The Liebling And The Phone-Number
Before I even realize it, my first week in school is almost over and it’s Thursday evening. I sit before my computer and think about the homework Indra gave us- the one about there being no places of worship in Fallowfell. There is no time like the present.
I pull up a document on my computer and start to outline possible reasons.
1. Fallowfell was founded by pagans- of course there won’t be any churches in a place like that. But then I start to think. In the beginning it would make sense for Fallowfell to have no churches. But what about later? Ansgar’s first mission in the 800 AD? The Middle-Ages? The Renaissance?
I add a couple of notes regarding the geographical location of our fair city; namely that it’s located in the boons, and missionaries probably went for places like Asia or Africa, not up-province Sweden.
2. I twirl my pen. What…. what if there was some kind of conspiracy preventing places of worship from being built? As soon as I’ve written the sentence I laugh. Yeah that’s likely. This isn’t a Robert Ludlum novel. Jason Bourne won’t come out a book and snipe someone. But I don’t erase the sentence.
3. Financial reasons. Fallowfell has a population of barely 10 000. Churches cost money and would it really be cost-effective to build one? Kinda lame reason though- not building a church because it costs money, and when has that ever stopped anyone, really?
—Clack. I freeze. Is someone…? Clack. Someone’s upstairs! I open the door to my room, quietly, and I make sure I don’t close it on my way out. I sneak through the second living room and I slowly make my way up the stairs. This is like something out of Assassins Creed.I avoid stepping on the third step- it makes a sound if you step on it.
On the upper plane I look for something I can use as a weapon. I spot and disregard an umbrella. What am I going to do with that? Protect my assailant from rain unto death? I find a weapon in the form of a horseshoe, hangin on a coat-hanger (which supposedly protects one from evil spirits and that’s why it is hanging there).
I peer carefully into the kitchen–
— finding a tired Hermann sitting there. Clank– I drop the horseshoe.”And where have you been?” I try not to sound like a needy child but it’s hard. And the fact that he’s been gone four days and four nights without as much as a beep doesn’t really help. Hermann takes a sip from the glass of scotch he has prepared. “With a friend. A lady-friend.” I feel my cheeks becoming red.”I drove down the lowlands and meet her there. Things… things developed and I was there later than I’d expected.” I relax, slightly more mollified. “Well next time you could, like, maybe, give me a call or send a text or something.” “I certainly will. Now tell me everything your first week in school….”
I tell him everything- about 1A, Elena becoming the major-domo of our little class, that it is made almost entirely of girls, how I thought that we had a home-invader hence the horseshoe, but I leave out the fact that I was hungover on the first day. Some things are afterall better left out.
Hermann drinks the last of his scotch and then looks to the left, down the hallway, towards his office. I catch his meaning and I get up.
As I walk down the stairs I notice something strange. Hermann’s shoes are muddy. If he was driving somewhere to rendezvous, and ‘they’ were at some hotel or a house or whatnot, then why are his shoes muddy? I shake my head. I am probably just seeing things were there are none. He could have gotten his shoes dirty anywhere in Fallowfell- fall is coming, and with it, mud.
“And there!”, I proclaim. I’ve written ten reasons why Fallowfell doesn’t have a church. I print the document out and I put it inside the notebook I use for religion. Someone’s gonna get an A in religion, mm yeah.
My phone starts to sing Mozart’s Dies Irae. And there is only one person I have that song for. “So we meet again, kleine Elena.” “How did you know it was me? Are you tracking me?And don’t use German words, that freaks me out.”
“1; I knew it was you because I have your phone under a certain song which fits your true nature, 2; no, I am not tracking you- why would I, and 3; I can goddamn use any words I like, liebling.”
“I am going to pretend you did not just call me something really dirty in German. Anyhow, I was wondering if it’s okay for me to give out your number.” Did I just hear that correctly? “Why would you wanna give out my number?” “Because someone asked me to.” “Why would someone ask you, to get my number? Elena, you’ve totally lost me.”
She actually giggles. Oh no- this isn’t good. Elena+giggles= imminent embarassment. “‘Cause, Dummy, somebodyyyyyyy really likes youuuuuuu.”
“………” She’s baiting me.
“……………” She’s totally baiting me.
“……………….” She’s baiting me, and it works.
“Who?”, I force out.
“Nevena.” I almost drop my phone. “Rude Girl?” That apparently was the wrong thing to say. “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.” She continues. “I love that you refer to her as ‘Rude Girl’. Do you like her?” “She’s pushy. And she tried to look under my patch.” “Mhmhm. That’s not a no. And rude is perfect; you need someone who won’t let you hide under a rock. So can I give her your number?”
I sigh deeply and mournfully. “Yes Elena, you can give her my number.” “Yes! I mean, yeah, okay. See you tomorrow Runeeey!” She hangs up before I have time to respond. She seems to be doing that alot.
I look up at the ceiling. What have I gotten myself in on?