Four Nights in St. Bartholomew
Copyright © 2019 The Story Lover’s Home, Ruwen Rouhs. All Rights Reserved.
Voices aroused Anselm and somebody shook him by the shoulder. “Are you sick young man?” The concerned voice of a woman asked. “Your forehead is hot, are you sick?” Anselm needed some moments to come back into reality. With eyes still closed he shook his head, “No, no! I just fell asleep.” Opening his eyes, he asked, “What time is it?” “About nine in the morning.” the dark voice of the middle-aged man answered. “Then I slept more than four hours. I fell asleep, just at sunrise!” Anselm rose, stretched himself and yawned. “Need some coffee!” the man offered. When the woman poured him a cup of coffee from the vacuum flask she warned, “It’s strong and very hot, don’t burn your tongue!” “Thanks.” Anselm bowed his head slightly and explained, “We…..” he hesitated a moment and looked down to the ground and then to the stone with the star, “I….., I did a night walk. I wanted to see the sun rise in the east on top of the mountain! Now I have to hurry back to the monastery. I am already late for breakfast.”
After bowing his head slightly to the strangers, he left. As soon as he entered the small trail down to river, he instinctively felt for the pendant with the Arabic characters he had found in the niche grave. His fingers couldn’t feel it. He felt for the string of the amulet around his neck. It was missing! He was sure he had worn the pendant the evening before, as he had worn it around his neck since day, he had met Aenis. The pendant was gone! He considered returning to the stone slab with the star, Zeki’s last resting place, but he decided against it. If he had lost it, it was Aenis’ will! His heart said so. Tears started running down his face, he sobbed like he had never before. Halfway down the mountain, his tears had dried and with this last sob, he was sure the nights with Aenis had passed forever. But he also knew the nights with Aenis, and all of his tales were now a part of himself, a part he had to be proud of.
“We were worried! Where have you been? We missed you!” the booming voice of Friar Pius welcomed him at the Monastery’s gate. “We were concerned after you didn’t turn up for breakfast. I looked for you in your room. Your backpack was still there, so I was sure you were still around.” Heaving a sigh of relief, “Your mother has called. She is back. Here, take the phone, she is worried!”
Moments later he had her on the line, “I am fine! Mom!” … “Don’t worry! I am really fine. I did a night walk.”……”No, no! I did it all alone. I hiked up to the Königsstuhl. I had to celebrate my last night in the monastery!” …. “No, No Mom! I really liked it here, they are all so nice, even the abbot.”….. “I even made friends. You have made the acquaintance of Friars Pius and Johannes, too!”…. “No, you do not have to pick me up! I will get the bus at eleven-thirty and be at home around at noon.”…. “Sooner? No, I can’t make it. I have to say goodbye to all. I have to express my thanks to everybody, especially to the abbot and my friends!”
At 11.30 Anselm took the bus. He was dressed like the day his endeavour started. In his backpack however, he carried two jars of strawberry, a gift of Father John, the cook and a bottle of fresh milk for his mother from Friar Pius.
The bus was fully occupied. Only a single seat was left beside a teen of about 13 or 14. The blond boy was absorbed in a book and Anselm got curious. When the bus suddenly stopped with screeching brakes, he took the possibility to pump into his neighbor. “Sorry! I didn’t want to disturb you!” When the boy smiled back, Anselm’s heart told him, he had just met Aenis a second time. After a second thought, he dismissed this idea. His imagination had played a trick on him. To bridge the gap to the stranger he asked, “I think I know this book. It’s called Geography Club, isn’t it?” and then, “Do you like it?” The boy nodded, “It’s a great story! I have to read it for school! At first, I thought it’s kind of boring, but now.” Anselm smiled at his neighbor, “Yes Brent Hartinger is a good writer. I got the whole Russel Middlebrook series. I could lend you the books, but we are probably not living in the same town. I never saw you there. I live in Hirschhorn!” “I’m too! Now! We just moved there during the summer holidays.” “That’s great! Then we will attend the same school and I can lend you out some of the books if you like.” After a moment Anselm added, “We should switch addresses. My name is Anselm. Do you think it’s a funny name? It’s not common nowadays, but it’s the name of a famous medieval philosopher, of Anselm of Canterbury!” The blond boy countered, “My name is kind of unusual too! It’s Ennis. It’s Gaelic, meaning island.”
Surprised Anselm paused for a moment, breathed hard while tears started to pour down his face, “I had a friend whose name sounded like yours.” When he met the questioning eyes of Ennis, “He has left the country! My Aenis has left for another world, the third country!”
I would like to express my special thanks to TSL for doing a great job correcting the writing mistakes especially in use of commas.
Thanks for reading
Berlin, Germany, 2019
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