Go Your Own Way

John Hollingway

Part 4

Good bye and hello



This story is pure fiction. Although some persons in this story are images of people in real life, I do not express their opinions in any way. Anything in this story is made up in my head. This story deals with gay teenagers, and it may contain graphic sex or erotic scenes (although not really frequently). It is more about Coming Out than about sex, so if you just want to read a sex story - this is the wrong one for you. If you are offended by gay themed material, don't read it. If you aren't allowed to read it (legally or otherwise), don't read it either. Otherwise, enjoy!

This story is copyrighted by the author, all rights reserved. The story may be copied and printed for personal use, but may not be published without the written consent of the author besides on the original publishing sites (cornercafe.us and nifty.org).

Good bye and hello

The next ten days were a blur - and a roller coaster ride as well. I certainly got to better terms with the loss I suffered, and Anna was really helpful there. She seemed to sense when I was about to feel down, and either offered to talk about it, or asked me if I needed a diversion.

So I talked to her for a lot of time during those ten days, especially in the evenings. She didn't try to turn my thoughts away from Mum and Dad, but tried to get me to think about the brighter times. She had me recount a lot of the things we did together, the fun stuff we used to do and even told me stories about my Mum when she was little. We did cry together at some points - on the first day, she was just too exhausted to really grieve, she told me later, but she also helped me to control bursting out in tears by recalling fond memories of my parents.

I knew that they would be always with me, in my memories. It was just a small consolation, but it helped.

When I didn't feel like talking, we just did stuff together, mainly going to see things around Detmold. Anna wanted to see some things which she hadn't visited in 12 years, and I just wanted to imprint as much as possible of the region I grew up in, as I just wasn't sure when I would be seeing it for the next time.

One afternoon, we even went to the Freilichtmuseum (Open Air Museum) a bit outside of Detmold. They had relocated old farm houses and businesses from the area to there, all of the houses they showed there were at least 200 years old, and some even more than 500 years. Now it was Alberto's turn to be really amazed, as he had never seen before a collection of so many old things. They even had live shows there where you could watch them baking bread in the old, traditional way, or a smith creating farming tools with his bare hands. I had been there a couple of times before, but it never ceased to amaze me.

But we had some very hard times as well. The funeral was, of course, one of the hardest things I had ever done in my whole life. Luckily, I didn't have to organize any of it, it was all done by Mr. Marzahn, but just the service and putting them down in their grave was......plainly said, horrible. I think I even cried more that day than on the first day after the accident. I had Alberto drive me home after the grave side service, there was no way I could stand the funeral coffee afterwards - Anna had to take care of the guests. It was a surprise to me, but even Björn showed up for the funeral, and he really seemed to be struck that I hadn't told him myself that my parents had died, but that he just heard rumors in the school, and had it confirmed by Chris. He was a lot more of his old self, the one who used to be my best friend. He must have come to the realization how far apart the two of us had drifted. So I even made it a point to call him one day and tell him that I would be leaving for Argentina. We even met once more, just the two of us, for an ice cream and a good talk. He apologized for those comments the one day at the school - my last day at that school, as I had realized by then. I was glad that we talked that out before I left, so I felt a lot more closure about that chapter of my life.

That was, of course, after I told Chris that I was leaving. I owed it to him that he was the first I told, and I invited just him one evening to dinner in a restaurant. I certainly could afford that by now, and it just seemed fair as a thank-you for the support he gave me.

He took it rather well that I was leaving, I think. He wasn't happy, that much was sure, but he didn't get strange or start crying. He asked a lot of questions how my life would be there, and made me promise to write him sometimes or even call, if it wasn't too expensive. I promised him that without hesitation, and told him that he still would be my best friend. He looked doubtingly at me, but accepted it. The only thing which was strange was the fact that he wanted to leave really early, just after we had finished eating he wanted to go home.

Two days later, though, he called me and apologized to me that he left so suddenly. He said that he just hadn't been expecting that, and needed some time to digest it. He had even talked his Dad into driving with us to the airport, so we could spend some more time together before I left. I thought that was really kewl, as the three hour drive to Frankfurt would be much more entertaining this way.

After we had a long talk with Mr. Marzahn, we decided on leaving this Thursday. By then, most of the things would be taken care of, and Alberto and Anna would have time to get over their jet lag, until the next work week started for them, and their substitute at the gallery had to leave.

The house was actually taken care of quite easily. We gave Mr. Marzahn a set of house keys and he would take care of securing it for leaving it unattended, until we decided what to do about the house. Or to be more accurate, he would hire a company to do that, after we left. Anna was wrong about the amount of the assets my parents left for me, though. It was actually closer to three-quarters of a million than half a million. They had some very good long-term investments which even astounded Mr. Marzahn, when he heard about them. The sheer amount of money still boggled my mind, but we had arranged to transfer the accounts to me and that I would get quarterly statements sent to Argentina. I would still need to call Mr. Marzahn, if I wanted to change any of the investments, as the bank wouldn't take orders by phone, but I didn't mind that. Alberto told me that it was a very sound long-term investment, and that I should leave it the way it was for the time being. When I had settled down in my new home, we would talk about that again, and maybe we would transfer some of the funds into another form of investment which would offer better rewards.

The arrangement with the house just left it to me to pack the things I wanted to take to Argentina, everything else would be taken care of. I really had no clue how to be able to pack all the clothes I owned into the two suitcases I was allowed to take on the plane. But then Anna talked to me about that, and told me just to pack a couple of changes of clothes, just enough for the first few days, as those could be easily replaced. What I really should pack were the items which weren't replaceable, basically everything with a personal or sentimental value to me. So I had next to nothing in my suitcases that someone would pack for the average trip, but instead, I brought pictures, books, CDs, items I cherished, from the various vacations I had been on with my parents - and of course, my teddy bear.

I had really argued with myself about taking him, as I felt that I was probably getting too old for a stuffed animal. But in the end, the fear of the unknown won. Teddy was, after all, the last member of my family remaining, and I finally admitted to myself that I could never leave him behind. Maybe I would grow up enough to not have him in bed with me, at some point - but that point wouldn't be now.

The big day arrived all too early, especially the wake up time for that day. It was only 3:15 when Anna woke me up. I hadn't slept very well that night, it took ages for me to finally fall asleep. I had been in a strange state of excitement, fear and doubt, all rolled into one. Excitement about the trip, fear, as I had no clue how everything would be developing, and doubting somehow, that I had made the right decision 10 days back. But finally, I managed to fall asleep at 10:30 (I had gone to bed before nine, in the hope of getting at least some sleep), but 3:15 was still WAY too early to be getting up.

I took care of my morning business then, and packed the final necessary items, like my toiletries, and then carried my second suitcase and my backpack down. Anna's and Alberto's things were already at the door, and the two of them were already waiting for me to come down. It was way too early for breakfast then, so we had decided to have something at the airport.

