Free Fall : Renaissance – Chapitre 1
Here is the first chapter of my sequel to Free Fall (Freier Fall), named Renaissance ! Enjoy =) Don’t hesitate to give me your feedback and thoughts about this first chapter. I made the translation from French to English myself. I hope it is ok. If you see some mistakes or strange things, please tell me, so I can improve the translation ^^
The morning dew gradually turns as a light fresh mist while the sun rises. The forest is calm, deserted. This is the moment I prefer to go running. But also to change my mind. To forget.
It has been three months since Kay has vanished into nature. Three months since Bettina and I have split up and we are in bad terms. My relationship with Kay has turned my life upside down as never before. Everything has collapsed around me as I was taken in this vicious spiral, in which I threw myself into when I yielded to this consuming passion shared with Kay.
At first, everything was fine, but I knew that soon or later, it would change. Bettina is an intelligent woman, far from being idiot, and she had felt straight from the beginning that something did not turn smoothly anymore with me. I had become too reserved, both on the emotional and physical plan.
I had found myself facing a terrible dilemma : my life with Bettina and my child, or my burgeoning love for Kay. I was not able to make a choice. I was not able to take any decision. As a result, I lost all three.
At the beginning, it had been really hard. I tried to fill Kay’s absence and the frustration of loosing my girlfriend and my son with the help of drugs or getaways in disreputable and obscure places. But all that only brought me illusion and disillusion. And no comfort. I was trying to fill a void that would never leave.
However, life had to go on. Some times after that tragedy, I had to accept it, and, somehow, I drew something positive out of it. My experience with Kay allowed me to greatly move forward and lifted the veil on a part of my personality I didn’t even consider existing. A place, hidden in me, enclosed, rooted in the deepest part of my being. Sometimes, I’m wondering why I never discovered anything before my meeting with Kay. In our society, we are all so molded and put into specific boxes right after our birth that we are rarely given the chance to know who we really are and what we really want to be. Sometimes, you have to wait for the arrival of a guardian angel, a soul mate, to find out. Kay played this role for me. Maybe no one else besides him could have done it if I’d never met him. Was it what they called destiny ?
Kay was the only one to ever have succeeded in unlocking this padlock concealed in me. And I let him escape from me, foolishly thinking that my relationship with Bettina could start again, as if nothing had happened. Actually, our couple shattered the very moment I met Kay, but I was not aware of it back then.
I start to warm up by doing several strides. A few minutes after, I begin my jogging on the beaten path where Kay and I used to run. On this path where so many things happened. I wonder why I still come here, whereas I could very well run somewhere else. I think that, somehow, unconsciously, I hope every day I come here Kay will wait for me, as he did before. But he never comes. And he never will. I cannot hold myself on to this hope from now on.
While I cross a bridge flying over a little river, I am unable to inwardly help thanking Kay for his training. Thanks to him, I was able to improve my endurance at running, which was my biggest weak point and would have caused me to fail at the exam to join the police squad I wanted to be part of. Not only had Kay helped me to catch up with the others, but also, he had helped me to surpass myself. This thought put the smile back on my face for a brief moment.
Bettina and I have decided to put an end to our relation shortly after Kay’s disappearance, because none of us was able to continue in such a way. No matter the efforts we could have done, nothing would have changed. The harm had been done. I therefore left the house where we just moved in, and had no other choice but to take up residence in the barracks. In my former bedroom, where I lived with Kay during our training. It was terrible to end up in this place again, but I had no other solution.
My parents grew apart from me, most likely by shame toward this entire story. As for Bettina’s parents, let’s not talk about it. Honestly, I was not mad at them. I understand that my attitude and my secret affair with Kay could confuse and deeply chock them all. But sometimes, I feel a lot of rage toward them though. Because they never tried to step in my shoes and to understand what I got through.
Fortunately, Bettina authorized me to see our son Max from time to time. We had not judged necessary to bring this entire story before the Court and we came to an amicable agreement. As we were not married yet, things got easier. I didn’t want to cause her more sorrow than I had already done to her and had accepted all her conditions. Given that she had not got back to work yet, I was sending her some money every week in order to help her financially and to raise our child.
But the rare times where we phoned each other, I had this feeling that something was changing in her, as if she was drawing away from everything. These past weeks, she had entrusted Max to me more than usual. She was distancing herself more and more from him. So much that I had to demand my superior, Werner Brandt, to change my accommodation in order to be able to receive my child. Therefore, I ended up in a more spacious apartment somewhere else in the barracks. Fortunately, without paying a penny. I wanted the best for my son. He was all I had left from now on. My anchor in this world.
Luckily, my past relation with Kay remained hidden thanks to Frank, Claudia’s husband. Claudia was Bettina’s sister. Frank was the only one to show a semblance of understanding regarding my situation, and for that I will be forever grateful toward him. Although I was mad with him revealing my hidden affair with Kay in the beginning.
The day that bastard of Gregor Limpinski, member of my unit, also discovered my secret, when I reluctantly admitted to him my relation with Kay, he had badly reacted. So bad he injured me with his truncheon. Without Frank’s intervention, Gregor would have probably beaten me in a fit of rage until I was fully covered with blood. If he had gone that far, I would have done nothing to defend myself. Quite simply because I considered I would have deserved it. It was my punishment. For having let everyone escape around me. For not having told Bettina the truth earlier. For not having preserved our family. For having let Limpinski beat up Kay when he learned he was gay. For not having taken Kay in my arms. For not having protected him from this brute.
Limpinski was immediately dismissed from the unit for serious misconduct. He was transferred to another city. Frank finally decided to report the problem to unit leader Werner Brandt, who threatened to remove Gregor Limpinski from police forever if he revealed anything after his transfer. I never heard of him anymore afterward, and I must admit it took a weight off my mind. I’ve got so many problems to deal with already. Turning other colleagues because of this against me would only have added another burden to my ordeal. And in that case, I think I would have left the unit, not Limpinski. Finally, Gregor’s departure was a calming down for the rest of the team. The relationships between colleagues had improved. A certain tension had disappeared.
It has been one hour now since I go back and forth through the woods. I stop to take a break and drink some water. The place where I am gives onto a nice clearing. This is the very place where Kay and I smoked a joint for the second time. This is also here he had kissed me for the first time, by pretending to share a puff of smoke with me. He told me it was a joke back then, but I immediately knew it wasn’t true. Because, without being aware of it, he had kindled in me the spark, which was going to change everything. This is really what was called playing with fire.
I start again, then continue to run for half an hour. Finally, exhausted, I take my car and go back to the barracks.
I wanted to add this song because I think the lyrics from Wo Bist Du are very beautiful and fit pretty well to the theme of this first chapter, between the attempt to go forward and memories from the past.