Christmas is coming and I decided to post here two Christmas scenes (set in Heidelberg, Germany) from my romantic comedy, Mr Right and Mr Wrong.
“My fingers are numb. Kurt.”
“I refuse to pose any more anyway.” He looks so cute in his reindeer head hat, which has long, blood-red antlers sticking out from it.
“No, what I meant is, me and Chloe would like to try this cherry glue-wine. Hmm, funny name. And we need pretzels.”
“Thank you, Almighty,” Kurt says. “Those will keep you busy for a while.”
I’m a little jealous of Trish. I’ve never met anyone who enjoys Christmas as much as she does. We’ve only just arrived but she’s promptly befriended dozens of guys on Facebook, most of them American soldiers stationed here.
“Guten abend,” she says to a newly found victim in the guise of a young seller of wooden figurines. At that, her German vocabulary is exhausted. “What’s your name?”
“Kurt,” he replies smiling.
“O.M.G. Chloe, we need to make a wish. Another Kurt. Come over here,” she orders our Kurt.
As a gesture of gratitude to the craftsman she buys a whistle in the shape of a finch.
“What?” she says when both Kurt and I roll our eyes. “I needed a rape alarm anyway.”
“Darling, you’re quite alarming enough by yourself.”
“Don’t be mean, Chloe. I think it was a great idea to get this,” she replies and blows into the whistle. “It works well, doesn’t it?”
This must be an understatement of the year, I think, as my right ear is taken out of action…
I wake up with an astonishing clarity in my head to match the cloudless azure sky. No hangover whatsoever; it must be a Christmas Eve miracle. Or, more likely, bloody good German beer.
I slip from the bed and spot Kai sunbathing on the windowsill. The snow carpet looks renewed, and the twigs of the trees sparkle with their crystalline coat. I hold my breath.
It’s perfect weather for jogging. I try to wake Trish, but she mumbles something offensive and burrows further under the blankets. I persist for a while longer until her hand protrudes and makes a rude gesture.
My next move is to persuade Kurt to join me.
“Go away! I’m on holiday!” He throws a cushion at me and I retreat to the corridor before he decides to use heavier objects.
There’s nothing wrong with solitude. It’s therapeutic when prescribed in moderation.
I put on my skiing holiday outfit, which I haven’t used for several years but brought with me in case an opportunity to wear it arose. It still fits, thanks to my recent gym sessions.
The roadside path is already cleared, so I don’t have to jog through knee-high snowdrifts. I run up the hill first; it’ll be easier to descend on the way back. The air is crisp and smells of conifers, which are abundant in the nearby park.
I recall yesterday’s conversation with Calvin. It must be rewarding to dedicate your life to science and then enjoy retirement in a serene place like this. I realised I didn’t ask him about his life. Does he have a wife? He mentioned that he’s a father. I hope he’s happy and loved by his family. And I must find that peculiar French book.
On my left there’s a clearing with a stunning view of the old town, the river and its bridges. I take out my phone to take a shot and notice a new text message from Terrence.
I think I love you, Chloe. Merry Christmas.
Does it mean he misses me so much he’s sent his greetings a day early? I shall reply tomorrow. Hopefully, I can figure out what to say.
After a quick photo session featuring some clumsy self-shots I’m ready to turn back. My serenity is now destroyed and I start feeling hungry. I wonder what Irma has made for breakfast. I must offer her my help. The last thing I want her to think is that Kurt lives with two lazy, shallow, useless prima donnas.
I need to stay completely immersed in the festivities and remove Terrence from my mind while I’m here. But that’s easy to say. All I have to do is to reply, “I love you too.” Would it be a lie?
I’m not so sure I’m in love with him. I can’t tell whether it’s because of Blake or the fact that Terrence and I haven’t spent enough time together. Well, the Paris holiday should make things clear. Hopefully.
With a hundred metres to go I discover my second wind and speed up. A hot shower and coffee and cuddles with Kai are on my mind when I’m suddenly hit with a snowball. I stop and see a shoulder-high wall of snow erected in front of Kurt’s house’s entrance. Trish emerges from one side of it and throws another snowball at me.
“You just wait,” I shout and laugh.
If someone wants her arse kicked, well, she’s getting it now.
I take a handful of snow, staring apprehensively at the wall, and make my first weapon.
Trish emerges again and we throw simultaneously. I hit her in the fanny and she misses me. I jump yelling ‘Yay’ and get hit on the thigh by Kurt, who’s been hiding behind a tree next to the wall.
Oh, so you ganged up against me? The wrath of Chloe shall be unleashed upon you then. Relentlessly.
I hide myself behind Erwin’s car and prepare four snowballs, two of them I hide in my pockets and another pair I hold in my hands. The task is to get to the house and neutralise the enemy on the way.
When I slowly stick my nose out from behind the car, I see Trish lying on the top of the wall, head propped on palm, holding a snowball with her other hand.
I spring towards her, shoot at my target and miss. She throws hers at the same time as I do my second one. I miss again while she hits me in the shoulder. She’s falling off the wall, carried forward with her throwing force. I laugh and rummage through my pockets for new supplies when I’m hit again, this time by Kurt’s ammunition.
I respond but only manage to ‘injure’ the tree. It appears he’s stocked up on ammo as I’m hit twice again within seconds, and then Trish recovers and sends another snowball my way.
I’m on the verge of despair and losing the battle when a car arrives and stops next to Erwin’s. Two lads, who both look to be twenty-something and are presumably Kurt’s relatives, join the battle. The enemy hides behind their fortification to concoct a new evil plot, while my two new allies, David and Derek, get busy alongside me making snowballs after brief introductions. They are to take care of Kurt and I’m to deal with Trish.
“Stop hiding, you bunch of sissies,” Trish shouts at us. A massive snow missile lands a metre from us.
Time to put an end to this.
The lads and I come out simultaneously and charge in a line. Derek leads and takes most of the impact on himself, while I’m safely in the tail.
Halfway through we separate: the guys attack Kurt while I keep running and crush into Trish’s hiding place. The wall crumbles into several chunks and I land on top of Trish. We both start laughing hysterically.
“Chloe, we got him!”
I look up and see the lads approaching us and carrying Kurt by his arms and ankles, akin to a live stretcher.
“Get off me. I’ll kill you next time!” he wails.
“No, you won’t.” Derek and David swing his body like a hammock and then throw Kurt into the nearest snowdrift.
At last, I’m avenged.
Mr Right & Mr Wrong is available from major retailers in print and ebook formats.