posted on Sep, 4 2020 @ 01:27 PM
"Would you mind helping me a second? But you need old clothes and something to cover your hair", he asked, as he poked his head in between the door
and the frame, just enough so his eyes would peek around the door, vertical. She had to chuckle inside because he was clowning around again. He has
always been the cool uncle for her, witty and mysterious at the same time, with all the things he knew. He did not take himself too serious and made
jokes about himself. That in mind, she went inside the old barn.
"Don't touch your face that often, your face will come off and you are going to be ugly forever, never get a boyfriend... and all that. You know?"
he copied her voice and slang, with a small ratchet in between his teeth, looking concentrated but with a sparkle in his eyes. She didn't know what
she should reply but she knew exactly what he implied. "Okay, now the crane and keep them hands there, I do not want your hands inside the engine bay
when we lift the motor out! No hands, no wedding ring....'You know'?", he continued. Her mood was not the best.
A few minutes later, a greasy metal heap with lot's of cables and pipes sticking out, dangled in the air, held up by big chains. He thanked her and
told her she can leave if she want's. She declined but sat on the work bench, watching him unmount things. Some parts he would just toss away into a
corner, some he would handle with great passion and care. Things she never saw and she wondered about the strange shapes, until she asked:
"Why do you keep that part and not that one and why is everything looking so complicated? Don't you work at a desk or something?"
He stopped, looked at her. His amusement was no secret when she continued "...I'm sorry for that dumb question, I leave you alone now" and jumped
from the workbench. "Would you hand me a 15ish wrench , please?" was his only response. "The one for taking off the bicycle wheels?", she asked,
as she went to approach the workbench, staring at the wall of tools, trying to figure out where she saw it the last time.
"There are no dumb questions, only dumb answers, Jülchen. If you want to ask something, just ask, I don't mind a little conversation with you and
you've been for yourself too much lately anyways, so it's about time we speak.". "You know why!" she bursted out in anger as she smelled the
ruse, getting her into this conversation. She had a short fuse lately, was sick and tired to be ridiculed some of her classmates for being the "new
one", a cripple in their eyes, a lisping one, to ice the cake.
"Yes I know and understand, yet you are here and you have these questions. Ask them or die dumb", he said with a subtle challenging tone in his
voice, looking straight into her face. "You're not my dad and.." "No I am not and I will never try!" he interrupted. "This is not easy for me,
don't think it for a second. Yet, it is like it is and we can not turn back time. So give me that wrench and vanish into your room, or stay and ask
your questions!!" The air was filled with electricity and that broke the ice between them.
In the following hours, he answered a lot of questions. Some to a fine detail, some with an straight "I don't know ...yet". It was already dark,
when they decided to call it a day. She learned they had more in common than she saw before. As she stepped out through the wooden door, she had
forgot about the pain in her back, forgot about the scars on her skin she struggled so much to accept.
None of it was important in the last hours and she was thankful for the helping hand. In retrospective, if she would write this story down, someday,
somewhere, she would see that he was really the helping hand, not her.