Author Archives: jakeisfree

That awkward moment when you apologise for being a vegetarian

I recently was invited to stay at somebody’s house for the weekend. I was very much looking forward to it and I indeed had a great time there. But a thought struck me just a couple of days before the trip: Was me being a vegetarian going to be an issue? I had been there before, so I knew their eating habits. But were they aware that I no longer ate meat? I hadn’t told them. But had my family? I told myself that surely they had mentioned it. Well … guess who was wrong?
Dinner time came and we were all dished some awkwardness. I noticed quickly that nobody had mentioned to my hosts that I was a vegetarian. I had mentally prepared myself for this possibility and even found some humour in it. Not so much my hosts. They were weirdly irritated by me eating nothing but salad and offered me some chicken. I thankfully declined and went to explain only to be interrupted by my family. “She doesn’t eat chicken. She’s a vegetarian!” one of the little ones shouted. What shall I say? It’s a very big deal for the kids. They would tell strangers on the streets, if only I let them. So there it was. The V-word, that can change the mood at a dinner table completely. Before I knew what was happening I found myself saying sorry over and over. But what for? For being an inconvenience? I wasn’t asking for special treatment. I never became a vegetarian to be a burden to anybody. I became a vegetarian, because I couldn’t justify to myself feeding on animals, when I could comfortably live without their suffering and death. I shouldn’t apologise for that.
So again, why was I apologising. I believe, because I put my hosts into a position where they felt they couldn’t live up to being good hosts. Or rather their interpretation of a good host. I was perfectly happy. They felt I shouldn’t be, that they should’ve provided me with something better. And who’s fault was it that they felt that way? Entirely mine! I suspected they didn’t know about my vegetarianism and still I didn’t act upon that suspicion. It would’ve been fairly easy to warn them. Instead I had told myself that it would be fine. To me being a vegetarian is not a big deal. It’s just the way it is. A part of my life. To others it occasionally happens to be quite a big deal. I know that. And I should respect that, the way I expect them to respect my decision not to eat meat. So for others I will have to make a bigger deal out of it at times. Just to make sure that their not knowing won’t cause them to feel uncomfortable.
And then hopefully I won’t have to apologise for being a vegetarian again. Cause really …  it’s a good thing!

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Creepy Crawlies on your head

Once again I found myself spending hours and hours searching children’s heads for nits. It was the third time in half a year that one of the kids brought head lice home. By now I feel like an expert at spotting the disgusting little eggs.
Head lice are not a sign of uncleanliness. Anybody can get head lice, in fact they feel a lot more attracted to clean heads. Therefor having them is nothing to be ashamed of. But let me tell you they are some annoying little buggers.
They jump onto your head, bite you, drink your blood, lay their eggs and then they jump onto the next head. But within a week or two the eggs hatch and you’ve got a bunch of new head lice jumping around. The Nymphs become adults within one to two weeks, which means more nits. The longer it takes to detect there are head lice going round, the faster they spread. That’s why it’s so important to warn everyone in your social circle. Call schools, crèche, work … everyone. Their not knowing about it yet, does not necessarily mean that you are the source. It could be that simply nobody else has detected them yet, or that they were absolute dickheads for not warning anybody.
Alright, so now you have detected the nits and spread the word you have to get rid of them. Head lice treatment is quite easy to find. There are plenty of different ones and all chemists will promise a different one to be the very best and most effective. Just choose whatever, cause lets be real they all smell rank and can’t be trusted a hundred percent. You basically pour poison onto a child’s head (and/or your own) in hopes that it will kill all nits and lice. Nothing that smells pleasant will do the job. There also shouldn’t be any surprises to what it does to your hair. Most of the treatments have to be left in the hair for a certain time and then washed out. And damn it’s hard to get the stuff out of the hair. You’ll find yourself repeating the washing out part over and over again.
Followed by this comes the really hard part: Getting all the nits out of the hair. The instructions on the head lice treatment will usually tell you to comb the nits out. Yeah … as if! If you believe for one second that you can comb nits out you are a fucking idiot. Lice basically glue their eggs to your hair. The nits stick to the hair so well, that they can’t be combed out. You have to pull them out with your fingernails one by one. Sounds like a lot of work? It is! And because you can’t trust the treatments you really have to make sure to get all the nits out. So you’ll find yourself looking at every single hair of the person you are treating. Fun days when you are treating more than just one person.
And if you haven’t got somebody at hand to check your head you’ll spend all day paranoid and itchy, even if you’re all clean. To be fair you’ll spend the next couple of days itchy and paranoid, no matter what.
But I’ll tell you what the fucking most annoying thing about nits is: fucking other people! You can be the most thorough person at finding nits and taking them out, but if there is just one person in your social circle who doesn’t treat them properly they’ll be back. You’ll have to do it all over again. And if the others still aren’t doing their part, again. And again and again.
Getting rid of head lice is really a team work. So once a week take a peek.

