separating the house into a work- and non working section was the way to go. Well, normally he gave his best to follow such advise but today he just did not care. After going back to the Porsche a second time, getting all his other stuff. He changed his cloths into something more comfy and started to go through the complete project from start to finish.
He must have sat there for ages, because the sun was already saying goodbye at the horizon. Eduard leaned back on his couch, holding the contract in his hands and watching the sun go down. “What am I even doing here? Going through these documents like a squirrel on cocaine. Is this how I usually work? Come on Eduard! You need to turn this damn situation around and get the project back under your control!“, he encouraged himself, having a sip of water to clear his head for a moment. “Think, man! Think! What is this problem really all about? Why have they send this email this morning? Was this all just a trick? A way to increase the pressure? Has this client thought he would get a discount on a day like this? Or is Tom responsible for this?” Since his partner has left the company after a big fight earlier this year, Eduard was always afraid about the consequences of a raging ex business partner trying to destroy his company he had build up nearly by himself. “No way that it is him! It can’t be!“, Eduard tried to convince himself.
As his stomach started to growl, he noticed that he hadn’t even eaten something on this very day. “Eduard, you need to stop this nonsense right now! Stop freaking out! It is like it is! Today is Christmas man, stop going through these documents another one thousand times! Go and eat something, open a bottle of wine or go out for a run!“
“Dinner is ready!“, Anika shouted from the kitchen. “Yay!“, she heard Michael bursting out yelling from the living room! “Finally!”, Michael added, touching her side as he walked towards her in the kitchen. “You take this one and I will carry the rest!“, he insisted eagerly, giving her the bottle of red wine he had placed behind the counter hours ago. “As you wish!“, Anika replied plainly, grabbing the bottle and heading towards the living room. It must have been at least half an hour she hadn’t left the kitchen and found to her surprise, or rather not to her surprise that the living room has undergone a redecoration. “Fuck me!“, it shot right into Anika’s eyes. “I can’t do it! I can’t marry this guy! Not right now! Not in this phase of my life!“, her inner voice started to stutter. Her worst nightmare became a reality. From the bottom to the ceiling the whole room got plunged into a mixture of little hearts and roses. It was as if Christmas had met Valentines day. “He will be so disappointed! Oh my fucking God! This is going to be messy! Why is he even doing this to me!?”
Tears started to run down her cheek as she felt the urgent need to take a seat. Her knees trembling, her hands ice cold. Was she in shock? Was she breaking down? Mixed feelings overcome her whole body. As she tried to place the wine bottle on the table next to her, she nearly misplaced it on a fork, but Michael grabbed it just in time before the bottle could flip over. “Are you ok?“, Micheal asked excitedly from her back, touching her shoulder softly. “I .. ,I …, I am ok!“, Anika managed to stutter back at him, supporting her stand at the chair in front of her. Micheal had of course not intended to carry the dinner behind her into the living room. Instead, he had followed her silently, checking a last time if the ring was still placed in his right jeans pocket.
“Micheal, before you say anything! I …, I just can’t! I can’t do it! Not right now! Not here! Not so! I am so sorry!“, she managed to mumble quietly as even more tears started to rush down her face. Micheal just stood there. Processing the input his brain has just received. “Oh God! How will he react?“, Anika managed to get back under her own control. “Will he start to cry? Will he get aggressive?“, sure, she knew him for quite some time and anger was never a characteristic he had shown. “He will start crying!“, Anika predicted, already thinking about a way how to dissolve the situation for the moment. “Maybe it is the best, if I just leave?“, she asked herself, thinking about where she has left her God damn car keys.
“Micheal, are you ok?“, the counter question seemed to be unnecessary! Obviously he was not. His arms hanging left and right from his motionless body, the shoulders down, the head slightly bend to the front, staring into the sheer endless space beyond the floor of his family home. But Micheal said nothing. He just stood there, as if petrified. Anika started to feel very bad! How could she, after all he had done for her in the last two years, ditching him on Christmas Eve just like that. She did not even allowed him to explain himself, to express his feelings, to do whatever he had practiced at least a thousand times in front of the mirror. How could she be that cold! That frosty? That emotionless? Anika risked another glimpse. But still, there was not more than pure disappointment written all over his face. “Oh Micheal! I am so sorry! I wish I could, but I just can’t! Not right now!”, she thought, but said nothing.