I never knew that you had to be at the airport so much earlier than the flight left. Our flight left at 10:15, but we had to check in at least 2 hours before departure, and with a bit of extra time calculated in just for safety's sake. We needed to leave a 3:45 at the latest. But that, of course, meant that there would be enough time to eat at the airport, and that was fine by me.

When I came down, Alberto asked me very cheerfully, "So, Ingo, is everything ready for the trip?"

My first impulse was to lash out at him verbally - I am never in a good mood, getting up this early. But I somehow managed to control myself, and responded, still half yawning, "I guess....we'll see."

Anna didn't look that much better than I did; she didn't seem to have gotten more sleep than me. So Alberto was the only one really awake, which was good - he was the designated driver.

He started grabbing two suitcases then, and said to me, "Could you take care of turning off all the lights, Ingo? In the meantime, I will load our things into the car."

I forced myself to smile at him, and said, "Sure thing!"

So I went back upstairs, to check to see if there were still lights on. There weren't, except for the hallway, but I quickly decided that a last look in every room wouldn't hurt. So I slowly went through all the rooms on the upper level, trying to take everything in and memorize what I was seeing.

When I came to my own room, I stood in the middle of the room and turned around one last time. This was my own room, the one where I grew up, my own private refuge when the world out there got to be too much for me. I would miss it, that much was certain, and I hoped that my new home would be as good to me as this one had been.

But the decision had been made, and now I had to stand by it. I took one last look, turned off the light and then closed the door after me.

When I came back down, Anna was standing by the door, and asked me, "Ready to go?"

So I asked her, "Um....could I have a couple more minutes, please? I'd like to just take one last look around here as well."

She got that fond smile of hers, and said, "Sure, honey, take your time."

I went to the kitchen then, where I had spent most of the casual time with my parents, since it was the room where most of the things in our daily life occurred. I just remembered that I hadn't taken anything from there, and I looked quickly around to see if there was something worth taking with me. I spotted our activities calendar on the wall, where Mum always put in appointments for each of us for the current and the next month, and I thought that it would serve as a good reminder about how daily life with my parents had been. I grabbed it off the wall, to pack it into my backpack once I was in the car.

Anna called to me then, from the entrance, "I will be waiting outside, Ingo!"

"Sure!" I called back.

The living room looked strangely barren, now. A lot of the memorabilia I was about to take with me were from here, so it didn't look much like the living room I was used to. So it didn't have a lot of memory value, and I quickly left it, trying to imprint the living room, the way it used to be, into my memory.

Closing and locking the front door of the house, I turned around to see Anna standing at the foot of the entrance door. She held out her arms in that now familiar gesture that meant that she wanted to embrace me, and I gladly complied with her wish.

She held me for a moment and stroked my hair, saying in my ear, "I know how hard that must be for you. Just remember, you can return here any time you want."

I pulled away from her and nodded. I sniffled, looked her in the eyes and said, "I know, I just have never moved before. But it just isn't the same without them being there anymore."

No need to say who I meant by 'them'.

I looked at Alberto, who stood by the car, and he had a very sympathetic look on his face as well. But it would do no good to delay the inevitable, so I just said, "I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Let's go!"

Alberto asked me, "Do you want to sit with me upfront?"

When it became clear that Chris had talked his Dad into driving with us to the airport, Anna had asked Alberto to return the rental car, and get a small van, so we could all drive together. She had talked to Chris' Dad, and he was willing to bring it back here, and return it, so it was the best for all of us.

I shook my head at Alberto's question, and responded, "I had hoped to sit in the back, so I could talk with Chris - if that is okay with you...."

"Sure! Just wanted to offer. I don't mind at all, and I can understand that you want to spend some time together with Chris," he replied.

So I hopped into the back, in the middle row, and soon after that, Alberto started up the engine. When we pulled out of the drive way, I just stared at the house that I had considered home all my life. I really had to fight down the tears, and just told myself over and over again that I could come back if I wanted to. But it really wasn't the same, with my parents not there.

I tried to change the outlook from "leaving" to "going somewhere new", or maybe just thinking about it as a vacation. It sure was a mind trick, but one I needed at that moment. Going on a vacation was always exciting, I just had to push it out of my mind that there wasn't a fixed return date for me.

And then there was the flight! I still wasn't sure if I should be excited about the prospect of flying, as I had never flown before.

Dad had hated flying all through his life, so when we went on a vacation together, we always drove there by car or sometimes took a train. But as Mum preferred to stay in Germany anyway, it was never that long of a drive. We had visited some of the surrounding countries, but we mostly went to the North Sea, as Dad and I loved to sail together, and Mum could relax at the beach - at least if the weather had been nice.

So I had never set foot into an airplane, let alone flown to another continent. I WAS excited about that, no question, but I had the thoughts that every first-flyer had, I guess: Would we crash? Will it be safe? Will I get airsick?

Alberto had bought some pills against travel sickness, I just hoped that they would work if I really got nauseous. But I didn't have problems in either a car or a boat, so I really hoped I would be okay.

The drive to Chris' didn't take long, just a bit shy of 10 minutes, and soon we were there. They were already standing outside, waiting for us, all three of them. Mrs. Gruber wouldn't accompany us, but I guess she wanted to say good bye to me as well.

I left the car to greet them, and first walked up to Mr. Gruber and said, "Hello Mr. Gruber! Thanks for coming with us to the airport, that is really nice of you!"

He laughed at that, replying, "Oh, I don't think I could have said 'No' to Chris. He just asked me over and over again, until I had to give in. When he said that he would even pay for the gas by himself, I just knew how important it was to him."

I turned and looked at Chris, who stood there with a slightly embarrassed look on his face. That made me realize how much he really wanted to spend some more time with me, and I felt a bit ashamed, now, that I didn't set aside more time to spend with him before I left - but there just hadn't been enough time for that.

So I made a point of going over to him and hugging him, saying thanks to him at the same time. At that, he blushed to a near crimson, and said in a hushed voice, "Aaaaaah...not with my parents here!"

I released him then, and smiled at him. He had put me in the same situation before as well, so I didn't think too much of it.

After some more rounds of introductions and good byes (in case of Mrs. Gruber), we finally got in the car again, and soon were on the road towards Frankfurt.

Chris had claimed the rear row together with me, Anna was in the middle row, alone, and Mr. Gruber sat next to Alberto in the front, and soon an animated discussion between the two of them was going on.

Anna, though, had leaned her head on the window, and soon dozed off, seemingly overwhelmed by the lack of sleep.

I had to admit, I felt pretty much the same as she did; it definitely hadn't been enough sleep last night. But that didn't seem fair towards Chris, who really wanted to spend some time with me.

