Chapter 1: FIRST AUTUMN
Flughanfenstraße,Düsseldorf, Deutschland. Autumn, November 22nd 2015.
Anggia Selestina arrived at Düsseldorf international airport that was placed at Flughanfenstraße 105 Germany when autumn was almost over. Actually, if she could turn back time, she would have wanted so much to go there earlier for seeing leaves to shed and fall since the beginning of September.
But, German government favored to give her holidays there before her German preparation course at the beginning of winter would started. That had been the time for four season countries to start their new year and winter holidays. And Anggia didn’t have powers at all to advance her departure schedule and first course in Germany.
Anggia shivered a little bit because of Germany temperature in the autumn that dropped to become 19° Celcius. She folded arms on her chest that covered by a pink sweater and a fuscia shawl. But, the sweater couldn’t warm her doddering body. The slim fit jeans were also like to be influenced by the weather that became colder.
Anggia remembered the suggestions of her nature lovers’ friends for not wearing blue jeans if she wanted to climb mountains. Although, Anggia had never climbed the mountain, at the moment she understood the causes of the suggestions.
A German constant temperature made her whole body tremble. The reason was the autumn temperature of the city where she standed at the moment felt to chill her body much more than the lowest temperature of her place of origin of Indonesia in the rainy season. Although, Batu town, her place of origin, was a district that constituted tenth coldest highest upland and mountain area in her country.
Actually, Anggia had nearly no friends in Germany. Neither had been through any social media. Heaven knew because Anggia didn’t have a care to be friends with any Germans or Anggia’s character didn’t match well indeed to them. Almost all of her German friends disappeared after she had written her fifth letter.
Aber, ich will dich nicht kennenlernen. Such dir selbst einen Freund —But, I don’t want to know you. Look for a friend for yourself!
It was Karina’s letter. One of Anggia’s most arrogant friends in a social media who said proudly, “I speak English”. And her last letter that Anggia didn’t want to reply was Lern Deutsch!—Learn German!
That matter indeed Anggia had done at that moment. Learning German while looking for pen pals to correspond each other through any social media for deepening her German in writing skill.
Anggia had made efforts hammer and tongs for that matter with following all of standard German grammatical guidances in Indonesia. But, she couldn’t believe when her German in C1 of European standardization couldn’t be applied well to the native German. There were too much idioms and slang languages that hadn’t been written yet in any books in Indonesia.
A man who had promised to pick up Anggia in the airport actually was the newest friend. But, that man had kept replying Anggia’s letters until more than twenty letters. Even, Anggia’s first letter for him could be said that it hadn’t been nice and interesting at all.
Hallo, ich heiße Anggia. Ich komme aus Indonesien. Wie geht’s?—Hello! My name is Anggia. I come from Indonesia. How do you do?
He had replied Anggia’s letter enthusiastically by asking her condition, too. At that moment Anggia just had answered him very simply. Mir geht es gut—I’m fine.
The man’s next comment had made Anggia believe that the man was so different with the other Germans whom she had known before. Mir geht es besser—I’m better. It had been completed by a smile emoticon. When another persons perhaps wouldn’t reply her letter again. Because, there had been nothing to should reply.
And by the name of God, the man hadn’t just spoken English, but also Dutch and all of the branchings of German that if they should be classified would be more than ten branches.
There were very big banners in the grayish and bone part of pick-up service of the airport. Between the bluish and russet billboards and signs indicating the routes. There were none of them with her name inside.
But, Anggia didn’t worry. At least, she could speak English in that country if she was forced to do it. Because, the Germans weren’t anti-English like the majority of other western Europeans. And the using of German to them by foreigners would be felt so weird. Wieso kannst du Deutsch?—Why you can speak German?
Anggia saw an awesome shadow when she was walking two hundred meters through the crowd. A man who attained the age of seventeen years old with the height of six feet two inches wore lusterless blue jeans and dark plain jacket with the headgear. It was so similar with the image of Facebook profile picture that Anggia had seen.
The man leaned against the wall of airport that had a layer of gray aluminum near a platform while bowing between a shade of gray colored rows of pillars. His eyes looked like to stare at the floor without taking notice to anything around him. But, there was a faint smile that appeared from his wide thin lips when Anggia was walking to approach him.
“Christ?” asked Anggia. Actually she didn’t know what the man’s nickname was. She herself had made it. And the man, Christopher Schlösser, hadn’t minded at all.
The man was silent. He just was glued in the place.
“Mann! Christ!—God! Christ!” exclaimed Anggia while hitting the man’s right shoulder slowly. It was an Indonesian custom when someone felt excited and passionate or wanted to be sweet with close persons.
The man was silent. He was stock-still.
“Es tut mir leid, ich dachte, dass Sie mein Freund sind—I’m sorry, I thought, you were my friend,” Anggia was apologizing while turning around her step disappointedly when suddenly the man held her left wrist firmly and blocked her step. Those matters made Anggia shout loadly, being shocked completely.