Stressed out over being stressed

So I’m late. And even through there’s zero chance of me being pregnant, because I’m single as fuck, this is stressing me out.
Now I know, that this is something that most women will regularly experience. You hate being on your period, but when it’s late you’re freaking out. Unless you were trying for a baby, being late is just not a good thing.
There are quite simple explanations for your period to be late besides being pregnant. And I am aware that you need to have sex to become pregnant. No intercourse, no baby. But still each time a voice in the back of my mind tells me that I might be carrying the next baby Jesus. I know it’s absolutely mad! No need to tell me that. So a much louder voice shouts back “SCIENCE BITCH! DON’T BE FUCKING RIDICULOUS!”.  That kinda helps.
So then my mind turns to the most obvious reason: stress. And instantly I start obsessing over the possibility of being stressed. “Am I stressed? I don’t feel stressed. But maybe I’m just lying to myself to keep going and really I am stressed. But that would be silly. I’m not that good a liar, am I? Or maybe I’ve been stressed for so long that I don’t even recognise it as abnormal anymore. But no … no, I don’t think so. I’m stressing myself more with this than anything else.” So I push the thought away. But sure enough the next time I sit on the toilet and there’s no blood, I start thinking the same thoughts all over again.
The longer this goes on for, the worse it gets and the harder it becomes to push the thought of my period aside. I stress more and more. And I go to sleep determined to get my period the next day. I tell myself that it’s definitely going to happen the next day. That there is nothing wrong with me and I’d just have to wait till the next day. It surely will happen then. As if pure strength of mind and positive thinking could make my body shoot blood out of my vagina.
And my body is like “Nope!” Yeah well, I should’ve known better. That’s just not how it works.
So the next step will be that I reflect the whole past month to see if anything happened that could’ve messed with my cycle. Can I ever figure it out? Haha … you bet I can’t! Everything always seems very normal to me. Which stresses me some more. If only I had an explanation! Or even better: If only I started bleeding already.
I stress and stress. Then I stress myself some more. Next I feel stressed over stressing myself. And then there is no fucking way out. Till the day comes where I’m just like “Fuck this shit! Then I’ll just wait till next month. Who needs blood uncontrollably running out of them anyway?”
And this ladies and gentleman is the day that I’ll finally get my period.

What’s the story with blocking people anyway?

So the other day I was watching “Black Mirror”, which by the way is awesome! Those of you who have seen it before know that pretty much all episodes revolve around some imaginary advanced technology. So in this one particular episode people were able to block people from their lives. The blocked person was not only, not able to send messages to the person that blocked them, but they also couldn’t see them. The two persons could be standing right in front of each other shouting and still they wouldn’t be able to see or hear the other person. All they could see would be a blurred, featureless shape and all they could hear would be tuned down unintelligible sound. Not a chance to get around the block. It is basically an extreme version of the block function we already have.

