I’ve decided to change things a bit with the format of the 5 Day Tales stories. Last month, you’ll recall, I selected the ending. I wanted to let you know that I will continue to do so on future tales. My goals this year will keep me very busy, and unfortunately, as much as developing three different endings have been fun, it’s just not feasible for my health or sanity at this time. I may decide to go back to have my audience pick the ending again in the future but let’s see how it goes.
Sweet Caroline played in the background of the store where she worked. A wicked smile crossed her lips, and a familiar warmth spread throughout her body. The song rekindled the memories of the summer they fell in love. It was the song he would always sing to her, whether as a greeting or after they had made love. They were so wild and carefree. He adored her, and she felt the same about him. Caroline’s eyes glazed over as if in a trance; she got swept up into her past once again.
She was 17, just shy of her 18th birthday. As a graduation present to herself, she had decided to visit Germany, taking the summer off before jumping into the rest of her future. Caroline had arranged to spend the next three months in the old neighborhood she’d lived in when her father was stationed there in her preteen days. She had so many good times there, and her past beckoned to recreate the magic. Plus, her childhood friends insisted Caroline come back for a visit, graciously offering up their homes to her. How could she pass up this opportunity in her old stomping grounds with her good friends? She looked forward to celebrating her adulthood overseas in their company. Although her parents thought she was foolish, they knew nothing would keep her from following her dreams, given her tenacity. So off she went.
On Saturday morning, Caroline arrived at the Frankfurt Airport, her friends franticly waving and screaming when they saw her coming coming through the gate. She moved excitedly towards them with her arms wide open, careful not to trip over her luggage. After many years of just corresponding, it was a happy reunion; their hugs were welcome and so long overdue. Caroline felt like she had come home again.
With their arms intertwined, they all took off towards Katja’s car in the underground parking lot, managing to giggle and laugh the entire way. Once they arrived at the stall, the bags were stored away easily even though the car was small, typical for Europeans. They primarily drove energy-efficient cars, not like the gas guzzlers she was used to in the States.
Katja asked Klaus to sit in the back with Elsa so Caroline could sit in the front. “You know I only ask you because Caroline has such long legs!” she said. “It would be very uncomfortable for her to be in the back.” Nonetheless, feigning anger, he acquiesced to her demand with a smile.
With everyone situated, off they went. Caroline was enjoying seeing the sights on the drive back to Katja and Klaus’ house. There was not one silent moment as they all chimed in with news of their lives, smoothly going back and forth from German to English and back again. What took an hour seemed to pass very quickly with all the commotion going on in the car.
When they arrived, Klaus gathered her bags and showed her to her room. They were so sweet to remember she loved having flowers in her room as she eyed the beautiful vase with colorful, fragrant blossoms next to her bed.
“Thank you so much, Klaus. I appreciate you and Katja for your generous offer to stay here.”
“It is our pleasure, Caroline! Take a few moments to freshen up and relax. We will have a decent German breakfast ready for you when you come down.
TO BE CONTINUED ON TUESDAY…