Love Story: Page 3
September 27, 2015
March, 2000 – Rheinbach, Germany
He took us to a castle ruin one night, over a thousand years old. We padded quickly up, up the winding path through the blue dusk, between throngs of stinging nettle, over polished roots and rocks. Two wide-eyed girls, and he talked to us seriously, thoughtfully. About beauty and history, and the legacy of the war. At 15, I had hollywood ideas about these things. I remember his broad shouldered silhouette in front of me, “I would have been one of them,” he said, shaking his head earnestly. At one point, he corrected my conjugation of “to sew”. In English! His second language! I like to tease him about this now – typical Achim! But the truth is, even in my hot-faced teenage annoyance, I recognized his curious, musing innocence. He had this unguarded honesty that gave me butterflies, but also made me feel safe. “Achim is different,” my sister would say. “He really talks to you.”
Later we sat in his car and kept talking. We talked for so long we didn’t make it home until dawn, long after we were expected. When we see her, Johanna’s host mother still shakes her finger at Achim, recalling that night.
In retrospect, it was probably telling that he spent so much time with the Canadian exchange student and her little sister on his own short visit home, but that didn’t occur to me at the time.
Page 3/15. In case you missed this post, I’ll be writing and illustrating our story over the course of 30 days. It’s a true story, although sometimes it might not seem that way! You can expect new “pages” posted every second day, from September 22-October 21.
p.s. Page 1, and Page 2, if you’ve just started reading. 🙂