Losing Out
It was a tall old house owned by three parties. They lived on the top floor. In fact it was rather a maisonette with an old fireplace and two balconies facing the south. Once, somebody even remarked: you are lucky to live in such a house although you have just moved to this city. But it was not his own. He was too lavish or even wasteful to be able to save any money. His girlfriend, who was a primary school teacher at a Catholic school, bought it a short while before they met from a friend teacher. One of her women colleagues was even jealous of her: You have now found a wonderful flat and got a man on top.

He was offered a job at the university in the same city where his girlfriend lived before meeting her but decided against it. He thought the city was his destiny now. He helped her with the redecoration of her maisonette at the weekends. His girlfriend had a character as pure as an angel and it was clear for him that it was him who had to move now. She asked her brother to hire a truck for that purpose. Now they had already registered for marriage when he met a medical doctor. She came to have lessons but apparently was only interested in him. He wished he hadn’t registered for marriage and were free for her. But how could he decide for somebody he didn’t know much? How could he cancel the registration? How could he hurt an angel? He tried to forget but he never managed to stop thinking of all the opportunities he had missed. Besides, he tried as always to rationalise for not being able to make such a decision.

He thought his girlfriend was leaving that after noon to see her mother over the weekend. He was sitting alone in his home office when the door bell rang. He went downstairs to open it. A woman in her thirties dressed in red and yellow with big dark flowery patterns was at the door holding a bunch of flowers and smiling. He recognised her at once and invited her in. From her way of smiling he knew he could get closer to her. He held her in his arm and pulled her ready for a kiss. He even asked her if she could stay overnight but was soon afflicted with doubts and feelings of guilt: Did she really say she wanted to stay at her mother’s house over the weekend? What if she came back? But now he couldn’t go back. He was kiss-starved for another woman's lips and went on kissing her till he woke up with a headache.

Bremen, 21 November 2009