Beneath the Smile - 1 in Beneath the Smile

  • April 9, 2021, 8:18 a.m.
  • |
  • Public


Nane! Nane! Nane!

Tesla Landry couldn’t stop thinking of her. Nane Schmidt, the German hottie most people called Nane and whose name most Americans would probably pronounce as Nayne. But Tesla knew that it was pronounced more like Nah-nay.

And soon they just might meet!

In Germany!

They’d first met online several months ago. Nane had been a wonderful distraction to the legal problems she’d been having. Or might have had if she hadn’t ignored the subpoena she’d received to appear in court and stayed well away from the courthouse.

Tesla, a singer, dancer and actress, worked for a major production company that toured throughout Europe for a month each summer in June. Since she’d just begun working for the company the previous fall, she had yet to visit Europe.

It was on a language-learning site that she’d first met Nane. Tesla had always had a passion for languages and was fluent in American Sign Language and Spanish. She also knew quite a bit of Italian and some Portuguese and Esperanto. When she learned that they would be touring throughout Germany that summer, she decided to learn a little German, even though she had always found it to be a bit ugly much like the country itself. Tesla simply wasn’t a fan of old things and old places. She was more of a modern lover.

Nane, one of the site’s community teachers, would often review her written and speaking exercise submissions, giving her tips and pointers on how to improve.

Tesla had been attracted to Nane’s profile picture practically the instant she’d seen it. She’d told her in a private message that she was going to be in southern Germany in a couple of months with the production company, and that Munich would be their last stop while on tour.

Nane lived in Munich and was familiar with the company. She’d attended previous shows in the past. What was more surprising was that Nane had a friend who worked at the theater in which they were to perform at, and he could get her in for free.

Tesla had given her the link to her Facebook page, explaining that she liked to add various people from various countries, though in truth it was more because of her attraction to the woman. She also gave her the link to her blog where she kept a journal.

Nane replied a few days later saying she tried the link, but Tesla wasn’t currently allowing friend invites.

Oh, that’s right! She felt like an idiot. She had forgotten that she’d turned that function off because she was receiving a surge of spam accounts trying to friend her in hopes of doing business with her. So she let Nane know she enabled the friend request function once again and asked that she try sending it again.

But then she stopped hearing from Nane altogether and she even stopped reviewing her submissions. Her first thought was that she was a very perceptive individual who had somehow picked up on the fact that she was attracted to her and wasn’t happy about it.

After two more weeks of not hearing from her, Tesla realized she had nothing to lose and sent Nane another message. Being the outspoken type that she was, she said, “Wow. You must either be busy, or you figured out that I am attracted to you. I don’t mean to offend you or anything, but I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you are in your profile picture.”

Promising not to bother her anymore, Tesla kept true to her word, though Nane wasn’t forgotten. She thought about her often.

And then one day Tesla was delighted to receive a message from Nane where in it she stated that she wasn’t offended or anything like that, just a little surprised. And yes, she’d been busy. She recently started a new job and her colleague had been on vacation for a couple of weeks. She also celebrated her birthday at her apartment for 18 people, and that had called for a lot of cooking and decorating. She even had a belly dancer at the party.

And then she had successfully added her on Facebook.

Now that Tesla knew her full name, she looked her up on MySpace as well, though she herself no longer had an account there. She learned that Nane lived in Bayern, Munich, Germany and was an atheist. What was most stunning to learn was that she had just turned fifty years old. She thought Nane was in her late thirties or early forties!

When she had a crush on someone, she would often imagine herself in a relationship with that person and ask herself if she thought they would or wouldn’t be compatible. While she was very fond of Nane on the outside, she didn’t know enough about her on the inside to judge, but she knew she wouldn’t like that she smoked. She herself had smoked for many years before she quit over a decade ago. Ever since then she could hardly stand to be around cigarette smoke.

Nane also seemed like a real traveler and the sociable type while she herself was more of a loner and a homebody. She preferred to have just a small group of people in her life that were special to her as opposed to a larger group that mostly consisted of acquaintances. And while traveling could be fun, she personally found it to be more of a pain in the ass than anything else. If anything, most of the excitement she felt over the idea of going to Germany was mostly due to the possibility of seeing Nane. Not because she wanted to get away or because she wanted to visit Europe. Then again, a getaway, regardless of where to, may very well be a good thing for her.

With her shit luck, she would probably never get to see Nane, but she wondered if perhaps that also might be a good thing. Even if they met and the attraction was mutual, though she wasn’t sure it ever was, she would only have to leave before they could spend more than a week together, and not even that much because she had to spend most of the time concentrating on the show. When she wasn’t performing, she was rehearsing.

But she still kept her fingers crossed in that they would at least meet, if only for a few minutes. Her curiosity simply overrode any sense of logic that told her it was a waste of time.

Tesla’s mind suddenly reverted back to the fact that she’d deliberately failed to appear in court and sighed. It was going to be a long couple of months.


Nane Schmidt spun around. “Oh, hey, Fernando. I’ve been looking all over for you.”

“Didn’t Hülya tell you where I was?” asked Fernando.

“Yes,” Nane said with a smile, “but she also said she didn’t know exactly where in this lovely theater you may be. Just the dressing room or the auditorium itself, if not in your office.”

Fernando chuckled, glad to see his friend, one of the few in the area that spoke English. Despite all the years he’d lived in Germany, English was still what he preferred to speak.

“How’s life been treating you?” Nane asked.

“Not so bad, and you?”

“Can’t complain.”

“You coming to this year’s show?”

“I might.”

“Didn’t you say you knew one of the performers?”

“Yes,” Nane said with a nod.

“Someone you knew from when you lived in New York?”

“Oh, no,” Nane said with a quick laugh. “I met the girl online actually.”


Nane nodded. “A girl named Tesla. Never saw her in person, though.”

“Oh, I see.”

“She befriended me on a language learning site, told me she’d be in Germany performing in a couple of months, and then she told me she was attracted to me.”

Fernando let out a hearty laugh. “That’s a good one.”

“Mmm,” Nane said rolling her eyes and laughing at the same time. “Interesting character, alright.”

“So I take it you don’t want to meet her in light of this revelation?”

“I don’t know. She hasn’t done anything wrong or anything like that. She’s always been polite, never makes a pest of herself, but I don’t know much about her otherwise.”

“Well, at least she won’t be here long if you do meet her and decide you don’t like her. But I don’t know anything about this woman either because she’s new to the company she’s working with. I know most of the others, but not this one. At least she had the guts to be honest and forthright with you from what you’ve said.”

“Yeah, gotta hand it to her for that much,” Nane smiled. “I’d just hate to fall for her – she is quite gorgeous – and then have to let her go in a week or so.”

“I didn’t know you were looking to fall for anyone, Nane.”

“I’m not looking. But I’m not exactly not looking either.”

“Well, looking or not, you’ve got a couple of months to decide whether or not you want to bother meeting this lady.”

“That’s true,” Nane said.

“So do you usually prefer guys or gals?”

“Whichever comes along that’s meant to be, though I think I prefer the ladies these days. For some reason, I find myself more attracted to them the older I get.”

“Must be you’re just getting more sensible with age,” Fernando joked.

Nane laughed.

Last updated April 17, 2021

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