The idea and invention of this function is great. It helps you to protect yourself from harassment through social media. Before we had this function the only thing one could do was to ask the other person to stop texting, calling, etc. But if that didn’t help there wasn’t much to do other than changing your number, or deleting your account. The block function gave harassed people their power back. You were back in charge, without another person pushing you to take more drastic steps.
But it seems to me it’s gotten a little out of control. The block function is being misused. Of course you are free to block whoever you want. But why? Why does one feel the need to block a person if nothing really happened? Because the person said something you didn’t like? Because you had a fight? Because you just don’t want to deal with them?
What a load of bullshit! Whatever happened to talking things out? Fighting till there is fucking nothing left to fight over? Instead we make sure that we can’t be reached?
And what does this say about us? People prefer to cut somebody out of their lives rather than dealing with them. We avoid conflict and sometimes we just want to be a little dramatic, after all there’s still the option to unblock. And how grateful they’ll be once you unblock them. Aren’t you just a kind human being for giving them another chance. Me bollocks! It would’ve been much more admirable if you would’ve given them the chance to explain themselves in the first place. But nope blocking it is, I guess. Blocking, blocking and some more blocking.
I’d like to think that if we had the option to block somebody in real life people wouldn’t use it. But then again, wouldn’t they? It’s become quite a normal thing to do and who’s to say that the next stage couldn’t become normal too.
Personally I think anybody who decides I’m not worth dealing with, or listening to, can’t have much respect for me. I’d much rather fight with someone till we both need a break, find myself ignored for a bit and then talk it out with cool heads. At least then I know the other person cares enough to want to make up.
There you go people of the world, I’ll leave you with that …

Why were we friends again?

I recently realised that I somehow got sucked into an unhealthy relationship. Obviously, I only had the best intentions. Who actually plans to be in an unhealthy relationship? I am fucked up in my own special way, but that much? No!
So here’s the story. A couple of years ago I met this guy online. We had a very random conversation, but he was nice enough so we talked again some time later. Over a period of time we got to know each other somewhat better. We talked regularly. He told me about his girlfriend, I told him about the guy I was involved with. Blah … blah … blah … same old story. I never thought about him as someone I could have romantic feelings for. I never even met the guy. He was just this person behind the messages, this picture on the screen, the voice on the phone. The way I saw him he would’ve been great to hang out with. Someone to spend a day in the pub with. But it never came to that. Still I wished him well and cared for him. He was a friend to me.
So far so good, but at some point I felt like he wished for me to be more than just a friend. He still had his girlfriend and told me often enough how much he loved her. So I explained the feeling away and didn’t ask him if there was anything to it.
Then out of nowhere he told me what an awful person and friend I was and blocked me. I was crushed and could hardly understand how it came to that. In my eyes I had treated him like most of my other friends. In my brain I evaluated every friendship I ever had. Was I really such a bad friend? Broken friendships popped into my mind. Was I to blame for every friendship that ended badly? Maybe. I couldn’t tell. But then again why had so many of my friends stuck with me for such a long time? Also I realised that I had plenty of friends. I told myself to just let it go. What did it matter what one person had told me? And anyway I couldn’t even reach him to find out why he thought so badly of me. Or could I? Through all his attempts to cut me off, he had left a back door open. I still don’t know whether on purpose or by accident, but he had left me a way to reach him. After some time thinking, I eventually decided to contact him.
I won’t call it a mistake, but in a way our friendship was defined by the conversation we had then. To make it short he accused me of many things that I felt were unjustified, but I apologised anyway. I was determined to show him that I could be a great friend. The best of friends.
Looking back this urge to prove myself as a good friend to a real-life-stranger seems insane. It surely is. But hey that was just the mental state I was in.
So we were back on talking terms again. But this friendship brought me no happiness at all. I had to face accusations over and over again. He regularly put me down. And stupid as I was, I apologised and promised to work hard on being a better friend.
To be fair things did get better. I still got side punches every now and then. He liked to tell me how much his girlfriend didn’t like me and how she mistrusted me and warned him to stay away from me. There is a good chance that she had indeed said these things. I am positive she had sensed that his intentions towards me were more than just friendly. Anyway my suspicions were confirmed by him a while later. I made it very clear that I did not see him the same way and was also positive I wouldn’t do so in future. He stayed with his girlfriend and I thought now that the air was cleared we might have an actual chance of a normal friendship. I thought clearing the air and leaving no hopes for any romance would set the guy free. Yaaaay no more hopes, no more friendzone. But nope! That’s not how the friendzone works. Accordingly any contact between us was awkward.
We made it work anyhow. Why? I can’t fucking tell! I was still trying to prove I was a good person and friend, I guess. There were so many things that I had to ignore in order to keep this friendship going. So many fucking things! He asked for more and more of me. Again and again I was asked to change. To then be told how perfect I was. The fuck I am! All the compliments just made me feel awkward. I wasn’t used to it and out of his mouth it just sounded wrong. I don’t doubt the honesty behind most his compliments. But still it was wrong. I wasn’t the one he was meant to tell these things. These were not compliments between friends. Stupidly enough I ignored them too. I admit that I still can’t tell to which extend I liked to hear these things. I was still talking to him, wasn’t I? Why?
Anyway the day came when he broke up with his girlfriend. I dedicated much time to him. Wasn’t this what friends did? I wanted him to be happy, I understood that he wouldn’t be for some time and that he wanted me to be there for him. I really did my best to be the friend that he needed.
But soon enough he showed me again that his intentions were of a different kind. I repeated what I had told him before, feeling like I was worsening his heartache.
Then shortly after I found out that he had lied to me about a few things. I was super pissed and I confronted him. No traps, no bullshit, I told him about the proof I had for his lies. Instead of him explaining to me why he had done so and solving the issue he turned the whole thing around. Again I was told what a bad friend I was and how he owed me no explanation whatsoever. My confronting him with this only proved how bad a friend I was and all this was none of my business anyway. Yes, somehow he managed to make himself look the victim. Followed by this he blocked me again. This time only for a shorter period. How the fuck we started talking again I can’t explain. But we did.
And I was back in the old circle of regular ups and downs in this relationship. It is crazy how much one can ignore on account of trying to prove a point. There were still moments when I honestly believed in our friendship.
But here we are … once again I was blocked and told I make an awful friend. This time after my inquisition if he felt like he was stuck in the friendzone with me. He did. I felt like I was standing between him and his happiness and told him as much. I suggested that if he needed to distance himself from me and our friendship to become happier he should do as much. I would step back if he needed me to. He told me I was being stupid and followed by this the same old story of me being a bad friend came up again.
When I saw that he had blocked me I felt …. Annoyed! And then I thought “So be it!” I had told him he could opt out of this after all. Sure, this had turned into something else, but the result was the same. I admit that when I suggested to end this friendship, it was not just for his good. A part of me wanted out. This friendship had become more of an obligation. And I could never live up to his idea of a friend. I gave and gave and gave and it was never enough. He had a reason to tell me I was a bad friend. Apparently in his eyes I am. But you know what? That’s ok.
There are so many people that I make a great friend to. There are people that appreciate me for who I am. And it is so fucking easy to be a friend to those people. I am not a bad person, neither is he. I am not a bad friend and neither is he. We just have different ideas of friendship. We shouldn’t change to live up to something that we can never be without being unhappy.
So, you people out there, I’ll leave you with that …

