Anika woke up by an unfamiliar smell in her nostrils. She reached out for the light switch but couldn’t find it. “Damn it, where is it?“, she wondered as her eyes adjusted slowly to the darkness around her. But in vain! “I can’t see anything!”, she felt a light sense of panic raising up in her body as she used her hands to orientate herself. The fabric of the bed sheets felt unfamiliar soft. “Where am I?“, she asked herself hastily, wondering if that could really be her own apartment. Finally, her right index finger discovered something. A cold but smooth plastic like surface. The cheap clicking sound made it clear, at least it couldn’t be Eduard’s place.
Even though a complete year has gone, she could still remember every detail as if it would have been only yesterday. The organic shaped designer furnitures, the soft carpets underneath her bare foot and the wide open windows with the most spectacular view on the city center. One year ago, she woke up in a similar way. An unfamiliar smell of the room, the softness of the bedsheets underneath her naked body and the sheer endless size of the bed. It was the one Christmas Eve she would never forget. After breakfast he had driven Anika back to her car and said goodbye. She had thanked him for everything and went straight home to her parents house, telling them all about what had happened. “Ok, not everything!“, she remembered. She may have missed out on some parts, especially the ones at Eduard’s place. “What a gentleman he was!“, she sighed, looking at the empty bed side next to her.
She felt still unfamiliar with her new apartment. But living on her own was the only logical next step. When she had finally moved out of her best friends apartment two weeks ago, she experienced mixed feelings about it. On the one hand she felt relieved about having her own place now, but on the other hand this very fact made her stomach ache. Standing on her own feet? Was she even ready for that? The offer caught her by surprise, but how could she say no to a place like this?
After she had given Michael a second chance, she realized quickly that it was in vain. She didn’t felt the same way as before. It was over. When she had left him in early spring, Anika was ready for a change. The next day she had called her boss and quit. “You did what?“, her mum’s voice was still ringing in her ears today. “I can’t do this any longer! I am sorry, but I can’t!“, she had responded angrily and went upstairs into her old room, shutting the doors as loudly as she could. God she felt ashamed about moving back into her parents house, but it was just for a couple of weeks, or at least that was what she had told herself over and over again. Her friend Kathrin offered her to move into her place, but Anika knew that she was just feeling lonely during the weeks when her boyfriend wasn’t in town. The attention wasn’t even the thing that would have bothered her, it was the confrontation with Kathrin’s perfect relationship she was afraid of.
“The time is flying, unbelievable!“, she told herself while getting dressed. Anika loved her new apartment. It was one of her new boss’s past projects and once he had offered it to her for such a reasonable price, she couldn’t resist. “How is that even possible?“, she had stared into his deep brown eyes that morning. “The owner is afraid about renting it to someone he doesn’t know! As simple as that!“, he responded coldly. “But he doesn’t know me after all!”. That was a good point, but of course he knew her boss. A trustworthy middle aged man running “the” architecture and design studio in town. “Just take the damn apartment before I change my mind!“, he had replied at last, waving her out of his corner office.
It was an early Christmas present and she loved it! Two weeks ago she could finally move in. Kathrin’s boyfriends mini van was a great support, even though she had insisted on not needing it after all. Her parents couldn’t believe it. A 180 square meter apartment in the best area of the city with a view, breathtaking. The modern furniture, the huge living room, the open kitchen and a dinning table for a whole soccer team. “This place is amazing!“, she heard her mothers voice from one of the guest bedrooms to her left. “And the rent is really just 700€? I can’t believe it!“, her dad asked in surprise. “It’s a long story!“, she tried to change the topic.
“Ready for work?“, she checked herself in the mirror. “Not that it would make any difference.“, she added with a smile, taking her handbag and walked towards the door. She was one of the few people who would still physically go there. “Why going there when I can work from home in my pajamas?“, her new colleague joked during one of the coffee breaks. Anika needed the inspiration which only the workplace environment could offer. “You life in one of our God damn projects, for Christs sake! How much more environment do you need?“, her colleague had answered. It was a good point, but the office was still her preferred place to go. And since the government had increased the COVID-19 rules in Germany, she could work there even longer without anybody distracting her.
THE END OF PART I
See you next time!