Thursday, 24th of December 2020
Eduard was still sitting on his designer couch in the living room section of his penthouse suite, when he finally put the documents aside. “Come on, boy! It’s Christmas Eve tonight! Can you please stop doing this and thinking about a different activity?“, he literally needed to talk to himself like one of those over-excitedly modern mum’s that would try to convince their seven year old son’s to do something else instead of playing with the iPad, by redirecting the thoughts of the kid in such a way, that it would figure out the needed change all by itself. Well, whatever! When he was much younger the tone of his mother was a bit different back then, he remembered. “You will stop this nonsense right now and right here! Do something else! Do we understand us!”, the voice of his mother ringing in his ears. Eduard joyfully added, “Enjoy the moment, my son! Why don’t you have a blast in your Porsche? In the past you always wanted to get one for Christmas. Well, now that you have even two of them parking downstairs you do not want to drive them?” Eduard seemed to agree with the imaginary voice inside his head. It was definitely time for him to release some pressure after this stressful day in the home office! He sprung to his feet, exchanged the comfy outfit for something more appealing, grabbed his leather jacket and off he went.
With a scream, the Panamera Sports Turismo sprung into life. “Finally!“, he could feel the Sports sedan whisper. Compared to the 911, it actually did not feel that much bigger on the road. But here in the carpark underground it was a totally different story. Here it actually felt like a monstrous spaceship that demanded a very careful maneuvering process between all those concrete pillars and dangerously high curbs. Sure, the parking sensors were beeping the hell out of them but really practical was only the visualization on the screen in the center console. Leaving the car park moments later, the turbos could finally suck in the fresh air of the evening night that lay ahead.
“I think it will be the best if you just leave, NOW!“, Micheal finally started to say something. She knew that he did not mean it the way he had emphasized the word NOWWWW, but thought that it would actually be the best for them both. He would have some time on his own and she would finally be out of this awkward situation, taking a breath and maybe even coming down at little bit. Normally a typical win win situation, wouldn’t they both cry like little babies. With a careful placed hand Anika tried to touch him on his shoulder a last time, intending to show him how sorry she felt and trying to find a way to properly saying good bye for the day. But Micheal waved her hand away so quickly, giving her no chance to carry out this strategic move! “Please, don’t!“, he said frustratedly, not even looking up at Anika who was standing right next to him.
And there she was, standing in the middle of the living room, crying. “Her boyfr…, her what ever it now was. Where they still together?” Thousands of thoughts shot through her head at the same time. “Where are my God damn car keys?“, Anika still wondered. Hoping that they would be inside her handbag hanging in the wardrobe next to the main entrance. Silently she turned around on the spot, heading towards the door. Step after step. “Should she say something to him? Something like: Ok, honey, I am really leaving now! Last chance to call me back! Or better just a good old classy: good bye?“, Anika was as overstrained with the situation as Michael. After reaching the wardrobe precisely 21 and a half steps later, the house felt even larger than it normally was. “Thank god, the keys are in here!“, she sighed satisfied, wiping away the tear drops that were close to falling off her cheek. She put on her shoes, grabbed her jacket and handbag, took a deep breath in and managed a good old “Ciao!“
“Ciao!? Who are you? An old Italian woman?“, Anika already started to question her last word intensely, not even having closed the door yet. “Three, two, one, closed!” The door fell into its lock. “Would he stand there by the window, looking outside and watching her driving off into the night?“, Anika wasn’t sure after all. As she walked towards her white Renault which was parked around 20 awful long meters away from the house, she wouldn’t dare to turn her head and checking. But something told her that he must be standing there in shock, watching his princes driving away into the cold night. An outcome he most probably did not expect when telling his friends and family about his awesome plan. “Finally!“, relieved that she had completed the walk of shame to her car, she unlocked the door, throw her hand bag and jacket on the passenger seat and off she went into the unknown.
It must have been an hour or so since the last time Eduard had checked the clock on the top of his center console. It was only half past seven, but felt more like the middle of the night already. After blasting over c-roads for long enough, he decided to take the Autobahn route back towards the city center where he newly lived. Effortlessly the Porsche hammered around the corner, accelerating towards the magical 300 km/h barrier.
“God is it cold in her!“, Anika realized one minute into her journey. “Where do I actually drive, now?“, she asked herself in shock, realizing that she had spend the whole last year at Micheals place. “Kathrin!”, it shot into her mind. “Of course! Kathrin had told her that she would spend the evening with her husband at home. “Did she knew?“, Anika’s mind went crazy. “Micheal and her baking the cake probably yesterday? He must have mentioned something! God, why hasn’t she told me? I could have come up with so many stories why I wouldn’t be free for the evening! But now, it is too late already! In the end, he most likely did not even tell her! He simply had known from his own experience with her birthday present last year that Kathrin was the kind of person that couldn’t keep a secret by herself for long!” Anika’s mind sprung from one thing to the other like a happy kangaroo. “I will just drive towards the city center and decide over there if I want to actually interrupt Kathrin’s Christmas celebration or not. In the end, I can also just take a hotel room for the night!“, she thought. Having a destination in mind, she finally stopped driving around the very same block over and over again, heading towards the nearby Autobahn.