The Coach

The coach checked the big clock on the wall. It was time to get his team together. He turned on his seat and gestured his men to follow him. They rushed through the gym hall as to not disturb the ongoing game. He ushered them into the dressing room. His men had long changed, but it was the right place to have a private word with them. He could hear some of the guys joking around with each other. This was ok for now, but in only a short time he needed them fully concentrated. They seated themselves on the benches and looked at the coach. He waited till he was sure that he had everybody’s attention. Then he raised his voice. “Alright guys, this is the final. We have trained hard. You are faster and more agile. You are the better players. We deserve to be here and we deserve to win this game.” His team agreed with shouts and laughter. He went on with his speech by reminding them on the tactics and giving individual advice to some of the players. He checked the time again. “Let’s get outta here now and warm up.” The team slowly got up and left the room. The coach felt like shaking his head. He hoped they were only saving their energy for the match. In the gym hall they were greeted by cheers. A smile crept across his face. The support was on point.
There were still a couple of things he had to do before the game started. He rushed around, always observing his players with one eye. Everything seemed in order. The guys were running up and down on their half of the gym hall. Their opponents were warming up on the other side. The coach kept an eye on them too. Any information he could pass on to his team could win them the game.
The coach looked at the people on the benches. He needed somebody for the live stream. None of the people he would usually ask seemed to be around. No problem. He just needed someone. Anyone. And anyone was found. There wouldn’t be a qualified commentary, but at least he had found someone and the match could be found online. Back to more important things.
The time flew by and soon the teams were signalled to line up. Time for the final to begin. If only they could hurry up a little. This little opening ceremony seemed to be going on forever.
Finally the referee blew his whistle and the players were running. But things were not going good for his team. A bad start. His men didn’t look too good. He shouted instructions at them. They had to get their heads in the game. And quick! What on earth were they doing? Nothing was going right. They were better than that. Come on … concentrate, concentrate, concentrate.
It was no good he had to call for a time-out. The team huddled around him. He had no way of telling whether his words reached any of his men. He could only hope.
The time-out was over and his men were running again. Come on now, guys! But soon he found himself shouting and walking up and down the sideline again. One missed chance after the other. This was not how you could win a final. More than once he wished he could put on a shirt and play himself.
And just as he was about to give up hope his team seemed to be finding into the game. Yes, they were getting there. Push now. A bit more effort. Come on guys. You can do it. This was the team he had been training them to be.
By the time the referee blew the halftime whistle it was a completely different game. Everything was open. Time to get them all together again. Time for another talk. Time for another speech. If they continued the way they had finished they could win this game. They just had to keep their heads in the game and keep pushing. His team listened carefully to every word he said, they refreshed themselves, took last deep breathes and then they were running again. His team was fighting, but so were their opponents. The coach was in constant conversation with his team. Shouting instructions. Walking up and down. Come on now. Push. Push. Fight.
The referee blew the final whistle. Game over. The coach smiled as he high-fived his players.

