15 in Far from Home

  • June 4, 2021, 7:22 a.m.
  • |
  • Public

As far as Europe went, there was who I could call and then there was who I wished I could call. Being in Europe has made me think more about Frieda since I was now a lot closer to her than I had been in California. But now I was really thinking about her. The only problem was that we weren’t friends anymore. Our friendship had ended a few years ago when we got into an argument online. It was so frustrating too, because I knew that if we were still connected, she’d arrange to meet me even if she didn’t let me stay with her.

Frieda…so close but so far and forever out of reach.

In 2010, I was studying various languages online and decided to check out a German course after studying Italian. German was ugly but it was said to be fairly easy for a native English speaker to learn. I disagreed but ended up going through the whole course, thanks to Frieda in Munich, Germany.

It began when I saw her profile picture. Native German speakers reviewed my lessons and she was one of them on this particular day. I found her to be very attractive, and on a whim, I messaged her and told her so, knowing it wasn’t like she could run over and shoot me for it if it turned out that she didn’t appreciate the compliment.

But Frieda turned out to be flattered and as liberal as I am. We’d both been with women way back when, although it had been nothing serious in her case and she generally preferred men.

We would flirt with each other every now and then and became close cyber friends on Facebook for about five years. But then she became upset with me for some of my political views and I felt she was very judgmental and hypocritical in many ways and I was getting sick of it. So even though our friendship crumbled, I still missed her at times. I made a few attempts to reconcile with her but was brushed off. I knew our friendship was forever over and I just had to accept that and remind myself that she was on the other side of the country and someone I never met and never would meet. Also, I didn’t need her kind in my life, hot or not.

Frieda and I had a couple of mutual friends that I met through her. One was in Austria that she dumped because she had “changed with age” like pretty much everybody does.

There was also Adele. Adele lived in Leipzig. She and Frieda met down in Turkey, a popular vacation spot for them.

Frieda worked as an accountant, having once lived in New York for three years while working on Wall Street. Adele was a former belly dancer turned taxi driver.

Last I knew Frieda was still living in the same fourth-floor apartment she lived in since her early thirties. She would now be forty-eight years old. She was dating a Turkish guy that lived close to Stuttgart. They’d broken up for a while and then I guess they got back together.

I was pretty sure Adele had a boyfriend and that she lived in a house, but we didn’t talk very often. In fact, we weren’t even literally connected on Facebook. I knew she was following me, but we weren’t on each other’s friend lists.

But I was on Max and Charlie’s friend lists for several years. Max was a guy in the Netherlands and Charlie lived in Wales.

Finally, after giving it much thought, in between Guinevere’s savory breakfast and Forrest’s mom coming to get some of his belongings, I drafted a note about my situation and sent copies to Max, Charlie, and Adele. I was leaving it to fate. First one to offer to let me stay with them, if any of them did, would be the one I would go to and then take it from there. In all honesty, I didn’t expect any of them to offer to put me up temporarily. After all, that would be asking quite a bit of someone even if you intended to pay your share.

I figured that if any of the three were to contact me it would be Charlie in Cardiff. My second guess was Max in Amsterdam.

Instead, a few hours later, it was Adele in Leipzig.

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