So we talked quietly between the two of us, so as not to disturb Anna. Chris mainly wanted to know about all the things we had organized over the last days, for the move in general, and wanted to know more about how my life in Argentina would be. I had to admit that I still didn't know that much about it - there had been so much to organize, after all, and I admitted, at least to myself, that I just didn't want to think that much about the things ahead of me. After I made the decision, I knew that I would just stick to it, and I decided that I would just deal with the things as they came along. It just wouldn't do me much good thinking about all the "What-Ifs" and "Will-there-bes". So, as much as I did talk to Anna over the days, we mainly had focused on my parents and what needed be done here in Germany, instead of talking about Argentina.

But I asked Chris to tell me about the last days at school, if there was something interesting going on. I knew that I wouldn't be going there anymore, but I still knew the people, so it was interesting to hear about them. He told me an interesting story about Björn, how he made some sort of a turn around over the last days. From the sound of it, he had a long talk with Chris as well, after I had talked to him. He had thought about lots of things then, and seemed to have realized how he had changed over the last years. He had promised Chris to try and be more like he used to be, and so far, it seemed to work. Chris seemed to be very relieved about that, not being the butt of every joke anymore - especially as I wasn't around anymore, and Thomas had kind of focused on him. Björn even sat Thomas straight a couple of times, which I found really interesting.

And so the kilometers on the motorway flew by, talking about school and the people both of us knew. Soon, I was talking about all the things Anna and I had done over the last week, visiting all those places around Detmold.

After maybe an hour, we ran out of things to talk about, and after a couple of minutes of silence, Chris pulled out a game of magnetic checkers out of his back pack. He said that he knew how boring car tours could be, and had packed that.

So we played for some time, and I lost more games than I won, though Chris didn't seem to do that good on concentrating, that day either - he made some really stupid mistakes, as I did. But at one point, he had me cornered really good, and I had to think about what to do for a minute or so, intently staring at the board. When I finally made my move, I looked up at him, wanting to say, "Ha, take that!"

But when I looked at him, he had closed his eyes and definitely was sleeping. Well, I really couldn't blame him, it was still dark outside, and it was awfully early. I even felt a bit of relief, as I had been fighting the tiredness for some time now as well, but just didn't want to give in. But this way, I could close my eyes for a moment without feeling guilty.

A hushed voice tried to get through to me, "Ingo....Ingo, wake up again!"

After feeling disoriented for a moment, I shook my head to fight off the cobwebs which were still in my head. When I saw the landscape flying by in the gray light of early morning, it came back to me that I was in the car driving to the airport.

I looked up to see Anna watching me from the seat in front of me. When she saw that I was nearly awake again, she added, "We are nearly at the airport, Ingo. Alberto just said that it would be 10 minutes or so until we are there. Could you wake up Chris, please?"

Groggily, I nodded at her, and with a pang of guilt I realized that I had slept through the time I was supposed to spend with Chris. Well, at least it looked like he had slept as well.

I reached over and put my hand on his shoulder, and shook him gently while saying, "Chris, we are nearly there!"

He was wide awake in an instant, but looking around totally not knowing where he was, and said at that, "What? Where? I'm awake! I didn't sleep!"

I chuckled at that, "Oh yes, you certainly did. You slept for at least an hour."

His expression dropped in an instant, and he looked a bit defeated, "I'm so sorry, Ingo. I really wanted to make the drive enjoyable for you. I really didn't want to sleep, but you had to sit there, totally bored..."

I cut him off, "Chill, Chris! No sweat, I slept as well. I was so tired after getting up so early today..."

He regained a bit of his normal smile, "You did? I really tried hard to stay awake, but I was soooo tired, I just wanted to spend some more time with you, so I really tried to stay awake!"

My chuckle transformed into a huge grin, "And I wanted to spend time with you as well, but honestly, I was glad that I could sleep for a moment. I would have been a wreck otherwise. So, are we cool?"

Chris grinned at me as well, "Yep, we sure are. Whoa, look at the plane!" and he pointed out of the window.

There was a huge plane just taking off at the moment, directly across the motorway. For a moment, every thought about sleep was driven away while we watched the plane disappearing into the distance.

Soon, Alberto was driving into a parking lot, and everyone was bustling around after that, organizing a luggage cart, getting our luggage loaded onto it, checking if we hadn't forgotten anything in the car. Then it was off to the terminal.

I had somehow expected the airport to be next to empty at this early hour, but it was far from it. People were bustling around, there were announcements on the speakers every minute or so, and I would have been totally lost if I had been here on my own.

But Alberto took a look on the map of the airport, and steered us into the right direction. Meanwhile, Anna explained to me that this was probably the busiest hour at an airport anyway, it would be a lot quieter in the afternoon, as at this time of the day a lot of business travelers were leaving for traveling just for a day to some meeting or so. I had never thought about it, but it made sense.

Soon, the colors of the Lufthansa counter came into view, and there were huge lines in front of most of the counters. Now I was glad that we had so much time to spare, but the counter we went to had only a few people in front of us.

A woman behind the counter took the passports of the three of us, made some checks on her computer and asked us to put the luggage on a conveyor, where it was weighed and some paper strips were put around the handles. Then they went onto the next belt, and soon all my possessions were out of sight. I just hoped that they would be careful with it.

The lady behind the counter handed us some paper cards, and wished us a pleasant flight. Anna took a look on them, and handed me one them while saying, "This is your boarding pass, don't loose it, it is your ticket to your flight right now!"

I nodded my head, wide eyed, and made a point of stowing the pass into my backpack.

Chris and his dad had hung back while we were at the counter, but now we rejoined with them and stood a bit undecided in the middle of the terminal, until Anna said, "So, let's grab some breakfast."

Everyone agreed on that, and by now I was feeling hungry as well.

We went up a level into one of the restaurants there, which had a very nice view on the airfield. There were huge planes standing around all the way, most of them connected to some sort of tubes to the building we were sitting in. I tried to push the thought out of my mind that I was about to trust my life to one of those "flying metal bricks", as my dad used to call them. Instead, I tried to focus on the breakfast before me.

I thought that such a busy restaurant must have great food - but I was mistaken. It was not too bad, but far from what I expected.

Alberto and Chris' Dad were soon in a lively, but friendly discussion about social security and economics. They didn't seem to share the same point of view on it, but the discussion was very animated. At one point, Anna leaned over to me and whispered into my ear, "They have been on that for at least the last hour on the drive. I tried to follow it, but I just couldn't concentrate on it. But it is good to see Alberto so outgoing, he is normally very focused on his work. But why couldn't he choose a different subject?"

I chuckled at that, but was glad that I wasn't the only tuning the conversation. Chris looked a bit bored as well, so I smiled at him. I couldn't think of much more to talk about with him at the moment, but the smile seemed to work, as his face instantly brightened up as well.

There were monitors on the wall, and about 15 minutes into the breakfast, our flight appeared on the monitor as well. It was leaving at 10:15, and the monitor stated that our boarding time was 9:40. So I asked Anna when we had to leave here to be at the plane on time, and she said that we should plan on leaving at nine o'clock, as we would need time for the security checks and finding the right gate. Frankfurt was, after all, a very big airport.