Heading to the same place

She rose early that day. Everybody else was still asleep and the house lay quiet. She could’ve done with a couple of hours more sleep, but that was not an option and then again she was glad to end this constant wandering between awake and asleep.
The house was still sleeping when she closed the door behind herself and stepped into the darkness. It was raining. Of course it was. The streets were empty. Barely a soul was up. She hurried her way down to the bus stop. Time was not an issue, but at least she’d be protected from the rain. The bus pulled over the second she arrived at the stop. She would’ve missed it if she hadn’t hurried. Thanks to the rain after all.
“Good morning! 2,70 please.” she greeted the driver. She was surprised how happy she sounded. The driver gave her a friendly smile and the ticket. She took the first seat she could find and they rushed through the early morning.
“It’s way too early.” She thought, only to remember that there had been a time when she would be on the bus even earlier than this. A different time. A different place. A different destination.
But where she was heading would bring her back to the times long past.
The pounding rain against her window and the squeaking of the wipes brought her back to where she was. “Poor driver, he’ll have to listen to this all day long. It would drive me insane.” she thought. She looked around. The bus was surprisingly full now. All on their way to work. Most seemed to know each other by sight. A little bus gang of early workers. And they talked. And talked. And they wouldn’t stop. She’d never liked talking at this time of the day. But obviously she was the only one on this bus, who thought that way.
The lights flashing by carried her off again. Did the green of the traffic light always look so blue? And the street lights looked rather orange. She’d seen that before. But she couldn’t remember if those lights were meant to look that way.
What did she say? What was the next stop? All of a sudden she realised that she had no clue where exactly she was. Shit! What time was it? No, she couldn’t be there yet.
Two stops later she finally had to get off. And then she hurried through the streets again. On her way to the next bus. She had never seen town this empty. There had always been a stream of people carving their way through the city. Today it seemed dead to her. “It’s the time.” she reminded herself. Soon town would be as alive as ever before.
Then she found herself waiting again. In the rain. Getting wetter and wetter with every single minute.
And she wasn’t alone. More and more people joined her at the bus stop. Most were quiet, but then a group of young people came. They talked to each other excitedly. With a smile she recognised their language. They would all be on the same flight. They were all trying to catch the same plane. Heading to the same place.
She looked around. In fact all those people were heading to the same place.
A place called home.

