Free Fall : Renaissance – Chapter 2
Here is the second chapter of my written sequel to the movie Free Fall =) Happy reading and don’t hesitate to leave me your opinion in the comments or to share 😉
When I am back at the Task Force quarters, it is around 9am. Although the sun is now fully risen, it is still a little bit cold outside. I get into my apartment and prepare some tea to warm up myself. I then sit down on my sofa and gaze at the barracks square through my bay window. Here and there, numerous members of the Task* are preparing to set out on mission. My apartment is located on the third floor of the building, and overlooks the large inner courtyard of the barracks. I swallow a mouthful of burning tea. I feel its warmth spread in me. I enjoy these few minutes of relaxation before beginning my day to have a look at my cell phone, which I had left here. When I go running, I like to cut myself off everything.
I find a message from Bettina. She is asking me if I can visit her at home tomorrow evening and wants a quick answer. This is obviously pretty urgent, and I am a little bit scared of it, because she never sent me such text messages since our break-up. Generally, when we need to see each other, we prefer to call and plan a meeting some days before, even if our conversations never last very long. Having nothing planned for tomorrow, I confirm her my agreement.
I stay on the sofa some more instants to relax when I suddenly hear someone knock at the door. Surprised, I go open it and find Matthias.
– Hi Marc ! How are you doing ? he exclaims while entering the apartment without being asked to do so.
Matthias Pfeiffer is a friend I made two months ago. He is a 25 years old young man, with short cut blond hair and green eyes. He has a pretty impressive build, which originates from the sport he practices since his earliest childhood, rugby. He had just joined the unit when we met for the first time. In order to welcome Matthias as well as another newcomer, the whole squad went in a bar. This had reminded me the unexpected integration of Kay in the team a few months ago … The unit stays, but the faces change. These two new recruits had arrived to fill the successive departures of Kay and Gregor.
– Not so bad, I answer with a slight smile while closing the door.
I quickly became friend with Matthias when he had started to reveal me his personal story. His parents abandoned him and his little brother while they were still very young. They were then placed from families to social care institutions. Matthias’ brother, Lukas, was of a frail and timid nature, and homosexual. Therefore, Matthias has always been there to protect and take care of him.
I was deeply affected by his life story, and I felt Matthias was in a position to understand my situation. This is the reason why one month after I met him, I also narrated him my own personal background, apprehensively. It is usually very rare I dare confide in someone. Fortunately, I had the right feeling, because Matthias showed himself very comprehensive, and vowed to keep the secret. Being able to talk about all of this with an outside person did me a world of good and took a weight off me. I opened my door to Matthias and I hope I won’t regret it one day. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt with all these months, it’s that police is a very closed-minded and homophobic environment. So I have to hide and preserve myself at all cost.
When I had finished to tell him everything, Matthias asked me if I was gay or straight, if I made a choice. I answered him that I had no idea, that there was probably nothing to choose, just to accept. I never felt an attraction for any other guy except Kay. He was the only one to have ever given rise to such an effect on me. Matthias affirmed me afterwards that love knows no frontier, that homosexuality and heterosexuality are at bottom the same thing. Because love never warns and you can never know when it will strike, and how.
– Let me guess, he says while sitting on the sofa. You’ve been running ?
I answer him by nodding.
– Still no sign of Kay ?
– Still not.
– Sorry dude … But you know, I don’t understand why you stay here, lamenting on your fate. Since I know you, it looks like you try to do everything to forget him, but when I look at you, I only notice one thing.
– Oh really, and what is it ? I ask him on a slightly annoyed tone.
– You’re dying to see him again.
– Stop talking bullshit. Kay left. It’s been three months I’ve not seen him. All is over, I moved on.
– Have you even tried to call him ? he insists.
– Yes, of course I did. When I discovered he had left his apartment and the unit without telling me, I tried to reach him on his phone, but the line was cut. He had changed his number. Listen Matthias, I don’t really want to talk about this …
– Ok, ok, ok, sorry, he apologies while getting on his feet.
– Why are you here anyway ?
– I just wanted to pick you up to go to work together.
– That’s nice. I forgot it’s almost time to leave. So let’s go.
It is 9.30am when we arrive in the barracks’ hall. I come across Britt, one of my colleagues, who was a close friend to Kay. She is consequently aware of the whole story, but, luckily, she held her tongue. She stares at me with a dark gaze. Our relation has become pretty cold. She has probably not liked my behaviour towards Kay or even my family. As long as she doesn’t reveal anything to the others, I don’t wont to offend her. So I avoid as much as I can to stand in her way.
Today, Frank is not here because he has taken some days off. The day passes pretty quickly. We are patrolling until tomorrow in the streets of a nearby town where a cultural event takes place in the open air. At the end of the day, Matthias and I decide to have a drink in a bar.
I go to the counter to order two beers and a bowl of chips for Matthias and I, and then join him.
– Pretty quiet day, huh ? he asks.
– Yeah it was okay, I reply while swallowing a mouthful of beer.
– You seemed a bit weird today. Something’s perturbing you ?
– What makes you say so ?
– It’s only been two months since I know you Marc Borgmann, but your trick of the poker-faced guy who tries to show nothing through doesn’t work with me.
I answer nothing and grab a chips.
– When we get to know you better, we can see quickly that something’s wrong with you. Especially when you’re doing that face, he continues while giggling.
– It’s about Bettina, I admit to him.
– Tell me.
I hesitate a few moments, but I finally decide myself to talk.
– She sent me this text message, in the morning. She wants me to visit her tomorrow evening, but I don’t really know why, and it scares me. I have the feeling something’s going to turn wrong.
