It was long after midnight when they called it a day. Besides the stunning apartment, Victoria guessed she knew what Eduard must have liked about Anika. The outskirts of the city rushed by the window as the car accelerated into the night ahead. “What a nice “friend” you have there!“, Victoria commented at last, emphasizing on the word friend. Eduard couldn’t prevent to smile. “He might haven’t even realized it!“, Victoria thought, because for her it was obvious right from the get go. The way Anika had looked at him. The body language had revealed her little secret. Invisible for men, maybe, but not for her trained eye. “Should I tell him? What will he make out of the information? Does he know? Or will he think that I am envy already?” Thousands of thoughts shot through her mind. “It’s better to say nothing, I guess.“, Victoria concluded and focused on the tree line next to the road again.
“What a day.“, Eduard’s mind tried to stay ahead of what had happened so far. Her English was a bit rusty, Eduard needed to admit, but how could he blame Anika. She had hardly any chance to use it in her daily life. After a short conversation at the car park, they had decided to shift the conversation over to her new place in town. It was breathtaking. He hadn’t expected a place like this when she said, “There is enough room for us three!” In Eduard’s mind, this hadn’t implied a 180 square meter designer apartment. Catching up with Anika felt good, even better than expected. Of course she was curious about his old penthouse suite and why he had sold it. But it was her new project at work and of course he was talking about his work all the time as well.
But Eduard realized that it wasn’t Anika that was on his mind any longer. No, his focus had shifted months ago. As soon as Victoria had come into his life, she had turned everything upside down. His mind was all over the place after he had meet her. What would his mother say about the age gap and language barrier? How should they meet? Would Anika move to Germany? There were too many questions still unanswered. “But tonight this doesn’t matter!“, Eduard was back in the present moment as the headlights were illuminating the world ahead of him. He knew that this was the right way to go. He just felt it. He won’t let her go!
Anika was caring their glasses back to the kitchen, when it struck her. Had she lost Eduard to this stunning girl from America? Had life given her this once in a life time opportunity and she had failed to win him over? Was it all over now? As Anika reached the kitchen table, she was ready to cry. Eduard seemed to be out of reach more than ever! Fighting? It wouldn’t make any difference. She couldn’t compete against Victoria. That girl was on a different level.
Anika fell into the soft leather couch, nearly spilling the cup of hot chocolate. At least she had figured out that Eduard was fine, even though she wasn’t expecting him to be that fine. Of course they hadn’t kissed in front of her, but Anika was sure they were a couple. She was driving his Porsche after all! She had tried to figure things out, though. Asked were they had met and things like that. But the answers she got weren’t really satisfying. How frustrating…
The roads got narrower, the villages they past through smaller. “Eduard, where are you driving me?“, Victoria had asked ironically before a clicking sound appeared in the cabin of the car. Eduard had pushed the central looking. Of course the car was already looked, but Victoria liked his kind of humor. “Idiot!“, she had replied in an instant, watching the center line of the road disappearing.
The small road seemed to end soon as the bends got tighter and windier. “Just up the hill and down into the valley!“, he had said, putting the car back into its normal mode. Victoria noticed the change instantly, the exhaust sound was gone. As the car was sailing down the other side of the hill, she saw it. Like a snake the illuminated path lead up to what appeared to be an old farmhouse.
“Exactly as imagined!“, Eduard still loved the experience of entering his new place late at night. The dark fence gave the property a military flavor. They passed through the first entry gate. “What might Victoria think about it?“, he had asked himself as the car stopped in front of the second gate.
“What the hell is that?“, Victoria couldn’t believe it. “Was she dreaming? Was this all just a dream?” The property was embraced by an at least three meter tall in-transparent fence. They had passed the first gate, when she noticed that this wasn’t the only gate after all. They entered an illuminated space which seemed to be somewhere between the fence. It was a narrow corridor that looked like a dead end. As Eduard stopped the Porsche and seemed to enjoy the process after all, Victoria noticed a movement in the right side mirror of the car. The gate was closing behind them. “Is this for real?“, Victoria had asked him. “Don’t you like it?” “Like it? Where are we? In a war zone?“
Eduard started smiling. Victoria had shown the exact reaction he wanted to get from his visitors when they tried to enter the property and met the double gated entrance. It had all started by a joke about once having something like that. But when the opportunity came, he couldn’t say no. Sometimes he even asked his visitors for a password or let them stand trapped in the narrow pathway for a little while.
The gravel path lead up the hill towards the building Victoria assumed to be the old farm house. But little did she knew about the space underground. “Welcome to my garage!“, Victoria was hearing as the gate of the barren next to the house opened electrically. “The garage?“, she had asked, but wasn’t ready for what came next. What appeared to be an old barren from the outside, was a cosy decorated man cave inside. Instead of cold floors and depressingly white walls, the space in front of her appeared to be a living room. A wooden floor, old leather couches and some book shelves and pictures hanging on the wall. “If that is only the garage, how might the actual house look like?“, Victoria wondered.
“Victoria deserves the complete package!“, Eduard had decided before closing the garage door behind them. While Victoria was wandering around the hall, looking at scale car models and books, Eduard got her stuff out of the car and into the left corner. “You can also go upstairs if you want to!“, Eduard had pointed to the stair case that lead up to a second floor. “This garage is impressive!“, she had said after coming back down. “Wait until you see the rest!“, Eduard thought but said nothing.
“Don’t we have to go outside?“, Victoria wondered as he was leading her towards the left side of the garage. “I know a shortcut!“, he had grinned back at her. A brightly lit passageway embraced itself in front of her tired eyes after they had went at least one story down underground. Expecting the light to come from the above, Victoria noticed that the lights had been placed inside the ground floor. It was a short walk, or at least it felt as though when the passageway suddenly opened up, guiding them into a bigger hall…
To be continued…
… next year
The end of part VI