Gone

She slowly opened her eyes. Where was she? How did she get here? She was confused and for this very short moment her world was still whole. Then her memory came back. Hit her hard. Stole her breath. A voice inside of her was screaming. Shrill and high and painful. It was her own.
But no sound came over her lips. She was numb. That was due to the drugs running through her vains. She remembered that they had wanted her to sleep. She fought them, but had no chance to stop them. They should’ve made her sleep forever at least.
She stared at the ceiling and into the light right above her. There was nothing interesting about it, but she didn’t want to see the rest of the room. She didn’t want to see anything at all. Her eyes were dry and sore. She wanted to cry, but she couldn’t. The drugs wouldn’t let her.
She should be able to cry. She should be able to scream and shout. They stole her that much. For her own safety. That’s what they repeated over and over again while they fought her down and gave her the injection. The drug couldn’t stop the feelings though.
That was ok. That was right. She would hate herself for not feeling the way she did. Even if it was not by choice.
The light flickered in front of her eyes. It reminded her of some other light she had seen that day. The sun reflected in the pool. Her heart stopped for a second and she fell into pieces once again. She shook her head as if to get the picture out of her head. The shrill voice screaming in her head once more. She would never forget this picture. It was burned into the back of her mind. And right now it was the most present part of her brain. It would haunt her for the rest of her life. And break her heart anew every single time. She deserved that. It was her fault. She knew it was. And Leah was gone.
A tear rolled down her face. Finally. And a sob came rolling up her throat. More and more tears came rolling down her face. She gave herself willingly to the tears and sobs until she cried hysterically. Something started beeping next to her and a woman came hurrying inside her room. The woman said something, but she couldn’t understand her. And she didn’t want to. The woman grabbed her face, looked deep into her eyes and said something else in her foreign tongue. She tried to free herself and look away, but the woman held her tighter. She cried even louder than she had before. Her real voice screaming along to the voice in her head.
A second voice joined the continuous words of the woman. A familiar voice. “Susan, can you hear me?” he asked. She turned her head to the familiar voice. Seeing him only made her feel worse. It was his fault too. “You have to calm down.” No! No! She could not. She would not. It was not right. She needed to scream and shout. And he should be doing the same. Why wasn’t he? How could he be so calm? She turned away, no longer able to stand the sight of him. “Susan, you have to calm down, or they will have to give you something.” He said. “No.” she pleaded between her sobs. They couldn’t do that to her. She didn’t want them to. They couldn’t. She tried to get out of her bed, but they held her back. More people came rushing in. She fought them, hysterically crying out “no” over and over again. It had been the same when they had dragged her away from the pool.
The pushed her down on her bed and strapped her arms to it. They did the same with her legs after she started kicking them. With wide eyes she watched the doctor putting the needle in her arms. For a last time she screamed “No.” as she felt the drug getting into her system. “I don’t want this!” she thought. “I want my child!” she thought. “I want her back!”

A newage romance

Isn’t it funny how we expect love to be waiting for us just around the corner, but as soon as it does we become all confused and surprised? But that’s today’s idea of romance. Expect the unexpected. It’s interesting how that changed, isn’t it? Meeting somebody by pure chance used to be rather boring, if you couldn’t tell a sheer endless story leading to the meeting itself. There had to be something special about place and occasion. Today we like to believe that love is probably just down the street waiting for the right time to reveal itself. That we could literally run into our partner-to-be at any time. Fate would just lead our ways. Fate has been and will always be a constant part of any romantic idea. Believing that there is somebody meant for us and that a higher power will bring us together is what keeps us going in the end.
Quinn left the house with a smile on her face. It was a good day. The sun was shining as warm and bright as it hadn’t done for a long time. This was the beginning of spring. It was her most favourite day of the year. Everybody seemed just a little happier. Even Mo on her side seemed happier. But that was probably just something she told herself. Mo was a dog, he was always happy when they went for a walk. Her steps led her to the beach. She just couldn’t go anywhere else. Not today. The sea was simply too tempting. Her smile got even brighter when she finally got sight of it. She let go of Mo and he ran straight into the water. The cold not bothering him at all. Advantages of being a dog.
They walked along the beach together. Mo never far from the water and always pleased to meet people and other dogs. After about an hour of walking Quinn found the perfect place. Protected from the wind, sunny and a good view on the sea. She sat down in the sand. Legs crossed and with music in her ears she watched Mo running around. From time to time she gave people a nod and a smile when their curious looks remained long enough on her. Other times she called Mo close, when she thought that people might be afraid of him. Those were usually easy to spot. They often slowed down, but unlike the dog-lovers, who slowed down to greet the dog, somebody who was afraid would look around nervously for help.
The time passed by, but Quinn had totally lost track of it. What mattered it anyway? Her thoughts had drifted far, far away. To a place where nothing and nobody could reach her. She saw, felt and heard, but nothing reached her. It took her a while to realise that she was watching a young man playing with Mo. She took the earphones out of her ears. It helped her to fully comprehend the situation. The young man must have been around her age. And he had a dog with him himself. A little one. But the man’s attention was occupied by Mo. A smile crept on Quinn’s face. She was weirdly fascinated by this stranger. Should she go and talk to him? While she tried to find an answer on this he looked up. She couldn’t tell whether he was looking at her, or not, but a big smile was on his face. Quinn stopped thinking and got up. Her feet moved towards him and a little voice in her head was calling “What are you doing? What are you doing?”. The voice was shut down by his sudden question. “Is this your dog?” “Yes, that’s Mo.” she answered him. “He’s absolutely gorgeous.” Quinn laughed. “True. But so is your dog.” “Yeah, but Jack is more interested in the ball than me. Your Mo is just so friendly.” “He likes you.” “We are buddies already, aren’t we Mo?” They both laughed. “I got bad news for you.” He said. “Mo is coming home with me.” “Haha, no chance.” “Ahhhh come on. I know he’d love to.” “Don’t make me fight you.” She said with a wink. “Alright, ok.” And after a little break he said. “Are you going home?” She thought about that for a moment. “No, I’ll walk a bit more along the beach.” “This way?” he asked and pointed into a direction. Quinn nodded. “Then let’s go.” he said. “I’m Michael, by the way.” “Nice to meet you. I’m Quinn.” They shook hands and went on together.

