C – Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Katja looked up from her magazine to see her guest had awoken. “Perfect timing! We’ll be having Kaffee shortly!” Both smiled, Caroline looking not quite awake, though. “I got your favorite – Pflaumen Kuchen mit Schlagsahne. I suspect you could use some coffee again? Haha.”

“HAHA!” Caroline said sarcastically in an exaggerated tone and body language. “Yes, go ahead and make fun of me, but you know this happens every time. It’s always like this on my first day – eat, sleep, eat, sleep.” She slammed herself down next to Katja and put her head on her shoulder, yawning a bit.

“So, how was your nap, Miss Caroline?” she said sweetly. “Any interesting dreams?” Katja had a twinkle in her eye as she stared at her friend inquisitively.

“You know me too well, Katja!”

“Of course I do. We’re best friends, remember?”

“True that, but let’s talk about something else. I’m not going to get my hopes up. Thomas is probably just curious as to what became of me since we moved back to the US, nothing more.”

“Okay, I’ll let it be. We’ll see how things go at dinner Sunday. But I, for one, am hoping things go well with you two,” Katja said quickly. Unbeknownst to Caroline, Katja had kept a few things to herself. She didn’t admit that she swooned a bit when she ran into Thomas a few days ago. After all, Caroline liked him first, and friends don’t betray friends. But yet, internally, Katja felt that Thomas was magnificent. He had gone from a gorgeous heartthrob of a teenager to a tall, mysterious-looking, well put together man. So much so that even she was taken aback a bit, drawing in a quick breath when she realized who he was. Thankfully, Caroline didn’t pick up on any of her feelings. “So you ready for some Kaffee, Madam?”

“Well, duh, because you know I’m not going to be coherent until tomorrow morning!” Caroline laughed at her host. “Are Elsa and Klaus here?”

“Klaus is downstairs working on his train set, and I expect Elsa should be back shortly. She said she had to pick up something for her mom, but she would be back for Kaffee und Kuchen.”

“So how does it feel to be living here without your parents? Are you and Klaus adjusting to the circumstances?” Caroline looked at her friend, concerned, knowing the loss of half her family was quite an unexpected shock earlier this year. Their tragedy was also one of the reasons she wanted to spend quality time with them. She hoped to be part of their healing.

Katja looked at Caroline with sadness in her eyes; her shoulders drooped slightly, gratefully leaning into her friend. “It’s been hard losing them both. Klaus and I barely being adults to understand what the future held for us was difficult enough to begin with, but knowing they would never be in our lives again, that wasn’t easy. You know how close we all were. I think Klaus took it a lot harder just because he’s never been one to be emotional about things; he keeps it all bottled up inside.” Katja sighed deeply.

The doorbell rang just as Caroline embraced her friend.

“Ah, that must be Elsa,” Katja brushed away a solitary tear and straightened herself up. “Kaffee und Kuchen!”

TO BE CONTINUED ON FRIDAY…

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