I nodded at her, that would mean that I had 45 minutes to finish my breakfast, which was fine. But then Chris asked me in a quiet voice, "Do you think we could leave a bit early from here? I really would like to say good bye to you alone."

I looked quizzically at Anna who had heard the exchange, and she just shrugged, indicating that it was okay with her. With that, I nodded slowly at Chris, trying to figure out why he would want to say good bye to me alone. But who was I, to turn down a request like that from a friend.

Quietly contemplating what that was all about, I finished my food. Chris didn't look too happy all the time. I thought that maybe he had but up a brave front up to now, and at this time I was seeing how he was really feeling. I just didn't know.

At 8:45 sharp, Chris suddenly got up, and a lump in my throat appeared - it was time for a good bye, as it seemed. I got up from the table a bit slower than Chris, and Anna nodded towards me in a sign to go ahead.

Chris had his head hanging a bit low, so I walked up next to him and put my arm around his shoulder, quietly saying, "C'mon, we will see each other again", and I led him towards the exit of the restaurant. Anna had pointed out earlier where we were supposed to go for the boarding, and we went towards the check of my boarding pass in a slow walk, without saying a word.

When we arrived there, Chris stopped and turned towards me. He said, "So, this is it..." and his voice was trailing off, the last syllable hanging in the air between us.

I looked him in the eyes, and they glistened suspiciously.

As soon as I had thought that, Chris suddenly broke out in tears, looking down and sobbing quietly. I pulled him into a gentle hug, as he had done numerous times over the last weeks, and then he was embracing me like his life depended on it. It seemed like he never would like to let me go, all the while sobbing into the shoulder of my jacket.

He said something over and over again, and after the third or fourth repetition, I could make sense of his mumbling, "I don't want you to go."

I could do nothing more than just hug him a bit closer, as I just didn't have any words of consolation at that moment.

We stood there in a close embrace, and I suddenly realized that a couple of people from around were looking at us. I saw mostly pity in their eyes, although no one probably could come close to guess what was going on here. Or maybe they could, but I couldn't care less at that moment. My best friend was in pain, and there was nothing I could do to make it less. I could just hug him, that was all the relief I could offer at the moment, and if other people thought that it was strange...I just didn't care.

Then, as sudden as he had hugged me in the crushing embrace, Chris loosened his grip around me a bit, and pulled his head away from my shoulder, looking me in the eyes again.

I could barely make out his whisper, "I'm sorry for acting like this."

And then a little bit louder, "You have no idea how much I will miss you!"

With that, without giving me any time to react, he just kissed me squarely on the mouth. The contact was short, but it felt like a whole flock of butterflies erupted in my stomach, and flew around wildly. I stood there, just stunned, no idea how I was supposed to react to this.

He got a firm expression on his face then, and simply said, "Bye!" before turning around and leaving me standing alone there, in the middle of the airport terminal, at a total loss at this point.

I had no clue how long I stood there, just stunned, until Alberto and Anna showed up.

Like in trance, I just asked, "Chris?"

Anna responded to that, "Oh, he caught us in front of the restaurant, and said good bye there. He didn't look too good, though. Everything alright?"

I could just nod my head, but it was a lie - nothing was alright at the moment. Chris had kissed me, and I had just stood there like a lump of wood, not reacting at all. At that moment, I didn't care if it looked like a good idea 10 days ago to go to Argentina. At this point, I just wanted to run after Chris, but I had absolutely no idea what I would do or say. So I let Anna steer me through the first, preliminary check where they just wanted to see my boarding pass, which I had to grab out of my backpack.

Anna told me to keep it at hand, as we would need it a couple of more times, and then we stood there in line for the security check.

I still had no idea what to think about all this, let alone what I should do. All I could do was stick to the plan I had made, and hating it with every step I took.

The security check wasn't a problem for any of us, Alberto had told me what I could pack into my backpack, and what I had to leave in the suitcases.

I went through first, and just stood there watching Anna and Alberto being scanned with the metal detectors, though not taking any of it in.

I shook out of the trance a bit when I realized that Anna had asked me something, and expected a reaction from me. Shaking my head unwillingly, I said, "Sorry, what? I just didn't pay attention."

Anna got a concerned look at that, and asked me again, "You sure everything is okay? You don't look like it."

This time, I just shrugged. I just didn't know. Anna looked a bit doubtingly at me, but then asked her question again, "Do you want to buy a magazine or a book for the flight? You know, it really is long."

I shrugged again, and said without emotion, "Why not? Sounds good."

Anna shot me another doubting look, but turned to Alberto then, "You are the whiz with the maps. Have you figured out already where we might get some magazines or so?"

He got a half-crooked smile at that, and pointed in a direction ahead of us, "I think I spot something over there. Let's take a look."

I lagged behind a bit, and Anna turned her head every couple of steps, as if to check I was still with them. Just before we entered the "International Press Store", I closed my eyes for a second, telling myself that I had to get out of this. I had enough time on the flight to figure out what happened there, now wasn't the right time for it.

It worked, to a certain extent, as I could concentrate enough to pick out the latest issue of "Geo" , a magazine about the world which had always fascinated me, reading about far away places. I had dreamed so often about going to a country far away, and just see it, and now I was in the process of doing so. The excitement about that started to battle again the doubt in me, which was now stronger than ever. I just had to think about it as something I really wanted to do, and everything would be good.

I started to look at the crime novel section they had there, to spot a book I hadn't read yet. That was the moment I realized that they had English books there as well, and I certainly could use every way to improve my English at the moment, as I would need it at school very much.

So I wandered over to the section with English books, and browsed a moment until I found what I was looking for: An anthology with Sherlock Holmes' stories. He was the one who fixed me on reading crime novels, and I knew those stories by heart, so it would be an easier read. I picked it from the shelf, and returned to Anna and Alberto.

Alberto had an Argentinean newspaper, and Anna had a bigger stack of monthly papers, and a couple of German books. When I looked at them, she simply said, "It is harder to get them in Argentina, so I thought that I might stock up on them."

After paying for the books, we went over to the gate. We sat down on the benches there while waiting that our flight was being called for boarding. Anna put her arm around my shoulder, and said, "I know something has happened between you and Chris there. You really don't want to talk about it?"

I could just shake my head, and said quietly, "No, not right now."

Her face softened then when she said, "You know you can talk to me about anything, yes?"

And she was right - as opposed to when Irene said that, I really could talk about nearly anything with Anna, I had opened my heart for hear a lot of times over the last week. Everything - except this, right now. As I didn't have a clue for myself.

Alberto started to browse through his newspaper, but I wanted to save my journal for the flight, so I stowed it into my backpack as well. It started to get heavy, as much as I had packed into it, and I really had to wrestle the journal and the book in it.

Then it was just waiting, and I looked around for a moment. I was still amazed how many people were bustling around in here. I mean, I had known that a lot of people fly on a regular basis, but it was a totally different thing just knowing, and seeing it for myself.

