Short stories

A father’s son


He was late. I’ve been waiting here for over half an hour, and there was no sign of him. Usually he was never late, he was overly careful about his schedule. But I didn’t even know for sure whether he’d show up. I took another sip of my coffee, trying to hide my shaking hand.

My excitement was almost unbearable. We hadn’t seen each other for over a decade, it was almost like waiting for an old friend to come. I was looking forward to meeting him, but I was almost afraid we wouldn’t know each other anymore the way we did.

Next to my table, was a couple, deciding which cake to take.

The strawberry-cheesecake is wonderful here!“ I throw in.

Thanks, that sounds lovely!“

A content smile lights up my face. This cake was my absolute favorite, I didn’t know how they got it so fluffy and delicious but I would come here each week only to eat this cake.

Some family walked through the door, as I looked up. Mother, father, two adorable little girls. Maybe around 3 and 5 years old, both holding hands and wearing the same dress.

They sat down at a bigger table across the room, right where the sun came through the window.

It was the first really nice day for a long time, spring was right around the corner.

It was one of those March days when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

This quote came to my mind and I had to smile. One of my favorite seasons, everything had a light shade of winter’s blue but you could feel the spirit of spring in the laughter on the streets.

My eyes wandered around the square. Wherever you looked, there were people enjoying the sun, taking their sunday afternoon stroll. Everything seemed so peaceful although I couldn’t quite enjoy it as I wished to. My mind was still on my rendez-vous. I was sorry about losing contact with him, I always loved talking to him, about his ideas, his family, his work and general conceptions about life. We were two completely different persons, with an understanding of enjoying life that couldn’t have been more dissimilar. One of the many reasons why our encounters were always such a delightful matter to me.

He and I, we met through work, around 13 years ago. And for several years, we had an ongoing relationship, I might even consider it companionship. We spent many days together, sitting at a table and talking. Just talking, no more. I’ve never been able to talk to a person quite so many times without getting bored. Always the same conversations, the same themes. With him, it was something different, something exciting.

And as much as I liked talking to him and keeping up contact, I had to move because of work. I had an excellent offer in Europe, that took me some time and having met somebody whom I’ve felt an even deeper connection to, I decided to stay there a while longer.

Unfortunately this person had to leave, so I had no more reason to stay in Europe.

Coming back here, feels almost like coming back home, with all those memories. I’ve even visited some of my earlier clients again, just to see how they were keeping up.

The work because of which I met him, was still one of my best.

Almost 45 min late. That doesn’t suit him. Searching for familiar faces, I looked around the café. Maybe he didn’t recognize me, maybe he wanted to surprise me

? Almost every table was taken, mostly by couples. Usually I was way more attentive with my surroundings, but that day was one of those days where everything appeared to fly by.

Just when I thought about signing the waiter I wanted to pay, an older man stepped through the door. He was wearing a worn-out brown suit, deep shades under his eyes and an uncombed beard. He didn’t look good, he had gotten old.

His eyes stopped at my face and without any mimical expression, he came over and sat down.

Oh, I almost thought you’d forgotten me, Detective Brownsted!“

How could I forget you? You murdered my son.“

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