A winter story in four chapters
Chapter 1 - "The Sigh"
Dominik Schneider has to take a deep breath. His boss Matthias Meier has just slapped one more case on his desk. "Read this, a neighbour dispute!" he barked at Dominik before putting on his coat to go to the Kronenhalle bar for an aperitif. Dominik was feeling deeply sorry for himself when his cell phone rang. "You, please don't forget to have the car checked out in the garage before we go on holiday," a not entirely unfamiliar female voice on the other end of the phone reminds him. Yes, his partner Karin was the chief organizer in the household. And knew not only what she herself had to do, but also always very well what Dominik's duties were. Double sigh!
Actually, Dominik was quite content. Karin and he had a well-functioning relationship including two children together, Mia and Liam. And the fact that Karin had already become a mummy for the first time at the age of 20 - "a lucky shot with a short acquaintance", as she always told everyone with a laugh - didn't bother Dominik. In the meantime, the child has become a young woman, lives with colleagues in a shared flat and only comes to stay with them at weekends. But why did Karin have to call the girl Eleonora, Dominik sometimes wondered. It wasn't exactly a sexy name for the 21st century.
Well then, Dominik pulls himself together, call the garage, make an appointment. Oh, there was something, wasn't there? Dominik rummages around in his memory. What did the service man tell him last time? Yes, exactly: You can book service appointments via this new app. No more waiting in line and no more bagpipe music on the phone. Dominik pulls out his phone, searches through his apps - no, it's not this one - until he finds the purple beams of the autoSense app. Press, swipe, book. Done, he sighs again, this time relieved. And grabs the dossier he's received from the boss as evening reading: One wants to build, the other resists. At first everything sounds quite normal. Until he comes across the passage that the opponent tried to blacken the owner's name in court with falsified building plans. Now it's getting interesting, Dominik thinks, but I'll save the sequel for bedtime reading. He grabs his jacket, packs the case into the leather backpack Karin gave him last Christmas, and leaves the lawyer's office. In the underground car park he gets into his family car, a Skoda Superb, and sets off for home.
"Toot, toot," the car announces. The fuel gauge lights up red. Crap, Dominik thinks, I wanted to fill up in the morning! Refuel! But now there are no more excuses. Luckily he passes his home petrol station. There he can Refuel and recently also pay with this new app. Which is quite convenient for him: it's raining, no, it's almost snowing. The drops slap, mixed with heavy snowflakes on the windshield. Tap in, wait, tap out, pull out app, confirm, done. "Cool," Dominik praises the technological advancement. And looks around to see if anyone has heard him talking to himself half aloud. No one there but him on this huddle-weather evening. But now off home!
"Dad!" Mia runs up to him. The seven-year-old is in first grade and, according to the teacher, is a "bright child." Liam stumbles along behind. The five-year-old is not quite as fast as his sister. But he has a broad laugh that makes his heart fly. Karin has come home early and picked up the children from "Pfiffikus", where they can do homework or play after school and kindergarten. She gives Dominik a fleeting kiss and asks if he has registered the car in the garage. "Yes," he can dutifully report. "And it's already filled up with gas, so we can leave for the winter holidays this weekend without a problem." "Yay, snow!" the kids cheer. Karin looks less enthusiastic. She's already in the middle of packing - a drudgery. And is already organizing again: "We'll pick up Eli" - Eleonora has turned out not to be a very everyday name - "from her place on Saturday at 10." "Okay," Dominik says. He, too, is looking forward to a week in the snow. No boss, no dossiers, no duties. Just virgin white in front of the ski tips. "Wonderful," Dominik thinks to himself - and sighs blissfully. Little does he know that this snow will bring him some more adventures...