An announcement came then over the speaker, stating, "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, we are pleased to announce that your Lufthansa flight LH 510 from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires is now ready for boarding. Please proceed to the gate, and hold your boarding passes ready."

Alberto folded up his newspaper, and got up, as a lot of the people around did. We waited in line until we could board, where a stewardess checked our boarding passes, and we went through one of those metal tubes which I saw earlier, into the plane.

My heart started to beat faster, I was really getting in an airplane - and I still wasn't sure if it was beating faster because of fear, or excitement for the flight.

We were greeted on board by a stewardess with a wide, radiating smile. She took a look at our boarding passes, and pointed to the front of the plane, "Your seats are over there."

I looked around curiously when we came near to our seats. There were leather seats which looked quite big and comfortable, three next to each other in the middle of every row, and two of each side of both of the aisles. It basically looked like a train, just bigger, and as I noted, a bit roomier.

We had two of the window side seats on the right side, and one of the seats in the middle row. Anna pointed to the seat on the window and said, "I'm sure you will love to watch out of the window, so why don't you take the seat directly at the window?"

I wasn't too sure about that, if I really would enjoy looking out of the window, but I had to admit that I was quite curious how the world would look from so far up, and weighing my anxiety against my curiosity, the curiosity won.

I put my jacket in the overhead compartment, but kept my backpack with me as I sat down. Anna sat next to me, while Alberto took the seat on the middle row.

As soon as we sat down, a stewardess rushed over to us, asked if everything was alright with our seats and if we wanted some refreshments while waiting for the other passengers to board. I had some sort of stale taste in my mouth, and I asked for a coke. Anna and Alberto declined the offer, so the stewardess came back after a moment with just the coke for me, which was served in a tiny can - just enough for the little plastic cup she brought with her.

As we were in the first third of the passengers boarding the flight, we had to sit there for 20 minutes while the plane gradually filled with people. During that time, I pushed the thought about Chris out of my mind, telling myself that I would have enough time during the flight. I rationally knew that I was just procrastinating to think about it, but I just wasn't ready yet.

So I watched the people around me getting in their seats, mostly men in suits who looked like they were on business trips, and a couple of them pulled laptops out of their bags as soon as they sat down and started to work.

I had never been much of a computer freak, those things just tended to annoy me, as they never did what I wanted them to do. But now, I would have liked one of those laptops, as they would have taken my mind off....well, taken my mind off everything that was going around right now in my head. Chris, Argentina, the take off, the new school - everything.

Anna saw me looking at one of the laptops as she followed my gaze, and said casually to me, "Oh, remind me that we look out for one of those for you. I think you need one for school anyway, as they put a heavy emphasis on training their students on those things. We probably should consult Alberto about that, he knows those things way better than I do."

I goggled at her, "Every student needs one of those?"

She shrugged at that, "Sure, as I said, it is a private school, so most of the parents of the students attending it have money, and they want their children to have the best possible education. And those who haven't got the money get financial support from the school."

That would be so different at all, it looked that I would be traveling in a lot higher circle of people than I was used to. I hoped that they weren't as snobbish as I heard that people on private schools could be. But I would deal with that as it came - I had the ticket back home, after all. That relaxed my mind some more.

Just then, a voice came over the speakers, stating, "Boarding complete," and my heart started racing again. That meant, that it wouldn't be long until the takeoff.

I heard the doors close, and soon after that the engines came on. We drove backwards a bit with the plane (how could a plane go backwards anyway? Does it have a rear shift as well?), and then slowly started to move forward.

I looked out of the window, looking at the airport slowly passing by us with interest, when I saw out of the corner of my eye the stewardess approaching. She glanced over us if we had secured our seat belts correctly, and took the empty can and cup with her.

At that, the voice on the speakers came on again, "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Lufthansa and Captain Hansen, we would like to welcome you on your flight to Buenos Aires. The flight time will be approximately 13 hours and 45 minutes. For now, we would like your attention for some important safety advices."

With that, video screens lowered from the ceiling, and as soon as they were in position, they sprang to life, at first with an image of our airplane. A voice started telling us in a pleasant voice, "This Boeing 747-400 has 10 emergency exits..."

And with that, the safety instructions started, what to do in case the plane crashed or whatever. Although, I had serious doubts how much a little swimming vest would do me good if we crashed over the middle of the Atlantic ocean. But I tried to soak it all up, maybe there was something important in all of that, and I paid attention.

When the last thing came over the speakers, "...and now we would like you to fasten your seat belts for take off," and I looked out of the window again. We were already on the runway, and I gripped the arm rests of my seat - not that it would help me any if something happened, but I felt more secure by it.

Just then, the low hum of the engines turned into a dull roar, and I felt the jet speeding up with an incredible acceleration. I was really pressed into my seat with great force, but I kept my gaze to the outside. I saw the ground falling of a bit, and just with that, we lost contact with the ground and had taken off.

It didn't feel much different than before, just a bit smoother than going over the run way. Without even thinking about it, I let go of the armrests and leaned closer to the window to look down on the Earth.

After looking out of the window for a couple of minutes, I heard Anna say, "I think you don't find flying as fearsome as you thought it would be."

I turned my head around to her, and said with a wide grin, "No, definitely not! Wow, the acceleration there in the beginning, and now looking down on the landscape, it's awesome!"

She smiled at my enthusiasm, "Honestly, it's mostly boring. I've flown quite a bit, and the best thing you can do in a plane is sleeping. The time passes much quicker then, and I will try to catch as much sleep as I can."

Still the wide grin on my face, I replied, "I'm not sure if I can sleep, I've never been good at sleeping in a moving vehicle, neither in a car or a train. I don't think that an air plane will be much different. But I'll try."

Earlier had been a pleasant surprise, that I really had been able to sleep in the car. Normally I could only doze in a vehicle, but I guessed that I must have been so tired that it wouldn't have made a difference if I had been on a country fair or a rock concert.

I turned my head back to the window then, to look out some more. But you couldn't see as much from the ground as earlier, we must have passed some clouds in the meantime. So I looked at the clouds, they really looked beautiful from up here, with the sun shining on them.

But it was far from being as interesting as looking at the ground had been, so my thoughts were drawn back to Chris again.

Why had he reacted so strange? Why had he kissed me there? And why had it felt so good? It had been my first kiss ever, and even if it was only brief, the butterflies in my stomach had lasted a lot longer. The more I thought about it, the clearer it got: Chris thought of me as more than just a friend, he clearly had more feelings for me than you were supposed to have for a school friend. And back on the first day after the accident, at his home, he had been really close to kissing me as well, if I hadn't panicked then.

I hadn't thought much about that after Anna had appeared, there was just so many things to take care of, and I had to admit to myself, that I had pushed the thought out of my mind. But now I thought about it, and it became very clear to me why I had panicked: It looked like Chris was gay, as only a gay boy would want to kiss another boy like that. And I wasn't gay, I certainly didn't want to wear a skirt, so I couldn't be gay. But somehow, I had given the impression away that I might be, probably because I let Chris get very close to me. I just had to be careful to let no boy as close as Chris to me, and probably look for a nice girlfriend. Then everything would be good.