“At least there is no snow tonight“, her inner voice told her as she was looking at the trees that were standing close to the road near by. “What Michael would do right now?“, she wondered. “Destroying the furniture of his house with a hammer? Probably not! Rather the complete opposite. Cowering underneath a blanket next to the fireplace. Poor guy! Really! I mean it!“, a tear went down her cheek again when her thoughts got disrupted by flashy bright light coming from the back. The inside of her car was as bright as in the midday sun! It took her a second to rearrange her thoughts and actually focusing on whatever was going on around her. She was driving in the left lane without any reason, even slower than 100 km/h! No wonder the car behind was freaking out! “Sorry!“, she said out allowed as if the other driver would hear her apology and moved into the right lane.
An angry engine sound appeared behind her back, as a silver shining sports sedan accelerated into the night in front of her. It wasn’t a Porsche, but instantly she had only one thing in mind. “Eduard!” The Porsche guy she had met two years ago on this very part of the Autobahn section, heading home from her second date with Micheal in the opposite direction. Anika started to smile a bit, “If that would have been Eduard, I would probably find myself pushed out of the road right over there in the middle of the forest!”
Still surprised by the way this car performed in a straight line speed, Eduard let go off the accelerator pedal, allowing the car to cool down before reaching the outskirts of the city. Happily he moved a little bit around in his seat, trying to make it more comfortable for himself and his arching back. Now, that the tension in his body had suddenly ceased away, he felt how much he stiffened up his whole body due to the excitement of rushing through the night. He had grabbed the steering wheel so tightly, his left hand had started to hurt a little bit. “God, I missed this car!“, Eduard told himself happily while inhaling the unique Porsche interior smell.
Reaching the first speed limits anytime soon, the city was already in sight. Bright lights were illuminating his way, as the street lamps started to reflect themselves on the wheel arch right in front of his windscreen. “This view will never get old!“, he thought and switched the car back into its normal mode. Minutes later he was already passed the city border, cruising down the empty streets towards home. Indeed, the traffic on the Autobahn was nearly not existent. At least, he couldn’t remember the last time the traffic situation looked like this on a Thursday evening. But for sure, life had changed a lot due to the COVID 19 situation in Germany. As the car was sailing towards the red traffic light in front, it seemed as if the trend of not many cars on the roads would be continued. He saw just a couple of cars crossing the road in front of him and this white car standing next to him. As he moved his head a little bit further, trying to make out which car model it was, he couldn’t believe his eyes what he had seen.
Thursday, 24th of December 2020
Finally the city lights came into sight. Relieved she took a deep breath in, trying to swipe away the most recent tear drops that had build up a thick layer of scab underneath her glimmering red eyes. Her body still in shock. “I must look like a desperate junky, looking for the daily dose.“, she felt her makeup running down her cheeks. “I probably look like a swamp monster!”, she told herself. 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 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! No! This time, her whole life seemed to have crashed into the wall. Sure, it was not their first difficult time in their young relationship, but somehow it was the worst! How could she ever look back into his innocent dark braun eyes after all that went wrong this evening?“
As the traffic light 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 for centuries without an end?
“It just didn’t feel right to her in the very moment. Asking 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 and that she looked like a zombie showing up on the the walking death TV series set without a 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 hard, crossing the line of the still red traffic light in front of her. One split second later a red glow welcomed her to town, causing her stomach to react heavily. “Wuuuuufffffffff”, Anika hit on the brakes as if her life would depend on it 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 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, backing up behind the traffic lights again and pretending that nothing has ever happened after all, 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 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 was wrong. She was reaching for the button to lower her right side window when the traffic light turned brightly green. “I will follow you!”, Anika could make out his wild gesticulations. With a thumbs-up she agreed to the deal, putting her car into the first gear again 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.
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.
Thursday, 24th of December 2020
The moment his car came to a hold, Eduard jumped 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 told him 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 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 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 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 home. “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 some rest! I will bring you to my apartment now. There you will take a shower and calm a bit down. Afterwards you can tell me if you want to stay in my guest wing, or not. I can organize 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 neither too hard, nor too loud. It felt like a pretty normal car to her. As the gate to the private parking section opened 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 all 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 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 different and definitely standing out of everything she had ever seen before.
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 area 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 22 floor 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 hear 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 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. 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 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 on already 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 his life any more! Why do you need to feel guilty about it?! That’s just life! Come on!” Anika took another moment for herself, just staring at the simulated night sky above before closing her eyes and breathing in and out as if she wanted to inhale the moment.
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 as well, which 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 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 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 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 to look at her without feeling guilty now. “Sure why not!“, she had replied, already taking a seat on the uncomfortable 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…
THE END OF PART II from 2020
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