A man of easy smiles

I was standing around with two friends, waiting. Well, one friend. I had only met the other girl once. But in our situation nearly everybody was called a friend. I disliked that. Melanie was nice and had potential, but at this point I refused to see her as my friend. None of the people we were waiting for was a friend of mine. Melanie and Andrea said they were their friends, but in my eyes the greater part was merely more to them than Melanie was to me and some were total strangers. I didn’t know what to expect of them, or whether it was better not to expect anything at all and I was rather bored of waiting for them. Why couldn’t they be on time? Being late had always annoyed me.
It was a fresh, but sunny morning. A promising start of day. Not for the first time I asked myself if I shouldn’t have stayed at home. I would’ve loved to stretch out in the sun with a good book. But that was what I always did. Andrea had asked me again and again to join them at this and that and it had always ended with the result of me not being there. I had given her the best reason to stop inviting me, but so far she hadn’t. Some part of me was afraid she would. Therefor I was here. And to prove to myself that I wasn’t as antisocial as I made people think I was.
Andrea was moving around impatiently. She wasn’t used to wait for others. It was always her people had to wait for. Then finally they seemed to have discovered someone in the crowd. The girls welcomed him with delight. And he greeted me as cheerful as the other two and seemed not to care that we hadn’t met before. Stunned I introduced myself as to remind him that we were unfamiliar with each other. The stranger gave me a big smile and told me his name was Charlie.
Something about Charlie captured my attention even after the other ones arrived. I only had met one other person before and unfortunately it was someone I hadn’t liked too much at first meeting. I couldn’t be annoyed by her appearance for too long, cause my mind was busy figuring out Charlie. His person seemed to be liked by everybody. No other person rejoiced anybody as much as he did. Shortly after departing from our place of meeting I got the chance to have a little chat with him. And even though our talk was nothing more than billions of other first talks I had had before, I felt some sincere interest in my personality.
I spent a good quantity of the day observing my companions. Stranger or none stranger. But Charlie was by far the most interesting individual of the group. I could tell that he was somewhat older than myself and most of the others. But then again a certain youth and energy was surrounding him. I questioned my idea of his age over and over again. It wasn’t really of matter, but I was annoyed that I couldn’t figure it out without asking him.
It took me all day to finally realis what made me like him in an instant. We were sitting in a pub and over my beer I was looking at Charlie, who sat on the opposite of me. He caught my look and gave me a smile. A beautiful smile. Honest and warm. That was it! His smile! It was different from all the other smiles. He was smiling a lot I realized. Always at the right time. I knew a lot of people who were full of smiles. But their smiles weren’t as honest as his. His eyes lighted up when he smiled to go back to a thoughtful melancholy as soon as the smile faded. This melancholy captured me. Where did it come from? Had it been there all day? I remembered at least one moment I had seen it. An expression that promised personality. There was more about Charlie than his easy but charming smiles.