15 May, 2006

The romantic Girl

The girl leaned back, her thoughts circling around her two fellow travelers. A picture book couple – watching them almost made the tedious train ride pleasant. The book she’d packed for the trip remained between her hands, open to the last read page, no chance of the story holding her attention against the picture of that couple in love – as she concluded they doubtlessly were. It’s not a new love, their glances, full of trust and tenderness, tell that. But the fascination of the other, that unquenchable desire for nearness that she believed to read in the body language of the two assured her that the couple was still in – as the girl called it – the carefree phase of love in which the world is defined by the other. What might he think when he meets her doe-like glance with his smile? What might she think, when she senses his breaths on her temple? The girl’s imagination began to weave the most romantic of all love stories about the two, as a quiet male voice tore the sensitive web of her thoughts.

“Are you sure?” – the woman nodded. “Not even the slightest doubt?” She nodded again.

Sure about what? What doubts? The tender web became the first irregularity, but what is it about? She is certain and there is not a single doubt! Neither she nor the expression on her face betrayed how this doubt-free fact could affect their togetherness for the better or worse! Now desperate, the girl searched in the doe-eyes of the woman the boundless happiness of a soon-to-be mother and in him the worries of a young man confronted by the shock of sudden fatherhood. It must be that! Now the innocence of their young love is vanished, now the realities of life begin! Sunk in deep regret over the loss of romantic in the fantasy picture she had so carefully built around the couple, the girl failed to notice the man who had joined the train at the last stop, though his glance wandered attentively between the girl and the couple. But the couple did not fail to notice him.

“What do you think,” he whispered in her ear, “will he talk to the girl?” The woman shook her head. “So you think he’s just looking at her because he’s bored, without any hidden intention?” She nodded. “No, I don’t believe it.” He didn’t give up. “He’ll talk to the girl and start flirting with her.” This idea coaxed an ironic smile from the woman, accompanied by an energetic nodding. “You have no sense for the romantic?” he finally gave up.

He whispered into his ear! The cooings of love, or even the plans for their future as a family? It could still become romantic, perhaps they have moved past the initial attraction and now they are ripened for the next development in their relationship? Sill the girl did not notice the eyes of the stranger, not even his presence. Wait a minute! The girl remembered the book still held between her hands. That’s how it was with Victoria and Antonio: the chance meeting - the girl was sure of it: that couple across from her had met each other through a coincidence, predetermined by destiny! – the romantic love crowned by a proposal of marriage just like in the movies, then the desired son and heir – Antonio was of course and Italian count – and everything would have been so lovely, if not for that unbelievably good-looking gardener… In that instant the girl noticed the stranger in the seat next to her. Already new strains spun into her web of fantasies, as once more the male voice she’d heard the first time drew her back from her imaginary world in to the real one.

„Is there nothing I can do to change your decision?“ A shake of her head caused him to stand up and reach for his suitcase. “How’d you like a night out in Berlin, with me?” he asked turning suddenly to the girl. The train lost momentum with the grinding screech of brakes, as the girl tried unclearly to articulate the answer screaming loud inside her: “Of course! I’d love to.” It was just like in the movies – shot through the girl’s mind, but disappointed by the unclear mumblings the man had already left the train. The girl reached for her bag and, suddenly regaining control of her voice, ran, tripping over the feet of the stranger, after the man and called after him “I have to get out here, too! Wait for me!”
The stranger picked up the book the girl dropped and left behind during her hasty departure. “The Storms of Love” he read the title aloud. A feminine hand took the book away and threw it energetically into the garbage canister under the window. “Hello stranger. Did you enjoy yourself?” “Wonderfully.” “Didn’t you want to get in here in Berlin?” “I thought I’d surprise you.”