“Was—?—What—?” Anggia hadn’t completed her sentence yet when the man smiled faintly, almost couldn’t be seen.
“Wilkommen in Deutschland, Anggia!—Welcome to Germany, Anggia!”
“Das ist gar nicht ulkig, Christ!—It isn’t funny at all, Christ!”
Christopher didn’t respond the bubbling over of Anggia’s pique. Even, when Anggia hit him again in his left shoulder. He just took over Anggia’s suitcase with one of hands. And entering his right hand deeply in the pocket of jacket. There were no signs that he would touch Anggia with his hand or the circle of his fingers around Anggia’s shoulders.
Anggia followed his step to exit from the airport. Trying hard to ignore a little bit of disappointment, because Christopher really didn’t want to kiss her cheeks. Neither had done to write “kiss” in the end of his letters.
Düsseldorf, Deutschland. Autumn, November 22nd 2015.
Christopher almost never talked all along the journey to exit from the international airport until the inside of his newest blue metallic Audi R8 made in Germany sport car.
Anggia herself almost didn’t feel Christopher’s that strange character. She was startled and stopped moving a moment when she was staring at the exterior of building of the airport that appeared to soar up in the right side.
The exterior of building looked so gorgeous with the grayish and bone colour in the whole parts of buildings. The main structure of the building had the shape of beam with the corners that were made in the form of semicircles in some parts. A multistoried tower appeared to soar up highly in the middle of building. While, in the left and right sides of main building appeared some building glasses that had the shape of rectangular prisms.
Anggia still was gazing the building when Christopher opened the right door of his sport car and asked Anggia to enter first, looking like the high-class Europeans’ attitude.
“You have the gorgeous airport, Christ,” commented Anggia finally after taking a position in the car seat. But, Christopher didn’t comment when he was turning around his body to the side of driver and was driving the car.
That silence kept continuing all along their journey, crossing Düsseldorf city. The city that made Anggia’s common neighbours and friends frowned deeply when Anggia had asked a permission to let go.
The city that was heard so cool and amazing in Anggia’s ears actually hadn’t been heard to the common Indonesians’ ears. For them, Germany meant Berlin. It was proved by the history of the downfall of Berlin Wall. Even, becoming the nation’s capital of Germany at the moment. Or Munchen and Dortmund. They were proved by the fame of names of the both football teams, Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund.
But, Düsseldorf? The city had looked to sink in the never never land for the common Indonesian people.
Even though, Düsseldorf was the city of fashion and the biggest fashion show place in Germany, also the centre of economy and international business. The city constituted the capital of state in a federal system of Nordrhein Westfalen. The fourth biggest one in the total of population and the width of areas.
And although Düsseldorf had the own football teams, like Fortuna Düsseldorf and Düsseldorf EG. But, the names weren’t heard until Indonesia.
Anggia perhaps also wouldn’t hear about the last information, if she hadn’t entangled Christopher’s charm in the social media. And she had persisted in not looking too stupid in the front of Christopher’s eyes when they would meet.
Christopher glanced at the right direction. To the direction where Anggia was amazed to look at the traffic and the scenery of Düsseldorf she never had found in her country, Indonesia. The image of western Europe looked so clearly and lucidly.
Although, Jakarta had Monas and the other skyscrapers. But, the circumstances and situation were completely different when she was staring at grayish and navy blue multistored building glasses in Düsseldorf that lay all along Rhein river. A high tower which the top part had the shape of spired multistored circles looked from a distance.
The city looked to be arranged in orderly fashion intentionally by the four main colors. Gray, navy blue, bone, and russet. But, the dull colors increased the exotic and artistic value of the city precisely.
“Düsseldorf ist nicht Berlin—Düsseldorf isn’t Berlin.” Christopher stated. Looking clearly if he thought wrongly about the unlimited admiration and amazement that appeared in Anggia’s black droopy eyes.
“Eh? What is the statement for?” Anggia turned around her oval face to the Christopher’s direction, in the driver’s seat, in her left side.
At the moment Christopher’s stare gazed to the traffic jam in the front of him completely. Although, the common people even could see that the kind of car he was driving was a kind of automatic car handled by a computer without needing of his hands in the steering wheels.
“What is the statement for, Christ? Düsseldorf is my choice to study. Not Berlin or the other districts. I wouldn’t mind, if only during the rest of my life, I would just see Düsseldorf. And you.” Anggia uttered lightly while resting her head relaxly against the car seat.
Her last words caused clear wrinklings in Christopher’s both attractive thick eyebrows. The eyebrows frowned deeply, making one line with his bridge of the small short nose and his hooded eyes. But, instead of commenting, Christopher just focused his attention constantly to the road in the front of his eyes. Letting the silence exist continuously between them all along the rest of the journey.
Lessingstraße, Düsseldorf, Deutschland. Autumn, November 22nd 2015.