That thought was a comforting one, as I now knew a bit more what to do, and how to act when I came to my new home. I leaned back into my comfortable seat, and extended my legs a bit. I was glad that I had solved the riddle with Chris, that it was mostly his acting, and I just had to be a bit more careful in the future with the new friends I made.

I turned my head to tell Anna that I had solved what was bothering me, as she wanted to know earlier, but she had pushed back her seat already and closed her eyes. And I didn't want to disturb her. Then I looked over to Alberto, who looked up then, followed my view to Anna and mouthed "old" to me, with a cheeky grin. He would never say that aloud when Anna was listening, but I had learned by now that he liked teasing people.

I grinned back at him, nodded my head and shrugged my shoulders. Then I turned my attention to the on board entertainment system which was in the back of the seat before me. I flipped through the channels until I found a movie which was interesting to me, and soon realized that they offered an audio track in English as well. I switched to that and tried to watch the movie in English, as I could use every improvement of my English I could get.

That was the story for the rest of the flight, basically. I watched the entertainment system, I read in my journal and 4 short stories from the Sherlock Holmes book I got in the airport, and tried to sleep a bit, but only managed to doze off, not really falling asleep. It was relaxing, but not much more.

In total contrast to Anna, who only woke up when meals were served on the plane. She really managed to sleep most of the time.

The only surprise was when I went back in the plane to use the bathroom. There were two upfront, but when I had to go, both of them were used, and the stewardess pointed me to more bathrooms further back in the plane.

But there, the people really sat crammed! Instead of just seven seats per row, there were ten, and they had so much less room for their legs than we had!

I commented on that when I came back to my seat, and Alberto responded to that, "I certainly hope that we have more space here, after all, we paid for flying business class! Miss Anna can't stand the crammed flying in economy anymore, there was no way she would order anything less than business. Which I'm glad about, as this is so much more comfortable. And Miss Anna can certainly afford this luxury!"

That got me thinking about the financial situation of Anna again. She hadn't said much about that, just that money was no issue. I had thought that I had now more money than she had, but I wasn't so sure anymore. I would ask her later about that, there was no way I would ask anything like that in a public place like an air plane!

When we came closer to Buenos Aires, the weather got a bit worse, and we had to belt ourselves in again. My fear of flying had long gone, and as Anna had predicted, it wasn't that exciting anymore - just boring. But now the plane shook like a sailing boat in bad weather, and I could now understand Dad's resentment to get on a plane a bit more. Not that I was afraid, I felt really safe by now, but it could be a bit scary, I guess.

The seat belt sign only went out 15 minutes before we were supposed to land in Buenos Aires, and I felt now the exhaustion of the day. Being bored can be very exhausting, and I got up very early today. But there was no point in trying to get sleep now, we were close to our destination. But it would mean that I would sleep very well tonight. At least I hoped so.

The stewardess then gave the announcement over the speakers that we were in final approach to Pistarini airport, and the seat belt signs lit up again. I looked out of the window again, but couldn't see much more than more water, like it had been for at least the last 6 hours.

The entire landing procedure was a lot less smooth than most of the flight, and in the final minutes before we touched the ground again, I could get a glimpse of the city from the distance. The big skyscrapers I saw there, and a lot of houses made me realize once more that I went from living in a rural village in the middle of nowhere, to living in a metropolitan area. Though I hadn't really thought about Buenos Aires as such a big city before - sure, I knew that it would be a lot bigger than what I was used to, but living in such a big city would be so different, I could only begin to understand what I had gotten myself into.

After we had landed, it took another 20 minutes until we could leave the plane, it took that long until we were parked on the gate. Picking up our luggage took another half hour, and I was very fascinated by the carousel-like thingie they had for the delivering of the luggage.

Then it was time for the border control. I found it a bit funny that it was still called border control, in the middle of the country, but it basically was that. Alberto had, of course, no problems, as he had an Argentinean passport, and Anna had a permanent visa. But Anna had to produce the custody papers she got from Mr. Marzahn for me, and the border guard got an even stranger look on his face when he inspected my suitcases. He had then a little discussion with another guard, before he put he stamped my passport, but not before giving Anna some sort of lecture which I couldn't understand, as it was in Spanish.

On the way out of the airport building, I asked Anna what was that all about, she told me that we had to go to the immigration office soon and get a permanent visa for me as well, the guard was obviously a bit ticked that we hadn't applied for one before the flight. But she told me that she had been sure that there would be not much of a problem with me coming with her, especially as she had official custody of me.

I asked her then, "How are we getting to your house now?"

"Oh, we are getting a cab," she replied, "I don't own a car here, as going by cab is just so much easier, and it is quite cheap here, too. So I never bothered with a car."

That made sense, so we went out to the cabs in front, and Alberto just opened the trunk of the first car in line, put our suitcases in there and then went to the front passenger seat, just sitting in it. Anna motioned me to take my seat in the rear while getting in the other side. Alberto gave the driver (probably) directions in rapid Spanish, and then we were on our way.

I tried to calm my excitement about seeing my new home by looking out of the car window, and seeing as much of the city as I could, but in the beginning we drove on a motorway and there was not much to see, but that gradually changed as we came closer to the city.

Soon, the motorway was going right through the middle of the city, and there were houses to both sides of it. They were mostly multi-story buildings, not really high, but I could get a glimpse of the skyscrapers I saw from the airplane when I looked out of the left of the car. We left the motorway then, and went right to the maze of streets of the city.

The houses I saw were an odd mix of higher and not so high buildings, old and new, and some even looked like factories.

The houses started to look gradually better the further we went, and we suddenly came to a stop in front of a two story building, on a street which wasn't as crowded as the earlier ones we went through - clearly an area for living. The house looked like an apartment building to me, so it was no surprise when Anna got out of the car.

She got an encouraging smile on her face, and said, "I'm sure you will like it!"

Alberto and I unloaded the luggage to the sidewalk, while Anna unlocked the front door to the building. I grabbed my two suitcases when Anna motioned me to follow her, "Let's put that away, and we can have dinner then."

She went to a staircase, and we went up to the upper level. When we came to the end of the stairs, I had to put down the suitcases for a second, and look around. We were now in some sort of hallway, which wasn't a real hallway. It was open to one side, and had some sort of roof over it, but on the inner side of it there was just a railing. When I stepped up to it, I could look down to a patch of grass in the middle of the building, which was basically going around that patch like a square. The hallway, or maybe it was called just a walkway, was going around on the inner side of the square, and there were doors going off from it every couple of meters.

I had to say, "Wow, this looks nice!"

