It was Wednesday. That Wednesday when I would hold Anne Marry in my arms for the first and last time in my life. It was an encounter that would stay with me for a long time. In which I would remember in my old days with a mild smile. A mild and sad smile. The fact was, I had often watched her. In the subway, in the streetcar, in the train, at the university. I loved her, but I would never tell anyone. She was a petite blonde medical student. And who was I? I was homeless. I had lost my family. My parents had died in a serious car accident, as had my brother Sam. They had left me no assets. I had no other choice and I had become homeless. Sad story. But what was there to do? Cry? No, that was much too humiliating to break out in such despair, anyway when you were in love. My uncle Jovan to whom I was invited every Sunday for lunch, who took me to church, once said: "Bastian?", and had lit a cigarette. "Hhhm?" "You're a good boy, I'm sorry you've become a bum. You're just lazy." Jana and Elisabeth had stepped out onto the terrace. His twin daughters. Made up and dressed up as if for a party. "We're going to Jonas and Erik and Annabella." At that moment Elisabeth had eyed me disapprovingly. "When is he leaving?" she remarked, not unremarkably. Jovan had puffed out the smoke of his cigarrette with relish and offered me one. Gratefully I had taken it. Otherwise I always had to go begging for the thing. "Then, when you stop asking for it. Come on, off with you. I don't want to see you here anymore today." The barely eighteen-year-old girls disappeared not without leaving the taste of sadness in the air. I felt ashamed. Ashamed of my life. That I was a "deadbeat" and lazy, as Jovan said. Tears burned in my eyes as I walked back. I wanted to do something with my life. Only what if maybe no one gave me work after all. "Do it, take the risk of failing or winning and get a job. The main thing is that you risked it, you ass." A hundred thoughts buzzed through my head that day. I didn't go begging today. I racked my brains and thought until the next morning. Then I looked for a job. I wanted to belong to the better classes. But that was a long way. After a week, after many rejections, I was finally lucky and found a job. At the garbage collection. Then after half a year in the recycling yard. Then in the office. I had done everything for her. For the young medical student Anne Marry Watson. The sister of Elisabeth's best friend, Annabella. With every breath I took seeing her, I dreamed of a life with her. A house, children, a garden and maybe a dog. But then as I began to climb the career ladder, from little "lazy bum" to manager, she in the meantime a doctor, then chief physician, my dreams were shattered. It was Wednesday. I met with the woman who had initially met me with derision and disgust. The woman for whom I had done everything. We went to a pub. Then to my expensive loft house. In the evening she died in my arms in a heavy earthquake. My world shattered inside. I had done EVERYTHING for this woman and now? What was now? Many years later, when I was a man in my sixties, I realized that in life you had to fight for yourself, not for others. When you did something, you did it for your own "well-being" in that sense. Not for that of others. I should have climbed the ladder for myself in that case, not for Anne Marry. That had been my mistake. I should have respected myself much more. After all, I was carrying my own life in my hands, no one else's. I regretted it. I had built the walls for myself. It had been my lifelong mistake.
Merci pour la lecture!
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