Then it's like this," he had said, and he had turned and walked away down the birch-lined path in the faint evening light. I had wondered if it had been the right decision. I had noticed that a shadow was over his face had fallen and I had seen the deep disappointment in his blue-grey eyes.I hadn't expected anything else, but I had no other choice.The real reason why I had said goodbye to him was quite simply, Daniel demanded of me The most impossible thing is that I might never see my family again so I could go to Portugal with him and build a nice life by the sea, start my own family, a nice house near the sea.But what did this life bring me , a life of fear where I would probably have to forget my family, mother, father and all the fond memories of childhood as Daniel would take them from me like the sea takes the Sa nd choking under himself and would force me not to go to them. A few days ago, when we were sitting arm in arm by the river under the evening sky, he had persuaded me that my family probably wouldn't begrudge me him. But mother said he was wrong and he was just jealous of me because he didn't have as good a family as me and he couldn't even say hello to them and he wanted to take me away from them and that the contact with him was not good for me, since he only wanted to manipulate me against her, so today I diplomatically told him while he looked deep into my eyes: "Daniel. My life still lies ahead of me, I'm young and I don't want to spend my life in Portugal. There are enough other young women who can love you the way you want them to. But I want to stay here. That means I can't imagine a relationship with you." "Why Annika?" he had wanted to know. My words felt like punches because I knew deep down in the deepest place of my heart that I loved him, even if I didn't openly admit it or even feel it at the moment. "Why?" I gave a short, malicious laugh and suddenly felt pity when I saw the empty sadness in his eyes. "I'm young and as I said, I have to live my own young life for the first time." "Did your mother tell you that?" He raised his eyebrows questioningly. "Uh no, definitely not. Why is that?" "Then it is so," and he had turned and gone. Suddenly I had the feeling that I had just made a mistake.
Over time, I turned away from my family and became more interested in my job. I also enjoyed several dates and parties. My goal was to be rich and famous. I rose through the ranks and soon became a department head. Then I changed jobs and started somewhere else as a department head. It felt like I was lost in the middle of nowhere, alone, looking for something I couldn't find. I didn't become famous. I changed jobs and started a career as a marketing manager. Earned not bad and wanted more money. But even there, in my mid-thirties, I couldn't find what I was looking for. On my forty-fifth birthday my mother died of an illness and with her my hope for a good life vanished. I got sick. It was almost daily depression that haunted me, pulling me down like a dark force. I would have preferred to sunk into the ground. The world around me felt lightless and heavy. The people who walked past me while shopping and looked at me briefly while they packed their shopping carts seemed different than usual and as if they didn't like me, which hit me and made me even sadder. I felt a gloomy clumsiness and then I missed the first day at work. Then the second and so on and so I lost my tempting job and got really sick. When dad took me to a psychiatrist and depression was the diagnosis, I stayed at home. Didn't know what to do with me. Then finally light came to my desperate situation. I went to see father. He was starting to look old and bony and I was afraid of losing him. As I walked the birch-lined path back to my car, I noticed the man with the curly brown hair slowly approaching. His expressive blue-grey eyes were thoughtfully fixed on the floor. When he saw me he smiled and nodded as if I were a stranger. I froze when I recognized him and my eyes filled with tears. He walked past me. He was still the handsome man he was back then. More than twenty years had now passed. "Don't I know you?" he suddenly asked in a low voice behind me, as if wishing I didn't hear him. "Yes," I said, turning to him as well. "We know each other." It was almost the same spot where we said goodbye a long time ago. Only seven meters separated the spot. "Are you Annika?" "Yes and you, Daniel, right?" "Yes. How are you?" he asked a little distantly. "Good, and you?" It was anything but "good". I felt tired and sad. "Good. Are you really okay?" he asked. "Yes," I said and we said goodbye. Three days later I found a letter in my mailbox.
would you like to meet me by the river? Where we used to be back then. If so, come there this afternoon at four.
The river whispered mysteriously and the melody of the wind played in the treetops above us, the sun was shining and the smell of resin and dried earth wafted from the forest. Daniel and I talked for a very long time. He had asked Father for my address and then put the letter in my mailbox. We talked about many things. About what we had done up until now, about our views on life, our desires and I also confided in him my illness. He seemed anything but averse. He looked at me openly and I also talked about mother's death and that that's probably why the depression came about. He listened to me for a long time. Then he said something I didn't expect: "Did you know that your mother tried to seduce me back then." "What? No. I don't believe you." "But that's how it is. She blackmailed me, if I don't do anything with her, I'll be sorry afterwards, she said." "But why exactly did you leave me? You could have told me that she said that." I began to believe him. It rhymed. That was why she had been so against him. She had been jealous and she had set him against me and she had manipulated me, not he me as she explained there. "You didn't want a relationship anymore," he brought me back to the present. "OK". I said. It was true. At some point we said goodbye and made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon at the same place. It was now night. A mild night that smelled of summer, which was in full swing.
At some point we also confessed that we loved each other and a new era dawned. Daniel was now a plastic surgeon and we stayed in Germany no matter what our dreams were when we were young. We started trusting and accepting things as they were. It was never too late for something, we realized, you just had to accept it as it was and be happy with the little things. Because money doesn't make you happy in the long run, you just couldn't find satisfaction
with the negative but with the positive views and being thankful for every little thing you had, no matter what it was and I knew that it might sound as negative as it might sound like it was good that everything had happened that way, because otherwise I would never have known what it was for I had been looking for and I gradually recovered and went back to work. Somewhere else. It wasn't money, fame, power, or recognition from others, recognition that I was finally able to give myself. It was the satisfaction I was looking for and I knew that if you really wanted something, you could get it by any means necessary.
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