– It cannot be worse that what you’ve already gone through.
– True, but, I don’t know … She entrusts Max to me more and more these days. I was lucky if I saw him once every three weeks in the beginning.
– This is the reason why you moved by the way.
– Listen, don’t worry. You will see what she has to tell you tomorrow, okay ?
– I hope you’re right …
– Moreover, what are you complaining about ? Seriously, how many men who just split up got the chance to continue seeing their child like you ? Bettina could have very well broke off all ties and prevent you from seeing Max.
A feminine voice suddenly starts talking behind Matthias :
– Hey guys, I hope we’re not disturbing you. Lukas told me you were both here, so we decided to join you.
It is Steffi, Matthias’ girlfriend. Lukas, the young brother of Matthias, accompanies her.
– Hello beauty ! he exclaims while getting up from his chair to kiss her. And you, come here little guy ! He takes his brother in his arms then friendly tousle his hair.
We discuss all four quietly around our drinks. At one point, I feel the need to have a smoke outside. When I grab my pack, Lukas calls out to me :
– I come with you ! I’d like to smoke one too.
We both get out in front of the bar, and I offer him one cigarette. I tried to stop smoking some weeks ago, but this task proved itself to be far more complicated than expected. I came to the conclusion it was not the moment for me yet. A feeling of well-being invades me when I inhale my first puff. I look at Lukas. He is a bit taller than his brother, but he has a lean body, not like Matthias. His hair is also brighter.
– So, how is it going at the barracks, he asks me.
– It’s okay. It’s not always simple. The routine if you prefer.
– I see … I know I should not tell you this, but Matthias has talked to me about your story.
– Oh, I answer on a calm tone, whereas I feel upset inside of me by this announcement. I hope he hasn’t told anybody else, I worry to Lukas. I fully trust him. My reputation can be totally destroyed in the space of one day. You don’t know how police works. I was able to see it three months ago.
– No, don’t worry, you secret is well kept, I promise. The only reason why Matthias told me about it is because, as he has probably said to you, I’m gay. And I think he needed to have an external point of view.
– And, what did you say ? I ask while I take a drag on my cigarette.
– Listen … I’m almost ten years younger than you, so frankly I cannot really judge, especially as I’m not involved at all, but … something’s troubling me.
– What is it ?
– Why have you never tried to find Kay again ?
This question destabilizes me so much that I let my cigarette fall on the ground.
– I’m sorry, Marc, I didn’t mean … I didn’t mean to push you around, apologizes Lukas.
– It’s nothing. It’s just … I’m always embarrassed when I hear his name. And it’s difficult for me to talk about it. The wounds are still opened. I try to forget him, you understand. He took his decision, he left.
A few seconds of silence ensue. I decide to break it.
– And, I don’t even know who I am anymore. What I am. I don’t know if I prefer women, or if I like men.
Lukas places his hand on my shoulder and fixes his gaze on me.
– Listen Marc. Maybe you don’t have to choose. In the end, you are still the same. What occurred between you and Kay goes beyond the notion of orientation. Tell yourself that you have not fallen in love with a man, but with a human being. We are all human beings. Why do you want to put yourself in a box at all cost ? You are who you are, you are what you are, and it’s all that matters. Don’t ask yourself more questions. The more you torture your mind with it, the more your life will get complicated. Trust me.
This speech from Lukas strikes me with full force like a cannonball. He was not wrong. I was too tormented. Trapped inside a fog from which I couldn’t extract myself since three months.
Later, when I finally slip under the duvet from my bed, I am unable to help repeating myself in a continuous loop Lukas’ statements in my head. “Why have you never tried to find Kay again ?”. Never a second this thought had crossed my mind. For me Kay had taken his decision and I had no right to question it, to go back. This was the punishment I had been inflicted, and I had to accept it. I always thought there was no possible expiation. I had to continue alone and get myself back together.
What if I tried to start searching for him ? No, this is totally insane … I will never find him again. I had quickly taken the decision to not catch him up. Because the truth was I realized during our romance that, paradoxically, the more I was getting away from Kay, the more I craved to be by his side. I had to burn the bridges.
I’m so gnawed in my thoughts that I open the bay window of my living room and light a cigarette to have a change of air. The big inner courtyard is calm, peaceful. No sound can be heard.
I think again about all those intimate moments passed with Kay. Plunged into his gaze and his arms, I felt safe, cut from the world, far from my oppressing family. This family which was incessantly trying to infiltrate in my life, which was asking so many questions, which always wanted to know everything. Kay was my secret sanctum. And thanks to him, I no longer had the feeling of suffocating. No, I was breathing.
I finally go back to my bed. As I’m still unable to fall asleep, I decide to put back out the last fragment of Kay I’ve got left. I have not hold it in my hands since more than two months. It is his almost black, navy-blue sweatshirt, which he often wore when we were running. I extract it from my chest of drawers. One day, he lent it to me, and I did not have the chance to give it him back.
I hold it tight against me, I smell its sweet scent. It is as if Kay was by my side once again for a brief moment. I calm down, and without realizing it, I fall in a deep sleep.
* Task = Task is a special unit in the German police. It is equal to the CRS in France. The task for which they are best known is crowd and riot control and re-establishment of order.
It took me some time to decide myself on a song. And I finally chose Fly. I’m not specially fan of Hilary Duff, but this song is really superb and the lyrics perfectly fit with this chapter’s idea. That means it is time for Marc to let his torments behind him, and above all, open this part of him he tries to hide. And finally, be positive in order to better move forward.
To see the lyrics : http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hilaryduff/fly.html