21 in Far from Home

  • June 8, 2021, 1:01 a.m.
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Once again, I packed my meager belongings, making sure not to take more than I could carry. I had to leave some things behind since I had accumulated some stuff here and there while I was in Norway.

Then once again I hopped on a train bound for the unknown. Those familiar feelings of fear, anxiety, hope and excitement came over me as the train pulled out of the station. All I could do was get comfy and hope that Adele would be waiting for me as promised. I realized she could have forgotten or simply changed her mind and that unnerved me for sure.

As I ran through the same concerns in my mind just as I had when I’d flown to Europe in the first place, I gazed at the scenery before me. Fortunately, no one sat next to me so I didn’t have to worry about dealing with a chatterbox or someone with nasty BO for so many hours but then a motor mouth may have distracted me from my worries for a while.

It would be a real hassle and cause me to lose a good deal of money if Adele bailed on me for some reason. I would be in a foreign country with barely an average amount of money, no place to stay, and no idea where to go. Most places want you to be working for at least a year. How would I prove I wasn’t working but still had an income if I had to? I just wasn’t sure how that worked where I was going.

I looked online for potential backup plans but everything I could find would be much more expensive than sharing a place with someone. But all I could do was hope for the best. The hours seemed like days and I just wished I could get there already so I could either be let down by Adele or breathe a huge sigh of relief seeing that she kept her word.

Finally, the train pulled up to the platform in Leipzig. I gazed out the window for anyone resembling Adele as we slowly came to a stop but didn’t see anyone. My heart began to pound as I grabbed my stuff and exited the train.

Once I had both arms full of bags, I began weaving my way through the crowd in search of Adele all the while trying not to rudely bump into anyone.

Panic was just about to squeeze my chest when finally, through all the unfamiliar faces, an older but very beautiful woman smiled and waved from the other side of the large room I had entered just off the platform.

I grinned and attempted to wave back only for my arm to be bogged down by all that I was carrying. I then hurried over to her and said, “Thank you so much for meeting me!” My relief and gratitude were plenty evident in my voice.

“My pleasure,” Adele said with a bright white smile. “You’re so cute!”

I blushed, both pleased and surprised by the compliment.

“I’m sorry for all you’ve been through and the situation you’re in, but I’m always happy to help. Could use the company around my place anyway and a bit of extra money never hurt.”

I smiled warmly and said, “Well, it’s good to know I can return the favor. I could afford a very basic place to be honest, but as I told you, I’m not as into solitude as I used to be. Even if I don’t see my roommate all the time or I’m in the guest house you’ve described, just knowing someone’s close by is comforting.”

She nodded knowingly and began to lead the way to her car. “I think as we get older this becomes important to us.”

I looked into her pleasant light blue eyes which were a stark contrast to her glossy black hair and said, “Your English is really good, by the way, but then so was Frieda’s.”

I was hoping she would offer up some information about Frieda since I knew they were good friends and that they visited each other every now and then, but she didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to bring up the subject on my own just yet. I was afraid that if I mentioned it right off the bat, Adele might think I was only interested in staying with her in hopes of getting to Frieda through her. I couldn’t help but wonder if we would ever meet either way if I was still around when Frieda visited. Or would Frieda simply refuse to visit in that case?

She took a couple of my bags and then we wound our way through the parking lot and to her car. We tossed my stuff in the backseat and were about to take off when Adele erupted into a bit of a coughing fit.

“You okay?” I asked.

She nodded. “I’ve just been coughing more lately even though I quit smoking.”

“Congratulations, but it does get a little worse before it gets better. Been there myself just over a decade ago. Give it a few weeks.”

“Actually,” she said, “I quit last year.”

“Oh, wow. Could you be coming down with a cold?”

Adele shook her head, keeping her eyes on the road, “I don’t think so. This is a bit different and it’s been going on for a few months but I’m sure I’ll be fine. How are you feeling?”

“Very tired but relieved to finally be settling in somewhere even if my future is totally up in the air right now and I don’t have a clue where I’m going in life. Funny too, because I never thought I would be in this predicament in my forties.”

“Happens sometimes.” More coughing.

I took in my surroundings as the city became a sprawling green countryside of scattered houses. “It’s lovely here. Everything is so green.”

“Yeah, well, enjoy it while it lasts because it will be quite chilly before you know it.”

I laughed and said, “It’s only early July but I do understand because I have lived in cold climates before. One minute it’s summer and just when you think summer barely got started it’s not quite summer anymore.”

A moment later we pulled onto a long driveway with a good size front lawn and then up to a house. There were so many trees around that you could barely make out the neighbors’ houses poking through the trees. Off to the side and slightly in back, I could see what I assumed was the guesthouse.

“Wow, you really have yourself a peaceful little sanctuary back here.”

“That I do,” Adele said parking the car. Then she turned off the engine and looked at me and said, “Welcome to your new home.”
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