Anna smiled as a response, and said, "It's neat, isn't it? I really love it myself." With that, she went to the second door, and just opened it, as I noted. No keys - she really trusted the other occupants of the apartments, as it seemed.

I followed her into a small apartment - which wasn't really what I had expected. I didn't much think about what I would expect here, but this looked small.

Anna started, "Okay, this is the living room here. We will probably have to get you some sort of desk, I think." It had a couch in it as well, a TV in a corner and a small table with three chairs around it next to a kitchenette.

She pointed to a door then, and said, "In there is the bathroom, and here," she opened the other door in the room, "is the bedroom."

It had a double sized bed in it, two bed stands on either side of the bed, and two drawers along the inner wall.

I peeked through the door, and then looked around, a bit confused, "Um, and where do I sleep?"

Anna got a puzzled look, "In the bed, of course."

Oh my god, she expected me to sleep with her in one big bed? Or was she going to use the couch in the living room as a bed? I certainly couldn't let that happen, then I would take the couch! It wasn't what I was used to, but maybe we could get a nicer flat if I pitched in some of my money.

So I asked, with uncertainty in my voice, "And where do you sleep?"

Anna continued to look puzzled at me, "In my bed, of course."

I looked around, but couldn't see that anywhere, "And that would be where?"

With that, Anna looked like she understood where my problem was, and started to chuckle, "Oh, my rooms are across on the other side of the building. This used to be my guest apartment, but I thought that you would like it. Sure, we need to buy some furniture to make it more appealing to a young man like you are, but we will get to that."

Trying to wrap my thoughts around that, I stuttered, "This....this....this is for ME? Alone? A whole apartment?"

She shrugged at that, as it didn't mean anything, "Sure. You are growing up, after all, and sure could use some privacy and freedom. So I thought this would be nice for you. If I'm having guests, they can stay at a hotel - it's not that often, anyway, so it is put to a much better use like this."

I re-evaluated some of the things I thought before, and asked, still trying to figure it out, "So, you mean, this isn't an apartment building?"

She actually laughed at that, and replied, "No, honey, it isn't. This is my house. My gallery is in the front of the lower level, the common rooms are in the back of the lower level, my rooms are across on the other side, and next to you, my housekeeper lives. It's all ours."

That explained why she didn't need any keys for the room, and so much more. This was more like what I expected, and so much more as well. I had my own flat, but wasn't living alone. As soon as I had accepted what was going on here, I got a huge grin on my face and rushed over to Anna and hugged her, "Oh yes, this is really great! Thank you so much, I love it!"

I actually saw a tear trickle down her face when she said, "I just want you to like it here, and that it feels like home. I know that I can never replace the home you had, but I want you to be comfortable and able to enjoy yourself. I'm glad you like it!" and she hugged me back.

Then she said, "Just put your bags somewhere, you can unpack later. I guess Lucia has prepared some dinner for us."

"And Lucia is? The housekeeper, right?", I asked.

Anna just nodded at that, and I followed her out of the....no, not the, MY apartment.

We went down the same staircase we came up, and we went across the patch of grass in the middle. I looked up, and could see the fading light of the day, and was reminded that I was up for a gazillion of hours by now, and suddenly felt the exhaustion of the day again. I decided then that I would go to bed quite soon, and worry about all the other things later.

Opening a double glass door leading into the back part of the house, I could see a big table set for five people, and before I could think why it was set for five, a door in the room burst open, and a little boy of maybe eight or nine thundered into the room.

He shouted, "¡Tia Anna! Estás de vuelta!" and with that he practically jumped into her arms and hugged her fiercely, and got a kiss on the forehead as reply.

Anna put him down then, and said to him in English, "Yes, I'm back, and I'm very glad to see you, too." She made a motion with her hand in my general direction before continuing, "This is Ingo, he will be living here from now on as well. He doesn't speak Spanish yet, so out of courtesy, we will speak English for now, when he is with us, okay?"

Before I could say anything about how unfair it would be to force a little boy to speak English just for me, he bounced over to me, extended his hand towards me and said in near perfect, though a bit rushed, English, "Hi Ingo! I'm Pasqual, I'm living here too! Wanna play some frisbee? Mama said that it will be 10 minutes until dinner is ready!"

I was taken aback for a second by this bundle of pure energy entering so suddenly, but I didn't forget my manners and shook his hand, while still trying to come up with something to respond to him. But Pasqual seemed to take the handshake as a yes, and just dragged me through the open door to the inner yard, while saying, "Oh, I was so excited when I heard that you will be living here, too. This is going to be so kewl!"

And he started to fire questions at me while looking for his frisbee, but not giving me much time to answer any of them.

"So you are from Germany?"

"Yes, sure..."

"How old are you?"

"Sixteen, and how..."

"And you don't speak Spanish?"

"No, but how comes...."

"Ah, you will learn it fast. How is Germany?"

"Um, I don't know..."

"I'd really like to see it. Do you like it in Argentina?"

"From what I've seen so far, yes..."

"I like it here too. So..."

Before he could get into another question, I held up my hand and said, a bit louder than intended, "Hey, stop! Pause! Take a breath!"

First, he looked wide eyed at me, than looked down to the tips of his feet, "Oh, okay. You don't like me.."

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and then put my arm around his shoulder, "No, not true, in fact, I think I like you quite a bit, but you have to give me a chance to answer, and I would like to ask some questions, myself. Okay?"

He mumbled, "Okay..."

I gently squeezed his shoulder, and he looked up hopefully to me, so I said, "Look, I had a really, really long day today; I have been sitting in a plane for 14 hours, and have been up for a long time before that. I do get it, that you are very excited about having me here, but PLEASE, just slow down little a bit, so my mind doesn't go into total overload."

He looked me in the eyes, and I noticed that he his eyes had a deep, emerald tone to them, "So, you are not mad at me?"

I smiled at that, "No, I'm definitely not, but I might get a little annoyed if you hammer me with more questions like that. So, let's toss a bit of frisbee, I'm sort of stiff, after all that sitting, today."

He smiled widely, "Okay, kewl! So, what do you want to know?" he asked, while getting some distance away from me and getting ready to toss the frisbee to me.

"First, how are you related to Anna? You called her Tia, but I have no idea what that means," and I caught the frisbee.

"Ah, okay. Tia means aunt, but she isn't my real aunt. But we have been living with her for as long as I can remember, and I've called her Tia all my life. My mum works for her, she cooks and cleans the house," he replied.

"Oh, so your mum is Lucia?" and I threw him the frisbee back again.

"Yep! Are you going to live in the guest apartment? I think Mama said something about cleaning it for you," he replied thoughtfully.

I caught the disk again while saying, "Yes, I am. How old are you, by the way?"

"I just turned nine," he responded.

"And why do you speak better English than I do?" I was truly surprised by that.

He got a grin on his face, "Oh, I go to a school where half of the subjects are taught in English, and only the other half is taught in Spanish. So I'm using it quite a lot."

"Oh. Anna told me that I will be going to a similar school," I replied.