Christopher took Anggia to “lessing-apartement” after inviting her to go around the roads of Düsseldorf city a moment. A strategic apartment could be passed by during ten minutes on foot from Düsseldorf main station. This apartment provided the easy access to all of the main tourism places of Düsseldorf, including the road of shopping, Königsallee, and the tourism place of Middle Ages, Old Town—Altstadt.
The apartment complex with four floors—with the ground floor had a measurement of width of thirty five meters—offered the various types of shades of brown as the colors of the exterior. From the russet color mixed with the white one, the umber one mixed with the bone one, until the sepia one mixed with the purplish light brown one.
Christopher’s apartment was the dullest one and had the simplest design. With the umber simple rectangle windows had the width of one time two meters. The only one high artistic design was placed in the main door.
“Welcome to my apartment, Ia!” Christopher asked Anggia to enter while opening the door of his apartment that placed in the fourth floor widely. Showing the full of dark blue pretty wide simple living room. From a sofa lay down in the middle of room, an elliptical table that was made from teak in the front of that, curtains, until a carpet was unfolded all along the floor of the room.
The apartment looked so dull with the full of dark blue around the room. Emerging so minimum in furnitures. There was just a shade of blue refrigerator in the corner of the room. A mini flat-screen television was setted in the wooden table. A fireplace was located in the left side of the room in the middle of gray rocky wall that was made from gravels.
Anggia knitted the brow sharply. First, because of the way of Christopher cut her name off. Second, because Christopher invited her directly to his apartment.
“Will all of the Germans cut my name off like that?” Anggia had objections.
Christopher didn’t answer. He just continued his step towards the refrigerator across the room after putting Anggia’s pretty heavy suitcase near the sofa that had the shape of semicircle in the room.
As if she didn’t care about Christopher’s silence, Anggia continued her babble. “You know, ‘Ia’ in my mother tongue is as same as ‘Ja’ in German. Why don’t you also call me with ’Nein’—No?”
Anggia still was wanting to continue her useless chatter when Christopher’s glassy pellucid deep sky blue eyes gazed at her intensely. Standing up two meters in the front of Anggia precisely. Giving a big bottle of orange juice and soft drink.
Anggia felt dizzy suddenly. A very deep disappointment influenced her. She staggered and tottered to reach for the back of sofa.
Christopher got held of her fast and seated her in the nearest end of sofa.
“By the name of God, Christ! I came from a very long distance, just to taste a bottle of orange juice and soft drink… were made by USA?”
Anggia grimaced awfully after getting the most comfortable position and glimpsing the trademarks of both sealed liquid things. Sunkist dan Pepsi.
Christopher didn’t respond Anggia’s utterance. He just leaned his body against the sofa in the left side of Anggia. So close. Until Anggia could feel the fragrance of Christopher’s aftershave that mixed with the aroma of body soap. And the other redolence was similar with the aroma of moisturizer or body lotion. Moreover, Christopher’s muscles rubbed against her left arm and thigh each other.
Anggia sighed. Feeling the masculinity of Christopher beside her.
But, as if he ignored Anggia’s sigh that was heard loudly beside him, Christopher leaned his body more relaxly. Putting down his right arm in the back of sofa behind Anggia sat precisely. Making Anggia feel uncomfortable and ill at ease a little bit.
Christopher’s left fingers reached a remote control and faced it towards the closed window in the front of them. At the same time, the curtain of the window of apartment opened widely. Showing the illustration of yellowish-brown and russet leaves of the autumn that withered and fell off, like they were dropped off from the sky upper Lessingstraße park as far as the eyes could see.
It wasn’t like in the majority of the other four season countries that relied on the summer, spring, or winter, Germany offered the other uniqueness. The autumn of Germany was so different exactly with the autumn of the other four season countries. That was why the majority of the Germans preferred to take holidays and trips in the autumn.
“Look at that, Ia! The illustration of leaves of the autumn are shedding and dropping off, like the wishes in your letters. That’s why I can’t find an apartment better than this one for you.” For the first time, Christopher spoke at some length.
Anggia respired relievedly. At least, her German still could be understood well by that man. She had tought to see one’s way that the man was confused a little bit of listening to her standard German. Or experiencing of “laziness of speaking”, like the majority of her German friends in any social media. “But, this is your apartment, Christ.”
Anggia’s refusal towards Christopher’s implicit offer just was neglected like the wind blew. Christopher just put the remote control and moved his left hand to take the bottle of cold orange juice on the table and open the seal without intending to move his right hand from the back of sofa behind Anggia sat down.
Christopher gulped some drops of the orange juice before handing it towards Anggia. There was the indifferent impression of Christopher when he was doing his action.
While Anggia who was unhabitual to share any food and drink with any kind of persons, just stared at the deepness of Christopher’s shady eyes. That eyes was too cool and fresh. Until unconsciously, Anggia’s fingers grabbed the bottle of juice from Christopher’s hand and gulped down it a lot, as if she suffered a dehydration during seven seasons.