"Kewl, you are going to go to the Everest Academy, as well? It's a nice school, I'm only going to the primary part, though. Will you be going to secondary, or already to college prep?" he wanted to know.

I had to shrug at that, "I don't really know yet, in Germany, I was already in the college prep, I guess, although it is called differently there. But I'll probably have to go back half a year, until I have managed the language better, to be ready for that level of education again."

"Ah, yeah, that makes sense, so..." he was cut off by Anna coming up to us and announcing quietly that dinner was ready.

Pasqual tossed the frisbee in a corner of the yard, and ran over to me, grabbing my hand, "I'll show you where we can wash our hands, c'mon!"

I couldn't help myself. I already liked this kid who seemed to have boundless energy, and I just followed him through another door into a hallway, and into a bathroom there where both of us washed our hands before we returned to the dining room.

I introduced myself to Lucia then, a nice looking woman in her thirties, with jet black hair, who spoke English with a heavy Spanish accent. I had noted earlier that Pasqual's hair had a slight tint to the red in it, and I was really curious about that, but was too polite to ask during the dinner.

Dinner was a pleasant affair, the food was really great, a lot better than what we had on the plane. But I didn't eat that much, I was just feeling more and more tired with every bite of the food I ate. I couldn't concentrate on the conversation around the table, and Anna must have noticed how tired I looked, as she said, "Ingo, if you want, you can go to bed, you really look beat."

I tried to protest, weakly, "But that would be impolite, and Lucia prepared such a nice dinner..."

Lucia gave me a wide smile at praising her, and Anna said, "We all know that it has been a really long day, for all of us. Nobody will think anything of it, if you want to go to bed."

"Okay, if you really don't mind...", and got up from the table. I said goodnight all around, and went up to my apartment.

I didn't even bother to look around any more, in the rooms, as I had planned to do earlier, but just stripped down to my boxers and fell into bed. Sleep came to me even before I had turned around once...

Author's Notes:

I guess people would call my suicidal, for trying to pull this off. Why? Because I have never been to Argentina myself, I speak next to no Spanish and I know basically nothing about the daily life in South America.

So don't take anything I write about Argentina, or Buenos Aires, at face matter. I try to read up on as much as I can on the subject, but reading about it, and seeing it are two totally different matters. So this in an idealized Argentina, one made up in my mind. A lot of things are going to be close to reality, but I don't feel by any means bound by reality, if something else might work better for the actual story.

Anyway, if anyone has insights to offer about life in Argentina, and especially Buenos Aires, and how youths are living there, what they are doing for fun, stuff like that, please mail me! I would be really grateful for any help I could get, and you could make this story more realistic.

On the language issue: I'll probably handle it the same way I did with the people in Germany in the story, which appear to speak English, when in reality, they might have spoken German. There will be some mentioning of Ingo not being able to speak Spanish along the road, but if I see it fit, people will appear to speak English, even if they wouldn't in reality. I'd like to tell a story here, and not going back and forth between languages. That destroys the flow of reading, and makes it harder to write the story.

The usual thanks go to the usual suspects: Darryl for helping me all around, with my language (as I have told numerous times before, English is not my native language), my storyline, my characters - everything. This story would be far worse without him. More thanks to The Phone, who listens to me when I have to rant about something in the story, and offers advice when I'm stuck at some points.

Oh, and even if you don't have to offer anything about Argentina: You can still mail me! I love to hear from readers!


Editor's Notes:

I think Ingo is going to find out that his new life is going to be a lot more pleasant than he might have originally thought. Pasqual really likes him, and I think he already like Pasqual too. I am not sure what I think about Lucia, yet. I will have to wait and see. She seemed to be polite to Ingo, though.

I have seen some of the next chapter, so I already know a bit about what is coming next. This story is going to be quite a challenge. I know it will not be easy to write, but so far, John is doing a very good job.

As is often the case, something in this chapter prompted me to think of something that I want to discuss. It involves the use of two words: 'in' and 'on'. We use them here in the U.S. quite a lot.

We sit on a chair in the office, or in the dining room, but if we are in the living room, we might sit in a nice comfortable chair. Of course, we might want to sit on the couch instead of sitting in that recliner. We might be in the kitchen or on the porch, even if the porch is an enclosed porch we would be on the porch but we would not be on the kitchen, but in it. We would be walking on the kitchen floor, though. Okay, let's go back in the living room and take a look at the couch. it is a couch that can be made into a bed. if we make the couch into a bed, then we might want to lie in bed. If the bed is 'made' then the covers are all tucked nicely in and there might even be a bed spread on it. If we leave it that way, we might lie on the bed, and watch a little TV before we get ready and pull the covers back so we can be in bed. Have I made myself clear yet?

Believe it or not, it actually gets more complicated than that.

Where I live, we are not allowed to park our car on the street between the hours of three am and six am. that is so the street cleaning people can maintain the streets. if we have parked the car on the street we have to move it or we will get a parking ticket, so we park it in the driveway. I go outside and walk on the sidewalk to the car get in the car, and park it in the driveway. The driveway is on the other side of the house so I have to walk in the street to get back to the sidewalk and get back to the house where I can get back up on the porch, and then in the kitchen again.

As you might have figured out, some of the ins and ons didn't really make any sense. but you haven't seen anything yet. I haven't even begun to talk about what happens at the airport. What does this have to do with the airport? I hear you asking. Well, it was the ride to the airport and the eventual trip that made me think of this topic in the first place.

Okay, first of all they got in the car, or van. They had parked it either in the street or on the street. I don't know why you are able to do either one, but you can. Now get this. Even though you can park in or on the street, you can really only drive on the street not in it. You can walk in the street, and you can, in fact, park in the street, but you can't drive in the street.

They were all sitting in the vehicle. And they stayed in it till the got to the airport. They put the car in the parking lot, and went in the terminal. They did all the things that were needed to be ready to go on the trip. Finally they were allowed to get on the plane. Once they got on the plane, the sat down in the seat and stayed there in the plane, for the whole trip; they were in the plane for somewhat more than fourteen hours. Some people don't go to the airport in a car, the go there on a bus, instead. Or in a taxi.

When I first thought about the usage, I thought I had it all worked out. I thought it had to do with the size of the vehicle you were in or on. Buses are bigger than cars, therefore you ride in a car and on a bus. Then I remembered that people ride in trucks. And on bicycles. So that went out the window.

Then I thought, maybe it is the difference between private and public transportation that was involved. I discounted the bicycle thing, because it isn't enclosed. If you ride on a bus but in a car, then maybe it is because the bus and the plane are public transportation and a car is personal. See, I figured it out. Wrong! A taxi is public transport and yet you ride in a taxi. So much for that idea.

I must admit that I simply have not managed to figure it out to my own satisfaction.

Let's see if anyone else can figure it out and let me know. At least we are finished with being on a plane or in one, for now, anyway. Things will be much simpler from now on.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher